- Music in New Memphis — 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday to 12:30 a.m., Sit “N” Bull Saloon, 31 S. Mill St., New Memphis. Free. Chapman Brothers on Friday; Stan Denton & The Wanted on Saturday.
- Butch’s Polka Kings — 7:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Hecker Community Center, 230 E. Washington St., Hecker. Doors open 7 p.m. Admission: $7.
Never miss a local story.
- Gingerbread Walk — through Jan. 3, in shop windows along Main Street in downtown Belleville. View the winners in the annual Gingerbread Contest, and all the other entrants.
- Winter Wonderland of Lights — through Dec. 31, Horner Park, Lebanon. Thousands of lights, animated musical display, life-size navitity, Victorian village, donations accepted. Sponsored by the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce. Information: 618-537-8420, www.lebanonil.us.
- Way of Lights — through Jan. 1, National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 442 S. De Mazenod, Belleville. Dive through more than 1 million white lights along a 1.5-mile route depicting the Journey to Bethlehem; camel, donkey, pony rides, petting zoo, kettle corn. Carriage rides ($65 per person; $100 for 6-person carriage); reservations, 636-549-4610. Visitors Center: Puppet show, souvenir photos, Christmas tree display, community music performances, wreath display and silent auction. Guild Center (admission $7 adults, $5 children 4 and up): Lego Display and Lego children’s playroom.
- Highland Lighted Christmas Parade — 7:15 p.m. Friday, downtown Square, Highland. Carriage rides, musicians, hot chocolate, kettle corn. Santa will arrive. Parade route: from the Elementary school parking lot on Lindenthal, west on Lindenthal to Washington, north on Washington to the square. Sponsored by Highland Chamber of Commerce. Santa on the Square hours Friday through Dec. 24: 6-8 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Saturdays; 1-4 p.m. Sundays; 10 a.m.-noon Christmas Eve.
- Belleville Christkindelmarkt — Friday through Wednesday, Dec. 23, Downtown Belleville. 30 Vendors featuring treasures and treats from around the world. Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Admission free. Free entertainment in heated Fest Tent on Friday and Saturday.
- Christmas Candlelight Tour — 6-9 p.m Friday-Saturday, Col. Benjamin Stephenson House, 409 S. Buchanan St., Edwardsville. Take a self-guided tour, sing period carols in the parlot, learn a dance in the dining room, listen to a story or two and enjoy a hot cup of wassail in the kitchen. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children (6-12), free (5 & under). Information: 618-692-1818.
- Holiday Open House — 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, The Atrium of Belleville, 201 South Belt West, Belleville. Live music, crafts and games, treats, photo ops with Santa. RSVP or request a ride by calling 618-235-9300.
- Breese Christmas Parade & Fireworks — 6 p.m. Saturday, Breese. Parade finishes at North Park. Fireworks follow the parade, and a visit from Santa. Admission is free.
- Santa Coming to Nashville — 12:30 p.m. Saturday, L&N Train Depot, Nashville.
- O’Fallon Illuminated Christmas Parade — 6-9 p.m. Saturday, O’Fallon. An old-fashioned illuminated Christmas parade will lead Santa Claus into O’Fallon. It starts at East 5th Street and ends at Oak and West First St. (In case of rain, it will be held Dec. 5.) Santa will be Santa’s Hut after the parade.
- Coulterville’s Christmas Walk — nightly Saturday through Dec. 27, downtown Coulterville. Free. Half-mile walk through a display of a million lights and 400 Christmas figurines, featuting a walk through Candyland game. Free refreshments and activities every from 6 to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 15 animated displays including Santa’s Playland. Check out the Miniature Ceramic Christmas Village (more than 300 pieces), grab a snack or make a craft at the North pole, enjoy free refreshments around the bonfire.
- Alton Christmas Wonderland — 5-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; 6-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, Nov. 28 through Dec. 27, Rock Spring Park, 2100 College Ave., Alton. 2.5 million lights adorning trees and lighting displays throughout the park. A special walk-through night will be held the first Monday after Thanksgiving. Carriage rides cost: $30 first person; $5 each additional person. Reservations: Call 217-242-1104. General admission $7 cars, small vans; $1 per person vehicles, holding more than 10 people.
- Taking Shelter at the Fort — 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Fort de Chartres, 1350 Illinois 155, 4 miles west of Prairie du Rocher. See what life was like for 1700s travelers taking shelter at the fort. Historic re-enactors will portray militia and families from Ste. Genevieve, Mo., returning home from a journey to New Orleans. They will roast a turkey, make dishes from 18th century recipes and pass the time with shooting contests. A donation of $4 for adults, $2 for children or $10 per family is suggested.
