Santa Claus takes his annual train ride from Mukwonago to East Troy on the 2019 Santa Parade Train. Santa and Mrs. Claus will ride the rails again Dec. 5. The Santa on the Square celebration will look a bit different with social distance requirements, but East Troy will still kick off the holiday season in style with the annual party, which will also include the debut of East Troy Lights. (Eric Kramer photo)

East Troy kicks off holiday season Saturday

The annual Santa Parade Train and Santa on the Square celebration will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. The East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce is planning a socially distanced event to accommodate COVID-19 guidelines.

“The health and safety of our attendees, business owners and residents are clearly the most important and we are planning accordingly,” the chamber’s website states. “By spreading out activities and viewing spaces out across the outdoor park, guests can safely enjoy all of the festivities while maintaining proper physical distancing and enjoying the outdoors.”

In anticipation of Santa’s arrival, festivities will begin at East Troy Village Square Park at 5 p.m., including lighting of the Bob Barutha Memorial Christmas Tree (at about 6:30 p.m.), the debut of East Troy Lights, winter activities, carriage rides, outdoor and socially-distanced East Troy Winter Market and more.

East Troy Lights is an interactive holiday light show taking place throughout the month of December with help from a $19,225 Joint Effort Marketing Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. East Troy Lights will continue with timed shows on the hour at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. from Dec. 5 through 31.

Visitors to the Village Square can watch the shows on the hour, every hour and with the help of a mobile phone, they’ll be able to try their hand at making their own light show.

The chamber is seeking volunteers to help set up the light display along with continued donations to fund the project. Visit for more information.

Santa Parade Train

Presented by the East Troy Electric Railroad, in conjunction with the East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce and Mukwonago Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Center, the Santa Parade Train will travel down the century-old interurban trolley line between Mukwonago and East Troy.

Spectators can catch a glimpse of Santa along Highway ES. The train will stop briefly at the following crossings:

  • 5:30 p.m., train departs at The Elegant Farmer;
  • 5:45 p.m., Army Lake Road – Army Lake Camp;
  • 6 p.m., St. Peter’s Road;
  • 6:15 p.m., Byrnes Street;
  • 6:25 p.m., Division Street; and
  • 6:30 p.m., Santa arrives at East Troy Village Square Park via East Troy Fire Department truck to light the Bob Barutha Memorial Christmas Tree and debut of East Troy Lights.




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