Past Events

2023 Gingerbread House Walk

The Old Courthouse Center hosted our 7th annual Gingerbread House Walk and was open from 11/24/23-12/22/23 and displayed 23 fantastic Gingerbreads. Thank you to our judges Brad Ball and Brenda Grisolia from the Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Amanda Kempf from The Records Department, Julie Callahan from Makity Make, Julienne Samuels from Seleta Scents, and Kelsey Hazzard from Events at Ethereal.

Witches & Wizards of Woodstock 2023

We held Witch and Wizard Tests in the Old Courthouse Center at the Judge’s Bench! Lots of magic occurred!

The Ribbon Cutting

The City of Woodstock held a ribbon cutting on August 17, 2023 to celebrate the newly renovated Old Courthouse and Sheriff’s House, now called the Old Courthouse Center. Many Woodstock supporters joined us and had a great time viewing the buildings and taking mugshots!


Thank you for joining our Last Dusty Boots Tour on May 13, 2023! We safely guided 150 visitors through the Old Courthouse and Sheriff’s House and saw amazing changes. Renovations are expected to be completed this summer with a grand opening you won’t want to miss.

2nd Dusty Boots Tour

Thank you for joining our 2nd Dusty Boots Tour on 10/1/22 that saw us tour the Old Courthouse and Sheriff’s House this time. Thank you to the City of Woodstock and Bulley & Andrews for making it possible. There are a lot of great things happening in the Old Courthouse Center!

Amazing Woodstock Race

Thank you for joining the Amazing Woodstock Race on 9/10/22 and supporting Friends of the Old Courthouse and Friends of the Opera House. We had great weather and great competitions with the winners, Common Denominators, pictured below with John Puzzo, President of Friends of the Opera House.

Dusty Boots Tour April 2022

Silent Auction at the Old Courthouse March 2022

We had a great turnout for the Silent Auction of Old Courthouse and Sheriff’s House furniture, fixtures, and art! Thank you to all who attended and bid on items. While many things were saved for the new tenants, we are so happy the rest of the stuff found new homes – Enjoy!

Groundhog Day 2022

Once again, crowds descended on the Woodstock Square to celebrate Groundhog Day!

Gingerbread House Walk 2021

The 6th Annual Gingerbread House Walk was displayed at the Old Courthouse from 11/26/21-12/19/21. Our judges were Deputy Mayor Darrin Flynn, Doreen Paluch, and Senator Craig Wilcox who awarded prizes for Most Creative, Most Beautiful, Most Delicious, and Funniest. The People’s Choice Award was chosen by voting with their dollars at the Lighting of the Square and the winner was “Christmas at the Castle!”

Witches and Wizards of Woodstock 2021

Even though it was a rainy 10/24/21, we still had a great day with lots of witches and wizards visiting our “Tiny Bedroom Under the Courthouse Stairs” and taking a class with Griselda Grubb!

The Amazing Woodstock Race 2021

The Amazing Woodstock Race took place on September 18, 2021 and was a great day! Participants had so much fun and this fundraiser supported Woodstock’s three Friends groups. Like and follow us to get information on next year’s event.

Groundhog Day 2021

Groundhog Day 2021 with Woodstock Willie wearing his face shield!

2020 Winners of the Virtual Gingerbread House Walk

FOTOC Donates $10,000!

Thanks to our supporters, we were able to donate $10,000 in October 2020 to help restore the Old Courthouse and Sheriff’s House!  Pictured are FOTOC Board members, Front row: Julie Miller, Sue Stelford, and Mayor Brian Sager, second row: Terry Willcockson, Pat Kraft, Darrell Moore, and Tom Ellinghausen.


2020 Groundhog Day Tours

Our largest crowds to date – nice weather and 2/2 fell on a Sunday!  Thank you to the over 750 visitors that toured our Old Courthouse and Sheriff’s House this weekend.


2019 Lighting of the Square

We had a packed house at the Gingerbread House Walk on 11/29/19 from 4-9pm!

2019 Gingerbread House Walk

Thank you to our judges, Woodstock City Councilwoman Wendy Piersall, Woodstock Police Chief John Lieb, and McHenry County Board Member Pamela Althoff.

2019 Chamber Mixer

mixer collage

2019 Witches and Wizards of Woodstock

Thank you to our volunteer Tony Romano, for constructing our adorable “Tiny Bedroom under the Courthouse Stairs.”  We had a lot of muggles stopping by to get their picture taken.  See you next year!


2019 Dancing with the Courthouse Stars

Thank you for your support of our SOLD OUT show on 9/21/19!

Winner was Star Jodie Kurtz Osborne and Pro Mark Thomas!

Thank you to our fabulous cast!


Thank you to the fabulous Alberto Perez for his videography talents!

Thank you to Victoria McDonald for taking photographs of our event!

2019 Groundhog Day at the Old Courthouse

The Groundhog Day prognostication took place in the Woodstock Square on Saturday 2/2/2019 at 7:07am!   Afterwards, 500-600 people headed to the Old Courthouse, also on the Woodstock Square, to get warm, break a Guinness World Record, and tour the Old Courthouse!

