Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some of our beloved Christmas traditions to be postponed until next year, others will continue, go virtual, or have been modified. Fortunately, it is possible to see many Christmas lights throughout Southern Illinois from the safety and comfort of our own cars. Other events have been social distanced.
Carbondale’s annual Lights Fantastic Parade (I won’t say what year it started, but I did string battery operated lights onto my flag pole and freeze through the parade route with the Marching Salukis that year. People have fortunately found the secret to constructing floats that don’t catch fire as they go down the street now…) will be a drive by event this weekend.
Normally, there are many live Nativity Scenes. I guess the angel is normally socially distanced, and the Wiseman technically are distanced from the birth by a few years, but COVID-19 has also affected these events. So far, I have seen one scheduled for Carrier Mills.
Stores continue to be at reduced capacity as we have been on Tier Three of the COVID-19 mitigation, but some are able to modify and continue their Christmas Open Houses and sales. If you are near Salem, you may wish to follow the links below (or from the app or Events page) to see the happenings this evening at both Country Creek Treasures and The Rusty Nail. It is very important that we continue supporting our local shops, restaurants, lodging, and other small businesses when we have opportunity to do so. In the long run, supporting them supports our communities as a whole.
If you head to Salem this evening, you could also see the Lewis Family Light Display and possibly make the half hour drive on to Centralia’s Foundation Park to see Fantasy of Lights 2020. Have yourself a merry little family Christmas adventure or one of those Hallmark Movie script- worthy dates.
A mix of family, community,, and municipal displays light up this December Southern Illinois sky this year. We will add them to the list at the top of the Events section in the app and website as we become aware of them. You may want to pack up your hot cocoa for the road, grab a comfy car blanket, and set out to see some lights. Our recommendation is to see what is also close to your destination, such as lights or events in neighboring towns, places to get food, local shops, or possibly experience a stay in one of the cozy cabins or inns at Christmastime. Many are listed in the Lodging section of the app and this website.
Some events this year may have food or beverage trucks on site. Spread S’more Love will be on site some at the Reis Christmas light display in Herrin. We will try to share info on the Facebook page and update the ASOSI app and the Events section of this website as we hear of more opportunities to taste a bit of Southern Illinois.
This pandemic has been a mean one, but it cannot stop Christmas, and it cannot stop Southern Illinois from celebrating the birth of Jesus–safely, of course!
Please see currently listed Christmas and seasonal events from the app/website below. We recommend checking back regularly for additions or updates as well as checking links before making a special trip to see something for any admission fees or last minute changes.
Christmas Wonderland https://www.riversandroutes.com/listing/christmas-wonderland/5845/
The Way of Lights at The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows https://www.facebook.com/323693377655128/posts/3792037167487381/
12/19/20 3rd Annual Spirit of Christmas Light Parade https://fb.me/e/1ISyDYV2I
12/5/20-12/6/20 Lights Fantastic Float Display https://www.facebook.com/763733763750003/posts/3294996293957058/
11/27/20-1/10/21 Carlyle City Park Drive-Through Christmas Light Show https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2789433601295460&id=1548256528746513
12/19/20 Living Hope Church presents a Drive Thru Nativity https://fb.me/e/1NZS99aQV
Fantasy of Lights 2020 at Centralia Foundation Park https://fb.me/e/1lO728cXn
11/28/20 Holi-YAY Festival of Lights- Centralia IL Downtown District https://fb.me/e/1YUELREcE
Woodcock Family Light Display https://www.christmaslightfinder.com/displays/display-details/?id=2656
Woodford Way Wonderland https://www.facebook.com/WWWHolidayLights/
Coulterville Holiday Light Display https://www.facebook.com/Coulterville-Holiday-Light-Display-184976148000/
11/28/20-12/30/20 DuQuoin Holiday Lights Fair https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3493683257367848&id=163396890396518
Wonderland in Lights 2020 https://fb.me/e/CPx99gAD
Huber Family Light Display https://www.facebook.com/Huber-Family-Christmas-Light-Display-107116551220134/
Phelps Family Christmas Display https://www.facebook.com/phelpsfamilychristmasdisplay/
Timbercreek Drive –off Route 148/Park Avenue
Coulson’s Fantasy of Lights https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10218701530511583&id=1298474960
Southern Illinois Christmas Santa and Anya Claus House https://www.facebook.com/groups/263268040373679/?ref=share
14806 Christmas Tree Road, Johnston City
Cherry Valley 7066 Cherry Valley
Yost Family Lights https://www.facebook.com/yostfamilylights/
11/27/20 Farm Fresh Christmas Trees Opening Day Black Friday at The Patch https://fb.me/e/AJ5dEcg3
12/5/20 Frosty the Snowman and Home Alone at Oasis Drive-In Theater, fundraiser to benefit Marion Unit 2 Foundation, $30 per vehicle https://fb.me/e/3ELz5GiLG
Christmas on the Compound https://www.facebook.com/Christmas-on-the-Compound-101753961312442/
Christmas in the Park at Veteran’s Memorial Park https://facebook.com/events/385127925734572/?ti=as
12/5/20 Murphysboro Hometown Christmas 4th Annual VIRTUAL Tree Lighting Ceremony https://fb.me/e/3YJxzWmsK
12/5/20 Drive In Movie-The Polar Express https://fb.me/e/YAWZMxPk
11/27/20-12/30/20 Olney Christmas Light Display at Olney City Park https://www.facebook.com/1514176182157098/posts/2777584685816235/
11/28/20-1/3/21 Lewis Family Christmas Display https://fb.me/e/1JRLC6ife
12/4/20 The Perfect Man (snowman) Sale at The Rusty Nail https://www.facebook.com/209071005779777/posts/3776583969028445/
12/4/20 Twilight Christmas at Country Creek Treasures https://fb.me/e/y9oi4OZa
Troy ToyLand Christmas Display https://fb.me/e/CPx99gAD
Elliotts Christmas 2020 https://www.christmaslightfinder.com/displays/display-details/?id=3706
11/28/20-1/1/21 Candy Cane Lane https://fb.me/e/7Fx2qufEI
12/17/20 Santa’s Virtual Storyline LIVE https://fb.me/e/1qxNp0MEthttps://www.facebook.com/ChristmasTownWestFrankfort/
12/19/20 Drive-In Movie Night-Christmas Classics https://fb.me/e/38uWHfHyE
Although it would be impossible to list everything happening south of I-70, an effort is made to try to list some highlights. If you have an event or know of one to submit, please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org