2021 Visitor Magazine Cover

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Christmas Traditions Attractions

 

SAINT CHARLES CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS® PRESENTS: A CHRISTMAS CAROL STROLL

Time: Wednesdays (6pm-9pm) 

After enjoying all of your favorite Saint Charles Christmas Traditions® programming on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, we welcome you to join us on Wednesday evenings for a new Dickensian affair. Behold the transformation of our Main Street USA into the foggy streets of 1840s London as you are invited to enter the world of Charles Dickens’ enduring holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Become a part of the story as memorable scenes and characters hop off the page and come to life. Walk in the footsteps of Ebenezer Scrooge as you experience his adventures with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come first hand.

Follow the path through the historic district as the plot unfolds. Keep a sharp lookout for surprises as you have run ins from a variety of unique citizens of Victorian England (including lamplighters, music hall performers, nineteenth century toy vendors, haberdashers, and perhaps even her majesty Queen Victoria herself!)

Chapters & Cards

Along the way, be sure to collect the six commemorative “Chapter Cards” that will retell the abbreviated tale of A Christmas Carol.

  • Chapter 1: "Scrooge & Marley's Counting House" -Tourism Center (230 South Main)
  • Chapter 2: "A Visit from Marley's Ghost" - The Gazebo (400 block of South Main)
  • Chapter 3: "The Ghost of Christmas Past" - 500 block of South Main (Near Joy's)
  • Chapter 4: "The Ghost of Christmas Present" - Bike Stop Cafe (600 block of South Main)
  • Chapter 5: "The Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come" - Missouri Artists on Main (300 block of South Main)
  • Chapter 6: "God Bless Us Everyone" - Berthold Square (200 block of South Main)

Additional Attractions

  • Traditional Hot Wassail Vendors (Daniel Boone Statue-700 block of South Main)
  • Haberdasher-Victorian Fashion Display (400 block of South Main)
  • Piccadilly Peddlers (Berthold Square-200 block of South Main)
  • Mistress Murphy's Music Hall-A Victorian Sing Along (OPO Plaza-100 block of South Main)

Keep a sharp lookout for surprises as you have run-ins with a variety of unique citizens of 19th century England including Victorian carolers, lamplighters, music hall performers, vintage toy makers, and perhaps even Queen Victoria herself!

 

THE LEGENDS OF CHRISTMAS

The holiday festivities of Saint Charles Christmas Traditions® are so legendary, that some of the most iconic figures of holiday history, literature, and folklore have traveled from their fanciful realms in order to celebrate with you and your family.

Whether they’ve hitched a ride from a flying reindeer, sprung forth from the pages of a Charles Dickens classic, or danced all the way from the Land of the Sweets, these quirky personalities are eager not only to share their histories, but to bring you into their story. You never know what you might see while exploring Main Street! Be recruited by the Sugarplum Fairy to join the Nutcracker Prince’s legion of toy soldiers as they seek to defeat the odious Mouse King, help Jacob Marley attempt to change the character of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, play a festive prank with our resident clown-about-town the Master of Revels, or learn the finer points of window frosting from Jack Frost and Susie Snowflake.

As you walk down historic Main Street, you’ll also be travelling to the four corners of the earth (no passport required) as you encounter nearly a dozen international Santas and global gift givers who will share the music and customs of how their native countries celebrate the holidays. Meet Saint Nicholas and learn how he earned the title of being “the first Santa Claus,” get an introduction to the many symbols Kwanzaa with Mtoa Hadithi, marvel at local history as Civil War Santa shares tales of the figures and locations along Main Street that figured prominently in the war between the states, discover how people across Russia welcome the new year with Snegurochka the Snow Maiden, and more!

 

CAROLERS & MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT

The sounds of the season come to life as a charming line-up of musical ensembles fill the air with a treasury of Christmas tunes. Journey through a musical timeline as Saint Charles’ own Cobblestone Wassailiers sing the most beloved traditional Victorian carols, while the USO Evergreens and Mistletoe Misses cover the favorite holiday standards of the 1940s and the 1950s. Learn the incredible true story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 while hearing some traditional foreign carols (sung in their native language). Making their debut, the Town Square Carol Society offer a variety of musical surprises, while the Nightingales specialize in Civil War-era Christmas songs. For a turn-of-the-century treat, don’t miss The Singin’ Snowmen, a chilling barbershop quartet. Listen and enjoy the beautiful music of these unique groups, and if the Christmas spirit moves you—sing along!

