Christmas

St. Charles Christmas Traditions

When: Fri., Nov. 25, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sundays, 12-5 p.m., Saturdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Wednesdays, Fridays, 6-9 p.m. Continues through Dec. 24 2016

How many Santas is too many? Because St. Charles Christmas Traditions has enough Santas to field a couple of basketball teams. The familiar St. Nicholas and Kris Kringle patrol the streets of historic downtown St. Charles (South Main Street and Jackson Street, St. Charles; www.historicstcharles.com), and so do the lesser-known Frontier Santa and Civil War Santa. When you throw in Santa's assorted helpers — Germany's Knecht Ruprecht, who accompanies St. Nicholas; Snegurochka, Russia's Snow Maiden; Le Befana, the Italian woman who preceded Santa with small gifts — and you could make a basketball league. More than 50 holiday figures from around the world are part of St. Charles Christmas Traditions, and each of them has a trading card you can collect. There are even special "bonus cards" for Christmas baddies such as the Krampus, the Ice Queen and Dwight Schrute's favorite, Belsnickel. While you're seeking out these festive friends, you can enjoy shopping, holiday carolers, a fife-and-drum corps and season treats. St. Charles Christmas Traditions opens with a big brouhaha from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, November 25. The fun resumes from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday (November 26 to December 24). Admission is free.

Paul Friswold

Price: free admission