Rural Missouri Magazine

French Colonial Christmas
Ste. Genevieve, Mo.

by Jim McCarty

As Missouri’s oldest settlement, Ste. Genevieve is the perfect place to enjoy a traditional Christmas celebrated in French Colonial style. The town, which is the only original French Colonial village left in the United States, offers several activities ranging from the holiday decorations and visits from Mr. and Mrs. Claus shown on our cover to the parade, left, featuring the Valle High School marching band.

The festivities kick off Nov. 30 with a Christmas art show and reception held on Market St. On Dec. 1 and 2, the annual Country Christmas Walk brings holiday revelers to downtown for a host of activities. Expect Mr. and Mrs. Claus, marching bands, Shriners, antique cars, carriages and candy for the kids.

Les Petit Chanteurs, a children’s group singing French carols, will be found strolling and singing their way around town. The historic Guibourd and Linden sites will be decorated for the holidays and will offer entertainment. The lighting of the Christmas tree rounds out the weekend highlights.

On Dec. 9, return for a French Christmas at the Felix Vallé State Historic Site. Visitors will see French customs of the early 19th century by candlelight at this rare example of French Colonial architecture. All of these activitiies are free.

Besides the special events, the town’s many gift shops will be serving hot wassail to customers in search of Christmas gifts. There are also many fine restaurants, wineries and inns to extend your stay. And many of the historic homes, while not open to the public, will be decorated for the season. Some of these structures are among the only examples of French Colonial architecture left in the nation.

For more information on Ste. Genevieve’s holiday offerings call 800-373-7007 or e-mail


Rural Missouri | June 2020 Issue

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