Christmas parades, holiday events in the Heartland 2021

(KFVS) - It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Check out some holiday events in the Heartland below. If you don’t see your event listed, email it to us at

For more Christmas cheer at home, check out the schedule of classic and new holiday programming on KFVS.


Bollinger County

Circle U Bar and Grill in Sedgewickville will be hosting their 1st year holiday festivities on Saturday, Dec. 11. Christmas in the Village begins at 3 p.m. carriage rides and fun activities for the kids, with a tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

The Davis family will be hosting there second free Christmas dinner at the community building in Sedgewickville on Main Street from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 19.

Cape Girardeau County

The 2021 Happy Slapowitz Toy Bash will be held on Friday, Dec. 10 at several locations in downtown Cape Girardeau. The event begins at 7 p.m. through 1 a.m. One donation of a new, unwrapped toy or $10 will is the price of admission to the locations. The event is held to raise cash and new toys for Toys for Tots. Multiple bands are scheduled to play. More details can be found here.

Saint Francis Healthcare System will host a Live Nativity on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Volunteers will take on the roles of Mary, Joseph, wise men, shepherds and angels. The event will feature live animals including cows, camels, four-horn sheep and a donkey. It will be at Entrance 6 of the Saint Francis Cancer Institute. Parking will be available near the Cancer Institute.

The Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt will be Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Shawnee Park Center. It’s for ages 2 years and older. Parents will not be charged admission for the event, but must accompany children. Register online here.

Breakfast with Santa will be 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 11 at the Osage Centre. For ages 12 and under accompanied by an adult (everyone in attendance must buy a ticket). Tickets are $7 per person in advance or $10 per person day-of. Santa will be arriving at 9 a.m. Parents are invited to bring their cameras for pictures with Santa. Call 339-6340 for more information.

The Uptown Jackson Christmas Parade was postponed until Sunday, Dec. 12. The theme this year is “Peace on Earth.”

The Cape Girardeau County Historical Society in Jackson is hosting an indoor Nativity Walk exhibit. The exhibit will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Special Nativity collections and other Christmas collections will be featured.

The Southern Country Church Tour will be held on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 12 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. A total of six churches in Cape Girardeau County will be on the free tour. A list of the churches and more information can be found here.

The Oliver House Christmas Tour will be Sundays, December 5, 12 and 19 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s located at 224 E. Adams St. in Jackson. They are decorated for Christmas and ready for tours. Santa Claus will visit the Oliver House on Dec. 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The 33rd annual Holiday Home Tour is virtual this year and begins Saturday, Dec. 11. This year’s tour will showcase six homes. It’s hosted by the Lutheran Family and Children’s Services and highlights area homes decorated for Christmas. Proceeds from the event will help LFCS continue to provide services in southeast Missouri including adoption, parenting, crisis pregnancy and counseling services. You can find more information, including ticket pricing, online.

Poppa Mojo’s Frozen Daiquiris will host their annual holiday meal for the hungry and homeless on Saturday, Dec. 25 at 4:30 p.m.

The Riverside Regional Library will host a Christmas book drawing Dec. 1-30 at its Benton branch. The contest is open to all patrons. The library will also host a craft kit and Santa letter event Dec. 1-21 at its Jackson main branch. On Friday, Dec. 30, there will be take-and-make Christmas craft kits at all the library branches.

Curly’s Kitchen will host their seventh annual free Christmas day meal at the Jackson Elks Lodge on Saturday, December 18, at 8 a.m. They will start seating at 11:30 a.m. through 1 p.m. To make a reservation call Curly’s Kitchen at 573-204-3475. Donations are accepted.

Jefferson City

Arrow Rock State Historic Site will host Old Fashioned Christmas in the Village. The event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The site building will be open and decorated for Christmas and visitors can tour the building and visit with interpreters. Visitors can also see the judge and lawyer as they end the year in the Old Courthouse. The pathway will be lit, but participants are encouraged to bring a flashlight.

