Christmas in Carterville Canceled?

Madeline Liss, Staff Writer

The city of Carterville posted this image of Mr. and Mrs. Claus from a previous year to announce the cancellation of Christmas in Carterville.

Every year members of the Carterville Community gather downtown on the first Friday of December to celebrate the holiday season. Carterville offers carriage rides, hot chocolate, letters to Santa, and many more festive activities. However, due to the recent accelerant of COVID-19 cases in the community, the event organizers have announced the cancellation of this year’s Christmas in Carterville. 


On Monday night of November 23rd, the City of Carterville took to Facebook saying, “It is with a VERY heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of our Annual Event. A plan was made early on to turn the event into a drive-thru, but after much consideration, it was decided that the risks far outweigh the benefits. Please accept our sincere apologies, and know that we all look forward to a bigger and better event next year.” 


Christmas in Carterville is an event that many families and local businesses look forward to every year, so the cancellation has been upsetting to many. One business Arabesque Dance Studio, located in downtown Carterville, typically uses the event to their advantage by showcasing all of their upcoming dances for the first time. CHS student and current coach at Arabesque Dance Studio, Kaelin Rowland (11) said, “I got the opportunity to teach this year, and it breaks my heart that my students will not be able to participate in Christmas in Carterville. Christmas in Carterville is something the little ones look forward to, and I hope that we can all participate next year!” 


However, despite Carterville’s decision to cancel, several towns nearby are still planning to celebrate. For example, Duquoin, IL has announced that they are still holding their annual drive-thru Holiday Lights Fair with a few modifications for safety. In addition, Candy Cane Lane in West Frankfort, IL is still open for visitors as well as a new event in Marion, IL called “A Very Merry Marion” that showcases several light displays around town. Opportunities like these in neighboring towns create a chance for Carterville families to still come together and celebrate until they can hopefully be able to gather again downtown next year!