Holiday Christmas Festival

When: First full weekend in December
Times: All day Saturday and Sunday
Location: Historic District
Admission: Free

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!

Deja vu Spirit Reunion

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.

Freedom Celebration

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.

Ste. Genevieve Kings Ball

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.

La Guiannée (La Guignolèe)

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.

Top Christmas Towns in the Midwest

Visitors to Ste. Geneviève will find historic buildings and cabins, like the Sassafras Creek Cabin, decorated for the holidays. | Photo courtesy R. Mueller

AAA Magazine ranked the top Christmas towns in the Midwest.  Ste. Genevieve came in at #2! Considering a Holiday Getaway? Check Out These Charming Small Towns (

Party like its 1745 in the old French village of Ste. Geneviève where the new blends with old traditions during the Holiday Christmas Festival on the first full weekend in December. On Saturday, December 4, festivities kick off with a parade led by Santa, followed by shopping opportunities and open houses honoring French Christmas traditions. On Saturday afternoon, the Felix Vallé House State Historic Site, which dates to 1818, re-creates Le Réveillon—a traditional feast usually served after midnight Christmas Mass that includes 13 desserts honoring Jesus and his disciples.

Then return to Ste. Geneviève on December 31 for La Guignolée, a French New Year’s Eve tradition. Follow costumed La Guignolèe revelers as they march to select sites in town and sing a beggar’s song for drinks and favors. The party continues at their final stop, the Centre for French Colonial Life, and participants welcome the New Year.

Chocolate Walk 2022

Do you love eating chocolate and shopping? Then this event is for you! Join in the delicious fun on the first Saturday in February in historic downtown Ste. Genevieve. With the purchase of a ticket, you will be able to sample a yummy chocolate treat at each participating shop while you explore the unique items for sale! Only 300 tickets are available, and they always sell out in advance. To purchase a ticket go to: This event is sponsored by Downtown Ste. Genevieve.



Christmas Store and Collectibles

282 Market Street
Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
Open Saturday and Sunday 10:00-4:00

Christmas Store and Collectibles is open year round! Get your Christmas fix any weekend by dropping by to see what has been donated. Christmas decor and special items are available at great prices! Treasured collectibles are for sale too. Glassware, dishes, needlework, and more are waiting for you to add to your collection! 

36th Annual Holiday Christmas Festival Set For Dec. 5-6

Ste. Genevieve’s Holiday Christmas Festival — one of the largest such celebrations in Missouri — will take place this year … with some modifications to address COVID-19.

The event returns for its 36th year with the ever-popular parade on Saturday, December 5, and more than a dozen concerts taking place over the two days.

Masks will be required at all indoor concerts and lectures per request of the musicians and speakers. Masks also will be required at the Lions Park Spectacular, where children can have their photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus taken under social-distancing guidelines.

Event organizer Annette Rolfe said the many musicians who offer entertainment annually at the event looked forward to coming back this year.

“Everyone is really on-board,” Rolfe said. “All they want is the precautions. If we follow the rules, we can make this work.”

Rolfe emphasizes that the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department strongly suggests wearing a mask at public venues.

Parade participants will be allowed to throw candy as they usually do, though masks and gloves are being encouraged for those who do.

The parade route from the Valle Catholic Desert to Third Street to Market to Main to Washington to Second to Merchant and back to the desert is long enough to encourage social distancing for parade-watchers. It will kick off the festival at 11 a.m.

The Lions Park Spectacular beginning at noon will include hot chocolate, hot dogs and chili in addition to free photos with Santa. Children eat free when accompanied by an adult. Music will be provided by Vernon Flieg, the first of many musical performances on the weekend.

Christmas crafts for children will be offered by Ste. Genevieve artist Diane Wilson beginning at noon at the Orris Theatre. Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed.

The indoor music venues also will observe social distancing with seating limitations.

The musical performances on Saturday afternoon feature an acclaimed group of performers, Concerts will be given by the Joyful Sound Ringers handbell choir, Southeast Missouri State University professor Matt Palisch on the pipe organ at the Church of Ste. Genevieve, the Southeast Missouri String Quartet, the Isaac Lausell Trio, Adele Martin and Bluesette, saxophonist Gerry Huggins and guitarist Stormy Bennett. In addition to the Catholic Church, venues include Holy Cross Lutheran Church, the First Presbyterian Church, the Orris, and the Jean-Baptiste Valle House, which serves as the headquarters for the newly established Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park.

