BRIGHTON - The Village of Brighton encourages you to “Brighton Up the Holidays” with their annual Country Christmas Festival and first-ever Christmas Parade.

The Brighton Country Christmas Festival will run from 1–7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, at Crossroads Community Church of Brighton. Families can enjoy vendors, food, music, games and carriage rides in addition to the Christmas Parade, which kicks off at 4 p.m.

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“We are a small community, and [we want] just to promote that togetherness, family and family events,” explained Village Clerk Tamara Jenkins.

The parade will start at Betsey Ann Park in Brighton and travel through the town. Santa Claus will be riding in a firetruck. The route will end at Schneider Park on Highway 111, where community members will gather for a tree-lighting ceremony and Santa will flip the switch.

Carriage rides kick off at 5 p.m. at Crossroads Church, located at 305 N. Maple Street in Brighton. Vendors, food and music will run throughout the afternoon. You can also visit with Santa after the tree-lighting ceremony.

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While the Country Christmas and parade are newer additions to Brighton’s holiday season, the village always celebrates with decorations and lights around town. Jenkins said there will be even more decorations than in previous years thanks to a sizable donation from the Brighton Picnic Association.

“We had an organization here in Brighton, the Brighton Picnic Association, that was ending their cycle. They decided to disband, so they had money to donate and they decided to donate that to the Village of Brighton for Christmas decorations,” Jenkins said. “So they actually got to pick the decorations and ordered them for us and then shipped them to us and they are going to be going up [this] week.”

Brighton Mayor Matt Kasten added that Brighton’s parade and Country Christmas are only a few of the fun events planned by the town every year. He enjoys seeing Brighton residents at the Country Christmas Festival, and he hopes to welcome more visitors from around the Riverbend this year.

“I just want everyone to know we’re having so much stuff here in Brighton and you’re more than welcome to join us,” Kasten said.

The Country Christmas Festival will run from 1–7 p.m. on Dec. 2, 2023. Those who want to register as vendors should contact Robyn Schultz at 618-946-9478 or robynschultz13@yahoo.com. There is a $20 registration fee that will go to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Christmas Parade starts at 4 p.m. and anyone who wants to be a part of it should contact John Bramley at 618-420-7868. Visit the official Facebook event for more information.

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