Third annual Deer Santa Festival kicks off in Pittsfield

Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 8:41 PM CST
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PITTSFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - Now that Thanksgiving has wrapped up, Christmas festivities are kicking off across the Tri-States, including Pittsfield, Illinois, where community members gathered for their third annual Dear Santa Festival.

This year’s festival started with dance performances from S&S School of Dance where families gathered around the Pike County Courthouse in downtown Pittsfield.

Leslie Schumann said the festival had many activities for families to participate in like reading stories around the square, painting ornaments, checking out reindeers and meeting Santa.

“Love it because my kids are always wanting to go and do something and go have fun and this is outside,” Schumann said.

Festival volunteer Kaye Iftner said last year was a challenge with COVID-19 because many of their live events were cancelled, but now they’re back in full swing.

“We want to give first of all our residents an opportunity to do something fun to do and of course, in these times something outdoors is always a plus and we’re also trying to attract new people to our community to see all the great things going on here,” Iftner said.

Reap and Sow is a shop around the square. Owner Kacie Lipcaman said events like this are important because they bring new people to town and into their shop.

“Last year was tough with COVID,” she said. “I think we all struggled but just living in a small community and having events like this just kept us all afloat.”

Iftner said events like this bring people back to Pittsfield and boosts the local economy.

Schumann said she’d like to see more events like this.

“I think it’s also majorly important because they need us now more than ever,” Schumann said.

Iftner said the festival will run until the end of December. She said the next event your family can look forward to is a breakfast with Santa on December 10 hosted by the Courtyard Café.

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