The Lowe family brought along hot cocoa, knowing it was a cold day. The Lowes joined their neighbors, the Archambaults — and hundreds of other Naperville residents — to have their photo taken for posterity.
Though the entire Naperville community didn't gather for Friday's photo shoot, many locals braved the cold temperatures and biting winds to memorialize the 2010 holiday season with a photograph.
The City of Naperville and Mayor George Pradel invited residents to pose for the photo, spelling out the word "Peace." With photographers posted up in the Millennium Carillon, the attendees were put into formation to spell out the word. The photo will be available online and will be sent to Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, Governor Pat Quinn, neighboring communities and others, Pradel said.
"We want to let them all know Naperville wants peace," Pradel said. "We want peace in our city. We want peace in our state and peace in the country."
The city estimated that 500 people participated in Friday afternoon's photo shoot.
Cathy and Keith Archambault and their two children, Emily, 9, and Zach, 10, were among those in attendance.
"I saw it in the newspaper and thought it would be fun," Cathy Archambault said. "I thought it would be a great memory maker."
The family was one of the few that had chosen to forgo Black Friday shopping for other pursuits.
Their neighbors, Chris and Jim Lowe, along with their children, Jessica, 7, and Jonathan, 10, also decided to participate in the photo. Jim Lowe had the brilliant idea to bring the hot cocoa for the children.
"I think it's a good idea," Chris Lowe said of the event. "It is a cost-effective way to bring the community together."
"And it's free," Jim chimed in.
Cathy Archambault agreed, adding: "It's a good message."
Neighbors met and mingled and strangers struck up conversations while waiting to pose for the photo. Along with the locals, media crews from Chicago news stations were in attendance. Media photographers were allowed access to the Carillon to snap photos.
A lifelong resident, Liz Michalski, said she learned about the photo shoot on the news just an hour earlier and decided to attend. She thought the turnout for the event was good with such short notice.
Whitney Day, who grew up in Naperville, said she decided to attend when she heard about the event. After starting her Friday with some shopping at 4 a.m., Day took a power nap before getting some more shopping in and then taking a break to attend the photo shoot with a friend.
"I was out shopping and thought it would be a really fun thing to do," Day said.
The photos are available on the city's website.