EDWARDSVILLE - The City of Edwardsville is excited to announce holiday festivities for 2020 Downtown in December. The year has been full of changes, but the city continues to come up with safe and festive ways to celebrate the different holidays and seasons.

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The Winter Market tradition will continue in 2020 with COVID-19 modifications on Saturday, December 6, during Edwardsville’s Downtown in December celebrations. The market will be held from 9:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m on St. Louis Street between Main Street and N 2nd Street.

The Winter Market will feature artisans, baked goods, crafters, locally grown items, and unique, boutique gifts and products from our neighborhood and the surrounding communities. Due to wanting to continue offering this market while keeping safety of the community as the most important aspect, the vendor spaces are spread out more and thus fewer vendors will be accepted this year.

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The City is also requiring that all those in attendance wear a mask that will cover their nose and mouth and be mindful of social distancing. The vendors participating are very excited and eager to keep safety and sanitation as their goal. Other programs that the Parks and Recreation Department is putting on this December are in hopes of keeping the community celebrating safely. First, what about Santa! Santa is staying safe this December. He has cleared up his social calendar and keeping his distance by visiting very few locations for photos. So he is extra eager to get letters from all the believers out there.

The Parks Department is helping out in that endeavor by setting up a letter campaign. Parents can register this child for a Santa letter. Then the child can drop off their letter in the side box at City Hall or mail it to Santa c/of City Hall at 118 Hillsboro Ave, Edwardsville, IL 62025. Then, Santa will reply to each letter and include a photo of himself with the child’s name on his special list. By registering, Santa can personalize his letter in ways that can make it very special for those little believers. This program has a small fee in order to cover postage and costs only. In addition, Santa’s helpers will be putting some extra decorations up at the Santa House at City Park this year. Even though Santa won’t be visiting, it will be a perfect place to take a family photo.

You can even post the photos on social media with the hashtag #EdwSantaHouse so that Santa will be sure to see them! Watch for an extra festive touch to City Park in 2020! Santa’s elves are also delivering holiday boxes to those who want them. Register on the Parks and Recreation page, and their Edwardsville Elves will be putting together extra special You’ve Been Elfed boxes. Parents, Grandparents, neighbors or friends can register for a box to be delivered to the front door. The box is FULL of holiday goodies, treats and activities including a DIY cookie to decorate, reindeer barn to build, reindeer food ornament and elf cocoa plus other activities and holiday book.

If your house has an Elf on the Shelf, there is even the option to give him/her the credit! Looking for the opportunity to get out of the house? The Parks and Recreation page will also have a map of local holiday houses lit up to delight the eyes. People can register their home to be on the map, and the City will keep updating as the registrations come in. Plus, their website will have other holiday light locations that you can visit. Lastly, as we try to keep the festivity going, don’t forget to support your local small businesses this season. Shop locally! Pick up dinner locally! Buy baked goodies locally! #BeLocal2020 In order to register for any of the programs mentioned or learn about any other Downtown in December news as it occurs, go to www.cityofedwardsville.com/December or call 618-692-7538.

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