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St. Charles Christmas Traditions: Bring the Holiday Season to Life

Festival Hours: Opening Day, Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, 6-9 p.m. Saturdays 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sundays 12 – 5 p.m. Closing Day, Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. For a complete schedule of activities, visit (link)

From the moment you step out of your car and onto the cobblestones of Saint Charles’ Historic Main Street, it begins. Time slips away and, regardless of your age, childhood returns as Christmas Traditions come to life.

Breathe deeply. Do you smell the evergreen boughs draped across shop doors, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, the scent of freshly baked cookies wafting on a breeze?

Listen. Can you hear them? Carolers are singing as they stroll along the street, Jack Frost is up to mischief and Santa Claus is chuckling a deep “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

From Nov. 25 through Dec. 24, Christmas Traditions returns, offering area residents multiple opportunities to experience the holiday season – with all its fun and frivolity – at a decidedly slower pace.

Opening Day kicks off at 11 a.m. with Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving by horse-drawn carriage at Kister Park Gazebo, located in the 400 block of South Main Street. Then, the festivities really get underway with Chestnut Roasters on Main Street, a Holiday Kissing Ball in the Kister Park Gazebo, Letters for Santa being accepted at the Old Post Office [119 South Main Street] and Christmas Traditions photo stops located throughout Main Street, where kids of all ages can meet and take photos with the colorful cast of Christmas Traditions.

Each weekend, visitors also have the chance to visit Santa’s Cottage and Train Land at the KATY Depot in Frontier Park [noon-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, but closed daily during the Santa Parade from 1:15-2:30 p.m.].

The Land of Sweets dance party takes place at 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays in the Kister Park Gazebo and at 4 p.m. in Berthold Square, Ebeneezer Scrooge and company bring “A Christmas Carol” to life.

There also is a Gingerbread Village to see at 116 North Main Street [times vary], marshmallows to roast on Fridays from 7-8:30 p.m. with the legends of Christmas at 701 Riverside Drive; and a Candlelight procession each night [except Sunday] at 8:45 p.m. from the 900 block of South Main Street to Berthold Square.

Plus, on Wednesdays, visitors are treated to a candlelight reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at 200 South Main Street. But, visitors beware, the naughty Main Street Krampusnachts are also roaming about from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on North Main Street.

There’s so much to see and do that one day just isn’t enough!

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