Viewing posts categorised under: Holidays

Easter Bunny Sightings!

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Attractions, Holidays, Spring, What's Happening

Peter Cottontail is making his way through ILLINOISouth. See below for dates, times, and locations you can catch the Easter Bunny and check out an egg hunt.

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Last Minute Shopping in ILLINOISouth

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Holidays, Shop Local, Shopping

Holiday Shopping

The season of giving is in full swing and if you still haven’t been able to find that perfect gift, let us help! ILLINOISouth has great shopping all though out our 22 counties. Check out some of the great places to pick up a great gift for someone special (and maybe something for yourself as well!)

Western Counties

St. Clair Square Mall
Fairview Heights
St. Clair Square is home to many national stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Bath and Body Works, Build-A-Bear, and Champs to name a few. They also have a food court to grab a bite to eat in between shopping.

Spinach Can Collectables in Chester

Hero’s Hideout in Granite City

Basket Case Boutique in Lebanon

Central Counties

The Crescent Moon
Carlyle
The Crescent Moon is 4,000 square feet of useful things! This shop offers high quality furniture, home décor, gifts, and seasonal items.

Byrd’s Nest Gift Shop in Centralia

Floral and Flair in Du Quoin

Eastern Counties

Rhoda’s Doll and Toy Emporium
Carmi
A shop full of dolls and toys, Rhoda’s Doll and Toy Emporium is known for their unique selection of doll clothes.

The Willow Tree in Fairfield

The Potter’s Shed in Louisville

 

If you are looking for a one of a kind keepsake from our counties check out the Holiday issue of our Tourism Times to see how we celebrate the season.

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Pumpkin Season in ILSouth!

Tiffany Garavaglia
1 comments
Fall, Halloween, Holidays, Orchards

Western Counties

Relleke Farms
1526 Bischoff Rd.
Granite City, IL

­­Weekend Hours: 10am-5pm

Activities: Barrel Train Rides, Bounce Houses, Camel Rides, Corn Maze, Crying Chicken Roller Coaster, Face Painting, Giant “Wild Thing” Slide, Haunted Barn, Hay Rides, Jungle Maze, Krazy-Korn Palace, Mini-Golf, Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, Pumpkin Painting, Pictures, Pumpkin Chucker, Pyramid Slide, Sand Art, Spider Town, Spin the Pumpkin Ride, Train

Website: http://www.rellekepumpkinpatch.com/

 

Eckert’s Millstadt Fun Farm
2719 Eckert Lane
Millstadt, IL

Weekend Hours: 9am-6:30pm

Activities: 70 Foot Mineshaft Underground Slide, Carnival Rides, Corn Maze, Fort Eckert Playground, Haunted Hayride, Jack-O-Labber (Pumpkin Cannon), Jumping Pillow, Live Shows on the Grand Stage, Miniature Golf, Petting Farm, Pig Races, Push Pedal Tractors, Uncle Aubrey’s Fun House, Tire Swings

Website: http://www.eckerts.com/

 

Pumpkin Blossom Hill
5483 State Route 154
Red Bud, IL

Weekend Hours: Friday & Saturday –  9am-6pm; Sunday – 10am-4pm

Activities: Arts/Crafts Store, Corn Maze, Face Painting, Kettle Corn, Mechanical Bull, Playground

 

 

Central Counties

Rainbow Ranch Petting Zoo
9906 Rte 15
Nashville, IL 62263

Weekend Hours: Friday & Saturday –  9am-5pm; Sunday – 12-5pm

Activities: Corn Maze, Exotic Petting Zoo

Website: http://www.rainbowranchzoo.com/

 

McConauchie Manor Farm
9360 Brinkman Rd.
Carlyle, IL

Weekend Hours: Friday & Saturday – 10am-10pm; Sunday – Closed

Activities: Barrel Train Rides, Corn Maze, Hay Rides, Petting Zoo, Playground, Pony Rides, Pumpkin Chucker, Tire Mountain

