By MARK EVANS
From beginning to end, the 37th annual Ste. Genevieve Holiday Christmas Festival will have plenty for the whole family to enjoy.
The two-day event this weekend is chock full of activities.
It kicks off with free croquignoles in the courtyard of the Shaw House at Merchant and Second streets at 10 a.m., Saturday.
Corvettes of Southeast Missouri, high school marching bands, a bevy of antique tractors and others then take to the streets for the Christmas parade at 11 a.m., with longtime Levee District No. 3 president Vern Bauman as grand marshal.
Action continues all the way until the Saint Genevieve Art Guild Christmas Show closes at 5 p.m., Sunday.
“The parade is all lined up,” Rolfe said. “We’ve got the Corvette club coming up this year; we have a whole collection of classic cars and tractors, three different trolleys and a lot of new floats this year.”
It will include the Ste. Genevieve High School and Valle Catholic High School marching bands and cheerleaders from both schools.
“We’ll have a lot of the usuals,” Rolfe said, “all of the cheerleaders, all the county queens and the Homecoming queens, all of our dignitaries.
“We have a lot of stuff going on, so it will be a fantastic parade. Lots and lots of fun.”
All the country queens, queens from both schools, plus the Ste. Genevieve German Band
At noon, free photos with Santa begin at Lions Park, with hot chocolate, hotdogs and chili available. (Children 12 and under eat free if accompanied by an adult.)
Meanwhile, the Friends of the Library will have “Read Me A Story,” which runs until 4 pm. Christmas crafts with Diane Wilson will also be taking place at the Orris Theatre.
Magician Bruce Dyvig performs at 1 p.m. at the Ste. Genevieve Museum Learning Center. It will be one show only.
The Southeast Missouri Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Barbara LaMont will then perform Renaissance period pieces and contemporary holiday tunes at the DuBourg Centre.
The university’s String Quartet will also be performing at that time, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. They will be doing Baroque, Classical and Romantic pieces.
The Isaac Lausell Trio will do modern jazz with standards in Latin music, at Music Art Love at 199 N. Main. The Jean Baptiste Valle House at Main and Market will host saxophonist Gerry Huggins at 1 p.m., as well.
Many of these repeat at 2 p.m. Also at 2 pm., Geoff Giglierano, executive director of French Colonial America (FCA) will portray Pere Sebastian Louis Meurin in a first person program that explores the importance of faith in the French colonial communities of Upper Louisiana.
There will be a demonstration of the art of paper filigree and a chance to create some art at the Shaw House. There will be one demonstration only.
From 2 to 6 p.m., the Felix Valle State Historic site hosts LeReveillon, a traditional French Christmas celebration, at the Felix Valle House. It celebrates the food, music, customs and decorations of an early 1800s Christmas. Noted dulcimer artist Rick Thum will be on hand.
At 3 p.m., Matt Palisch professor of Organ at Southeast will perform an organ solo on the pipe organ in the Church of Ste. Genevieve, including 19th and 20th century classical music and Christmas tunes. One concert only will be played, 3-4 p.m.
At 3 and 4 p.m., Stormy Bennett will give an acoustical guitar concert at the Orris.
The 37th annual Ste. Genevieve Holiday Christmas Festival will have plenty for the whole family to enjoy.
Stormy Bennett is real loyal, as are Bill and Patti Naeger, Sam and Rosie Hughey, and also Jack Koetting, Lynn Rose Terry and Jen Wood,” Rolfe said. “We want to praise all our local musicians who help put our cultural stamp on the festival, along with the madrigal singers and the German band.”
Then, of course, there are the highly-acclaimed performers being brought in.
“Then we have all these wonderful, magnificent musicians coming in to enhance our culture tremendously”
There will be to do on Sunday than in past years.
Noted violin artist Megan Heithaus will return for a 12:30 concert at the Welcome Center. She wil play Impressionistic period music.
Lausell, head of the guitar program at the southern Illinois University-Carbondale School of Music, will put on a classic acoustic guitar concert at Holy Cross Lutheran Church at the same time. Both he and Heithaus will perform again at 1:30.
At 1:30, meanwhile, the popular Southeast Missouri State University Steel Drum Band, led by Dr. Shane Mizicko, will do a compilation of Caribbean, jazz, funk, popular and classic Christmas tunes at the DuBourg Centre.
Meanwhile, the Rivertown Sounds Quartet Band will perform barbershop music in front of Magnolia’s, while Ste. Genevieve County’s Chad Stafford will perform a wide variety of music in front of Sirro’s.
The entertainment is just heating up as the evening winds down. The Steel Drum Band plays again at 2:30, then noted Celtic harp artist Chadie Fruehwald will play Classical, Celtic and Christmas music at the Church of Ste. Genevieve at 3 p.m.
Finally, the Ste. Genevieve Municipal Band Wind Ensemble will play at the Church of Ste. Genevieve at 4 p.m.
Rolfe is pleased with the lineup.
“Everyone’s really excited,” she said. “It’s going to be a lovely event. Everyone’s so excited. Last year we had the pandemic looming over us. This year it’s a new world. We’re all happy about this.”