Get with the Christmas spirit

    It’s December, well almost, and that means there are lots of Christmas activities being planned throughout the area. Make sure you take part in some of your local events that are being planned over the next few weeks.

    Here’s a brief rundown. Be sure and check out the News section of this site for a longer list of events happening in your specific area.

    The Cuba Area Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Parade and Santa’s Village, which will be held on December 8. This year’s Christmas parade will begin at 5 p.m. and will run west on Historic Route 66 from the Wagon Wheel to Smith Street and then to the Recklein Historic District, where all the events after the parade will be held. The parade will be followed by a meet and greet with Santa Claus starting at 6 p.m.
    There will also a live Nativity Scene by A Zoo for You, hot chocolate and cookies provided by Frisco’s, Christmas caroling by the United Methodist Youth Choir, and shopping with local vendors. The evening will conclude with a tree-lighting ceremony at 7 p.m.
    The Chamber is still seeking participants for this year’s parade. Those interested in taking part may register online at:
    The Crawford County Optimist Club will host its First Annual “Christmas in the Park” on Friday and Saturday nights December 8-22 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Hood Park. The theme is “If you dream it—make it a reality.”
    There will be a drive-through donation. You can bring items for the Backpack Program divided between Cuba, Bourbon and Steelville schools. There will also be horse-drawn carriage rides on December 14.
    A Decorating Challenge Contest with prizes of $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place will be held, with judging set for December 14.
    All proceeds go towards helping children in Crawford County. Any individuals, businesses, churches or organizations who would like to set up a display or have questions can call 573-205-8459.

St. James
    The St. James Chamber of Commerce again sponsors this year’s annual Christmas parade, which is scheduled for December 1 beginning at 5 p.m. The parade route will begin at the Missouri Veterans Home and will travel down Jefferson Street, ending at the high school.
Residents are encouraged to bring out chairs, blankets, or to park along the route to enjoy the parade. This year’s theme is “Home for the Holidays” and floats are encouraged to decorate in the theme. The parade is free to the public.
    Floats and parade participants are still being accepted. Businesses, clubs, organizations, churches, and schools wishing to participate in this year’s events are encouraged to pick up a parade application now from the Tourist Information Center or via the Chamber’s website at
    Parade line up will start at 4 p.m. behind the Missouri Veterans Home. The Chamber asks that no live Santa or Mrs. Claus be used as there are other events Santa will be appearing at that evening.
    Participants can decorate floats, cars, tractors, or ride horses during the parade and are encouraged to share their club, organization, church, or business information on their vehicles. Registration forms can be filled out and returned to the Chamber offices before Friday, Nov. 30 for entry.
    Following the parade, Santa will be stopping at the Walker Pavilion on Washington Street. The St. James Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, and St. James School District are teaming up to serve hot chocolate and cookies, while kids meet Santa. Families are encouraged to bring a camera to take pictures with Santa and to warm up with refreshments.
    New this year will be a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at the Missouri Veterans Home from 6:30 until 8 p.m. Organized by Angela Walton and sponsored by the Veterans Home, a 30-plus foot Christmas tree will be lit in front of the facility. The high school concert choir will be singing holiday songs, snacks and refreshments will be served, and Santa will make an appearance as well. The event is free to the public.

    The Steelville Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 15 at 5 p.m. Organizers are seeking participants to decorate a float, a UTV, or simply walk in the parade wearing an ugly Christmas sweater! The Steelville High School band will be marching, and there are hopes that the giant Country Mart grocery cart will make an appearance as well. The theme for this year is “Christmas Memories.”
    Anyone who’d like to participate in the parade should contact the Steelville Tourism Committee via their Facebook page, call Chrissie Sherman at 636-358-1120, or contact Chief Mike Sherman at the Steelville Police Department.
    In addition to the parade on December 15, the tourism committee is seeking vendors for a Christmas Village to be set up on Main Street and on 2nd Street (between the health department and Turtle Earth). Interested vendors should contact the tourism committee.
    The Steelville Area Chamber of Commerce will host the 31st Annual Christmas Prince and Princess Pageant on Tuesday, December 11 at 6 p.m. at the Meramec Music Theatre, followed by the 5th Annual Junior Miss Steelville Pageant at 7:30 p.m.
    The Christmas Prince and Princess Pageant is open to children between the ages of three and six who reside in the Steelville School District. There is no entry fee or dress code. Children will be asked to come up on stage, have a short visit with Santa, then sing the first verse of “Jingle Bells” together as a group.
    For more information on the pageants, contact Becky Simpson at 573-351-0325 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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