Viewing posts categorised under: Uncategorized

National Margarita Day in ILLINOISouth – February 22nd, 2017

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Happy National Margarita Day! Here in ILLINOISouth we have plenty of local places to grab a margarita and some authentic Mexican cuisine. Below are a couple of selections from our territory.

Chavas Mexican Restaurant in Edwardsville
Chavas has 2 locations (St. Louis and Edwardsville). The menu is the same (more…)

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A Weekend in Litchfield & Hillsboro

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Accommodations, Attractions, History, Museums, New Counties, Nostalgia, Outdoors, Recreation, Rt. 66, Shop Local, Shopping, Uncategorized, Wineries

Looking for a great weekend trip? Litchfield and Hillsboro are great places for a girls getaway, couples retreat, or a family gathering. Both are located in Montgomery County with Litchfield being a stop on the famous Route 66. With plenty of history, as well as things to do, these Illinois cities  make the perfect weekend getaway!

 

 

EAT

Ariston Cafe
This cafe is said to be the oldest cafe and in 2006 was named to the National Registry of Historic Places. It has been family owned since 1927 and currently serves a mix of Italian, Southern, and Seafood cuisines. Stop by to grab a quick bite and enjoy the history of this iconic cafe. Click here for their menu.

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Celebrate the Solstice

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Spend some time this weekend celebrating the Winter Solstice at Cahokia Mounds. During each solstice, visitors gather to celebrate the season with a Sunrise Observance. The next event is Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 7:00AM.

A solstice happens twice a year when the sun is at its most northerly or southerly point. This day in the summer is in June and Winter is in December. The Summer Solstice has the most sunlight of the year and the Winter Solstice has the least amount of sunlight.

Cahokia Mounds celeb

Cahokia Mounds - Collinsville

Cahokia Mounds – Collinsville

rates these events each with a gathering at the “Woodhenge” solar calendar. There are no rituals or ceremonies but guest have the ability to stand in the same place that the Mississippian people once stood to watch the sunrise according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Visitors are also able to purchase gifts from the gift shop for handmade jewelry, ceramics, and more.

The event is free, but donations are encouraged.  The Interpretive Center is open from 9:00AM-5:00PM Wednesday-Sunday.

 

 

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February Consumer Shows

Alex Matthews
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Look around and find a plethora of trade shows and vendor events in ILLINOISouth through the winter months. 

There is such a wide variety of events for people interested in all sorts of things: Gear heads, wood workers, gardeners and more…there’s a show for everyone.

Here is a list of February Trade Shows:
Largest Yard Sale
February 7 – February 8, 2014
Belle-Clair Expo Center
200 S. Belt East, Belleville, IL
618-233-0052

Come find great bargains, treasures and other “finds,” new, used and slightly used. Everything you can imagine or want for you or your home!

St. Louis Woodworking Show
February 7 – February 9, 2014
Gateway Center
1 Gateway Dr., Collinsville, IL
618-345-8998

An event devoted to providing woodworkers with an outlet for their passion through tools, education, and a unique sense of community through seminars, project showcases, new products, clubs and demonstrations.

Chocolate Rendezvous
February 8 – February 8, 2014
East and West St.
Louis Street, Lebanon, IL
618-537-6625
For all chocolate lovers! Purchase a ticket and sample scrumptious chocolate treats at participating stores and restaurants along the brick street. Great treats for you and yours for an early Valentine’s Day.

Auto Swap Meet
February 9 – February 9, 2014
Belle-Clair Expo Center
200 S. Belt East, Belleville, IL
618-233-0052
Auto parts and accessories to buy and sell.

RV & Camper Show
February 21  – February 23, 2014
Belle-Clair Expo Center
200 S. Belt East,  Belleville, IL
618-233-0052

There will be motor homes, 5th wheels, pop-ups, campers, travel trailers, camping supplies, accessories and more!

Home, Garden & Business Expo
February 22  – February 23, 2014
Centralia Recreational Complex
115 E. 2nd St., Centralia, IL
618-532-6789

The Annual Home, Garden & Business Expo will feature over 40 exhibitors and 2 days of “how to” demonstrations. Breakfast and lunch will be available along with hourly door prizes and discounted blood screening certificates offered.

Home & Garden Show
February 28  – Mar. 2, 2014
Belle-Clair Expo Center
200 S. Belt East, Belleville, IL
618-233-0052

There are over 200 booths displaying new ideas and products, seminars, cooking demos, home improvement booths and displays.

CLICK HERE for information on these and other great events in ILLINOISouth!

