Christmas markets held throughout Carlinville

Christmas markets held throughout Carlinville

Katherine Cosenza performed Christmas Carols on the Carlinville Square during the Christmas on the Square. Enquirer-Democrat photo by Erin Sanson.


By Erin Sanson
Enquirer-Democrat Reporter

With weather just a few degrees below the record high temperature for Carlinville in December, 74 degrees, the Christmas festivities began in Carlinville on Friday Dec. 3.

Friday saw the opening of the tent on East Main street at 12 p.m. and the stores around the square open and ready to welcome the Christmas market shoppers. The market located in the Cross Church building opened at 3 p.m. on Friday, both locations open until 8 p.m.

Saturday saw colder weather and a hustling and bustling Carlinville as visitors flocked to the markets. Vendors on the Square, Cross Church, Macoupin County Historical Society, and Carlinville Plaza greeted the shoppers. The trolley ran on a loop around town dropping off and picking up shoppers to transport them to the various shopping locations.

The scent of cinnamon roasted almonds and pecans permeated the air around the Cross Church, with the nuts available right outside the door. Cross Church held over 80 vendors on Friday and Saturday. Vendors sold a wide variety of goods ranging from toys to clothes, housewares to baked goods and food. The vendors stretched throughout the entire building, grouped into four main sections.

Food and drinks were for sale in the Cross Church lobby. Chick-fil-A sandwiches were for sale inside as well in a fundraising effort for the Cross Church Preschool.

Around the Square, the restaurants were open and packed full. Starr’s Primal meats was set up with a grill outside Hawthorn selling quarter pound hot dogs and pork burgers. The lower number of vendors in the tent was made up by the stores open around the Square and the vendors located in the Elks lodge.

Multiple performers were set up on the gazebo throughout the day on Saturday. Sisters Katherine and Amelia Cosenza, Tim Price and his daughters, and the Auburn Band and swing Choir all took their turn on stage to entertain the crowd with their musical performances.

For the kids, performances by Professor Longhair and Chef Bananas went on throughout the day on Saturday. Professor Longhair was at the Cross Church and Chef Bananas was in the southwest corner of the square.

In the northwest corner, a petting zoo was set-up, along with pony rides. A pet parade was held at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the northeast corner of the Square.

Fire truck rides were offered by the Carlinville Fire Department, departing from the northwest corner, making a trip around the courthouse before returning. A horse drawn sleigh was present to take a trip on a similar route around the courthouse and square.

On the northwest corner of the gazebo Santa stopped by his house to get children’s Christmas lists on Saturday and Sunday.

Reindeer were also available for the kids to enjoy.

At the Carlinville Plaza, a tree decorating contest was hosted by Deb’s Ceramics. Food was available from the Plaza Cafe and Huff’s Bakery.

At D&D Fitness, the 2021 Christmas Classic power-lifting meet was held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Spectators to the event and the general public were encouraged to bring new unused toys to D&D fitness throughout the month of October, with all toy and monetary donations going to the Carlinville Fire Department’s Help the Elf event. D&D Fitness said they were able to donate hundreds of toys and hundreds of dollars to Help the Elf this year.

The Anderson Mansion was decorated to with the theme, “A Very Novel Christmas.” Handicrafts, mostly made with textiles, but also jewelry and food items were for sale in the Ruyle building. Soaps, spices, and a variety of other home goods were for sale at the General Store. Both the Print shop and the Blacksmith shop were open as well, with free demonstrations at the Blacksmith shop.

Food was served at the Red Barn and the mansion, decorated for Christmas, was open to tours.

The Christmas market weekend wound down on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The vendors in the tent and the historical society closed up their Christmas shops for the 2021 Carlinville Christmas markets.

Another pet parade was held at 1 p.m. on Sunday on the northeast corner of the square. Santa was available once again in his house on Sunday afternoon. The fire engine was open to passengers from 12-3 p.m. At 3 p.m. the tent closed and the events were officially over for Carlinville’s Christmas weekend.