Southern Illinois looks forward to holiday events

By Chase Myers

2014 Holiday Craft Sale

The Student Center craft shop will host its 34th Holiday Craft Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the south end of the Student Center on the first floor art gallery.

The sale will feature about 85 different venders from the region this year selling various homemade arts and crafts.

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Crafts for sale include glass fusing, glass blowing, woodworking, jewelry, weaving, toys, pottery, candles, printmaking, chili peppers from “Darn Hot Peppers” in Cobden and more.

The vendors decorate the south side of the Student Center, which is filled with the scents of homemade soaps and candles, Ron Dunkel, Student Center craft shop coordinator said.

“If your looking for something unique for somebody who has everything, you can find something they don’t have here at the craft sale,” he said.

The shop makes sure everything presented in the sale is handcrafted by the artist, he said.

“We’ve been doing this for years and the community really comes out for it,” he said. “This is of one of those moments when the community, students, faculty and staff all come together at the end of the semester.”

Lights Fantastic Parade

The 2014 Carbondale Lights Fantastic Parade is from 4 to 6 p.m on Saturday. The parade starts at the underpass on Mill Street and the participants will travel through Carbondale on Route 51.

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The parade started in 1991 and varies in the number of participants each year, from pedestrian and novelty units to floats, said Erin Wilson, an intern from Carbondale Main Street.

“We are trying to revitalize the strip so we want people to come down,” she said.

Restaurants, churches and groups from high schools and middles schools will also participate. Participation varies every year, but there are nearly 50 entries this year, she said.

“It’s really anybody in Carbondale that wants to take place in it, whether they’re a non-profit organization or business,” she said. “It’s just basically to create a float and have a good time this upcoming Saturday.”

Christmas in the Village

The annual Christmas in the Village event in various Cobden locations will take place Saturday and features a variety of events and activities.

The Old Feed store on 111 N. Appleknocker will have an open house from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with refreshments, a Santa Clause visit from 1 to 4:30 p.m., goody bags for kids, a wagon ride and a performance of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Kevin Purcell in the evening.

Union Congressional Church, Apostolic Lighthouse Church, Pack Rats Paradise, Alligator and the Blue Fox, Southpass Beads, Illinois Migrant Council’s Technology and Learning Center, Health Promoting Massage are some of the other open houses

The “Cobden Christmas” 5K run/walk begins at 10 a.m. with registration from 8:30 to 9:50 a.m. in front of the Old Feed store.

The event is sponsored every year by Cobden Community and Business Association and receives various donations from the different local businesses, Ray Hogan, president of the CCBA said.

“It’s a really family oriented event,” he said. “Last year was really cold, but the year before that we had over 400 kids come sit on Santa’s lap.”

The Old Feed store will also be extending the event exclusively till Sunday to celebrate expansion with vendors, free refreshments and live music.

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