There are several local festivals and community events throughout the region that attract visitors from the immediate areas and for miles beyond. Carterville annually hosts the Southern Illinois Earth Science Gem and Mineral Show and, in conjunction with John A. Logan College, sponsors the National Hunting and Fishing Days Celebration. On each Memorial Day weekend, Herrin swells to three times its population during the five days of Herrinfesta Italiana. Marion annually hosts the Williamson County Fair, the longest continually running county fair in the state. Carbondale is the brightest place in the area when the Lights Fantastic Parade is held each December.
Shopping can be a full-time occupation in Williamson County and southern Illinois. The downtown areas in Carterville, Herrin, Johnston City and Marion, although not what they were a generation ago, retain viable retail establishments that appeal to niche shoppers. Marion's Illinois Centre Mallis one of the area's two regional malls, along with University Mall in Carbondale. These two facilities are home to dozens of national and regional retailers as well as scores of specialty shops and eateries.Restaurants and lodging facilities abound in the area and range from fine dining to fast food options. Many national chains are located at or near the intersections of major highways in the county and in the shopping malls. Local favorites can be found in every community, no matter what the size of the town. Click on one of the Williamson County communities listed below for restaurants, lodging facilities and other information about attractions located within that community.
For information about other entertainment opportunities in the area, click on Williamson County Tourism Bureau.