In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Belleville along with its partnering organizations have made decisions about the upcoming holiday season and those details are as follows:
- The City of Belleville’s annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat has been cancelled. As an alternative, the Parks & Recreation Department is offering Boo Buckets, delivered to residents’ doors. Cost per bucket is $7. Call 618-233-1416 to order your bucket by Oct. 9.
- City-wide trick-or-treating is at the discretion of the individual, but City of Belleville Ordinance No. 7199; 10-20-08 applies. To see the entirety of the ordinance, click here. Additionally, per the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), trick-or-treating events need to incorporate social distancing, masking, and proper handwashing, as well as adherence to event size limitations. For the full guidelines issued by IDPH, visit www.belleville.net/DocumentCenter/View/7384/20200930_IDPH_HalloweenGuidance_Fina?bidId=.
- The annual Veterans Day Ceremony will still be held on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m., but it will be a virtual event with limited in-person attendance. To view the live broadcast, visit www.facebook.com/welcometobellevilleil.
- The annual Christkindlmarkt will be held in a virtual format this year. Please check www.belleville.net/725/Holidays-2020 for details about this event as they are finalized.
- The annual Santa Parade and Santa on the Square have been cancelled, but alternative events are scheduled. Children can drop off their Letters to Santa downtown in a special North Pole mailbox and tune into live ‘Santacasts’ on Facebook to see if their letter will be read. Residents should be on the lookout for Santa Sightings in their neighborhoods as he’ll stroll through the neighborhoods to say ‘hi’ from a distance.
- The annual Gingerbread Display Contest is scheduled with some modifications. Gingerbread Creations are to be turned in to Toot’s Cake Decorating & Candy, 314 E. Main St., Belleville, IL 62220, November 14th between 8am – 2pm. The creations will be placed in windows by November 18th and voting will go through December 12th. For more information, visit www.belleville.net/725/Holidays-2020.
- The Gingerbread 5K has been replaced with the Gingerbread Virtual Endurance Challenge. For complete details, visit: www.belleville.net/725/Holidays-2020.
- The annual Lighting of the Fountain has also been cancelled.
“As we come to the close of the year, it’s incredible to think the end of 2020 is upon us. It’s been an unprecedented year, to say the least,” said Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert. “The challenges of COVID-19 are not over. I encourage all residents to take advantage of the alternative events available not only through the City of Belleville but other organizations that have been working hard to maintain some kind of normalcy in these very unusual times.”
Additional alternative events or events that are COVID-appropriate include the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce’s Remote Chili Cook-Off and Virtual Chili Chase 5K, slated for Oct. 9-11; the Belleville Fire Department’s Chili Sale, slated for Oct. 24, and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snow’s annual Way of Lights. The City of Belleville will still host its 19th Annual Angel of Hope Memorial Ceremony, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at Bellevue Park, 401 Bellevue Park Dr. The Angel of Hope Monument was brought to Belleville to support parents who have lost a child of any age, for any reason. To honor children’s memories, a memorial wall and walkway have been established. The Belleville Angel of Hope is located to the east of the Bellevue Stone Lodge, facing the lake.
“It’s also essential to do as much business in Belleville as possible right now,” said Eckert. “Shop local first. It’s more important this year than ever as many of our local businesses are seriously struggling. November 28 is Shop Small Saturday. Please come out to support the local businesses that contribute so much to our Belleville culture and community.”
Be sure to check www.belleville.net/725/Holidays-2020 as details on upcoming holiday events are finalized.