Website: http://mcmanor.com/

 

Schwartz Orchard
19425 Copple Road
Centralia, IL

Weekend Hours: 8am-6pm

Activities: Corn Maze, Straw Maze

Website: http://schwartzfruitfarm.com/

 

 

Eastern Counties

Dorney’s Pumpkin Patch
R.R 2 Box 14
Lawrenceville, IL

Weekend Hours:

Activities: 20 Foot Slide, Bounce House, Choo-Choo Express, Corn Maze, Dark Straw Crawl, Hay Ride, Gourd Slingshot, Gold Mine

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Dorneys-Pumpkin-Patch-125952200840589/

 

Shreves Pumpkin Patch
2142 County Road 150 N
Barnhill, IL

Weekend Hours: Friday & Saturday – 10am-6pm; Sunday – 12-6pm

Activities: Corn Maze, Hay Rides

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Shreves-Pumpkin-Patch-161136953913734/?fref=ts

 

Streif’s Country Market
Highway 45 North
Flora, IL

Weekend Hours: Friday – 3:30-6 pm; Saturday & Sunday – 9am-6pm

Activities: Corn Maze, Straw Maze

Website: https://www.facebook.com/StreifPumpkinPatch/

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Belleville Christkindlmarkt

Alex Matthews
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Events, Holiday Guide, Holidays, Shop Local, Shopping, Tourism Times, What's Happening

101_0221_lo

An Assortment Of Goods From Around The World

ChristkindlmarktLogo Be sure to visit the second annual, authentic German Christmas Market held in the Public Square, downtown Belleville. Modeled after the German open-air markets, CHRISTKINDLMARKT (Christ Child Market) features merchants from Europe and across the Country, selling their items. Gifts, food, drinks and local/ regional specialties will be sold in individual wooden booths/chalets in a festive environment.

Live Reindeer

Live Reindeer

Children can enjoy free Trolley rides, Gingerbread creations and of course Santa! Live Reindeer will appear on Saturday, December 19 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Sunday, December 20 from 11:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.

For adults, beer and gluhwein (hot spiced wine sold in souvenir mugs) will be served along with authentic German food.  A heated tent will be set up for eating and drinking–with entertainment Friday and Saturday evenings.

The Markt is open daily through December 23 and admission is FREE!
Sunday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.,   Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Click Here or call 800-677-9255 to learn more.

 

Entertainment

Entertainment

This information originally appeared in the Holiday Tourism Times Seasonal Guide. Click here and sign up to receive three issues every year at no cost!

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July 4th in #ILSouth!!!

Alex Matthews
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Attractions, Events, Holidays, Summer, What's Happening

independence day blog banner

OOOOOOOOOOOH!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

It’s time to celebrate Independence Day in ILLINOISouth. Beginning this weekend you can find everything from live music, to sandcastle contests, car shows to volleyball and washers tournaments. Runs, festivals and more will dot our region to celebrate the ultimate summer holiday…and, of course, don’t miss all the FIREWORKS!!!

Read below, or visit our online calendar for information on what our different communities are doing!

Jun. 27, 2015
4th of July Dam Jam & Fireworks
Carlyle Lake
Come enjoy a full day of live music, sandcastle building contest, volleyball tournament concluding with a wonderful fireworks display. The fireworks will be shot from point 1 and can be viewed by boat or shore in the Dam West and East Recreation Areas.

Freedom Day
Toledo
Celebrate independence with corn dogs, Kitten Ball and lots of contests (pizza eating, Little Miss and Mister, etc.) fireworks, music and food.

Jun. 27, 2015 – Jun. 28, 2015
West Salem 4th of July Celebration
West Salem
Town Wide Yard Sale, 5K Run/Walk, Raffle, and fireworks. Church service 10:00 a.m. on the Square, Firehouse Dinner at Noon Car Show – Registration 11:30 a.m., Awards 4:30 p.m.

Jul. 1, 2015
Annual Carnival & 4th of July Celebration
Fairview Park, Centralia
The carnival will have entertainment, good games and fireworks. Patriotic event is held in the City’s park.