Current River State Park will host create ready-to-gift Christmas cards and ornaments. The event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 11, at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The program will start with a short history of Christmas cards and then participants will make Christmas cards and ornaments that can be given to friends or family, or used to decorate their own trees.

New Madrid County

Staff members at Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site invite the public to their 1860s Victorian Christmas during candlelight tours of the Hunter-Dawson home from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 11. The house will be lit with oil lamps and candles, as well as decorated with fresh greenery, Christmas trees and 1860s-style ornaments. Site staff will be present to answer any questions. In addition to the candlelight tours, daytime tours will be available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The event is free and open to the public. Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site is located at 312 Dawson Road in New Madrid.

The Portageville Christmas Parade and Cocoa Crawl will be held on Friday, Dec. 10. The parade starts at 6 p.m. with the Cocoa Crawl to follow at 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Perry County

The Christmas Country Church Tour will be from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 16-17 in Perryville. This is the 17th season for the self-guided, free tour that features churches that are at least 100 years old.

Wreaths Across America will be Saturday, Dec. 18 from 11 a.m. to noon at Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial in Perryville.

Scott County

The 2nd annual Benton Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade is Sunday, Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. It will use the Neighbor Day parade route. Presented by the City of Benton with the help of the Benton Area Chamber of Commerce, a $100 prize will be given to the best float. Santa will be there. Line-up is at 4:30 p.m. at the ballfields.

Stoddard County

Children can write a letter to Santa and drop it off at his mailbox outside the Puxico Police Department. You can also mail it to P.O. 103, Puxico, MO 63960. Letters will be collected Nov. 17-Dec. 15. Letters will be delivered to Santa and he will send a personal letter to your home. To receive a personal letter from Santa, your letters must include: first and last name of child, a return address and be turned in by Dec. 15.

Wayne County

The 29th Annual Festival of Lights Auto Tour will be Nov. 26-Dec. 26 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Wappapello Lake. More than 250,000 Christmas lights have been strung throughout the recreation area. Visitors are required to drive through the display rather than walking to ensure safety of all participants and proper social distancing. Call 573-222-8562 if you want to participate.

“Old Fashioned Christmas” festivities at the Greenville City Park will be Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the Christmas parade at 6 p.m.


Jackson County

The Carbondale Park District will host a special tree lighting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. to kick off the first ever Hometown Holiday Light Show at Carbondale Park District Hickory Lodge Administration Building at 1115 West Sycamore Street. The light show will be available to the public following the ceremony throughout the holiday season. The lights will be available each evening from 5 to 10 p.m. Visitors can walk around the facility to see the lights and displays. Off-street parking will be available in the back.

The Carbondale Park District will host Gram the Night and Hickory Lodge Makers Market on Dec. 11 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be more than 10 scenic picture-taking opportunities set up for you and your family and friends to use. Stop inside for the market, where local artists will be selling their crafts.

The Jackson County Stage Company presents “A Christmas Story” Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 9-17 at The Varsity Center in Carbondale. You can find ticket information online.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Illinois will hold a Breakfast with Santa event at the Carbondale location at 250 N. Springer St. on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon. Santa’s Workshop will be open at this location for children to shop for their siblings, parents, grandparents or themselves. No items are over $5.

Jefferson County

The Downtown Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting in Mount Vernon will be Saturday, Dec. 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The parade theme is “Miracle on 9th St.” Activities will take place between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. They include: concessions, carriage rides, tree lighting ceremony, crafts and more.

Perry County

Take the children to see Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Du Quoin City Hall. They will be there from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19.

The City of Du Quoin announced its Christmas Home Decorating Contest. Sign up is underway. Judging will take place the week of Dec. 12 with the winners announced on or before Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. You can call City Hall at 618-542-3841 to sign up.

Pulaski County

The Shawnee Community College Music Department’s Breakfast with Santa will be Dec. 18 at its main campus. Starting at 9 a.m., you will have the opportunity to eat with Santa as they mingle with friends and family and other special guests, including Mrs. Claus and the Grinch. Tickets for the breakfast are $3 for adults and $10 with kids 2 and under attend for free. Pancakes, bacon, milk, juice and coffee will be included in your admission.

