Getting in the holiday spirit is easy when you visit downtown St. Joseph during November and December. Six festive events invite the Southwest Michigan community to celebrate the season.
Light up the Bluff kicks off Merry & Bright Weekend on Friday, December 3. Lake Bluff Park will transform into a winter wonderland when the mayor flips the switch at 6:00p and a million lights twinkle on the community tree and holiday-themed displays. The lights will be viewable daily between 5:30a-8:30a and 5:30p-midnight through February 15. This display is sponsored by the St. Joseph Improvement Association in partnership with the City of St. Joseph. For more information, call (269) 983 5541.
Following the tree lighting, visitors can stroll downtown and enjoy Window Wonderland, sponsored by Perennial Accents. Dozens of storefronts will participate in this holiday window decorating contest from 7:00p-8:30p. Attendees can vote for their favorite windows at stjoetoday.com/vote beginning at 7:00p Friday, December 3 until 11:59p Sunday, December 5. For those that love weekends in downtown St. Joseph, join us on Friday, March 11, 2022, for March Mannequins! Watch storefronts come alive as dozens of community volunteers pose perfectly still, like mannequins, from 7:00pm-8:30pm For more information, visit stjoetoday.com/marchmannequins.
On Saturday, December 4 the annual Fanny Mae Memorial Reindog Parade returns to downtown St. Joseph at 3:00p. Sponsored by Honor Credit Union, Edward J. Todd and FuzzyButz, this event features dressed-up pets and their owners in a variety of holiday garb. Be prepared to see all kinds of costumes from “Santa Bernards” to “Reindeer Rottweilers” – definitely a must-see event! Parade participants may get registration forms at FuzzyButz or the Welcome Center, both located in downtown St. Joseph, or register at stjoetoday.com/reindog. Cost: $5 per dog; each additional pet is $3. A portion of the net proceeds will be donated to a local animal rescue organization.
After the parade, children can share their wish lists with Santa until 7:00p. Santa’s House, part of the Santa Series sponsored by The Herald-Palladium, is moved from the North Pole each year to the corner of State & Pleasant Streets in downtown St. Joseph. Santa will be available for wish list conversations and holiday photo ops weekends in December. Hours are Thursdays and Fridays 4:00p-6:00p, Saturdays 12:00p-5:00p and Sundays 1:00p-5:00p. Special hours will also be offered on December 21, 22 and 23 from 12:00p-5:00p. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture this magical visit!
Additional Santa Series fun can be had with Letters to Santa and Storytime with Mrs. Claus. Attendees can grab a postcard from the Welcome Center to write a letter to Santa, hand it to the big man in red himself or use the drop box at Santa’s House! Mrs. Claus has offered to read some of her favorite holiday books during Storytime with Mrs. Claus. St. Joseph Today will be releasing weekly videos at stjoetoday.com/santa – December 7, 14 and 21.
Southwest Michigan (SWMI) businesses and restaurants host Countdown to New Year, a daily giveaway event December 1-31! Shoppers earn one entry per $25 purchase (one time or cumulative) at a St. Jospeh Today (SJT) member business. Qualifying purchases must be made between November 19 and December 17 – earn double points for shopping on Small Business Saturday (November 27) and during the Fanny Mae Memorial Reindog Parade (December 4). Receipts for purchases must be presented to an SJT staff member at the Welcome Center by December 17. Participants will be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to a local SWMI business. Visit stjoetoday.com/countdown for more information.
Those in search of the perfect gift will appreciate unique selections, great selections, and a festive shopping atmosphere this holiday season. Shoppers and diners alike will enjoy a magical experience this winter season while downtown. St. Joseph Today will play holiday music throughout downtown St. Joseph from now until December 25.
Additionally, winter lights have been placed along State St. (from Elm St. to Ship St.) as well as Broad St. and Ship St. (Lake Blvd. to Main St.) and Pleasant St. (Lake Blvd. to Court St.). The winter lights will remain up through February in conjunction with Light up the Bluff (December 3 through February 15).
For more information on the Merry & Bright Weekend visit stjoetoday.com/merryandbright.
Catch these upcoming St. Joseph Today winter events:
- St. Joe Winter Beer Fest: January 29, 2022 (12:00p-4:00p)
- Ice Fest: February 4-6, 2022
- March Mannequins: March 11, 2022 (7:00p-8:30p)