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Holiday Basketball Tournaments

Alex Matthews
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basketball blog

It’s that time of year again! Several High Schools in ILLINOISouth hold holiday basketball tournaments in the days following Christmas.

December 26- 28
Annual Holiday High School Basketball Tournament
Centralia High School, Centralia
618-532-7391

December 26- 28
Schnucks Holiday Tournament
Collinsville High School, Collinsville
High School Basketball Tournament
618-346-5200

December 26-30
Mater Dei Holiday Tournament
Breese
Basketball Tournament
618-526-7731

December 26-30
Vandalia High School Holiday Tournament
Vandalia
618-283-1152

Dec. 27-28
Duster Thomas Hoops Classic
Pinckneyville High School, Pinckneyville
618-357-5013

Click Here for more information on these and other great events.

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What's Happening – 12/10

Alex Matthews
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Here’s a look at some of what’s happening this week in ILLINOISouth! Along with all of these great events, check out the recent post about Holiday Light Displays in the area.

Dec. 11, 2013 – Dec. 12, 2013
Las Mañanitas
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows | Belleville, IL | 618-397-1210
This event celebrates the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe with Mexican decorations, serenades, dancers, flowers, and prayers beginning at 9pm and culminates with holy mass (in Spanish) at midnight. The community gathers after mass for breakfast with Mexican pastries, other foods and hot chocolate.

Dec. 12, 2013 – Dec. 15, 2013
7th Annual Christmas Carol
Granite City High School Performing Arts Center | Granite City, IL

Dec. 13, 2013 – Dec. 13, 2013
Santa House
Municipal Building | Greenup, IL | (217)849-2000
Santa will be a the Greenup Municipal Building from 6-8 p.m.

Dec. 13, 2013 – Dec. 13, 2013
Holly Jolly Christmas
Newton, IL | (618)783-3399
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 even every year. Puppet shows, carriage and wagon rides, carolers in period dress and Santa Claus are just a few of the activities.

Dec. 13, 2013 – Dec. 14, 2013
Christmas in the Park
Charley Brown Park | Flora, IL | (618)662-5646
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!

Dec. 13, 2013 – Dec. 15, 2013
Holiday Craft Show
Belle-Clair Fairgrounds Expo. Center | Belleville, IL | 618-233-0052
Handcrafted furniture, florals, jewelry, wearable art, candles and more…

Dec. 13, 2013 – Dec. 15, 2013
A Christmas Carol
Looking Glass Playhouse | Lebanon, IL | (618)537-4962
The classic Charles Dickens play about Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim is performed by area thespians.

Dec. 14, 2013 – Dec. 14, 2013
Gingerbread Cookie Walk – Illinois Trekkers
Belleville, IL | (618)277-0830
Walk Illinois’ longest Main Street and stroll through quaint shops and great eateries while collecting holiday cookies. Register to walk and purchase cookie bags to carry your cookies along the 5K and 10K marked trails.

Dec. 14, 2013 – Dec. 14, 2013
Christmas Spectacular
Four Points by Sheraton | Fairview Heights, IL | (618) 489-2040
Come join us & see Santa Claus. Games, balloon twisting, carolers, face painting, pictures of your little angel & Santa and will be available for sale.

Dec. 14, 2013 – Dec. 14, 2013
Travel Back to Bethlehem
Beulah United Methodist Church | 6948 Sumner Road | Sumner, IL 62439 | (618)936-2325
Go thru the beautiful decorated city of Sumner and follow the luminaries south to Beulah Church. Live biblical scenes portrayed for the last 2 miles including; Mary and Joseph headed towards Bethlehem, King Herod, shepherds guarding their flocks, live animals at the Live Nativity. Enjoy refreshments in the Fellowship Hall and enjoy live music in the Sanctuary.

Dec. 14, 2013 – Dec. 14, 2013
Mouse House
Toledo Christian Church | Toledo, IL | (217)849-2071
Children up to 12 years old can shop for holiday gifts at reasonable prices from 9-11 a.m. Children can visit with Santa at the Sumpter Township Library from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Dec. 14, 2013 – Dec. 14, 2013
Statehouse Christmas Open House
Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site | Vandalia, IL | (618)283-1161
The oldest surviving capitol building in Illinois is putting on its best holiday duds and throwing its doors open to the public on Dec. 14. 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. The decorations include fresh greenery and fruits. Festivities are from 5-8 p.m. The first 100 families to visit the open house will receive a special ornament to hang on their tree this holiday season. Music will play as visitors take candle light tours. The Friends of the Old State Capitol will provide refreshments.

