Walnut Grove Farm, a National Historic Register farmstead, is hosting its 31st annual “Christmas at Walnut Grove Farm.” Featuring gifts from regional artisans, wreaths, simmering foods and family fun, the event has become an established tradition during Thanksgiving weekend. Walnut Grove Farm is located ½ mile north of Knoxville, Illinois on Carr Street, and will be open 10 AM to 4 PM on Friday and Saturday, November 25 and 26thth; and 11 AM to 3 PM on Sunday November 27th. Admission is generous gift of food items for local charity Christmas baskets.
Walnut Grove Farm has showcased fine artistic talent from people who are some of the most creative business entrepreneurs of West Central Illinois. At this juried show, artisans will be offering a diverse range of hand-made items from pottery to pickles, artisan soap, photography, folk art and jewelry to weaving, wood carving; hand-felted and crocheted wearable art and stained glass. Raven & Birch, “221 Bee”, Malley Farms, and The Beehive add special interest for shoppers looking for locally produced food gift items like breads & candies, honey products, jams, jellies, and hot drinks. The café will serve a hearty lunch and desserts by Next to the Salt.
Galesburg native, Carolyn Hawes, is this year’s featured artist. Always known for her adventures, in 2016 Carolyn sold everything that didn’t fit in her car and headed west to accept a job offer on the Island of Kodiak Alaska, home of 6,000 people and 10,000 of the world’s largest subspecies of bear. In her first dark winter there, Hawes started Cyn Elizabeth Studios, that started as an outlet for sea glass creations and has since expanded into wildlife photography, stained glass, tanning fish skins into leather, paper making and anything else that catches her attention. Once called a “creative powerhouse” by Alaska’s largest news outlet, Carolyn has also had her photography published by several major publications and has twice placed in the top 10 in Alaska Magazine’s photo of the year. In 2021, Carolyn Hawes returned to Galesburg to be closer to family and expand her small business.
Warm food, festive music and meeting the artists are a staple at Walnut Grove Farm. Chat with Old World Saint Nicholas who will arrive daily at 11 AM and photo sessions Friday. Families can kick-off the holiday season by selecting natural designer wreaths and greens to “deck the halls” and making a tree ornament to take home.
“Christmas at Walnut Grove Farm is truly a holiday homecoming. Extended family celebrations have grown to include a visit to this barn festival. Coupled with meaningful gift-giving and opportunities to support superb local artisans while sharing food gifts with those in need, the barn is always about celebrating quality and our community. Come see us!” states farm host, Jan King. Visit https://www.walnutgrovefarm.com/christmas for details or call (309) 289-4770.