Marshall, Illinois: Christmas Central-Spreading Holiday Cheer is Our Jam!

Marshall, Illinois, might be a small town, but it sure has a big heart. This time of year, many significant holiday events remind us about the season of giving and joy. We held one of the best Christmas Hometown Holly Days this past weekend. There was the Bethlehem Experience, our annual craft fair, live nativity scenes, carolers on the streets, and even a parade with lighted floats. Suppose you were lucky enough to experience any or all of that; good for you. If not, don’t despair. There is still a lot to do and enjoy around town.


Every year, Marshall hosts the big guy himself – that’s right, Santa Claus, in our very own hometown Log Cabin, which is beautifully decorated for the season with lighted Christmas trees, garland, and a cozy fire where Santa will sit nearby. There are even a couple of little elves to make him feel right at home in his little North Pole satellite office.

You can still come down and tell Santa what you want for Christmas by joining him at the Log Cabin in Marshall on Sundays, December 10th or 17th, from 12 pm to 4 pm. First Financial of Marshall sponsors Santa. Yes, even Santa needs a little help from his friends.



We all love Christmas movies, and there are so many to enjoy this time of year. Hallmark will keep you busy with that every day and night, but nothing compares to some of the old classics. Our awesome library offers a unique experience regarding one of the most iconic and hometown Christmas films of all time.

On Thursday, December 7, at 6:30 pm, the Marshall Public Library is hosting an event called “It’s a Wonderful Life – From Box Office Flop to Holiday Tradition.”

This event is a very different take on simply watching the film at face value. You will be taken on a journey behind the scenes of this Frank Capra classic film from its beginning, meant as a Christmas card, to its mixed box office reviews. Eventually, this piece of American history became a beloved holiday classic. Join the presenters as they explore the cast, sets, technical challenges, and more. Learn about the film’s connection to a Disney Princess and the story of renowned actor Lionel Barrymore (the evil Mr. Potter) losing a bet with the lovely actress Donna Reed (Mary Hatch Bailey). You will see and enjoy behind-the-scenes photos and deleted scenes. Register to attend by calling the library at 217-826-2535



If you love Christmas decorations, you can drive around town and see the displays at neighbors’ homes, churches, and businesses, but if it’s lights that make your night, don’t miss The Festival of Lights. Head over to the Clark County Fairgrounds and witness the fantastic decorations. They have taken it to the max this year, and the whole family will be delighted by this one-of-a-kind nightly extravaganza. Special thanks to the Marshall Christmas Committee for all the hard work making this happen. The display is drive-thru only and is open nightly through December 31. The fairgrounds are on Second Street in Marshall, and you can enter just south of the Marshall City Pool parking lot.



Remember to shop and eat locally this holiday season. All the stores in downtown Marshall are decked out for the holidays, and lots of great bargains and specials are ready for you to take advantage of. You never need to leave town to get your Christmas shopping done. There are so many wonderful things to purchase here in Marshall, from clothes to household décor, antiques, and one-of-a-kind hand-crafted gifts. And don’t forget that while you are shopping, you will need coffee…

We have great local coffee shops in Marshall to keep you going strong while you shop. Casey’s Coffee offers seasonal beverages (are we over pumpkin spice yet?). Still, the chart-topper for this year is “Leon The Snowman.” This fancy and fun hot beverage boasts a whimsical toasted marshmallow frosted cap, toasted marshmallow syrup, marshmallow crème, topped with whipped cream,  marshmallow drizzle, and crushed Oreos. If the caffeine doesn’t give you that needed charge of energy, the sugar content surely will.


Be safe and have fun as you enjoy the holidays here in Marshall. We love visitors, too, so bring the kiddies down to visit with Santa and enjoy all we have to offer.