Experience a wonderland of festivities during the annual Holiday Christmas Festival. A cultural celebration of 500 years of holiday themed music performed by renowned musicians from across the region is featured at free performances in historic churches and other downtown venues. Other activities include a Christmas parade, caroling, colonial decorations, free pictures with Santa for the little ones, the Art Guild Art Show & Sale, downtown shop refreshments, some historic site open houses and an old-fashioned Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Saturday evening at the Welcome Center!
Fourth Saturday in October
Would you like to hear the story of a US Senator who has been buried three different times? A Civil War colonel who died at the battle of Shiloh? Meet up with a modern-day spirit of Missouri’s first US Representative? Or “meet” one portraying the well-to-do, or the not so well-to-do, residents of Ste. Genevieve’s history before 1880? Visitors will experience these stories and more as the Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve hosts its annual “Déjà vu Spirit Reunion” in historic Memorial Cemetery. Tour the cemetery via lantern light and chat “face to face” with friendly spirits clad in traditional dress and enjoy a hauntingly good time. Sponsored by the Foundation for Restoration of Ste Genevieve.
Fourth Saturday in October
Rural Heritage Day is a celebration of history, reverie and reminiscence dedicated to the hard working founders of Ste. Genevieve. Come see how it used to be done – whether it’s farming, cooking, spinning, lace making, leather working, soap making, wood carving, gardening or good old-fashioned games. Watch demonstrations of the handicrafts of yesteryear. Stay till the evening and enjoy the “Spirit Reunion” – a fundraiser for Memorial Cemetery that features costumed ‘Spirits’ telling the stories of the early settlers buried there.
Second Full Weekend in August
The annual Jour de Fête is southeast Missouri’s largest outdoor Crafts Fair. Held in the heart of Ste. Genevieve’s Historic District, visitors can browse through arts and crafts booths. Shop till you drop and enjoy live music, foods, living history demonstrations and other activities at this family-friendly event.
Ste. Genevieve’s Independence Day public gathering with music, speeches and fireworks. Admission is FREE! At noon there is a traditional celebration with church bell ringing, Pledge of Allegiance, patriotic speeches, and music, as well as an honor salute by various local organizations. That evening the local Muny Band will perform patriotic music, and at dusk, Fireworks will explode in Ste. Genevieve’s Pere Marquette Park.
Second Weekend in June
Celebrating 300 years of French culture and traditions! Living history, live traditional music, La Veillee folk dancing at the Felix Valle State Historic Site, French foods, re-enactors in period dress, historic home tours, street dance with wine & beer tent, promenades (parades), children’s activities, walking tours, tea with ‘Marie Antoinette’ at the Guibourd and much more!
Weekend Following Mother’s Day
The Ste. Genevieve Master Gardeners’ annual Garden Walk, held in the downtown historic district is a unique opportunity to tour private and public gardens. Several gardens are part of historic homes in Ste. Genevieve and are typical of the 18th century time period. Other activities include a Master Gardeners’ plant sale, private vendors, discounts at participating downtown merchants, art exhibits and, on Saturday, the Farmers Market.
First Saturday in February VFW Hall, Memorial Drive
The King’s Ball, originally held to celebrate twelfth-night, is another early French settler tradition that dates back over 250 years. Attendees are encouraged to dress in French Colonial attire and participate in traditional music and dance. Some guests dress their tables with candelabra, tablecloths, wine and food so dancers can “nibble their way around the hall and visit”. Don’t miss this this “French” Mardis Gras in Missouri! Sponsored by the Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve, proceeds benefit historic preservation activities and other projects.
New Years Eve
Founded by French merchants and fur traders, Ste. Genevieve remained a French speaking enclave for many years in the newly Americanized Midwest. Sadly, the last generations of native French speakers are disappearing, but cherished traditions like La Guiannée still remain. This ancient tradition, analogous to the English custom of Wassailing that dates back to Europe’s Middle Ages, is celebrated by descendants of those French settlers. You can watch and participate with these singers and musicians as they celebrate this 250 year old tradition each New Year’s Eve in the streets, cafes and pubs of Ste. Genevieve’s Historic District.
The famed ornithologist John James Audubon lived for a short time in Ste. Genevieve. Audubon’s Walk is a naturalist lead hike atop the Ste. Genevieve Urban Levee. Come see what shows up: cliff swallows, horned larks, red-winged black bird, eastern bluebird and more!
A family-friendly, living history event! Observe Civil War camp life and demonstrations of marching, musket fire, and cannon fire. Learn about Ste. Genevieve citizens who fought in the war, some on each side. At 1:00 gather at the corner of Main and Merchant streets to observe a re-enactment of the 1861 bank raid by Federal Troops.
ASL Pewter Foundry
This traditional art show and sale features artisans from the Midwest who have been selected by Early American Life Magazine as the best in their fields. These artists and fine crafters display and sell their work and happily educate the public on the traditional way what they do is made and used. Above all, Guest artists have included include Mike Ochonicky, Scrimshaw; Doug and Julie Dawson, Tin cookie cutters and other tinware; Vernon DePauw, woodcarving; Suzette Krummel, Penny Rugs; Tom Wintczak, redware pottery and fracture; Kandye Mahurin, painted game boards on antique bread and cutting boards.
Mid weekend in July
County Fairgrounds, North Main St.
Ste. Genevieve, MO
The Ste. Genevieve County Fair includes a parade, livestock shows, demolition derby, horse show, truck pulls, tractor pulls, queen contest, 4H and FFA exhibits and live entertainment most nights. There is a lot to see and do for adults and children all weekend with plenty of good food and entertainment.
