2018 Holiday Events & Parking Information


Santa Parade
Friday, November 23 at 10:00 AM
057ED Mr and Mrs Claus.jpg
Santa & Mrs. Claus

Join us for this annual parade when Santa comes to town. Sponsored by the Optimist Club of Belleville, this tradition began in 1952 and is the largest parade in Southern Illinois, featuring floats, marching bands, dance groups, and the arrival of Santa & Mrs. Claus.
Due to road construction between 6th and 12th Streets, this year's parade route begins at 3rd and West 'A' St., proceeds south on 3rd St. to West Main St., turns east at West Main St. and proceeds through the public square along East Main to Oak St. The parade disbands at Union United Methodist Church near Forest Avenue.

View the 2018 Santa Parade Route Map.    


For more information, visit bellevilleoptimist.org.

Visit Santa on the Square
November 23 - December 24
Santa's House
Santa's House on the Square
Sponsored by the Optimist Club of Belleville, Santa's House (circa 1963) on the Public Square is a perfect location for Santa and Mrs. Claus for the holidays.  
For more details on Santa House hours, visit bellevillesantahouse.com.

Christkindlmarkt Logo
Christkindlmarkt Logo

November  23 - December 23
Open Every Day,

FREE Admission

This open air German Christmas Market on Belleville's Public Square features European vendors, German food and beverages, and entertainment and demonstrations. Stop and shop before the Santa Parade. 
The Market opens at 9AM on Opening Day.

Market Hours:  Mon - Thurs, 11AM - 7PM
                         Fri & Sat, 10AM - 9PM
                         Sun, 10AM - 7PM

Visit the Live Reindeer at the market November 24 & December 1, 7, 16 and 21. 

For more information, visit bellevillechristkindlmarkt.com.

Christkindlmarkt Opening Day Ceremony

November 23, 6:00 PM                                                                       

Celebrate the official opening of the Christkindlmarkt with the Lighting of the Fountain and reading of the Proclamation by the Christkind at 6 PM.

PLEASE NOTE: Free Outdoor Concert - Saturday, November 24, 6:30 PM

The FREE concert performed by Dogs of Society Elton John Rock Tribute that was originally scheduled for Fri., Nov, 23 has been rescheduled for Sat., Nov 24 at 6:30 PM due to the weather forecasted for Friday evening.
 For more details, visit bellevillechristkindlmarkt.com.  

Horse Drawn Trolley Rides
November 23 - December 23
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, only
Horse Drawn Trolley
Horse Drawn Trolley
View downtown shops and restaurants from a unique perspective. Enjoy a free, round trip trolley ride that takes you around the beautifully decorated Veterans Memorial Fountain and passes through the open air German Christmas Market. Your ride will take you past decorated windows and streetlights, all under a canopy of white lights.

The Trolley Stop is located in the first block of East Main Street. Trolley rides are Free and are offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

View the 2018 Trolley Schedule for exact dates and times.


Gingerbread Festivities
Gingerbread House
Gingerbread Creation

29th Annual Gingerbread Contest

If you like to bake and create, register to enter this year's Gingerbread Contest. There are categories for all ages and all levels. All entries must be submitted on Sat., November 17.

View the Gingerbread contest entries in downtown merchant windows from November 21 - January 1. View the Gingerbread Map showing the location of all of the creations. View the Gingerbread Location List which includes the names of the locations, the creations, and the creators. 

12th Annual Gingerbread 5K Run

Saturday, December 1

Run with the Gingerbread Man through downtown Belleville. Visit gingerbreadrun.com for more information, and to register for this event.

Gingerbread Cookie Day
Saturday, December 8

Purchase a Gingerbread Cookie Bag and collect 36 unique and delicious cookies as you stroll through downtown Belleville. For more information and registration, visit bellevillemainstreet.net


Way of Lights Christmas Display

Visit this spectacular 1.5 mile Christmas light display at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, November 16, 2018 - January 1, 2019.

6th Annual Ringing of the Bells

Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at 12:00 Noon Bring your bells to the Public Square near Curt's Clock, and start a New Year's tradition by ringing in the New Year at the annual Ringing of the Bells event.

Bells 2.png

2018 Holiday Events Brochure

View all of the above events, and more, in Belleville Tourism's Holiday Events Brochure.

Downtown Parking Guide

In addition to street parking, downtown Belleville offers several free parking lots for your convenience. These lots can be found on the Downtown Parking Guide.

2018 Holiday Brochure Cover Image