This is a big year for St. Charles. Not only is it the 250th anniversary of the city's founding, it's the 45th anniversary of St. Charles Christmas Traditions
. The streets of historic downtown St. Charles (South Main and Jackson streets, St. Charles; www.stcharleschristmas.com
) will be transformed into a Victorian town straight out of Dickens, complete with its own Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim. Keep your eyes open for the Sugarplum Fairy, some wandering Santas and the happy Italian Christmas witch, La Befana. While you're seeking out these festive friends, you can enjoy shopping, holiday carolers, a fife-and-drum corps and seasonal treats. St. Charles Christmas Traditions opens with a big brouhaha from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, November 29. The fun resumes from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday (November 30 to December 24). Admission is free.