Jul. 1, 2015 – Jul. 5, 2015
Patriots in the Park
Wilson Park, Granite City
This event includes an auto show, carnival with food, live entertainment and rides. Don’t miss the incredible fireworks display on the 4th!

Fantastic 4th Weekend
Market St., Mt. Carmel
Mt. Carmel shows you how to celebrate the 4th with a weekend of family events. From the parade to the car show, you’ll find lots of reasons to be in Mt. Carmel on this Independence Day Weekend!

Jul. 2, 2015 – Jul. 4, 2015
4th of July
Rt. 50, Steeleville
Have fun with carnival rides, food, live music and beer stand. On July 4th, there will be craft stands before and after the parade, 3K Firecracker race at 9:00 a.m. and fireworks that evening.

July 3
Blast Off Parade and Fireworks
Albers
The parade will line up at American Legion and begin at 6:30 p.m. Fireworks at dusk.

Fireworks
Du Quoin State Fairgrounds

Fireworks
Vandalia Lake
Fireworks will start around 9:15 p.m.

July 3 – 4
Gateway Grizzlies 4th of July Games
GCS Ballpark, Sauget
The games start at 6:35 p.m. with a great fireworks display at the end of the game.

July 4
4th of July
Alhambra
Food & fireworks

Carmi Lion’s Club 8th Annual Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show
White County Fairgrounds, Carmi
The 8th Annual Carmi Lion’s Club Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show will also have tractors, lots of trophies, dash plaques and awards. There will also be a swap meet, craft vendors, food and drinks and fireworks after dark!

4th of July Bike Parade and Celebration
Main Street & American Legion, Columbia
Decorated bikes and creative patriotic costumes ride down historic Main Street to celebrate our country! Later in the day head up to the American Legion to participate in the washer and kloepper tournaments or just enjoy the music and refreshments while you wait for the amazing fireworks display at dusk!

Picnic in the Park
Dupo Community Park
Bring the family and enjoy food, rides, games, live music, washers tournament and a large fireworks display.

4th of July Festival & Fireworks
Flora

Fireworks Display
Glik Par, Highland
Come early to enjoy food from various vendors and fun family activities.

Liberty Bell of the West Patriotic Celebration
201 First St., Kaskaskia
Come out to Kaskaskia and hear and see Patriotic music & tributes, ring bell for Liberty, French Marine Salute, traditional food available and tours.

Old Fashioned July 4th Celebration
Scheve Park, Mascoutah, IL
A hometown celebration to encourage and strengthen the relationship between surrounding communities and the city. The event will have food and craft booths, softball and kickball tournaments, rides, kids’ games, raffle, poker, artisans, music and fireworks.

Fireworks Display
Olney City Park
Fireworks begin at dusk.

4th of July Fireworks
Tri-Township Park, Troy

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12 Big Christmas Events

Alex Matthews
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Events, Holidays, What's Happening

Ho Ho Hold on a minute…what are you doing this weekend (and the next couple for that matter)?

ILLINOISouth knows how to celebrate the season in style. Don’t take our word for it – we’ve combed through our event calendar and picked 12 unique festivities that will knock your stockings off.

1. White County Christmas
Weekends, Now – December 13
Downtown Carmi
It’s a White County Christmas featuring a Chocolate Tasting on November 21, Reindeer Run 5K and Festival of Trees on November 22 and Craft Shows on November 29 and December 13.

2. Christmas in Carlyle
December 5
Carlyle
The Christmas Season in Carlyle kicks off with a parade and fireworks.

3. Christmas on the River
December 5 – December 7
1331 Swanwick St., Chester
This year’s theme is All Aboard the Polar Express. The bell still rings for those who truly believe. Enjoy a lighted parade, craft show, quilt show, carriage rides and more!

rudolph and sam costumes

4. Holly Jolly Christmas
December 5, 12, 19
Newton, IL
Singer Burl Ives (aka Sam the Snowman in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer) recorded Holly Jolly Christmas, which has inspired his hometown to plan this event every year. Puppet shows, carriage and wagon rides, carolers in period dress and Santa Claus are just a few of the activities.