Huggins will play at the 18th-century Jean-Baptiste Valle House on Saturday, as will Martin and Bluesette.

Martin was born in Belgium and now lives in Illinois. She bills her sounds as French cafe music. “You’ll feel like you’re on the Left Bank [of Paris],” Rolfe said.

Bennett, from Ste. Genevieve, has played gospel and patriotic music at events and shows throughout the region.

In addition to the concerts, French Colonial America director Geoff Giglierano will portray a French priest in a program exploring the importance of faith in colonial communities.

The Guibourd-Valle House, owned and operated by the Foundation for Restoration, will host an open house Saturday evening from 4 to 6 p.m. with colonial decorations and live music.

At the same time, Music Art Love will feature live music by Academy Hill.

All of that activity Saturday leads into the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. outside the Welcome Center. Gary Scheel will emcee the event. Les Chanteurs Francais with Bill and Patti Naeger will perform, along with the Ste. Genevieve High School Madrigal Choir.

The First Presbyterian Church will host its Live Nativity scene beginning at 6 p.m., and carols will be sung outside the church.

Sunday’s schedule includes afternoon concerts by violinist Megan Heithaus, Lausell on guitar and renowned harpist Amy Camie leading up to the 4 p.m. finale featuring the Ste. Genevieve Muncipal Band Wind Ensemble in the Church of Ste. Genevieve.

Lausell, who teaches at the Southern Illinois University School of Music in Carbondale, has been a festival mainstay. He teams with professor Jimmy Beers and Dr. Richard Kelly for the modern jazz trio on Saturday and then performs selections spanning 500 years of French, Italian, Spanish and American music with his classical guitar performance on Sunday.

Heithaus, who has been part of the event for 13 years, performs in the string quartet on Saturday afternoon and then provides the music at the Guibourd-Valle on Saturday night before returning to play solo on Sunday afternoon.

Camie is new to the Holiday Christmas Festival. She is a certified clinical musician and spiritual harpist who will weave together holiday favorites in a seamless tapestry that wraps you in the spirit of Christmas.

Following her 3 p.m. performance in the Church of Ste. Genevieve, the municipal band’s wind ensemble will perform a concert of traditional Christmas music that also will get listeners into the Christmas spirit.

Also on the weekend, the Ste. Genevieve Art Guild will have its Christmas show in its new building on the Courthouse Square and the new Museum Learning Center will have Christmas displays in its courtyard.

“My goal is that people feel safe,” Rolfe said. “Even in this time, we want to have a magical place that people can come to and have a wonderful experience.”

For more information on the event, go to


Saturday, December 5

11 a.m.

— FREE Christmas Parade, Ste. Genevieve Historic District.

12 noon

— Lions Park Spectacular, FREE pictures with Santa (Masks Required), Market Street. Hot chocolate, hotdogs, and chili. Kids under 12 eat FREE, when accompanied by an adult. FREE Vernon Flieg performs traditional country, rock and Christmas tunes.

— FREE Christmas Crafts for Children by Diane Wilson (Masks Required) at the ORRIS, 265 Merchant Street, ENDS AT 2:00 p.m.

1 to 1:45 p.m.

— FREE pipe organ concert, and Joyful Sound Ringers directed by Matt Palisch, Professor of Organ for SEMO State University and Director of Music for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Jackson, MO. The Joyful Sound Ringers perform both at St. Paul’s worship service and also special concerts and workshops associated with the hand bell association of St. Louis. Program includes Christmas carols by the ringers and organ solos at the Ste. Genevieve Catholic Church, 49 DuBourg Place. ONE CONCERT ONLY.

— FREE Southeast Missouri String Quartet concert performed by accredited directors, teachers and symphony performers at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 200 Market Street, featuring Baroque, Classical, and Romantic period Austro-German music.

— FREE The Isaac Lausell Trio, modern jazz with standards in Latin music featuring award winning Dr. Isaac Lausell from SIU School of Music, Carbondale, Professor Jimmy Beers, and Dr. Richard Kelly, at the First Presbyterian Church, 160 S. Main Street.

— FREE Authentic French Café music, jazz, soul, blues, and Christmas tunes. Performed by Adele Martin and Bluesette at the Historic Jean-Baptiste Valle House, 99 S. Main Street.

2 to 2:45 p.m.