- Discovery Days — 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Watershed Nature Center, 1591 Tower Ave., Edwardsville. Free, all ages. Register: 618-692-7578 or email@example.com. Advance registration for groups of 10 plus. Wilderness walk, indoor/outdoor activities.
- Santa at Edwardsville City Park — 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays; 1-4 p.m. Saturdays, Nov. 28 through Dec. 23. Those who visit on Nov. 28 will get to see Santa arrive at City Park, 101 S. Buchanan Ave. (in front of the Edwardsville Public Library) in a big fire truck, courtesy of the Edwardsville Fire Department. Sponsored by City of Edwardsville Parks and Recreation Department.
- Great Train Show — 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Gateway Center, 1 Gateway Drive, Collinsville. 350-plus tables of trains for sale, 60-plus exhibitors from across the country. Designated parking. Gate admission: $8 (advance ticket); kids (11 & under) free. Riding train (for all ages), LEGO layout, workshops, demonstrations, door prize giveaways.
- Waterloo’s Christmas on the Square — 10 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, Courthouse bandstand and City Hall, Waterloo. Saturday: Shops open to 4 p.m.; Santa arrives by carriage, noon; carriage rides, noon-4 p.m.; kettle corn and beverages, noon-4 p.m.; glow holiday lighted parade, 5:30 p.m.; chili supper, after parade. Sunday lineup: Shops open, 11 a.m.; coffee and peanut cake, City Hall, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; vote for decorated lamppost, noon-3 p.m.; visit Santa Hut, noon-4 p.m.; free carriage rides, noon-4 p.m.; kettle corn & beverages, noon-4 p.m.; Waterloo Municipal Band Concert, 1 p.m.; Lamppost & Christmas walk winner announced at bandstand, 3:30 p.m.; Hometown Harmony Christmas concert at Hope Christian Church, 9273 Coach Stop Road, 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.
- Tails, Trails & Twinkles — 5-7 p.m. Sunday, National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 442 S. De Mazenod Drive, Belleville. Barket & Expo begins at 5 p.m. and runs through 5. Pet-friendly vendors will be on hand with opportunities to shop for your four-legged friends. Dogs must be on leashes. Dogs only. Bring your family and dogs for a walk through the Way of Lights, with Scotty leading the way, at 5:30 p.m. Free admission.
- Emanuele Fontanini at the Shrine — 2-6 p.m. Sunday, Gift Shop, National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 442 S. De Mazenod Drive, Belleville. Fontanini is one of the fourth-generation family members now leading the celebrated House of Fontanini in Bagni diLuca, Italy. Dominic 2015 Limited Edition Figurine, Nicodemus 2015 Limited Edition Figure, Holy Family 2015 Event Ornament. All figures purchased during the event can be signed.
- “Before I Die” Project — through Dec. 4, Schmidt Art Center patio, Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville. Using chalk, visitors to the wall will complete lines that begin “Before I die I want to.” The interactive wall exhibition is the brainchild of artist Candy Chang.
- Art Exhibit — through Dec. 19, William & Florence Schmidt Art Center, Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville. Guy Weible will show “The Last Gasp,” dynamic eathenware ceramics. David Weinberg’s “Adrift,” black and white photography.
- Caseyville Fish Fry — 4-7 p.m. Friday, Caseyville VFW Post 1117, 415 N. Long, Caseyville. Fish plates, desserts, sandwiches, burgers and more.
- Collinsville Fish Fry — 3-8 p.m. Friday, Collinsville VFW Post 5691, 1234 Vandalia, Collinsville. Eat in or carry out. Cod, catfish fillets, Tilapia, sides.
- Collinsville Fish Fry — 3-8 p.m. Friday, Collinsville American Legion, 1022 Vandalia St., Collinsville. North Atlantic cod, whole catfish, Cajun cut-ups, crab cakes, sides, desserts. Information: 618-345-2508.
- Collinsville Fish Fry — 4-7:30 p.m. Friday, Knights of Columbus Hall, Illinois 157, Collinsville. Eat in or carry out. Fried/baked cod, catfish, sides. Senior plate starting at $4.99. 618-345-1492.
- Fairview Heights Fish Fry — 3-8 p.m. Friday, Knights of Columbus Hall, 5420 Old Collinsville Road. Walton’s Fish Fry. Serving jack salmon and wild-caught grilled salmon. Homemade desserts. Carryouts: 618-632-5222.
- Highland Fish Fry — 4-7:30 p.m. Friday, VFW Post 5694, 1900 VFW Road, Highland. Eat in or carry out. 618-654-6367.