5. Christmas Past
December 5 – December 21
Mascoutah Heritage Museum, Mascoutah, IL
Relive the Christmases of your youth! Enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the holiday season as you view historic Christmas cards, decorations and ornaments, listen to records on our Victrola, and look at our display of old-fashioned toys. You and your family can even have your picture taken in our Victorian parlor, decorated for the season. The Museum is open every Tuesday morning from 9:00 until noon, the first and third Sunday afternoons of the month, and on December 5th after the Santa Claus parade.

 christmas at the barn6. Christmas in the Barn
December 6 – December 7
Rainbow Ranch Petting Zoo & Exotic Farm, Nashville
Stop in to see the cows, sheep, donkeys, camel and other farm animals that are waiting for the Baby Jesus to be born.

7. Country Christmas Stroll & House Tour
December 6 – December 7
Okawville
Stroll the activities throughout town – includes a craft fair, “Festival of Trees” display, and flea market/vendor show. The House Tour includes area homes and a church. Museum sites open and decorated surrey rides available (weather permitting). Breakfast with Santa will be at 9am on Saturday.

christmas picture color

8. Old Fashion German Christmas
December 7
Maeystown
Participate in a traditional German holiday with music, food, carriage rides, shopping and more.

9. Christmas at Willoughby
December 7
Willoughby Farm, Collinsville
See a new side of Willoughby Farm: decorated for the holidays! Visitors will sip hot cider or hot chocolate and nibble on holiday sweet treats while visiting with Santa Claus in the farm house. Remember to bring your camera to snap a photo of Santa with your little one. Join un in the Bank Barn for a holiday sing-along while guests make ornaments to take home. From 1-4 p.m.

10. Christmas with Dickens
December 12 – December 14
Lebanon
Enjoy shopping, carolers and characters from “A Christmas Carol” while strolling the streets.

statehouse christmas 11. Statehouse Christmas Open House
December 13
Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site
The oldest surviving capitol building in Illinois is putting on its best holiday duds and throwing the doors open to the public. Visitors to the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site will find the building illuminated by more than 250 candles and trimmed with decorations appropriate to the 1840s, when a young Abraham Lincoln served there. Decorations include fresh greenery and fruits.

12. Christmas in the Park
December 19 – December 20
Charley Brown Park, Flora
Christmas in the Park features horse drawn carriage rides, little toot train rides, petting zoo, Santa Claus in the Santa House, lots of festive light displays and more!

LittleTootCaboose

Don’t forget to check out some of the other great holiday happenings in our area! There are several places to see plays and concerts in the coming weeks. Plus, who can forget the great light displays in the area? Many of them like the Du Quoin Holiday Lights Fair and the Way of Lights in Belleville have live entertainment and indoor activities for all ages!!!

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!

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Small Business Saturday ILLINOISouth

Alex Matthews
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Fall, Holidays, Sales, Shopping

We all know about Black Friday (quickly turning to black Thursday – much to our dismay) and Cyber Monday. These are days to kick-start your holiday shopping with deals galore on hot items from toys to TVs and everything in between. Over the last few years, more emphasis has been placed on keeping that money at home through SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY promotions…and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

This Saturday, November 29, several communities throughout ILINOISouth are offering great promotions to attract shoppers. On top of that, stores and other businesses are offering great discounts on their best merchandise. It’s a win-win! You get to save, and in some cases even win money, all while supporting local shops and boosting the area’s economy.

Below is a short list of specials that people told us about, alphabetized by community.

Belleville

Eckert’s Country Store
One-day coupon to receive $10 off your purchase of $50 or more
Find it Here: http://www.eckerts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/10-off-50-purchase-or-more-coupon.jpg

Fall Art & Craft Fair
Belle-Clair Expo Center, 200 S. Belt E., Belleville, IL
There will be over 400 exhibitors featuring crafts, holiday items, gifts, jewelry, decorations and much more.

