The annual tree lighting at Lincoln-Douglas Square in Alton takes place Friday night. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on the trolley at 6pm, and Alton Alderman Jim Ryan throws the switch for the lights at 6:45. In addition to the regular festivities, snacks and music, a canned food drive will lead to an artistic creation of sorts.

Alton Marketplace and the Weed & Seed Strategy has organized the drive with drop off locations available at several spots around town, according to Alton Park & Recreation's Rhonda Lewis.

Lewis comments

While the food drive officially wraps up today, there is always a need for donations to the various charities, and Lewis thinks late donations would be gladly accepted. The items collected will be transformed into a Castle of Cans which will be on display at the Tree Lighting. The food will then be distributed to local food pantries to be used for the holiday season.