On Friday, November 22nd Alton Main Street will host an event that’s sure to get you into the holiday spirit. The 19th Annual Tree Lighting at Lincoln-Douglas Square will begin with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on the trolley at 6:00. The free festivities including caroling, candy, cookies and hot cocoa will continue until 6:45 when Mayor Brant Walker flips the lights on our beautiful tree, which is provided by the Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club.

Carols will fill the air throughout the evening provided by many area Girl Scout Troops as well as the Main Street United Methodist Youth Choir. Khleber Van Zandt, Pastor of First Unitarian Church of Alton will bless the tree. Other speakers include Rotary Club 2013 President Gail Weinrich, Salvation Army Lts. Bryan & Teri Ellison who will be kicking off the Big Red Kettle campaign, and Larry & Theresa Franklin Co-Chairs of the “Tree of Lights” campaign.

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The public is encouraged to help the less fortunate by bringing canned food donations to the event, which will be constructed into a giant “Castle of Cans” to benefit the food pantry at the Salvation Army. You can also drop off non-perishable food donations in advance into collection boxes in the lobbies of Alton City Hall, the Alton Police Department, either of the Alton Fire Stations, or Alton’s Park & Recreation / Public Works facility any time before 5pm on Thursday, November 21st.

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From 5:30-7:30, free trolley transportation will be provided between Lincoln-Douglas Square and the Riverbender.com Community Center, located at 200 W. 3rd Street. Families are encouraged to bring their cameras to take pictures with a live reindeer at Lincoln-Douglas Square. Rudolph will lead a procession of costumed holiday characters to 3rd Street after the lighting of the tree. The characters will be stationed in many of the downtown shops & restaurants from 7:00-8:45. Boys and girls who get their passport stamped by all of the holiday characters can enter their name into a drawing for two $25 gift card prizes. The public is invited to the Community Center Open House to do crafts, visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus and warm up with refreshments indoors until 9:00. Passports will need to be turned in at the Community Center by 8:50 for the drawing.

The public is encouraged to make a night of it and enjoy the fun activities in the district while patronizing the downtown merchants for their holiday shopping. Outdoor holiday decorations are provided by Alton Main Street and installed by their team of volunteers. You can find more information on the many ways the organization is working to promote and improve the historic district, as well as ways to get involved on their website: www.DowntownAlton.com.

Alton Main Street would like to thank Chairpeople Stacey Noble Loveland and Sue Mueller, as well as the following sponsors who have made this event possible: Riverbender.com, The Telegraph, WBGZ Radio, Today’s AdVantage, Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club, the City of Alton, Alton Memorial Hospital, Dave Mungenast Toyota, Roberts Motors, King Law Firm, Alton Marina, Paul Lauschke & Associates, Scheffel & Co., Scott Credit Union, Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab Engineers, Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation, Liberty Bank, and American Water.


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