Piece by Peace
132 W Main St, Belleville, IL
30% off of Harveys Handbags when you bring in canned goods to be donated to our local food bank.

TOCO (Tapestry of Community Offerings)
825 West Main, Belleville
Will be running 1/2 off all Holiday Merchandise

Carmi
Businesses in Carmi will offer deals to go along with the White County Christmas Celebration. Click here to find out more on their Facebook page.

Collinsville

Biegert Jewelers
113 West Main St., Collinsville, IL
20% Off on all Charles Albert Jewelry
20 % Off on all Frederic Duclos Jewelry
20% Off on all Estate & Antique Jewelry
25% Off all Bulova Watches

11th Annual Native American Holiday Market
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, 30 Ramey St., Collinsville, IL
Purchase holiday gift items made by Native American artists and crafters; jewelry, paintings, baskets, pottery, weaving, herbals, bronze work and more.

Greenville

Several businesses in Greenville will be offering deals as part of a city-wide effort.

Highland

Get out and shop and enter for a chance to win $100 Chamber Gift Certificate! Shop Local & Love it!

Click Here to grab the flyer on the Highland Chamber Facebook page and take it to participating businesses.

Mascoutah

Several Mascoutah Businesses will offer discounts. The Chamber of Commerce is also running a promotion throughout the Holiday Season. Visit MascoutahChamber.com for more information.

Mt. Carmel

The Wabash County Retail Merchants Committee is again doing “Win What You Spend” for Small Business Saturday. The promotion is very easy–simply make a purchase at any RMC store on Friday, November 28th, and/or Saturday, November 29th.  Sign the back of your receipt and drop it into a registration box that several stores will have.  The receipts will then be collected and winners will be drawn on Tuesday, December 2nd. You can enter receipts separately or staple several together. If your receipt/receipts are drawn, you will win that amount in RMC gift checks up to $250.

For a list of participating businesses, call the Chamber office (262-5116) or Sharon Harris at WSJD (263-4300).

Other offers include:
Hot Tees and Cool Vinyl
431 North Walnut St.
10% off hats

The Corner Apparel
335 North Market St.
10% – 30% off

Aly Mae Images
420 North Market St
Pictures with Santa

Tastee Freez
805 West 3rd St
Homemade chili, grilled cheese, and a 22 oz drink for $4.99
Buy any slushee at regular price, get same size free. Our flavors are green apple, blue raspberry, strawberry banana, grape, cherry, and lemonade. 2 for $5 sandwich special on fish sandwich, bbq ribblet, and the breaded tenderloin.

Waterloo

The City of Waterloo will be giving away $750 in Gift Certificates. Contest cards will be available at all participating merchants 1 week prior to deadline of entry, December 1, 2014. Enjoy the extra time to shop, browse and have your card stamped early. Rules for the drawing are: Contest Card must be stamped by each participating merchant, and you must be 18 years or older to enter. Completed cards can be dropped off at any of the participating merchants prior to deadline of December 1, 2014.

Participating Merchants:

A World of Difference
127 North Main St.

Bountiful Blossoms Floral & Gifts
121 South Main St.

The Clothes Line Boutique
123 West Mill St.

Diehl’s Floral & Gifts
726 Rogers St.

Helping Hands Thrift Store
695 North Moore St.

Merle Norman Cosmetics & Boutique
742 North Market St.

Mill Street Treasures
125 West Mill St.

Nice Twice Resale Shop
518 Park St.

Peterstown Heritage Society
275 North Main St.

Reiniger Jewelers
911 North Illinois Rt. 3

For more information contact Sarah Deutch: 618.939.8600 ext. 211

These are just the deals our partners let us know about. If you know of any other offers or promotions, tell us about it on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below!

Don’t forget to pass this information along to your friends and family!

