Many families in southern Illinois have made Christmas in Carterville a holiday tradition, and the event is returning for another year.
Some activities that can be enjoyed for free are photos with Santa, letters to Santa, cards to soldiers, ornament making and a reindeer food station.
Mayor Brad Robinson says photos with Santa Claus seems to be a favorite for kids.
"Families with kids it’s always the visit with Santa and walking through Santa’s house area," he recalls.
Meanwhile at the fire department, some other free events will be taking place such as live music and the snowball drop.
That’s when firefighters drop snowballs with numbers inside, kids who catch a snow ball will get a prize that corresponds to the number.
Children ages 6-7 can take part in the snowball drop at 7 p.m. and those ages 8-9 can get their turn at 7:15 p.m.
Ticket for horse and carriage rides will be available for purchase at Rich’s Barber Shop and shoppers can cross a few items off their gift list at the Christmas Market.
Although there will be free hot chocolate and cookies, several food vendors will also be at the event selling everything from BBQ to cupcakes and kettle corn.
Even though the event takes place in Carterville, Robinson invites all locals to come out and get into the holiday spirit.
"It gives us an opportunity to showcase our downtown to brag a little bit about our community feel, and how we care about our town," he says.
Christmas in Carterville takes place on Friday, December 6th from 6-9 p.m.
Division Street will be blocked from Grand Avenue to Anderson Street starting at 4:30 until 9:30 p.m.