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Light Up With Joy at 2023 St. Charles Holiday Homecoming

There is no time to waste after the last bit of Thanksgiving turkey has been finished! It's time to jump into the most magical time of the year in St. Charles - the annual St. Charles Holiday Homecoming Weekend. This two-day event is packed full of FREE festive activities that everyone, regardless of age, will enjoy. There's nothing quite like spending this celebration side by side with members of the community, watching the town illuminate with all the brilliant lights. Take a look below at everything you need to know about this year's event!

The official start to the St. Charles Holiday Homecoming Weekend is the Lighting of the Lights Ceremony. Bring in the spirit of the season, standing side by side with members of the community, waiting anxiously for the lights in the 1st Street Plaza turn on in unison. When you first arrive, you'll notice the smell of fresh roasted nuts throughout the air, as they will be given out complimentary before the ceremony begins. Once you've found a good place in the crowd, you can enjoy the joyful sounds of holiday carols performed by the St. Charles North and St. Charles East High School Chorales. Then, the moment that everyone is waiting for - the switching on of the lights by a very special guest...Come join in on the fun to see for yourself just who it could be!

Even though the Lighting of the Lights Ceremony has come to a close, the activities are far from over! What if we told you that we have the perfect excuse for you to stay in your cozy pajamas just a little bit longer on a Saturday morning? Well, on Saturday, November 25th at 10am, you can do just that as there will be a FREE screening of the classic holiday movie "Home Alone" at the historic Arcada Theatre. Doors will open at 9am, giving attendees enough time to find their seat in the theatre, and to go out in the lobby to purchase some snacks! On your way out, make sure to grab a cookie thanks to McNally's Heating & Cooling, and most importantly, keep your eye out for the Wet Bandits!

Once "Home Alone" has concluded, you're going to have some time to spend in downtown St. Charles before the famous Electric Christmas Parade commences. This makes this time the perfect opportunity to get a head start on all your shopping for everyone on your list, as the STC Holiday Shop Crawl will be taking place on Saturday, November 25th and Sunday, November 26th! This year, there are 19 participating local shops, offering fantastic specials and promotions for the occasion. Plus, one lucky shopper will have the chance to win a grand prize giveaway. To find everything that you need to know for the STC Shop Crawl, read our latest blog here.

Photos Courtesy of Brigette Burgman of Nomadic Soul Photography

Aside from all the deals taking place at the STC Holiday Shop Crawl, many more businesses are getting in on all the fun of Holiday Homecoming Weekend, offering promotions of their own! Click here to view all the local sales and specials around town. You'll discover shopping deals, food specials, events, and so much more that will help make this weekend as merry and bright as can be!

Which Upcoming St. Charles Event Are You Most Looking Forward to?

  • Restaurant Week

  • St. Patrick's Parade

  • Fine Art Show

  • STC Live!

There's nothing quite waiting on Main Street impatiently for the 60+ beautifully decorated parade elements to come through in the Electric Christmas Parade. It is so excited to see all the effort and creativity that went into decorating by the participating businesses and organizations. Beginning from 6th Street and ending at 4th Avenue, the crowd will be able to admire all the dazzling lights, hear familiar holiday songs, and have a blast trying to decide which element is their favorite. However, the parade elements are not the only thing that will be lit up this year. We will be passing out 500 lighted elements into the crowd, ensuring that everyone is just as illuminated as the floats.

Every year at the Electric Christmas Parade, people travel from all over the Chicagoland area to witness this spectacle. The entries that we receive every year are second-to-none (if you don't believe us, just see the 2022 Electric Christmas Parade winners for yourself here). If you want to secure a good place for viewing on Main Street, we recommend grabbing your spot early! There are also businesses located along the parade route that are hosting special viewing parties. To find out more about which businesses are hosting, please view our local sales and specials page here.

Photos Courtesy of the St. Charles History Museum

This year, the St. Charles History Museum was named the Grand Marshal for this parade. This non-profit organization, that serves as a very important community resource, is celebrating their 90th year anniversary! If you would like to support the St. Charles History Museum and their mission to collect, preserve, and present the history of St. Charles, they are currently accepting dinner reservations for their Holiday Gala Fundraiser at the St. Charles Country Club on December 8th! For more information on this event and to purchase your tickets, please click here.

It can be a challenge finding that perfect backdrop for your family's holiday card. You want it to be dazzling, festive, and fun! We made getting that perfect photo easy, as we will have two lighted photo opportunities located right outside the St. Charles Municipal Building - a giant lighted ornament and a spectacular "Joy" text! If you didn't get a chance to take a picture during St. Charles Holiday Homecoming Weekend, you'll have plenty of time to take that perfect shot, as the lighted photo opportunities will stay up until the end of December!

When you take that picture-perfect shot, be sure to tag @stcalliance and @travelstcharles for your chance to be featured on our social media!

You can't let the holiday season pass without dropping off your letter to the North Pole's most famous resident: Santa Claus! While you will be able to visit him at his house in the 1st Street Plaza following the Lighting of the Lights Ceremony, he will also be at his house every Saturday and Sunday up until December 23rd from 1-4 pm. He is taking time out of his busy season to meet everyone, take pictures, and spread holiday cheer, so swing by and pay Santa a visit this season!

Are you hosting family this holiday season and are looking for a little bit of inspiration on how to entertain your guests? Our St. Charles Destination Guide is wonderful resource filled with restaurant, activities, shopping, and much more. Click here to view our virtual copy today!


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