Metro-East Living

A ‘50s holiday party, concerts, festivals and more this weekend

Looking for a hep bash this weekend? Put on your holiday threads, climb in your tank and goose it over to the Blazier pad in Belleville, where people will be refueling, listening to sounds and having a blast.

In modern lingo, Belleville Historical Society is inviting the public to a 1950s-style Christmas party on Saturday at 8501 W. Main St. The house, designed in 1952 by Belleville architect Charles King, is being converted into a Mid-Century Modern Architecture Museum.

“It will be set up like a home, with furniture in the living room and dining room, so people will feel like they’re at a party at somebody’s house in the ‘50s,” said co-organizer Margaret Meyer. “Period dress is encouraged. If you can find something in the back of your closet, great. If you can’t, you won’t be turned away. Just wear something Christmassy.”

Volunteers have been gathering retro Christmas decorations, such as an aluminum tree with rotating colored lights and vintage toys to place underneath it.

“We’re also going to have a real Christmas tree with old decorations,” Meyer said. “The trees were just covered in tinsel back then.”

The party will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door or $10 in advance at Fletcher’s Kitchen and Tap, Peace by Piece Boutique, Dill’s Floral Haven, Artiste de Fleur and Eckert’s Country Market — all in Belleville.

A pianist will play holiday music for background or sing-alongs around the piano. Carolers will stop by at 7:30 p.m. Volunteers will serve wine and snacks common at the time (chips and dips, meatballs, wienies and cheese balls). There will be a silent auction and a raffle for a night’s stay in a ‘50s-themed apartment connected to the house.

More than anything, the party is a chance for area residents to see the former Blazier home, which Belleville Historical Society bought in 2015 and began to renovate. Children are welcome. For more information, email to

Below are other Christmas activities taking place this weekend in the metro-east:

Bethalto Christmas Village

Bethalto Central Park is the site of the first Bethalto Christmas Village, which will be open for viewing from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 16 and 17. Trees and Christmas-themed cottages will be decorated with festive lights. Other outdoor activities include a live nativity; food and gift vendors; Santa and Mrs. Claus; 50 six-foot, lighted Christmas trees; entertainment; hot cocoa and coffee.

Caseyville Mouse House

Caseyville Fire Auxiliary will offer the 52nd annual Mouse House from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at Caseyville Community Building, 909 S. Main St. Children can buy Christmas gifts for $1 each, while adults shop for gifts and baked goods in another area. Photos with Santa cost $4.

Coulterville light display

The 14th annual Coulterville Holiday Light Display will operate from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2-26 in Coulterville City Park. It’s a half-mile walk-through with a million lights, 400 wooden figurines, 15 animated scenes, Santa’s Playland and a life-size Candyland game. Free refreshments. Extra themed activities will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (bonfires, a miniature ceramic village, crafts, Christmas music and additional food options). “Frozen” activities on Dec. 17 will include movie characters from 2 to 7 p.m. and pet photos from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Scott Rust at 618-525-9182 or email to

Collinsville tree lighting

Santa will show up at the Collinsville Township office, 305 E. Main St., for the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree at 6 p.m. Dec. 2. Residents are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.

Mascoutah parade

The sixth-annual Mascoutah Lighted Christmas Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at Main and Second streets. It will go east on Main and north on Lebanon to Church Street. For more information, contact Dean Wombacher at 618-920-2912 or

Millstadt parade

The Millstadt Lighted Parade will kick off at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at Frontier Park with the lighting of the holiday tree and end at St. James Parish Center, where fun family activities will continue until 10 p.m. That includes visits with Santa, face-painting, balloon art, crafts, chili, hot dogs, hot chocolate and other beverages for all ages. Non-perishable items will be accepted at the door for a local food bank. For more information, email Mike Todd at

Collinsville Chorale concert

Collinsville Chorale will perform its Christmas concert, “Everywhere Christmas Tonight,” at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 304 South St. in Collinsville, and 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 519 E. Fourth St. in Alton. Admission is free. An offering will be collected. For more information, visit