Tours started at 7:30am and ran approximately 20-30 minutes in length. We toured areas currently closed to the general public such as the upstairs of the Old Courthouse, including the main courtroom and the recently revealed stenciled ceiling, as well as two levels of jail cells in the Sheriff’s House.

Folks also joined us in the Gould Gallery and worked on our Guinness World Record attempt at the Longest Cartoon Strip by a Team.  The record is just over a mile long and we already have over 1200 teammates and have completed about 3/4 of a mile.  No drawing talent was necessary – as we were tracing Dick Tracy comic strips.  The creator of Dick Tracy was Chester Gould, who lived in Woodstock, IL for many years.

2018 Gingerbread House Walk

Another great Gingerbread house Walk in 2018!

Business Winner:  State Farm Insurance – The Natural Disaster
Business Honorable Mention:  Classic Cinema – Woodstock Weasley Burrow
Family Winner:  Susan Seibel Family – 218 Sugary Slope
Family Honorable Mention:  The Cisar-Christi Family – Over the Meadow and Through the Woods
Children Winner – Elizabeth Gulli – Rainbow Wonderland
Children Honorable Winner – Marie Adkins – Tiffany’s
People’s Choice Award:  The Cisar-Christi Family – Over the Meadow and Through the Woods
2018 Judges:
Arlene Lynes, Owner, Read Between the Lynes
Chief Michael Hill, Woodstock Fire/Rescue District
Dennis Sandquist, Director of Planning & Development, McHenry County

2018 FOTOC & Public House Chamber Mixer

Thank you for a great time at our Chamber mixer on October 30th! We celebrated the launch of our 2019 Calendar Fundraiser that features Woodstock celebrities posed as famous works of art.  Most were on hand and autographing!

2018 Doors Open:  Illinois

On August 25th and 26th, we celebrated the Bicentennial of Illinois by offering free tours of the landmarked 1857 Old Courthouse and Sheriff’s House.  About 150 people got a sneak peek at the currently closed upstairs courtroom and jail cells.  Thank you all for coming!   (Pictures by Woodstock Chamber of Commerce)


2018 Let’s Square Dance

Beautiful weather and great music in front of the majestic Old Courthouse = Let’s Square Dance 2018 on August 11th.  Mark your calendar for next year:  August 10, 2019!

2018 Wizarding World of Woodstock 

Friends of the Old Courthouse sponsored the photo op, “Cupboard Under the Courthouse Stairs” and made a lot of little wizards and muggles smile on August 9th!   Thanks to volunteer Tony Romano for constructing our cupboard and see you next year!!

2018 WGN Flyover

WGN flyover pic

On Friday April 27th Friends of the Old Courthouse organized a group of enthusiastic volunteers in front of the Old Courthouse for a WGN-TV flyover of the historic Woodstock landmark. We distributed Culver’s coupons for free custard and the 4:45 pm flyover was broadcast live on WGN-TV Channel 9. The video has already been viewed online over 36,000 times! WGN-TV Friday Flyover 

We also showed off our pride in Woodstock’s own Chester Gould, creator of Dick Tracy, by sporting the super sleuth’s trademark yellow fedora.

2017 Gingerbread House Walk

It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas in Woodstock, IL!  The holiday season begins the day after Thanksgiving with the annual Lighting of the Square from 5:00 – 9:00 PM.

Visitors to our 2017 Gingerbread House Walk:

Shops are open, free horse and carriage rides are available, as well as the Christmas Tree Walk at the Opera House and the newest event, our Gingerbread House Walk at the Old Courthouse.  We have four categories for entry:  Children Under 10, Family, Civic Groups, and Business.  The lines are long, but it moves quickly and the Houses delight the young and old.  And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of the Gingerbread Man while visiting!

2017 Winners and Judges

The People’s Choice Winner (voting took place the night of the Lighting of the Square) was Woodstock’s Community Choir with their “Bandstand” entry pictured above in the upper left.

2017 Let’s Square Dance

Thank you for a great night of music and dancing on the Woodstock Square at the feet of the Old Courthouse!  And thank you to Joe Starzynski and Brandon Pacyna for supporting Friends of the Old Courthouse.

2016 Gingerbread House Walk

It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas in Woodstock, IL!  The holiday season begins the day after Thanksgiving with the annual Lighting of the Square from 5:00 – 9:00 PM.

2016 Winners and Judges

The People’s Choice Winner (voting took place the night of the Lighting of the Square) was the “Rockin’ K Farm” entry pictured above in the upper left.

2016 Dick Tracy Day

Chester Gould created the Dick Tracy comic strip in 1938 and lived in Woodstock for most of his life.  Dick Tracy Days were a much anticipated summer event for almost 20 years on the Woodstock Square and the Dick Tracy Museum was housed in the Old Courthouse until it closed.

Our very first fundraiser was Dick Tracy Day 2016 and included Villains being captured on the Square, Chalk Contest, Green Screen fun, and so much more!

We are working on breaking the Guinness World Record for the Longest Cartoon Strip by a team and had approximately a half mile of it displayed throughout the Square.

We were honored to have Chester Gould’s family join us for the day.  Pictured is Jean Gould O’Connell, Chester’s daughter, with our Dick Tracy for the day, Sgt. Josh Fourdyce.

jean gould and tracy smiling