 

OPENING DAY CEREMONY

Time: Friday, November 25, 2022 at 12pm
Location: Jaycee Stage – Frontier Park

Ring in the opening of the 48th season of Saint Charles Christmas Traditions® as all of the legends of holiday folklore join together to welcome Victorian Santa Claus back to historic Main Street. Heralded by the Lewis & Clark Fife and Drum Corps, Santa and Mrs. Claus will assist Mayor Dan Borgmeyer with the ceremonial ribbon cutting, marking the official start of the holiday season.

 

THE SANTA PARADE

Time: Saturdays & Sundays at 12PM
Parade Route (New for 2021): 100 block of North Main to Boone's Lick and South Main

Weekends during the festival kick off with a special holiday treat as Saint Charles Christmas Traditions’® renowned Santa Parade brings pomp and pageantry to the historic district. Marvel at the spectacle as all of your favorite Legends of Christmas march right down the middle of Main Street.  While you delight in the antics of your favorite holiday figures, the carolers will provide the soundtrack as they take you on a musical journey of festive tunes that span from classic Victorian carols to holiday standards of the 1940s and 1950s.You won’t want to miss the parade’s grand finale, where an international delegation of global gift givers (each carrying the flag of their native country) herald the arrival of the guests of honor: Santa and Mrs. Claus (who arrive via a horse-drawn carriage).

 

SANTA’S COTTAGE

Time: All festival hours
Location: The Historic KATY Train Depot in Frontier Park

The Historic KATY Train Depot in Frontier Park has been a Saint Charles landmark since it opened in 1893. But not many people know that during the holiday season, Santa uses it as a special workshop outpost as he counts down to Christmas Eve. Mr. Claus wants to let you in on the secret as he welcomes you to become an “honorary elf,” as you explore the workshop, get a glimpse of his busy mailroom, and witness the majestic Reindeer Hall of Fame, where you can learn some of the stories of Santa’s lesser-known reindeer (you know…the ones that didn’t have a red nose).

 

PHOTOS WITH VICTORIAN SANTA CLAUS

Time: Opening Day November 25 (1pm-8:30pm)
Saturdays (1pm-8:30pm)
Sundays (1pm-4:30pm)
Christmas Eve (11am-1pm)

Location: The Historic KATY Train Depot in Frontier Park

Enjoy a private audience with Victorian Santa Claus in his parlor where you can share a Christmas wish list, take a photo, and make a special holiday memory.

 

OH CHRISTMAS TREE: THE EVOLUTION OF AN ICON

Time: All festival hours
Location: The Historic KATY Depot in Frontier Park

Perhaps no image is as associated with the holiday season as the Christmas tree. For centuries these festive evergreens have not only provided a fitting place for Santa to deposit gifts but have stood as a global symbol for the hope and meaning of Christmas.

Journey to the Historic KATY Depot in Frontier Park to experience “Oh, Christmas Tree: The Evolution of an Icon,” an exhibit that will lead visitors on a gentle winding path through history as a forest of tannenbaums illustrate how trends and fashions effected the stylings of trees over generations. From the first illumination introduced onto pine trees by Martin Luther, to the mid-century modern flair of aluminum trees in the 1950s and 1960s, discover interesting trivia as you view international variations of this holiday icon, while celebrating famous depictions in popular culture (from Charlie Brown’s sad sapling to Seinfeld’s “Festivus Pole”).

Though the style has changed over the years, one thing is certain: this exhibit will leave you pining to learn more about the holiday season’s biggest decorative star.