Fairview dinner show

Take a Bow Showcase will present “The Magic of Christmas” dinner show at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3, and 1 p.m. Dec. 4 at Four Points Sheraton Ballroom, 319 Fountains Parkway in Fairview Heights (reservations required by Dec. 1). The variety show is set in Medieval times with 35 singers in colorful costumes, a live orchestra performing traditional Christmas favorites and novelty songs, as well as a magic act by the illusionist “Zi.” Guests will dine on a four-course meal, including wassail and desserts. Tickets cost $35 (half for children). For more information, call 618-409-0015 or email to

Santa in Maryville

St. John Neumann Catholic School will host Breakfast with Santa from 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 3 in its Quilligan Center, 142 Wilma Drive in Maryville. Activities include games, music, crafts, a preschool performance, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a coffee and cocoa bar with donuts. Free and open to the public. For more information, call 618-345-7230 or visit

Santa in Millstadt

Millstadt Community Choir is planning its Breakfast with Santa fundraiser from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 3 at Zion Evangelical Church, 117 W. White St. in Millstadt. Children can visit with Santa, play games, do craft projects and eat breakfast. Tickets cost $10 per child and $5 per adult (available at IGA and Millstadt Pharmacy). For more information, call 618-795-1518.

Belleville craft fair

The Children’s Dyslexia Center in Belleville will benefit from a Winter Wonderland Vendor and Crafts Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Scottish Rite Building, 1549 Frank Scott Parkway West in Belleville. More than 50 crafters and other vendors will sell gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Photos with Santa available. For more information, call 618-235-9392 or email to

Okawville Christmas

Okawville Chamber of Commerce and Heritage House Museum Association is sponsoring the 33rd annual Country Christmas Stroll & House Tour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 3, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 4. Festivities begin Saturday with Breakfast with Santa at the Original Springs Hotel (children eat free; reservations at 618-243-5694). Other activities include the house tour Saturday and Sunday ($10 and $5); a Country Craft Fair and Festival of Trees in the Community Club building ($2); local shopping and dining; a flea market and vendor booths in Immanuael School gym; children’s singing groups at 12:30 p.m. Sunday; and Rainbow Ranch petting zoo at Community Club Park on Sunday. For more information, call 618-243-5694 or email to

Columbia story time

Columbia Public Library will host Stories with Santa from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 3. Kids can enjoy Christmas storytelling, crafts, treats and other fun with Santa and Mrs. Claus. It is an open-house-style event, so people can come and go as they please. The library is 106 N. Metter. For more information, call 618-281-4237.

Santa in Collinsville

Collinsville Main Street invites children to get free photos with Santa from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Miner’s Theatre, 204 W. Main St. Photos can be picked up the following week at Collinsville Chamber of Commerce.

Jarrot Mansion Christmas

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency is allowing the public to tour the Jarrot Mansion, 124 E. First St. in Cahokia, for free from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 3. St. Nicholas, also known as Père Noël to the French, will greet families and share treats with children amid candle light and traditional holiday decorations. Visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for local pantries. The brick home, built in 1810, is usually open by appointment only. Nearby Holy Family Log Church, built in 1799, also will be open. For more information, call Cahokia Courthouse State Historic Site at 618-332-1782.