Dec. 14, 2013 – Dec. 15, 2013
Christmas at Eckert’s
Eckert’s Country Store & Farms | Belleville, IL | (618)233-0513
Head over to Eckert’s this holiday season! From 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. join Santa for breakfast at the restaurant. 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Garden Center, children can be entertained during Eckert’s Holiday Storytime. After the story, kids will be able to make a gingerbread craft. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Country Store, build that gingerbread house you’ve longed to build. Eckert’s provides the supplies and guidance while you supply the creativity!

Dec. 14, 2013 – Dec. 22, 2013
Santa’s Village
Tri-Township Park | Troy, IL | 618-667-8769
Saturday and Sundays come visit Santa in Tri-Township Park and bring your camera for pictures with the jolly man himself along with his reindeer and helper elves.

Dec. 15, 2013 – Dec. 15, 2013
Christmas Celebration
1003 Olive Street | Evansville, IL | (618)853-4435
Dinner, cash raffle, country store, Christmas Flea Market

Dec. 15, 2013 – Dec. 16, 2013
The Glory of Christmas
St. Matthew United Methodist Church | Belleville, IL | 618-397-5994
This musical drama includes 200 people encompassing choir, orchestra, drama troupe, horse drawn sleigh and parade of the wooden soldiers.

For more information on these and other great events visit our online calendar of events by clicking here.

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ILLINOISouth Holidays – Sounds of the Season

Alex Matthews
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sounds of the season blog

Do you hear what we hear? The sounds of the season are filling the air
in ILLINOISouth!

From sing-alongs to symphonies, Christmas carols and holiday hits abound at holiday events in our region. Whether you like to lend your voice or just want to sit back, relax and listen – have a look below to find the perfect musical event for the whole family!

December 4
A Happy Christmas
Lincoln Theatre, Belleville
Come see Mike Williamson and Company in their new holiday show filled with your favorites!
618-233-0123

December 4
“The Sound of Christmas,” Starring Elisabeth von Trapp and the Carolian Brass
The Hett, Lebanon
This holiday celebration features the beloved music of the von Trapp family and “The Sound of Music,” performed by Maria’s granddaughter Elisabeth and the exceptional Carolian Brass Quintet.
618-537-6863

December 5-8
Madrigal Performance
O’Fallon Township High School, O’Fallon
If you aren’t in the holiday mood yet, this amazing show will get you there. Come and see this a capella holiday vocal performance, jesters, queen and king and much, much more!
618-624-4500

December 6
Christmas at the Courthouse
Olney
Musical entertainment, refreshments and more will help you find your Christmas spirit.
618-392-3111

December 6, 13, 20
Holly Jolly Christmas
Newton
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 even every year. Puppet shows, carriage and wagon rides, carolers in period dress and Santa Claus are just a few of the activities.
618-783-3399

December 6-7
Christmas in Vandalia
Vandalia
Friday night will be the “City Christmas Tree Lighting” at 5:00pm on the hill on Gallatin Street. Then enjoy shopping in Downtown stores, merchants will be staying open late and many will have sales/specials that evening. There will be carolers, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, fire barrels for warmth, wine tasting, Mr. & Mrs. Claus and more! Also, the Rotary Club Annual Christmas Parade and Christmas Open House at the Vandalia Statehouse.
618-283-1161

December 8
Christmas at Willoughby
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 us in the Bank Barn for a holiday sing-along while guests make ornaments to take home. From 1-4pm.
618-346-7529

December 8
Yanda Log Cabin Christmas Sing-Along
Yanda Log Cabin, Glen Carbon
Come join us for a Christmas sing-along with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There will also be hot apple cider, juice and cookies!
618-288-7271

December 8
Millstadt Weihnachtsfest {German Christmas Festival}
St. James Parish Center, Millstadt
Come to our Christmas Festival celebrating Millstadt’s German heritage! This event features an arts and crafts fair, German food (bratwurst, potato pancakes, etc.) and beverages, the Holiday Cookie Walk, and musical entertainment (including German folk music provided by the Waterloo German Band). St. Nikolaus arrives in a parade at noon. Children are invited to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
618-476-1812

December 11-12
Las Mañanitas
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville
This event celebrates the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe with Mexican decorations, serenades, dancers, flowers, and prayers beginning at 9pm and culminates with holy mass (in Spanish) at midnight. The community gathers after mass for breakfast with Mexican pastries, other foods and hot chocolate.
618-397-1210

