Downtown Galesburg 
Saturday, December 11th

Galesburg Express is a Polar Express themed holiday festival in historic Galesburg, IL. This annual event celebrates our heritage as well as the season and delights people of all ages! The festival features live performances by local performers in song and dance, as well as a special screening of The Polar Express at The Orpheum Theatre. Plus, there are free carriage rides, kids crafts, a holiday market, and much, much more.



December 11th, 2021

Downtown Galesburg

YMCA Jingle Jog

7:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Downtown Galesburg YMCA

200 E. Main St.

Put on your holiday gear and join us for this awesome event! There will be a 2-mile course that will start and end at the Downtown YMCA. Be sure to stick around afterward to enjoy refreshments and some holiday cheer!

Discovery Depot

8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

128 S. Chambers St.

Breakfast with Santa

8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Fuel up with delicious food, provided by Hy-Vee, for a fun-filled day with Santa Claus! Bring your Santa letters, play, and pose for pictures with him. Tickets available at Discovery Depot for $15.

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Create a keepsake craft inspired by The Polar Express! Free with admission.

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Take a ride on a mini gypsy horse! Capture a photo and pet the pony, thanks to Bellbottom Farm. This event is free with admission, but a donation is suggested when getting your picture taken on the horse and will take place in Discovery Depot parking lot.

Polar Express Station

9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Galesburg Public Library

40 E. Simmons St.

9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

-Green Screen Polar Express photo-op

-Holiday Music with Makey Makey

-Letters to Santa

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

-Teen Advisory Board Cheer Station

-Cocoa & Christmas Cards

Kids Create while Guardians Gift Shop!

*At participating small businesses:

*Art Defined

306B E. Simmons Street

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (While supplies last!)

Ornament Painting! Pick and paint an ornament of your choosing and take it home with you. Free for kids!

*KWB Paints on Main

228 E. Main Street

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (While supplies last!)

Put together and paint a sled, crafted just for you, by you! Free for kids.

*Nutrition On Main

215 E. Main Street

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (While supplies last!)

Make some reindeer food to feed Rudolph and friends! Free for kids.

*Personally Yours Creations

223 E. Main Street

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (While supplies last!)

Make and take a personally designed ornament to hang on your tree! Free for kids.

*Wordsmith Bookshoppe

235 E. Main Street

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

At the top of every hour, sit down and listen to the classic story, The Night Before Christmas. At the bottom of the hour, listen to The Polar Express as it is read to you. In between, a special holiday book will read aloud. Free for kids.

Holiday Market

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The Vault at Reserve Artisan Ales

185 S. Kellogg St.

A curated show for handmade crafts, artsy treats, boutique items, and wholesome eats. Do your last minute holiday shopping in brand new, downtown location. 

1:00 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.

Be entertained by selections from The Nutcracker as it is performed by the students of Dancers Studio of Monmouth. 

Sneak Peek Performance - Broadway Christmas Cabaret

11:00 - 11:15 a.m. | 1:00 - 1:15 p.m. | 3:00 - 3:15 p.m.

Prairie Players Civic Theatre

160 S. Seminary Street

Watch and listen to local Prairie Players Civic Theatre talent perform excerpts from Broadway Christmas Cabaret!

Carriage Rides

11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Pickup Point: The Orpheum Theatre

57 S. Kellogg St.

Take in the sites and sounds of downtown Galesburg with a leisurely ride in a horse and carriage. Rides are free, but tips are appreciated.

The Polar Express Movie Viewing

2:00 p.m. - Doors open at 1:00 p.m.

The Orpheum Theatre

57 S. Kellogg St.

Join us at The Orpheum Theatre as the classic story of The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is shown on the big screen at 2:00 p.m. This event is free admission and open to the public: bring the kids, your friends, family, and neighbors downtown during the Galesburg Express holiday festival! 

*Special, secret performance taking place after the movie, so don't miss out.*

First 100 kids get a free popcorn, courtesy of U.S. Cellular!

Prize Giveaway

4:00 p.m.

The Orpheum Theatre

57 S. Kellogg St.

The National Railroad Hall of Fame is sponsoring a prize giveaway after the showing of The Polar Express movie.  Prizes include model train sets, toy trains, and Polar Express books and DVDs.  Entry forms will be available on the day of the event at the Orpheum Theater. Must be present to win.

White Christmas Movie Viewing

7:00 p.m. - Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

The Orpheum Theatre

57 S. Kellogg St.

You picked it, so we're watching it! See White Christmas, brighten up the season and screen! Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye will sing and dance across the screen, trying to get the attention of Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen, a sister duo whose outfits shine as bright as their talent. Watch the foursome save a Vermont resort with Christmas cheer, in the classic singalong, shown in color at our nostalgic theater. Free admission and open concessions! 

Broadway Christmas Cabaret

7:30 p.m.

Prairie Players Civic Theatre

160 S. Seminary Street

The Broadway Christmas Cabaret, directed by Rebecca Ann Yowler, is a collection of Christmas songs which originated on Broadway; it includes 10 holiday favorites and includes light narration, all performed by local talent. $15 for adults | $8 for kids.



Galesburg Express is made possible through generous sponsors who donate valuable resources! Thanks to:

  • Blick Art Materials

  • National Railroad Hall of Fame

  • Galesburg Tourism & Visitors Bureau

  • City of Galesburg Parks and Recreation

  • Bates Collision Center

  • Discovery Depot Children's Museum

We also would like to thank all of our participating organizations for helping our event grow!

  • Art Defined

  • Downtown Community Partnership

  • Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Galesburg Community Arts Center

  • Galesburg Hy-Vee

  • Galesburg Public Library

  • Knox County CEO

  • Knox County YMCA

  • KWB Paints on Main

  • Nutrition on Main

  • The Orpheum Theatre

  • Personally Yours Creations

  • Prairie Players Civic Theater

  • The Vault at Reserve Artisan Ales

  • Seminary Street Historic Commercial District

  • U.S. Cellular

  • Wordsmith Bookshoppe



Get in touch for additional information or if you have any questions regarding Galesburg Express.

Galesburg, IL 61401, USA


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