— Repeat of above concerts: String Quartet, Isaac Lausell Trio, and Adele Martin and Bluesette.

— FREE Matt Palisch, Professor of Organ for SEMO State University and Director of Music for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Jackson, MO will perform a solo pipe organ concert featuring multiple genres of music from Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Impressionistic to 20th and 21st Century Christmas tunes at the Ste. Genevieve Catholic Church, 49 DuBourg Place. ONE CONCERT ONLY

— FREE French Colonial American Executive Director Geoff Giglierano portrays Pere Sebastian Louis Meurin in a “First Person” program that explores the importance of faith in 18th century French Colonial communities of upper Louisiana and the intersection of European and Native American spirituality, at DuBourg Centre, 305 Merchant Street. ONE LECTURE ONLY.

3 to 3:45 p.m.

— FREE saxophone solo performance by Gerry Huggins, featuring contemporary, smooth jazz, and holiday music at the Jean-Baptiste Valle House, 99 S. Main Street.

— FREE acoustic guitar concert performed by Stormy Bennett specializing in thumb rhythm and melody at the ORRIS, 265 Merchant Street.

4 to 4:45 p.m.

— Repeat of above concerts: acoustic guitar and saxophone.

4 to 6 p.m.

— FREE Guibourd House hosts an open house at Fourth and Merchant Street featuring a display of Colonial Christmas decorations. Baroque period solo violin performance by Megan Heithaus. ENDS AT 6 p.m.

— FREE Blue Grass music performed by Academy Hill at Music Art Love, 199 N. Main Street. ENDS AT 6 p.m.

6 p.m.

— FREE Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, at the Welcome Center, 66 S. Main Street, featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus. Performances by Les Chanteurs Francais with Bill & Patti Naeger, SGHS Madrigal Choir, and hosted by Gary Scheel.

— FREE Live Bethlehem Nativity Scene, First Presbyterian Church, 160 S. Main Street. Christmas carols will be sung outside the church.

— Lynn, Jack, and Jen Trio performing pop standard’s from the 30’s to the 70’s, with a little country and Broadway at Audubon’s Grill and Bar, 9 N. Main Street.

Sunday, December 6

12:30 to 1:15 p.m.

— FREE violin solo performance, performed by Megan Heithaus, featuring Impressionistic period music, at the Welcome Center, 66 S. Main Street.

— FREE classical guitar concert performed by renowned artist Dr. Isaac Lausell, DMA, SIU School of Music, Carbondale, featuring 500 years of French, Italian, Spanish, and American music at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 200 Market Street.

1:30 to 2:15 p.m.

— Repeat of above concerts: Violin and Classical Guitar.

3 p.m.

— FREE renowned artist Amy Camie performing unique solo harp interpretations in her program “Embracing the Spirit of Christmas” weaving together holiday favorites in a seamless tapestry that gently opens the heart and lovingly wraps you in the spirit of Christmas at the Ste. Genevieve Catholic Church, 49 DuBourg Place.

4 p.m.

— FREE Ste. Genevieve Municipal Band Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Ste. Genevieve Catholic Church at 49 DuBourg Place.

Saturday and Sunday

— Ste. Genevieve Art Guild Christmas Show will be open at the historic “Museum” building, 310 Merchant Street. Saturday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

— The Ste. Genevieve Museum Learning Center will have Christmas displays in their Courtyard, 360 Market Street. 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

— Visit historic sites, museums, art galleries and shops.


The Ste Genevieve County Health Department strongly suggests wearing a mask at public venues.

Weddings, Reunions, Meetings


Audubon’s Grill and Bar


Cave Vineyard

Chaumette winery


Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary


Crown Valley Winery


DuBourg Centre



Ste. Genevieve County Community Center


Watertower Winery


Weingarten Vineyard and Garten Haus Restaurant


Other Venues:

American Legion Hall

Knights of Columbus Hall

Ste. Genevieve Elk’s Lodge

VFW Hall

French Christmas – Felix Valle House

Le Reveillon
French Christmas

Felix Valle State Historic Site

Merchant and 2nd Streets
Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670

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.

Chocolate Walk (Feb)

Historic Downtown Ste. Genevieve

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.

Cookie Crumb Trail (Nov)

Location: Historic Downtown Ste. Genevieve

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!

Patriotic 4th of July

Traditional celebration on July 4th with Church bell ringing, Pledge of Allegiance, patriotic speech, and music. And an honor salute by various local organizations.