Lebanon, Illinois’ 24th Annual Celebration along Brick Street
LEBANON, IL: (STLRestaurant.news) – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially in one historic metro-east town. Lebanon, Illinois is rolling out the welcome for their 24th annual Victorian Holiday Weekend. The festival takes place every year along West St. Louis Avenue in an area known as Brick Street (because that’s what the road is paved with) on Friday and Saturday, November 18 – 19. The shops will open at 10:00 a.m. each day, but the festivities really get underway at 5:00 p.m., when the Ole’ Lamplighter strolls along St. Louis Street to light up the rooftops and the town Christmas tree.
This is an old fashioned holiday celebration, complete with carolers and madrigals performing along Brick Street all evening. There will be indoor and outdoor activities both evenings, including children’s’ games and activities, and a visit from Father Christmas. The Brickstreet Entertainment stage (near Pearl & St. Louis Streets) will feature outstanding holiday performances including the USAF Band of Mid America Airlifter Brass, McKendree Show Choir, Highland Chamber & Madrigal Choirs, performances by PhilzHarmonics and more! Soak in the atmosphere, do a little shopping, enjoy some holiday treats and then take a ride in a Victorian horse drawn carriage!
This is a chance to experience a traditional holiday celebration and small town Americana. Get a taste of Lebanon, Illinois the way Charles Dickens did when he visited America in 1842. During the trip he chronicles in American Notes, the English novelist trekked from St. Louis into Southwestern Illinois so that he could lay eyes on a real American prairie. During the trip to Looking Glass Prairie, Dickens and his entourage stayed at Lebanon’s Mermaid House. The inn at 114 East St Louis Street was built in 1830 by retired sea captain Lyman Adams. Dickens described the hotel in American Notes: “In point of cleanliness and comfort it would have suffered by no comparison with any village alehouse, of a homely kind, in England.” During the Victorian Holiday Weekend, the Mermaid House will be opened for tours both Friday and Saturday evenings; 5-9 p.m. Visitors will even be able to see the room where Charles Dickens stayed.
Like all good festivals the Victorian Holiday in Lebanon will include plenty of great food. Many restaurants that will be open along the brick street, including Brick Street Brew (coffee), Brewers Bar & Grill (not coffee), Dr. Jazz Soda Fountain & Grille, 1814 Eatery & Drinkery, and Ron’s Lounge. Festival-goers will also find street vendors offering yummy treats. The Refuge Family Grill will be there offering Shepherd’s Pie and Fish & Chips. The RPTI Bike Club will sell fair-favorites like Brats and hotdogs. Theresa’s will have cotton candy & kettle corn, and there will be a holiday dessert sale in the lower level of the Visitor’s Center, right in the middle of the block.
As if a Victorian Holiday festival wasn’t enough, Friday is also the night Lebanon’s Horner Park (Summerfield & North Alton Streets) lights up with the Winter Wonderland of Lights. Visitors will find thousands of lights, animated musical displays, a life-sized nativity and Victorian village. The community light display is put together each year by a group of volunteers dedicated to preserving the memory and feeling of the old-fashioned Christmas displays. There is no charge to go through the Winter Wonderland display, but donations are collected (at the park and online) to pay for electricity and repairs. The staff is entirely made up of volunteers. Weather permitting, the Winter Wonderland of Lights is open to the public from Nov. 18 – Dec. 31, Sunday – Thursdays 5 to 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. There is a five-ton vehicle weight limit. And visitors are reminded to keep an eye out for the local deer population.
Lebanon, Illinois’ Victorian Holiday tradition brings to life a Christmas village steeped in 200 years of history—and it’s sitting less than thirty minutes from the heart of St. Louis.
Victorian Holiday Celebration
City of Lebanon, IL Visitor’s’ Center
221 West Saint Louis Street
Lebanon, IL 62254