Memorial Holiday Fest, presented by the Springfield Memorial Foundation in partnership with Downtown Springfield, Inc., will feature a festive lineup of community events and family activities on Saturdays and Wednesday evenings between Nov. 26 and Dec. 21 in downtown Springfield.
“We’re excited to share Memorial Holiday Fest with our community,” said Melissa Hansen Schmadeke, executive director of the Springfield Memorial Foundation. “Families will rediscover familiar activities and enjoy exciting new offerings. This inclusive event celebrates the diversity of the holiday season with free admission and ample free parking available.”
For a map of all the sites featuring Memorial Holiday Fest activities and entertainment and a schedule of events, visit memorial.health/holidayfest. Maps are also included in Downtown Springfield, Inc. pamphlets, which can be picked up at local businesses.
A tree lighting will kick off Memorial Holiday Fest at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 26, at the Old State Capitol Plaza.
Student-decorated trees will be on display at the Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St. Students will compete in an online “People’s Choice” vote for first, second and third place. The public can vote online by visiting Springfield Memorial Foundation’s Facebook page.
Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza decorations will also be featured at various locations throughout downtown. New this year is a 10-foot-tall outdoor light display of Abraham Lincoln with Santa Claus on display at the Old State Capitol Plaza.
Families attending Memorial Holiday Fest can pick up Polar Passports for children. When children visit four specific destinations, they receive a stamp on their passports. The four locations are: Springfield Visitors Bureau, Old State Capitol, Kidzeum and Illinois State Museum. With all four destinations stamped, children can turn in their passports at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, 402 S. Sixth St., where they will be entered into a drawing for free passes to the Kidzeum.
PNC Bank is Memorial Holiday Fest’s principal sponsor. Memorial Holiday Fest is able to offer most activities for free and raise funds for Springfield Memorial Foundation, thanks to the support of its sponsors, said Hansen Schmadeke.
“We’re all working together to make a wonderful event for families throughout central Illinois. Downtown Springfield is a great destination during the holidays, and people can also spend time shopping at local businesses or grabbing a meal at one of our downtown restaurants,” she said.