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Lighting up the Night – Holiday Lights in ILLINOISouth

Alex Matthews
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Events, Holidays, What's Happening

Picture this…you and the family are in your perfectly toasty car, hot chocolate in hand. You drive into a winter wonderland. Through the window you find scene after delightful scene of favorite Christmas Characters – Santa Claus, Frosty, eight tiny reindeer…nine if ol’ Rudolph is around – all adorned with bright, twinkling lights. Swirls of reds, greens and cool blues cover trees, bushes and fields…this is just a little bit of what you’ll experience at one of ILLINOISouth’s many BEAUTIFUL holiday light displays.

People come from all over the place to see the lights, but there is so much more to do! Many of the displays feature events, live entertainment, children’s activities and much more. Take time out this holiday season to make memories, and even start new family traditions at one of these fine attractions!

Fantasy of Lights
November 21, 2014 – December 31, 2014
Foundation Park, Centralia, IL
From Dusk to 11:00 p.m.
Admission: Free Admission

Lebanon’s Winter Wonderland
November 21, 2014 – January 1, 2015
Horner Park, Lebanon, IL
This annual event is a step back in time. It is a trip to a much simpler time with scenes depicting several of the area’s attractions, wonderful childhood memories, and fantastic ideas. A trip through Lebanon’s Winter Wonderland is truly different from other attractions in the area. We don’t pretend to be the biggest, brightest, nor most technically advanced. LWW is a view of the holiday that everyone remembers! See all the hand painted scenes and wonderful reminders of a much simpler time. Colorful lights and displays of all types are ready for your enjoyment. LWW includes a wide variety of illuminated venues and a life-size Nativity Scene.
Admission: Free

 

 

 

 

 

 

Way of Lights
November 21, 2014 – January 2, 2015
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL
45th Annual Way of Lights – This unique celebration of Christmas features a drive-thru light display, tree & wreath displays, an interactive children’s village, camel rides and an indoor laser show. With over one million lights, this event celebrates the true meaning of Christmas…the birth of Jesus.
Admission: Free

City of Olney Christmas Light Display
November 27, 2014 – December 28, 2014
Olney City Park, Olney, IL
Drive through the Olney City Park to see thousands of Christmas lights and displays. Santa will be in the Community Building each Friday and Saturday beginning December 5.
Visit Our Website

Holiday Lights Fair
November 27, 2014 – December 30, 2014
Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, Du Quoin, IL
Three mile drive through Christmas lights display is open every night. Weekends in December, the beautifully decorated winter wonderland in Expo Hall, will have vendors with items for sale, food, kids’ corner and music entertainment.
Admission: $10.00 a car load

Christmas Lights Wonderland
November 28, 2014 – December 31, 2014
American Farm Heritage Museum, Greenville, IL
Tour the animated Christmas boxes and lights, then visit the Lil Red Barn Museum for free cookies, hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Visit with Santa every Friday and Saturday, ride the Polar Express on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and enjoy 1800s Christmas at Hill’s Fort.
Admission: Free Admission

Christmas Lights in the Park
November 28, 2014 – January 4, 2015
City Park, Carlyle, IL
Get into the spirit of the season as you view thousands of Christmas lights strung throughout the City Park.

Coulterville Holiday Light Display
November 29, 2014 – December 31, 2014
Coulterville City Park, Coulterville, IL
1/2 mile walk thru display features a million lights and 400 Christmas figurines! Don’t miss the walk through version of the “Candyland” game with favorites such as Lolli Pop Lane. Fridays and Saturdays evenings, there’s food, crafts and Santa.
Admission: Free Admission

Festival of Lights
December 5, 2014 – January 1, 2015
Leo French Park, Fairfield, IL
Come see the beautiful lights and holiday decorations.

Lights in the Park
December 7, 2014
Freeburg, IL
The beautiful light display will be turned on for the holiday season. To help celebrate, Santa will be on hand to visit as well as Christmas carols being sung.

