Small-Town Charm in Shullsburg

By Maura Keller | Photo courtesy Advance Schullsburg

The cutout paper snowflakes you taped to the windows as a child. The gingerbread cookies your mom always made for the neighbor down the street. The hand-painted dreidels your grandmother showcased on her mantel. The sing-alongs your children love this time of year.

Holiday traditions reflect and reinforce the things we care about. Traditions give us a sense of belonging and allow us to mark the holiday season in a meaningful and unique way. And one thing that has become a holiday tradition for many Wisconsin families is a visit to Shullsburg during the holiday season.

Shullsburg is in the southeast corner of the state and in close proximity to the Illinois border — and it’s considered to be Wisconsin’s third-oldest community. Teeming with historic sites, quaint buildings and unique venues, Shullsburg also boasts distinct Midwestern charm and natural beauty. Add to that the magical elements of the holiday season, with décor gracing lampposts and twinkling lights highlighting homes and businesses throughout the small town, and you have a perfect holiday getaway. The town’s quaint downtown is filled with beautiful stores, restaurants and AirBnBs.

To truly ring in the holiday spirit and kick off holiday festivities, Shullsburg features the A Bit of Yesteryear event on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, (this year on Nov. 27). A family-friendly event, A Bit of Yesteryear includes shopping; a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and their beloved reindeer; an evening Christmas parade down historic Water Street; Charles Dickens-esque carolers; and, the ultimate end to the event, a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Other activities for visitors of all ages include the Fire Department’s Chili Supper, a scavenger hunt and kids’ activities at the library.

On Dec. 8 from 4-7 p.m., Shullsburg hosts its annual Ladies Night Out, which entails shopping, drinks, dining and living window displays along downtown. Numerous businesses in Shullsburg will stay open late and provide specials or fun activities.

Pop over to the Shullsburg Creamery and watch master cheesemakers create the state’s famous squeaky cheese curds — a great gift for the cheese lovers in your life. For other cheese delicacies and gift ideas, check out Roelli Cheese House on State Highway 11. This fourth- generation artisan cheesemaker offers award-winning cheese, sandwiches and many other provisions for your next holiday soiree.

After a long day exploring all the holiday festivities that Shullsburg has to offer, it’s time to set your sights on food.

When it comes to eateries, Shullsburg boasts a wealth of options for groups of all sizes‚ from “mom-and-pop” pizza joints to upscale venues that offer memorable cuisine. And a stop at the Water Street Market & Café to enjoy an old-fashioned malt will certainly keep you coming back for more.

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

A BIT OF YESTERYEAR

Nov.27

Features shopping, dining, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and their beloved reindeer, an evening Christmas parade on Water Street, carolers and a tree lighting ceremony.

LADIES NIGHT OUT

Dec. 8, 4-7 p.m.

Shopping, drinks, dining and live window displays. Bring a group of friends to catch up and celebrate the season!

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