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.

Route 13/West Maine Street, Carbondale, 2020

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.

Division Street, Downtown Carterville, 2015

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.

Candy Cane Lane, West Frankfort, within past decade…

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


The Way of Lights at The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows


12/19/20 3rd Annual Spirit of Christmas Light Parade


12/5/20-12/6/20 Lights Fantastic Float Display


11/27/20-1/10/21 Carlyle City Park Drive-Through Christmas Light Show


12/19/20 Living Hope Church presents a Drive Thru Nativity


Fantasy of Lights 2020 at Centralia Foundation Park

11/28/20 Holi-YAY Festival of Lights- Centralia IL Downtown District


Woodcock Family Light Display

Woodford Way Wonderland


Coulterville Holiday Light Display


11/28/20-12/30/20 DuQuoin Holiday Lights Fair


Wonderland in Lights 2020


Huber Family Light Display

Phelps Family Christmas Display

Timbercreek Drive –off Route 148/Park Avenue


Reis Lane


Coulson’s Fantasy of Lights

Southern Illinois Christmas Santa and Anya Claus House

14806 Christmas Tree Road, Johnston City


Cherry Valley 7066 Cherry Valley

Yost Family Lights

11/27/20 Farm Fresh Christmas Trees Opening Day Black Friday at The Patch

12/5/20 Frosty the Snowman and Home Alone at Oasis Drive-In Theater, fundraiser to benefit Marion Unit 2 Foundation, $30 per vehicle


Christmas on the Compound

Barbarotto Lane


Christmas in the Park at Veteran’s Memorial Park


12/5/20 Murphysboro Hometown Christmas 4th Annual VIRTUAL Tree Lighting Ceremony

12/5/20 Drive In Movie-The Polar Express


11/27/20-12/30/20 Olney Christmas Light Display at Olney City Park


11/28/20-1/3/21 Lewis Family Christmas Display

12/4/20 The Perfect Man (snowman) Sale at The Rusty Nail

12/4/20 Twilight Christmas at Country Creek Treasures


Troy ToyLand Christmas Display


Elliotts Christmas 2020


11/28/20-1/1/21 Candy Cane Lane

12/17/20 Santa’s Virtual Storyline LIVE

12/19/20 Drive-In Movie Night-Christmas Classics

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:

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