Historic St. Charles Christmas Traditions
Holiday memories often center on Santa. Santa with his bright red, white fur trimmed suit. Or is it Santa dressed in bishop robes or in a suit decorated with Civil war era stars and stripes. Maybe your Santa isn’t a white bearded jolly old man at all. Perhaps your childhood Christmas traditions revolve around a lovely lady as Santa Lucia.
No matter what form your Santa takes chances are you will find him or her along historic St. Charles Main Street now until Christmas Eve, which marks the 40th anniversary of Historic St. Charles Christmas Traditions. St. Charles Christmas Traditions, an annual celebration that began in 1975 along Main Street, originally began with little more than garland, a few decorations and a Yule log.
“ St. Charles Christmas Traditions began simply with greenery and a Yule log,” said Historic St. Charles Christmas Traditions Technical Director Ryan Cooper who also portrays Jack Frost, one of the St. Charles’ featured legendary characters. “ Since that first year the celebration has gotten bigger and bigger. We added the Santas in the mid-1080s and by the late 1990s our Santas have become out signature. Today there are 70 professional performers that include nine historic Santas.”
Counted among the historic Santas are performers portraying familiar holiday characters as Ebenezer Scrooge, The Sugar Plum Fairy and a few new additions as Tomas Nast, the19th century American artist who drew Santa as “the jolly old elf” in his illustration of The Night Before Christmas. These holiday character legends represent the most famous holiday figures form history, literature and folklore.
Each Christmas legend shares their story in the form of a trading card featuring their image and holiday history. These cards have become collectables and mementos St. Charles visitors seek out form each performer. To find the most Santas and holiday characters gathered in place plan to attend Main Street’s Santa Parade
“New this year is the Santa Parade, which will be held each Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 pm on Main Street ” said Cooper noting the parade steps off at at the 1000 block of Main Street, ending at Berthold Square. “It will give visitors a chance to see all the historic Santas and legends characters at one time.”
Activities held throughout the week to enhance your visit with St. Charles Christmas Legends include Thursday Yuletide Dinners with the Legends, hosted at The Old Stone Chapel. All of St. Charles historic Santas and holiday characters will gather along with musicians and carolers to make the season merry while lucky diners partake in a specially prepared Christmas feast. Friday nights 7 – 8:30 pm another St. Charles favorite of Santa himself, Revels the Clown, will host a marshmallow roast for the young and young at heart. To close your visit on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:45 p.m. follow the candlelight procession lend by the Cobblestone Wassailiers to St. Charles official Christmas tree, where of course your favorite Santa will be found.
St. Charles wraps up its annual Christmas Traditions with its closing ceremony and Santa send-off on December 24 at 1:30 p.m. It’s your last chance see Santa before he bids everyone farewell before heading back to the North Pole.
Historic St. Charles Christmas Traditions are held through December 24. To learn more about Historic St. Charles Christmas Traditions and your favorite legendary Santa click on www.hisoricstcharles.com.
Guest Blogger Suzanne Corbett contributed to this blog.