February 8, 2023 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Christmas in St. Joseph events kick off this week

A young girl’s wish for a community Christmas tree started a town-wide holiday extravaganza that will kick off on Dec. 3.

“I think it would just bring a lot of joy around Christmas time to everybody.” Lana Schott told the St. Joseph Village Board in July.


On Dec. 3 an empty lot on Main Street near the St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Protection District will host the town’s first community tree lighting event.


The event, which starts at 3 p.m., will feature booths where attendees can decorate ornaments for the town tree, and enjoy smores, hot chocolate, and popcorn free of charge.

St. Joseph Girl Scouts will have cookies and a send-a-smile coloring activity which will be mailed to military members to brighten their holiday season. The Grinch will be in attendance starting at 3:30 p.m. for photo opportunities.

St. Joseph-Ogden High School Chorus members will perform at 4:15 p.m and the tree lighting will take place at 5 p.m. with Schott doing the honors.


The lot is actually home to two trees—the future St. Joseph Community Christmas tree, which will be planted in Kolb Park, and the 2022 St. Joseph Community Christmas Tree. Next year Kolb Park will be home to the tree and host many Christmas in St. Joseph events.


The next weekend will see Santa come to town at the St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Family’s Holly Jolly Event. The event starts with a pancake and sausage breakfast at 7 a.m until 10 a.m. A hot cocoa bar, coloring pages and cookie decorating will be available and Santa will arrive at 10:30 a.m.


“The Holly Jolly is a great way to get the community together and celebrate everything Christmas with the children,” said Family President Vickie Reese. “We hope to create a North Pole feeling for the kids to enjoy. We add a little bit more each year.”


Reese said the event, which usually sees 300 or more children in attendance, is one of her favorite events.


“My favorite part is seeing all of the happy kiddos and giant smiles,” she said. “It brings a smile to my face personally seeing everyone together laughing and caroling and sharing in the joy of the season.”


Other events include: ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at the St. Joseph Church of Christ.


On Dec. 10 the St. Joseph Women’s Club will host the lighted golf cart parade in downtown starting at 6 p.m.

Dec. 17 sees the fifth annual Santa 5K in downtown at 9 a.m. and local churches caroling during the afternoon and evening hours. The Chamber of Commerce is also sponsoring a Christmas Decoration Contest from Nov. 30 to Dec. 17. Voting takes place here.

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