From holiday shopping, eating delicious local foods, meeting Santa and much more, there are a few things you need to know before celebrating Pekin’s 18th annual Christmas on Court event from 5-8 pm in downtown Pekin! This year’s community event may look different given the circumstance, but the event will still be just as fun for the whole family. We’ve compiled a list of all the activities attendees can enjoy during this parade-inspired festival, all while following COVID-19 regulations.

1. Shopping Local

Still, thinking about what to get your loved ones for Christmas? Well, get ready to window shop from the comfort of your vehicle! After, you’ve decided on what you want to purchase, be prepared to park and circle back on foot. We have some wonderful local shops ready to help you with your holiday gifting from these locally owned hotspots:

  • Curvy Chic Boutique

  • Chatty Heron Boutique

  • The Zone

  • R Belle Boutique

  • Aryabellas Boutique

  • Peek In Pottery

  • The CBD Store

 Not only will you find amazing holiday gifts, but you’ll be supporting the Pekin community while doing so!

2. Food & Beverages

Come hungry. Come parched. We have you covered. We will have multiple locations to pre-order food and beverages for curbside pickup along the route. So instead of standing in the cold, you’ll be able to wait for your food in your toasty car! These locally-owned favorites offer a wide variety of options for all types of cravings:

  • [CxT] Roasting Co.

  • Mike's Knot Just Ribs Food Truck

  • El Zarape Taco Truck

  • West Dublin Pub

  • Mackinaw Valley Vineyard

  • Coffee Connection

  • Yesterday's Bar & Grill

 Pro-tip, bring cash for quick and easy transactions!

 3. Fun For the Whole Family

There’s fun for all ages, we promise! We want to remind everyone this event isn’t just for kids to meet Santa, but for the community to come together and celebrate the holidays. So, not only will we have great curbside food and to-go beverages, but we’ll also have live entertainment by musicians like Central Illinois natives, Emily Hope, Lee Hall and Chris Hawkins. Choir carolers from a handful of Pekin churches will also line the route to get everyone in the holiday spirit. We’ll also have all kinds of surprises along the way, so make sure to check it out!

4. Enjoy the Parade then Circle Back on Foot

This event will be different, so we want to remind everyone to mask up and follow COVID-19 guidelines. This means that we ask attendees to limit their stops to allow for a safer event for everyone. Brief stops are acceptable, but if you want more time at Christmas on Court, park after the parade and circle back on foot. There will be plenty of time to explore all the holiday cheer. 

5. Santa

We can’t forget the main event for children of all ages--meeting Santa! This year instead of sitting on Santa’s lap, we’ll have Curbside Santa to help keep everyone safe and healthy (Mrs. Claus insists!) You’ll be able to roll down your windows to say hello and hand Santa your Christmas Lists. Remember, Santa is a busy man, so please keep interactions brief.

The first 200 cars will receive a goodie bag made by the elves at Advance America! 

We hope to see you all there for an evening full of exhibits, entertainment and displays put together by the area Pekin business, organizations and community members. It’ll be the perfect way to start the holiday season for you and your family. So get ready to roll down the windows and crank up that heat -- Santa is comin’ to town! 

For more information about this year's event, check out our official Christmas on Court page or the Christmas on Court Facebook event page