Felix Valle State Historic Site
This annual holiday celebration highlights the music, customs, and crafts of early French Colonial Christmas in Ste. Genevieve. The celebration, known as Le Reveillon, features costumed guides who explain the early 19th century customs of Christmas. Traditional foods and music of the period are featured on the first Saturday in December.
Bring your friends and enjoy a leisurely stroll among the shops, restaurants, and art galleries of downtown Ste. Genevieve. During 4th Friday Art Walks, Ste. Genevieve art galleries offer visitors the opportunity to view the works of local and regional artists displaying a variety of art forms. Many businesses in the Historic District participate by extending their store hours from 6 to 9pm during the Fourth Friday Art Walk.
Start your tour at the Welcome Center where you can view two important art collections, as well as pick up a map to the galleries. The 4th Friday Art Walk is sponsored by the Gallery Association of Sainte Genevieve. Art Walks are on the fourth Friday of each month from February thru November. Refreshments may be served at various locations and there are five restaurants with regular evening hours in the historic district.
Location: Historic Downtown Ste. Genevieve
Cost: $40 for Participating Artists; free for observers!
Follow the European tradition of capturing the atmosphere of the outdoors! Contemporary artists are invited to join the realms of the famous regionalist artists of the 1930s and paint outdoors in the scenic Sainte Genevieve area. Also among the highlights are multiple paint outs & competitions, generous prizes, social events.
Do you love chocolate and shopping? Then chocolate lovers, this event is for you! Sample a luscious chocolate treat at each participating downtown establishment and shop Ste. Genevieve’s unique downtown shops.
Tickets : $10.00 Must have a ticket to sample.
Follow the Balloons for Participating Merchants.
Shop Small Saturday is a nationwide event created by American Express and sponsored locally by the Ste. Genevieve Downtown Renewal Project and The Ste. Genevieve Chamber of Commerce. This event’s purpose is to encourage sales for local small businesses. So shop local and support small business owners!
Enjoy a Christmas-in-July themed shopping extravaganza on the second Wednesday in July. Participating shops in the Historic District will be open from 6pm- 9pm and offering discounts or running specials. Sponsored by Downtown Ste. Gen
Attention shoppers: Follow the Cookie Crumb Trail! Sample cookies and collect the recipes to get started on your Christmas baking! Participating downtown shops will feature a different cookie recipe and have sample cookies for you to taste. Proceeds will go to a local family in need, just in time for Christmas!
Ste. Genevieve Master Gardeners’ annual Garden Walk is held in the downtown historic district of America’s oldest French Colonial village. This is a unique opportunity to tour private and public gardens. Several gardens are part of historic homes in Ste. Genevieve and are typical of the 18th century time period. The Master Gardeners’ plant sale goes through the weekend. Other weekend activities: Private vendors, discounts at participating downtown merchants, art exhibits, and the Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning.
Ste. Genevieve’s Municipal Band performs a variety of favorites each week polkas, marches, show tunes, kids’ tunes, and popular melodies. Sit in your car or bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy one of the few municipal bands still around, a Ste. Genevieve tradition for over 70 years!
The Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve hosts an annual history conference at which presentations are made on the history of Ste. Genevieve and the surrounding area. Presentations are on a variety of subjects from pre-European settlement to the French colonial period as well as the 19th and 20th centuries. The event starts with a continental breakfast and then lunch. A reception for conference attendees will be held on Friday evening.
The spirits will again emerge from the crypts and tombs of historic old Ste. Genevieve’s Memorial Cemetery as the Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve hosts its annual Déjà vu Spirit Reunion. Visitors will experience Missouri’s oldest town through the spirits of those buried in the town’s Memorial Cemetery. This cemetery, established in 1787, includes the tombs and grave markers of the area’s earliest French pioneers as well as emigrants of German, Scottish and other heritages – slave, free and integrated spouses of black African and Native Americans.
This living history program of stories, traditions and nostalgia highlights the lives and personalities of notables such as U.S. Senator Lewis F. Linn, Felix and Odile Vallé, Marie LaPorte, Joseph Bogy, Ferdinand Rozier (a one-time business partner of John James Audubon). This provides the visitor with an intimate taste of lifestyles and happenings in Missouri’s oldest town during the late 18th and 19th centuries. So tour the cemetery via lantern light and chat “face-to-face” with over 20 spirits clad in traditional dress and enjoy a hauntingly good time.
In addition, all proceeds help to benefit the Foundation for Restoration’s activities and restoration efforts. The FRSG is a non-profit community organization formed to promote the preservation and restoration of Ste. Genevieve’s historic structures and traditions. And in 2007 the FRSG was awarded the distinguished Governor’s Humanities Award for the Déjà vu Spirit Reunion program.
Second Weekend in June
Felix Valle State Historic Site
Merchant and Second Streets
Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
Enjoy an evening in the garden of the Felix Valle House at this recreation of a La Veillee, a traditional French Colonial summer social gathering. Featured will be French folk dancing, folk tales, candlelight tours of the home, and refreshments.
A family-friendly, living history event! Come explore the traditions of the “School of the Soldier.” This is a fully packed weekend of lectures and camaraderie with plenty of events to see.[toggle]On Saturday, attend a public heritage auction of discovered ‘desirables’ – memorabilia, collectibles, ‘accouterments’, utensils, and ‘watch’a-may-call-its’. In addition, Ste Genevieve has the greatest concentration of original French colonial buildings in North America. Plus is the only surviving French colonial village in the United States. At Ecole du Soldat activities of that early era are reenacted.