For the fifth year in a row, New Lenox will display the largest light up Santa in the United States.
At 40 feet tall and lit up with more than 18,500 bulbs, Santa is standing his ground in the New Lenox Village Commons as the town gears up for a modified and safe Christmas in the Commons this December.
While the pandemic is very much still a concern, Baldermann and the rest of the village staff want to let people know that precautions have been taken to make it safe.
"We're excited to get those decorations up," said Mayor Tim Baldermann. "We're glad we can give people something to look forward to and drive through the Commons, especially with everything lit up."
While some are not big on the idea of Christmas lights going up this early, Baldermann said a resident reached out to say thank you for doing it this early with the way this year has gone.
When the Christmas decorations go up is mostly based on the weather.
"We can't get a crane out here to try and put Santa up with 20-below temperatures and 50 mile per hour wind," Baldermann said with a laugh.
Santa was put up on Wednesday morning. Residents can view a video from another year that shows a time-lapse of it.
"Don Winnie does a great job filming that and all of our village employees help make this a great event," Baldermann said.
Children will still be able write letters to Santa this year and receive a personal response just as they have in previous years.
Santa receives thousands of letters from children spanning 60-70 different communities, Baldermann said.
Christmas in the Commons may be the largest event put on by the village. It spans three weekends throughout December.
People have already been driving through the Commons and taking pictures with the light displays.
"It's nice to bring in people from all over and show them what we have to offer here," Baldermann said. "And while they are here, they are also spending their money at our local businesses."