December 14
Travel Back to Bethlehem
Beulah United Methodist Church, Sumner
Go thru the beautiful decorated city of Sumner and follow the luminaries south to Beulah Church. Live biblical scenes portrayed for the last 2 miles including; Mary and Joseph headed towards Bethlehem, King Herod, shepherds guarding their flocks, live animals at the Live Nativity. Enjoy refreshments in the Fellowship Hall and enjoy live music in the Sanctuary.
618-936-2325

December 15-16
The Glory of Christmas
St. Matthew United Methodist Church, Belleville
This musical drama includes 200 people encompassing choir, orchestra, drama troupe, horse drawn sleigh and parade of the wooden soldiers.
618-397-5994

December 31
A Timeless New Year Show
Lincoln Theatre, Belleville
The annual show featuring music and celebration is a great way to bring in the New Year.
618-233-0018

December 31
New Years Eve & La Guiannee
Legion Hall, Prairie du Rocher
Come join us in the tradition of singing French song “La Guiannee,” which has been sung every year for over 275 years.
618-284-7146

For more information on these and other great events visit our online calendar of events here.

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What's Happening – 12/3

Alex Matthews
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Uncategorized

what's happening banner

Here’s a look at some of what’s happening this week in ILLINOISouth! Along with all of these great events, check out our recent posts on Holiday Light Displays and Holiday Parades in the area.

December 4
A Happy Christmas
Lincoln Theatre, Belleville
618-233-0123

December 4
“The Sound of Christmas,” Starring Elisabeth von Trapp and the Carolian Brass
The Hett, Lebanon
618-537-6863

December 5-7
New Baden Festival of Trees
New Baden Civic Center, New Baden
618-588-4135

December 5-8
Madrigal Performance
O’Fallon Township High School, O’Fallon
618-624-4500

December 6
49th Annual Mouse House
Caseyville Community Building, Caseyville
618-345-6256

December 6
Christmas Tree Lighting
Collinsville
618-346-5200

December 6
Christmas Uptown
Uptown Mt. Carmel
618-262-5116

December 6, 13, 20
Holly Jolly Christmas
Newton
618-783-3399

December 6
Christmas at the Courthouse
Olney
618-392-3111

December 6-7
Christmas in Vandalia
Vandalia
618-283-1161

December 6-8
Dog Show
Belle-Clair Fairgrounds, Belleville
618-233-0052

December 6-8
Bethlehem Revisited
First Christian Church of Carmi, Carmi
618-382-7081

December 6-22
Santa House
Dierbergs Parking Lot, Shiloh
618-632-1022 x119

December 7
Women of the Moose Craft Show & Sale
Albion
618-445-2303

December 7
Gingerbread 5K Run
Belleville
618-233-1416

December 7
Holiday House Tour
Blum House, Collinsville
618-346-5200

December 7
Hospital Auxiliary Holiday Bazaar
Free Methodist Church, Greenville
618-664-9272

December 7
Native American/French Celebration
Kaskaskia
618-826-2667

December 7
Red Hill Winter Craft Show
Lawrence County 4-H Center, Sumner
618-843-7138

December 7-8
St. Louis Regional Gun & Knife Show
Gateway Center, Collinsville

December 7-8
Hometown Christmas
Lebanon
618-537-6625

December 7-8
Christmas in the Barn
Rainbow Ranch Petting Zoo & Exotic Farm, Nashville
618-424-7979

December 7-8
Country Christmas Stroll & House Tour
Okawville
618-243-5694

December 8
Candlelight House Tour
Belleville
618-234-0600

December 8
Christmas at Willoughby
Willoughby Farm, Collinsville
618-346-7529

December 8
Yanda Log Cabin Christmas Sing-Along
Glen Carbon
618-288-7271

December 8
Millstadt Weihnachtsfest {German Christmas Festival}
St. James Parish Center, Millstadt
618-476-1812

December 8
Holiday Tour of Homes
Olney
618-395-6088

December 8
Live Nativity
Village Square, West Salem
618-445-2303

December 11-12
Las Mañanitas
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville
618-397-1210

For more information on these and other great events visit our online calendar of events by clicking here.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Alex Matthews
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Happy Thanksgiving

All of us at the Tourism Bureau ILLINOISouth would like to wish you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings!

Today, as we gather with our friends and families, we remember everyone who makes the work we do possible – our local governments and business leaders and especially our visitors……..We are truly thankful for the opportunity to serve you and help shine a light on a region with so much to offer.

Blessings to you and yours…

jo kathmann
PRES/CEO

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What's Happening – 11/20

Alex Matthews
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Here’s a look at some of what’s happening this weekend in ILLINOISouth!