- Mascoutah Fish Fry — 5-8 p.m. Friday, Mascoutah VFW Post 7682, 620 Donaphan St., Mascoutah. Dine in or carry out. 618-566-2288.
- Millstadt Fish Fry — 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-8 p.m. Friday, Millstadt VFW Post, 200 Veterans Drive, Millstadt.
- O’Fallon Fish Fry — 4-8 p.m. Friday, Knights of Columbus Hall, 402 E. U.S. 50, O’Fallon. Sponsored by KC and Ladies Auxiliary. Cod and bluegill, burgers, hotdogs, sides. Eat in or carry out. 618-632-6229.
- O’Fallon Fish Fry — 4-8 p.m. Friday, VFW Post 805, 221 W. First St., O’Fallon. Sponsored by Sgt. Charles A. Fricke VFW Post 805 and Ladies Auxiliary. Fried and grilled fish and chicken, homemade sides and desserts. Children’s menu. To-go orders delivered to car. 618-624-2651.
- O’Fallon Fish & Chicken Fry — 5-8 p.m. every Friday, O’Fallon American Legion, 109 N. Penn, O’Fallon. Carryouts available. 618-632-8879.
- Scott VFW Fish Fry — 5-8 p.m. Friday, Scott VFW Post 4183, Belleville. DJ, 8-1 p.m.
- Shiloh Fish Fry — 5-8 p.m. Friday, 100 Eagle Drive, Shiloh. Sponsored by Eagles No. 545. Cod, Walleye, shrimp, chicken strip plates. Eat in or carry out. 618-624-5412.
- Swansea Fish Fry — 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Swansea Fish Stand, 216 Service St., Swansea. Cod, walleye, shrimp. 618-222-7171.
- Troy VFW Fish Fry — 4-8 p.m. Friday, Troy VFW Post 976 and Ladies Auxiliary, 123-A W. Market St., Troy. Choice of cod, catfish, jack salmon, baked fish, chicken strips, shrimp. Dinners include bread and choice of two sides. Dine in or carry out. 618-667-8387.
- Walton’s Chicken Dinner — 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Knights of Columbus Hall, 5420 Old Collinsville Road, Fairview Heights. Homemade desserts. For carryouts call 618-632-5222.
- Fried Chicken — 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Millstadt VFW Post, 200 Veterans Drive, Millstadt. All you can eat. Adults $10; $8 seniors; $5 children (12 and younger). Sponsored by Millstadt VFW Post. 22.
- Cribbage — 7 p.m. Tuesday, Camelot Bowl, 801 Beltline Road, Collinsville. New players wanted. Information: Yvonne, 618-344-1521 or Phillip, 618-288-7910.
- Native American Market — noon-5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Collinsville Road, Collinsville. More than 30 Native American artists, crafters and vendors will be selling an array of goods at the Interpretive Center. Their work includes paintings, drawings, baskets, beadwork, pottery, metal work, wood carvings, feather work, decorated gourds and jewelry. No admission fee. Donations of $7 adults, $5 seniors, $2 students and $15 for families are suggested.
- Art & Craft Fall Fair — 3-8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Belle-Clair Fairgrounds, 200 South Belt East, Illinois 13 and 159, Belleville. Admission: $4 Friday, $2 Saturday, $1 Sunday. More than 400 exhibitors. Presented by Kay Weber. Information: 618-233-0940, www.kwebershows.com.
- Holiday Vendor & Craft Fair — 8-4 p.m. Saturday,New Baden American Legion, 105 E. Illinois St., New Baden. Two floors, more than 40 crafters, vendors, businesses. Holiday items, homemade wares, food and beverages.
- Meat Shoot — noon Sunday, Elks Lodge 664, Illinois 161 and Lincoln Trail, Fairview Heights. Practice at 11:30 a.m.
- Ham & Meat Raffle — 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Knights of Columbus, Columbus Club, 114 W. Oak St., Millstadt. Free. Pork sausage, fried potatoes. Attendance prizes.
- Collinsville — 7 p.m. Saturday, Collinsville Knights of Columbus Hall, 1 Columbus Plaza, Collinsville. 50/50, silent auction. Bring your own snacks. Free soda. Cost: $15 per player (10 player maximum). Reservations: 618-345-1492. Sponsored by Mission of Moms. Proceeds go directly to support American troops serving overseas.
How to send your event
- Deadline: noon Monday. What’s Happening runs events happening from Thursday though the next Wednesday in Thursday’s Lifestyle section.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: 618-236-9773
- Mail: What’s Happening, c/o Lifestyle, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427.
- Information: call 618-239-2537.
- Please include: Event, time, date, location, admission cost and special features. Also, a daytime phone number we can contact if we need more information.