MT. VERNON, IL — Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation has announced that 9th Street in Mt. Vernon will be called “Santa Claus Lane” for the month of December and highlight the festiveness of the season. The annual Downtown Christmas Parade and Activities will be held the first Saturday in December.
Angela Schrum is the Tourism Director of the Convention & Visitors Bureau and also serves as a Committee Member for the Mt. Vernon Christmas events. She says the event will include past activities, such as the parade and tree lighting, and add new activities
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 begin 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.
Mt. Vernon Christmas Activities Chairperson Melynda Breeze says although new activities have been added and changes have been made, everyone’s favorite staples will still be taking place.
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.
All events subject to change based on the weather the day of the event as well as state and local mandates. For more information, please contact the DMDC at 618-242-6866 or Mt. Vernon Tourism at 618-242-3151 for more information.