Collinsville Library party

Mississippi Valley Library District is throwing a free Children’s Christmas Party at 3 p.m. Dec. 3 at Collinsville Memorial Public Library, 408 W. Main St. Activities include a viewing of the classic movie “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” as well as story time, crafts, hot chocolate and Christmas treats. For more information, call 618-344-1112 or visit

O’Fallon Christmas shopping

O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce invites the public to Tinsel around Town — a shopping event from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 in downtown O’Fallon. Participating businesses will offer discounts and treats. Other activities include strolling carolers, photos with Santa, a Christmas window display contest and a raffle for a $100 gift card. The O’Fallon Township High School choir will perform from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. outside the depot. For more information, visit or

Columbia parade

Columbia’s Bright Night Christmas Parade will begin at 5 p.m. Dec. 3 and march down Main Street. That will be followed by more holiday cheer at Turner Hall’s Christmas Social until 10 p.m. Activities include visits with Santa, face-painting, balloon art, card tricks, a photo booth, chili, hot dogs and hot chocolate. Non-perishable donation for food banks accepted at the door. For more information, call 618-281-7144, ext. 134, visit or email to

Belleville barbershop concert

The Sounds of Harmony barbershop chorus will perform holiday favorites and barbershop standards at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at Union United Methodist Church, 721 E. Main St. in Belleville, as part of the church’s Fine Arts series. Admission is free. An offering will be collected, and a reception will follow. For more information, call 618-233-6375.

Santa in Highland

Highland Masonic Lodge 583 will host its 22nd annual Breakfast with Santa from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 12454 State Route 143 in Highland. Activities include a hearty full breakfast, photos with Santa, train rides and a model railroad display. Admission is $10 for adults, $4 for children ages 6 to 12 (free for 5 and under) at the door.

Millstadt German festival

Millstadt Sister Cities Organization will sponsor the 23rd Annual Weihnachtsfest (German Christmas Festival) on Dec. 4 at St. James Parish Center, 423 W. Madison St. A craft fair will open at 10 a.m. with vendors selling holiday gifts, hand-crafted jewelry, apparel, turned-wood bowls and decorative items. Other activities include a Cookie Walk with homemade Christmas cookies; authentic German food beginning at 11:30 a.m.; a parade with St. Nikolaus at noon; a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus; and entertainment by Millstadt Community Choir, Waterloo German Band and St. Louis German Cultural Society Jugendgruppe (Youth Group). Admission is free.

Maeystown Christmas

The historic village of Maeystown will celebrate its annual Old-Fashioned German Christmas from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4. Activities include a quilt show and Christkindlmarkt at St. John United Church of Christ; a woodcarver, photographer, handmade cards, vintage Christmas apron and tablecloths, German paper star-folding, a German wrapped-sassafras tree, German feather tree and the Women's Club Taste of Christmas desserts at Preservation Society Mill and Museum; and traditional Glühwein served at The Tavern. Sankt Nikolaus will stroll the streets. People can take photos next to a Victorian sleigh or go on a carriage ride. Music includes choruses, ensembles and a German carol song. The village Christmas tree will be lit at 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit or call 618-580-5875.

Prairie du Rocher fete

La Fete de Noel will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Prairie du Rocher American Legion Hall. Activities include an ornament-decorating contest, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, children’s crafts, horse-drawn carriage rides, vendor booths, music, food stands, a silent auction, Toys for Tots collection, raffle and 50/50 drawing. For more information, visit, call 618-284-7308 or email to

Santa in Columbia

Santa Claus will greet children at the Monroe County Welcome Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 4, 10 and 11. The center is at 6 Gall Road. For more information, visit

Christmas at Willoughby

Collinsville Area Recreation District is opening Willoughby Farm to the public for Christmas at Willoughby from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 4. Activities include photos and visits with Santa and a holiday sing-along in the barn. Hot chocolate, cider and sweets will be served. Admission is $3 or $2 with Benefit ID (free for 2 and under). Bring cameras.

Edwardsville band concert

Edwardsville Municipal Band will present its annual Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Edwardsville High School auditorium, 6161 Center Grove Road. It will open with “A Celebration of Carols” and continue with “Selections from Polar Express,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Festive Christmas,” “A Christmas Festival,” “On a Catalonian Carol,” “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” “Carol of the Night,” “Laughing All the Way,” “Pat-a-pan,” “Saints Hallelujah” and “Sleigh Ride.” Donations to Main Street Community Center are welcome. For more information, visit

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