Downtown Mt. Vernon Christmas Event Planned
MT. VERNON ILL, October 2, 2020- Ninth Street in Mt. Vernon will be called “Santa Claus Lane” for the month of December and highlight the festiveness of the season. Downtown business owner, Deb Smith of King City Property Brokers, came up with the idea. “We are going to deck out 9th Street from Jordan to Harrison and make it a fun and pleasant place to experience the magic of the season,” Smith commented.
In addition to decorating the street, the annual Downtown Christmas Parade and Activities will be held the first Saturday in December. An “All Heroes Wear Masks” themed Downtown Christmas event is planned for Saturday December 5th. The event will include past activities, such as the parade and tree lighting, and add new activities such as vendors and carriage rides, which were previously on a separate weekend.
“Weather permitting, we will have vendors on the east side of 9th Street beginning at 3 p.m. and going until 7 p.m.,” committee member, Angela Schrum stated. “So many vendor events have been cancelled this year and it will be a great way to help out our friends and neighbors who rely on this type of event as all or part of their income. It also enables us to find unique gifts for those on our list.”
The pinnacle event, the Downtown Mt. Vernon Christmas Parade, will have a theme of “All Heroes Wear Masks” in honor of the local heroes of the pandemic and will being at 5 p.m. The route will be the same as years’ past beginning at 7th and Main and going around the square back to 7th and Broadway.
Carriage Rides presented by King City Property Brokers will be $5 per person benefiting Kingdom Seed Ministries. Carriage Rides will run on the west side of 9th Street from after the parade until 9 p.m. More information about the carriage rides will be released closer to time.
After the parade, the traditional free activities for kids will be held in the block between Main & Broadway on 9th Street. “There may be some modifications to the activities depending on guidelines at that time, but we still plan to have cookie decorating, a craft and other activities for kids put on by the Mt. Vernon Business Women’s Club, United Way of South Central Illinois, First United Methodist Church, Byrd Watson Downtown and the Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation (DMDC),” according to committee chair, Melynda Breeze. “DMDC is the main organization putting on the event, but it could not be done without the Merchant Committee, Promotions Committee and all of our partnering organizations.”
Free hot chocolate courtesy of DMDC will be given away by Kingdom Seed Ministries (KSM). KSM will also have low cost concessions available for those who would like to enjoy more refreshments. Santa will be attending the event and details about visiting him will be announced closer to time.
“The Mt. Vernon Convention & Visitors Bureau and Mt. Vernon Festivals, Inc. are pleased to be a part of this event each year,” Schrum added. “It is a magical time to watch the eyes of the children see the sparkling lights and feel the warmth the season can bring.”
All events subject to change based on the weather the day of the event and state and local mandates. For more information, please contact the DMDC at 618-242-6866 or Mt. Vernon Tourism at 618-242-3151for more information.