Admission: Free

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Yuletide Gems – Holiday Theatrical Offerings Are NOT To Be Missed

Bill Beggs
0 comments
Events, Holiday Guide, Holidays, Tourism Times

What to do once the kids or grandkids, nieces and nephews are finished performing in the school holiday show or church Christmas pageant? Cue up Miracle on 34th Street (or Christmas Vacation…), again, and settle in for a long winter’s nap?

You don’t get out much, do you? But you should. There are plenty of theatre and musical offerings all season long throughout ILLINOISouth.

Belleville and Edwardsville have a full slate of holiday offerings, and smaller towns hither and yon have special holiday performances scheduled. Here’s just a sampling of events confirmed for the season. (In many cases, holiday shows had not been finalized by the time we went to press.)

The Belleville Philharmonic Society is an orchestra of volunteers who comprise the second-oldest continuously performing symphony in the country. (The first concert was held in 1866, a year after the Civil War ended.) This season, listeners will be blessed with several classics, from Vivaldi’s Gloria to the Nutcracker suite and ballet.

Besides the aforementioned baroque offering from the society’s chorale and chamber orchestra, the “Christmas Wonders” concert will feature Rutter’s Magnificat. Tchaikovsky’s opus Nutcracker will include several professional soloists joining the dancers of the Belleville School of Ballet.

In Edwardsville there will be about as many offerings as there are visions of sugar plums dancing in children’s heads. Not too many these days? Well, the lovingly restored Wildey Theatre is a sugar plum in its own right, and has plenty on the slate to keep children and adults entertained. Along with a production of Nutcracker, there’ll be a showing of the beloved Bing Crosby movie White Christmas.

Kids can enjoy the Elves’ Workshop at the Wildey, where participants can work on nine separate craft projects for wrapping and giving as gifts to family and friends.

If you haven’t seen the Wildey, last refurbished in 2011, you must check out this fine 325-seat theatre that has featured the likes of Dave Mason, Judy Collins and Leo Kottke. “Everyone leaves here an ambassador,” says Rich Walker, who heads up Friends of the Wildey, the group that promotes the theatre.

In Lebanon, they’ll give you the Dickens. Looking Glass Playhouse will perform the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, which might scare the you-know-what out of some kids under 12… and even some adults who have been living more like a Scrooge than a Crachit of late. Some people are scared they’ve been too bad for Santa. Others fear being visited by three ghosts on the night before Christmas.

Two events are scheduled in Mt. Carmel at Wabash Valley College. “Mind & Spirit of Christmas” features the college’s chorale backing Gina Moore, Red Wick and friends for a medley of holiday classics. Also on the performing arts calendar, at Brubeck Arts Center, is “New Odyssey Christmas,” which spotlights the group New Odyssey – 3 Guys, 30 Instruments. Intrigued? Jerry Bayne, performing arts director at WVCC, is a true believer in this act. He says, “These guys have been hitting home runs for years.”

And in Olney, the city’s art council is showcasing the Olney Central College choir for a holiday concert at John Stull Performing Arts Center; the orchestra and chorus will be joined by several professional soloists.

So bundle up, get out, and let it snow!

CLICK HERE to find information on these performacnes and other great holiday events on our online claendar!


This information originally appeared in the Tourism Times Holiday Guide. Click here and sign up to receive our annual Visitors Guide at no cost!

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BOO! Haunted Happenings in ILLINOISouth

Alex Matthews
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Events, Fall, Halloween, Holidays, What's Happening

Don’t look behind you…

We told you not to look!

It’s a frightfully fun time here in ILLINOISouth. Ghosts, Goblins and Ghouls lurk around every turn. Haunted hikes and spooky spectacles are the norm for many communities throughout October leading right up to the big day…Halloween.

Head out to one of the many Halloween parades to see all of the classic creepers like mummies, vampires, Frankenstein, witches…even zombies. Watch out for the zombies though – Walking Dead comes back on this weekend, and it has me convinced you can never be too careful.

