Start Your Holiday Season In Starved Rock Country

Experience a festive light show and holiday market this weekend

The entrance to the city of La Salle's Celebration of Lights at Rotary Park.

Three fan-favorite festive events arrive this weekend in Starved Rock Country. Don’t miss the return of the city of La Salle’s Celebration of Lights, the 3 French Hens French Country Market’s holiday pop-up and Downtown Ottawa’s Holiday Open House.

Celebration of Lights

Open every night through New Year’s Day

2837 E. Fifth Road, La Salle

The city of La Salle’s spectacular Celebration of Lights has made its triumphant return to Rotary Park. One of the largest holiday attractions in north central Illinois, the massive collection of illuminated displays is back and bigger than ever before. Conveniently located near I-39, the astounding drive-thru light show will run every night from now through New Year’s Day.

The Celebration of Lights is free to view, but donations are encouraged to continue to grow the community-led project. The drive-thru display will be open to the public from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

A aerial view of the Celebration of Lights on Tuesday Nov. 16, 2021 at Rotary Park in La Salle.

Now in it’s 10th year, the lights parade has expanded from having 17 displays to nearly 450. There are multiple new displays this year, including a motion piece that will be the largest the event has ever featured. Cars will meander along a winding path through the park, where you can get a good look at the hundreds of larger-than-life displays – each sponsored by an area business or organization. Don’t miss a chance to start a new holiday tradition at this beautiful and festive light show.

For more information, be sure to follow Celebration of Lights - City of La Salle on Facebook.

People view creations made at the 3 French Hens Holiday market that took place over the weekend in Morris.

Winter Holiday Market

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 12

555 Gore Road, Morris

The 3 French Hens French Country Market, Morris’ long-standing fan favorite pop-up market, will host its special Winter Holiday Market at Jennifer’s Garden Banquets. Conveniently located just off I-80, this curated artisan market will help you stock up on festive handcrafted goods and treats just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Regularly, the market takes place on the second Saturday of each month through October, but this special extended season event is consistently one of the region’s most popular shopping events, drawing talented vendors from across the state. There is an entry fee of $5 per person, with kids younger than 12 admitted for free. Returning vendors include many local Starved Rock Country businesses, such as Ottawa’s own Garden’s Gate Garden Center and Landscaping, which will sell fresh-cut greens, winterberry, dogwood, seasonal arrangements and home decor.

When you are finished shopping at the market, be sure to visit quaint downtown Morris, where you’ll find additional amazing shops and restaurants. Be sure to follow the 3 French Hens French Country Market’s Facebook page and explore the website for the latest announcements on upcoming markets and vendors.

RPS Toys opened at 820 La Salle St. in downtown Ottawa.

Holiday Open House

Downtown Ottawa

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 12 and noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 13

Head to beautiful downtown Ottawa through Sunday to experience this year’s Holiday Open House. Visitors will be treated to surprise drawings, in-store specials and extended hours in some of the area’s best boutique stores.

Holiday Open House schedule

Participating downtown boutiques include A Mess of Things, City Folk Urban Decor, Deja Vu, Floret Plants and Provisions, Heartland By Hand, Iconic Boutique, Laurilea’s Unique Junk Boutique, Perfect Moments Event Shoppe, Personalitees, Prairie Fox Books, RPS Toys and The Ottawa Bakery. Store hours and festive offerings will vary by location; be sure to check their specific Facebook pages and websites for further details.

Follow the Ottawa Visitors Center on Facebook for more Holiday Open House details, and to see a calendar of upcoming Ottawa events.