Fantasy of Lights
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Foundation Park – Centralia, IL
From Dusk to 11 p.m.

Kaskaskia Valley Audubon Society – Christmas Bird Counts
Thursday, November 21, 2013
1010 Locust St. – Red Bud, IL
Vernon Kleen will talk to us about Christmas Bird Counts. Vern will take us on a journey through the day of participating in a Christmas Bird Count, looking at what birds might be found in different habitats during the winter season. Vern Kleen is a familiar face to us, having orchestrated the hummingbird banding at our KVAS Nature Festivals over the years.

Frauenabend
Friday, November 22, 2013
Maeystown, IL
Enjoy an evening just for the ladies! Frauenabend, or Ladies Night Out, will feature unique dining, shopping and pampering for the holidays. Vici’s Front Porch and Tea Garden will be open for dinner during the event, with dining from 4:30–8:30 p.m. The Maeystown General Store will offer private label food samplings, the Village Kaffeehaus will feature its Smooth Brew and teas, the Sweet Shoppe will offer discounts on teapots, Georgia Mae’s Antiques will offer discounts on select items and the Preservation Society Museum will be open for visitors.

Lighted Parade
Friday, November 22, 2013
Red Bud, IL

White County Christmas
Friday, November 22, 2013 – Saturday, November 23, 2013
Downtown – Carmi, IL
Friday night is the lighting of the Christmas tree. The museums will be open, the Chocolate Tasting with take place along with the holiday stroll. Saturday will have a craft show, holiday stroll, Festival of Trees, Reindeer Run/Walk, reindeer games for the children and a soup lunch at the Senior Center.

Victorian Holiday Weekend
Friday, November 22, 2013 – Sunday, November 24, 2013
4 miles north of Hwy 64 on Rte. 4 – Lebanon, IL
Carriage rides, entertainment, children’s activities, shopping and food vendors are set up for your enjoyment on “brickstreet” in quaint, historic Lebanon! Enjoy caroling as the Lamplighter illuminates the shops. Visit the Mermaid Inn where Charles Dickens stayed!

Holiday Happenings
Friday, November 22, 2013 – Sunday, November 24, 2013
Red Bud, IL
A full weekend of activity kicks off the holiday season. The parade is Friday night, Chili Cook–Off on Saturday and Home tour and Santa’s arrival on Sunday.

Way of Lights
Friday, November 22, 2013 – Friday, January 3, 2014
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows – Belleville, IL
44th 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.

Art and Wine Walk
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Downtown – Belleville, IL
Join us in Belleville Downtown in celebration of one of the greatest pairings of all time  Art and Wine!

Girls Day Out
Saturday, November 23, 2013
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows – Belleville, IL
Jump start your Christmas shopping and enjoy lots of fun at the Shrine’s Girls Day Out! With a multitude of vendors, and so much more, this exciting event has something for girls of all ages!

Santa’s Holiday Avenue Parade & Chili Cook–Off
Saturday, November 23, 2013
2000 Edison Ave. – Granite City, IL
Large holiday parade with over 100 entries followed by Chili Cook–Off. Free stuff for the kids as well as vendors and lots of fun for the family.

Lighted Christmas Parade & Open House
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Downtown – Grayville, IL

Columbia’s Holiday Cruise
Saturday, November 23, 2013 – Sunday, November 24, 2013
Main Street – Columbia, IL
Gear up for the holidays and take a cruise in your car around Columbia for some unique Christmas shopping and chances to win some great prizes.

Craft Show
Saturday, November 23, 2013 – Sunday, November 24, 2013
The Holiday Motel – Olney, IL
There will be wood crafts, scented jellies, spices, jewelry, quilter, knitting, Signature Home Style, wooden flowers, Tupperware and much, much more!

Quilt Cash Bingo
Sunday, November 24, 2013
1003 Olive Street – Evansville, IL
Bingo games, flea market, quilt raffle, pot of gold and lunch stand.

Saint Louis Windy Symphony
Sunday, November 24, 2013
The Hett – Lebanon, IL
A versatile ensemble of St. Louis area music educators perform classical and contemporary woodwind compositions, patriotic marches, show tunes, jazz and more.

Christmas Open House
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Red Bud Area Museum – Red Bud, IL
The museum will feature an old time Christmas display in addition to the hundreds of items that have been donated to the museum. It will be held in conjunction with the Chamber’s Holiday Happenings that day.

For more information on these and other great events visit our online calendar of events here.

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