Union County

The City of Anna’s Christmas parade will be Saturday, Dec. 11 at noon. The parade begins at the Middle School and travels south on Hwy. 5/Powell Parkway. It then turns left on 4th St., crosses the railroad tracks and turns right. It will end in front of the Anna ISD Administration building.

Williamson County

On Dec. 11, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Illinois will host a Breakfast with Santa for the new Marion unit at 2706 W. Main St. in Marion from 9 a.m. to noon. It will include gifts and crafts.

Santa’s Mailbox in Marion will be Nov. 24. The mailbox is on the sidewalk directly in front of the main entrance to City Hall, 1102 Tower Square Plaza. Drop off letters through Dec. 15. They ask that you include a return address on the letter or envelope.

Carriage rides in Marion will begin on Dec. 6. They will be from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 10, then from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 11-12. The carriage rides begin and end in Paradise Alley, located in the southwest corner of the square between the Civic Center and Lavish Bath Box. Click here to make a reservation.

Community of Faith Church will hold The Christ Event, a live nativity tour, Dec. 18-19 rom 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s located in the parking lot adjacent to 107 E. Union Street between Crown Brew Coffee Co. and Union Street Arts in downtown Marion. The outdoor live nativity tour retells the story of Christ’s birth with live music performances and live animals. The tour begins every 15 minutes, is led by shepherd guides and lasts about 30 minutes.

Registration will be open Dec. 1-15 for the Very Merry Marion Holiday Contest. Award categories include: Best Overall Christmas Spirit, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, It’s a Griswold Life, Best Use of Animation, Santa’s Workshop and Jolliest Business. Online voting will take place between Dec. 1-20. All entries will be mapped and available for the public’s participation.

Saline County

Fowler Bonan Foundation will host their Saline County Community Christmas Dinner on Tuesday, December 21, at 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Located at Harrisburg Heaven’s Kitchen at 21 West Locust Street, Harrisburg, Ill. All meals will be pre-packaged for curbside or walk-up pickup.


Calloway County

The Murray Bank Festival of Lights will be Nov. 27-Jan. 1 in Murray. Central Park will be lit up nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. You’re encouraged to bring canned goods for your admission, which will be donated to Murray Calloway Need Line.

The Murray State University President’s Office and Town & Gown will host the annual Holidays at Oakhurst event on Dec. 9 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oakhurst is located at 1510 Main Street in Murray.

Graves County

The I’ll Be Home for Christmas celebration will be on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will include dinner, pillows and presents for the kids. Santa will also be making an appearance. This is a free area-wide event, sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse and Franklin Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, NASCAR, My Pillow Chick-Fil-A, Kona Ice, and area churches. There will also be a message of hope by Franklin Graham. The celebration will take place under the tent on the Mayfield court square (Look for the cross).

Marshall County

The Dickens Christmas Festival & Lighted Parade will be held in Benton on Saturday, Dec. 11. Events will begin at 3 p.m. with the parade to start at 6 p.m. The Grand Marshal of the parade is the Marshall County Health Department. A full list of events can be found here.

Mail your letters to Santa in a special mailbox at Calvert City Hall. Letters will be accepted now through Dec. 12. They must have the child’s name and return mailing address to receive a response. Stamps are not necessary. Parents can include tips in the envelope to help Santa’s helpers when writing the letter.

McCracken County

The Paducah Holiday Market will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 11. You can shop for gifts from local farmers and artisans. The event will be held at the Paducah Recreation Center.


Weakley County

The City of Martin and the University of Tennessee at Martin will host the 37th annual Santa’s Village holiday celebration Dec. 9-12 in the university’s Ned Ray McWherter Agricultural Complex. The event is open to the public 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 9-10, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 11 and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 12. The event is free; however, visitors are encouraged to donate $5-worth of canned food or an unopened children’s toy to benefit local families. Santa’s Village will include a forest of lights and MTD model train display, along with a petting zoo and carnival rides.

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Amber Ruch

Amber has worked at KFVS for eight years.