Holiday Light Displays in Southern Illinois

Where to Find the Christmas Lights

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Holiday light displays are part of the seasonal festivities each winter. Finding the best local displays can sometimes be challenging. In southern Illinois, there are several places that have wonderful holiday light displays that can be walked, driven or even experienced from a horse drawn carriage.

The most popular holiday lights display in the southern Illinois region has to be West Frankfort's Candy Cane Lane & Christmas in the Park. The display, the brain child of Tim Murphy, the high school art teacher, has been growing since 1988. It spans several blocks beginning near the high school at Main St and ending at Murphy's house on Candy Cane Lane. The display begins December 1st and runs through New Year's. Hours: Mon - Thurs 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm, Fri - Sat 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm and Sun 5:00 pm - 10:00.

Carbondale's Light Fantastic is an annual holiday parade being held this year on December 4th starting at 4 PM. This is the 20th anniversary of the event put on by Carbondale Community Arts, City of Carbondale and the Carbondale Park District and other sponsors. Following the parade, many community businesses and organizations will have special events, open houses and sales. Pictures with Santa on the town square, free cookies for kids at the Old Train Depot and the Rotary Club's Chili Supper are just a few of the other activities available after the parade.

Harrisburg Christmas Lights Parade will hit the streets on December 9th at 6 PM. The parade will follow the traditional route down Main St and end with a Christmas party with Santa at the Town and Country Lions Club. Entrants in the parade will be judged in categories for businesses, religious, motorized and civics.

Christmas on the River in Chester Illinois is a festival that runs from December 3rd through the 5th. The lighted Christmas parade takes place Friday, December 3rd at 7 PM. Organizations and businesses will erecting Holiday displays in the park. Horse drawn carriage rides on Saturday through the park make enjoying the displays more like an old fashioned Christmas. The Annual Quilt Show takes place on Friday too.

DuQuoin Annual Holiday Lights Fair features a 3 mile route with displays worth more than $400,000. The display opens at 5:30 nightly from the day after Thanksgiving through December. Visits with Santa in the Expo Hall are available during the second and third weekends of December.

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