 

KRAMPUS KARNIVAL: THE BIZZARE, ODD, AND CURIOUS TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS

Time: Friday evenings (excluding November 25) from 6pm-9pm
Location: The Historic KATY Depot in Frontier Park

You’d better watch out! Krampus is coming to town! On Friday nights, be prepared to experience some of the wonderfully weird holiday customs from around the globe as Krampus (the furry, punitive partner of Saint Nicholas in Bavarian and Austrian culture) has arrived in Saint Charles with his notorious batch of kooky (but friendly) ne’er-do-wells: Gryla (the quirky Icelandic ogress), Mari Lwyd (the whimsical singing skeletal horse from Welsh culture), Frau Perchta (a mysterious figure from Alpine folklore), and those whacky mischievous Greek trolls, the Kallikantzaroi. They have transformed the deck of the KATY Depot into a turn-of-the-century carnival midway. Step right up as these madcap carnival barkers share their stories in the form of “Krampus-fied” carnival games. Continue inside the depot where you will see that Krampus himself has decided to re-decorate Santa’s home-away-from-home. With eerie lighting and the sound of macabre Christmas carols floating through the air, enter Santa’s parlor that has been re-imagined as Krampus’ lair. Have a laugh at Krampus’ comical antics, and don’t forget to snap a photo with him (guaranteeing you the most unique Christmas cards on the block this year!) Create lasting memories as you discover the peculiar holiday traditions from around the world during this curious experience that is certainly more “merry” than “scary.”

 

OLD FASHIONED HOT ROASTED CHESTNUTS

Time: All festival hours
Location: The Daniel Boone Statue (between the 700 and 800 blocks of South Main)

Jack Frost nipping at your nose? Travel to the Daniel Boone Statue to enjoy the warm and toasty treat of fresh chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Revel at the entertaining antics and witty banter of our Victorian chestnut vendors as they demonstrate the fine art of roasting their favorite holiday snack. For a nominal fee, you can enjoy one yourself—either as a tasty treat or as an old-fashioned hand warmer.

Original genuine hot-roasted chestnuts are available 2 for $1 (or new for 2021…try them “holiday spiced,” 2 for $2!)

 

MERRY MERCHANDISE

Time: All festival hours
Location: Tourism Center (230 South Main) or The Piccadilly Peddlers (Berthold Square-200 block of South Main)

Looking for that special stocking stuffer or memento to help commemorate your visit to Saint Charles Christmas Traditions®? The festival offers a wide array of unique souvenirs and apparel (from official festival t-shirts to commemorative ornaments) that will help keep the Christmas spirit going all year long!

 

A TREASURY OF CHRISTMAS STORIES AT THE FIRST STATE CAPITOL

Time: Saturdays & Sundays (continuously from 1pm-4pm)
Location: Historic First State Capitol (200 South Main Street)

Journey to the site of Missouri’s First State Capitol (where legislators met from 1821-1826) and join Clement Clark Moore (author of the classic poem A Visit from St. Nicholas…better known today as T’was the Night Before Christmas) and nursery rhyme icon Mother Goose at the First Missouri State Capitol Historic site as they read a treasury of beloved Christmas favorites.

 

CANDLELIGHT PROCESSION

Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:40pm
Sundays at 4:40pm

Procession Route: 900 block of South Main Street to 100 block of North Main Street

As each festival day comes to a close, all of your favorite Santas, Christmas Legends, and carolers join together in song as they process down Main Street, offering visitors a parting wish for a merry Christmas and happy new year.

 

GINGERBREAD VILLAGE:

Time: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 
Location: Main Street Church (116 North Main)

Each year, talented individuals of all ages submit creative confectionary creations. 2021’s Gingerbread Village theme is “Christmas Movies.” Stop by Main Street Church (116 North Main) to see the dozens of entries and vote for your favorite.

 

SANTA SEND-OFF

Time: Friday, December 24 (1:30pm)
Location: Kister Park Gazebo 

As the 48th season of Saint Charles Christmas Traditions® comes to an end, join the legends of Christmas one final time as they gather for a festive pep rally in preparation for sending Victorian Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves back to the North Pole to get ready for the big night. Reminisce on a wonderful season of memories and magic as the Legends of Christmas join together in a verse of Auld Lang Syne and bid farewell to historic Main Street…until next year!

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