Show off your costumes and, most importantly, let the kiddos collect candy at trunk-or-treats and Halloween parties. For the ladies, Lebanon and Columbia host “Witches Nights Out”. (They said it, not us.)

However your family likes to celebrate Halloween – we want you to stay safe and have fun. Here’s a list of Haunted Happenings in ILLINOISouth:

October 10-11, 17-18, 24-15
Haunted Hayrides
Eckert’s Farm, Millstadt
There’s lots of ghoulish fun for young and old during this hayride through Eckert’s haunted orchard.
618-233-0513

October 9
Ghouls (Witches) Night Out
Columbia
Dress the part – witches costume, hat and broom contest, and enjoy a fabulous night of shopping and prizes.
618-281-7144

October 10 – 11, 17 – 18 & 24 – 25
Historical Museum Haunted House
Historical Museum, Centralia
618-533-7623

October 10 – 12 & 17-19
Little Shop of Horrors
Avon Theater, Breese
Clinton County Showcase presents this rock musical, comedy, horror hit at the historic Avon Theater.
618-526-2866

October 17 – 18
Haunted Trail
McDonald’s Restaurant, Carlyle
Climb aboard a hay wagon in the McDonald’s parking lot and take a hay ride down to a trail where ghosts and ghouls hide.
618-594-2484

October 17 – 18
Haunted Hike
Silver Lake Park, Highland
Go for a haunted hike into the darkness and see what lurks at night in the Park!! The hike on the 18th is for families with younger children. On the 19th, prepare to be scared!
618-651-1386

October 24
Belleville Trick or Treat
Main Street Belleville
Trick or treat on the Nation’s longest main street, and stock up on candy and goodies!
618-233-6769

October 24
Halloween Party
Caseyville Community Building, Caseyville
Lots of games, costume contest, Halloween pictures, food, and more.
618-345-6256

October 25
Halloween Parade, Fall Festival & Craft Fair
Centralia Recreation Complex, Centralia
This parade is older than the Macy’s parade and features floats, marching unites, horses, old fire trucks, costumed characters, school bands and more. The Fall Festival is held during the day with a children’s parade, chili cook-off, mini train rides, haunted house, craft fair, games for the kids, food and car show.
618-532-6789

October 25
Halloween Hi-Jinks
Main Street Columbia
Main Street merchants have stocked up on treats for the little princesses, ghosts and all.
618-281-7144

October 25
Halloween Parade
Flora
618-662-5646

October 25
Pumpkin Patch & Children’s Bike Parade
Downtown O’Fallon
Children are invited to join the bike parade and trick or treat at downtown merchants.
618-624-4503

October 26
Witches Night Out
Lebanon
Sharpen the point on your hat, oil the broom and fluff up the cat, leave the little goblins where they’re at and com to Lebanon’s scariest shopping event. Restaurants and shops will be open. A fortune teller will be strolling the street. The spooky music and historic buildings provide a haunted backdrop for some wicked good fun. It’s a “ghoul’s night out.” Costumes are encouraged; it’s quite a sight to see.
618-537-6625

October 26
Halloween Parade
Leu Civic Center, Mascoutah
It’s a party with food, costume contests and children’s games, plus a parade!
618-566-2175

October 31
Scare Square & Pumpkin Glow
City Hall Fountain Park, Columbia
Loads of Halloween fun, trunk-or-treating for the kids and pumpkin carving contest for all ages.
618-281-7144

October 31
EdGlen Chamber of Commerce Halloween Parade
Edwardsville
Over 100 floats, marching bands, school groups and entertainers take to the streets of Edwardsville to experience this 90+ year tradition called the biggest Halloween celebration in the Metro-East.
618-656-7600

October 31
Trunk or Treat
Waterloo Courthouse Square
Organizations provide a safe trick or treating environment for the kids. Event features a Candy Check Point sponsored by the Waterloo Fire Department and Monroe County EMS.
618-939-8600

For more Fall fun, read about great Fall Festivals and Chili Cook-offs on our blog.

Click Here for a complete list of ILLINOISouth events.

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