Guide to 2018 Holiday Parades in the Heartland

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas across the Heartland.

Celebrate the most wonderful time of year at a holiday parade.

Towns from West Frankfort to Cape Girardeau, Jackson to Benton host an annual event for you to enjoy.

Here's your guide to parades in your neck of the woods.

West Frankfort Fantasy of Lights Parade

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 20 starting at 6 p.m.

WHERE: West Frankfort, IL
The Fantasy of Lights Parade kicks off at Lincoln Street and runs west down Main Street to Anna Street.

DETAILS: Thousands of people turn out yearly to line up along Main to see 50-60 lighted parade entries, all culminating to the very last parade entry, Santa riding in on top of a West Frankfort Fire Department engine. After the parade, enjoy the lighting the downtown Christmas Tree in Coal Miner’s Memorial Park.

 

Cape Parade of Lights: Ringing in the Holidays

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 25 starting at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Cape Girardeau, MO
The Cape Parade of Lights will begin at the intersection of Broadway Street and West End Boulevard (Capaha Park entrance), continue down Broadway Street toward the river, will then turn right onto Main Street, and end at 43 S. Main (Art Van Furniture parking lot).

DETAILS: Enjoy lights, marching bands, Santa Claus and more as they stroll through downtown Cape Girardeau.

Uptown Jackson Christmas Parade

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1 starting at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Uptown Jackson, MO
The parade will begin on West Main Street and travel up the hill and turn onto South High Street and finish at the gazebo so families can pose with Santa for a photo.

DETAILS: The theme for this year’s parade, “Christmas through the Eyes of a Child,” is sure to encourage lots of creativity and once again highlight the festive lights of an after-dark parade.  Uptown Jackson will once again be decked out for the season with garlands and lights on the lamp posts and gazebo, and participating merchants will decorate their storefronts.

After the parade, visit the Cape Girardeau County History Center. Regional organizations, churches and clubs have filled the History Center with beautiful and unique themed Christmas trees, many of them depicting a version of “Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child.”

Carbondale Lights Fantastic Parade

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1 starting at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Carbondale, IL
The Parade will start on Mill Street, head north on 51N, then around Town Square, turning right on Jackson Street and Washington Street.

PARADE ROUTE STREET CLOSURES:

Roads will close and detours of Main Street, Walnut Street, and Illinois Avenue will begin promptly at 5 p.m., so parade-goers are encouraged to arrive early and avoid traffic congestion. Roads will open promptly after the parade ends, which is typically around 8 p.m.

Van Buren Annual Christmas Parade

When: Saturday, Dec. 1 starting at 6 p.m.

Where: Van Buren, MO
The parade will be on Main Street.

Christmas Around the World Parade

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 2 starting at 1:30 p.m.
(Rescheduled due to weather.)

WHERE: Metropolis, IL
This year’s theme is Christmas Around the World. It will begin at the intersection of 3rd and Washington Streets.

Mt. Vernon Christmas Light Parade

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1 starting at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Mt. Vernon, IL
The parade route will start on Main Street from 7th to 10th Street, 10th to Broadway, Broadway from 10, and back to 7th Street.

DETAILS: Mt. Vernon will be filled with all sorts of holiday fun. After the parade, head to 9th Street Between Main and Broadway for live performances, a tree lighting, cookie decorating, arts and crafts and food concessions.

A Comic Book Christmas Parade

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Paducah, KY
Parade starts at 14th and Broadway and travels down Broadway until it turns left at 2nd Street. 14th and Broadway and travels down Broadway until it turns left at 2nd Street.

DETAILS: Santa Claus will make a special appearance at the end of the parade on the official Santa float and will be available for photos after the parade at the downtown gazebo.

The Sounds of Christmas Parade

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1 starting at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Marion, KY

Dashing through Downtown Parade of Lights

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 7 starting at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Historic Downtown Sikeston, MO
The parade will begin at the Post Office, travel west down North St, south onto Stoddard, East onto Center, South onto Kingshighway, West onto Front Street ending at Legion Park.

DETAILS: Sikeston is hosting its first ever Christmas parade of lights. After the parade, head to the Legion Park for the official Christmas tree lighting, a visit with Santa, carriage rides, free hot chocolate, candy cane hunt, and more.

2018 River Radio Lighted Christmas Parade

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 7 starting at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Poplar Bluff
The parade will run from Highway 142 at McDonald’s through downtown Poplar Bluff and end at the Black River Coliseum.

DETAILS: Experience all the fun and festivity of Christmas at the Annual River Radio Lighted Christmas Parade in Poplar Bluff—weather permitting—Friday, December 7th. New time this year—6:30 p.m. You’ll see thousands of twinkling lights, hear Christmas music both old and new, and feel the magic of the season in every float. The parade will run from Highway 142 at McDonald’s through downtown Poplar Bluff and end at the Black River Coliseum.

The Spirit of Christmas Light Parade

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8 starting at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Benton, IL
The parade will start at on the south end of Industrial Park Road and end at the Benton Elks Lodge #1234

DETAILS: The Elks will offer chili and hotdogs for $1 each as well as cookies and hot chocolate. Santa will be on hand for pictures with the kids and each child will take home a small goodie bag.

2018 Ballard County Christmas Parade

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: LaCenter, KY