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ALTON - According to organizers, the inaugural Riverbend Wellness Festival is “for the Riverbend and by the Riverbend.”

Scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2024, the festival will include over 30 vendors, 10 keynote speakers and several workshops that promote mental, physical and spiritual wellness. The festival, located at Milton Schoolhouse in Alton, encourages attendees to connect with local resources and learn about ways to take a holistic approach to wellness.

“We really wanted people to be able to come and find their people, find their community,” Beth Ahlin said. “We tried to be as well-rounded as possible with the speakers and the vendors so people could shop and do some self-care that day as well as meet people that could help them on their wellness journey. And we wanted to appeal to everybody. Families, individuals, couples, it doesn’t matter. Everybody’s welcome.”

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Ahlin, who owns CE Ahlin Counseling, organized the festival with Soul Sanctuary owner Stella Webb. Both women have seen similar festivals in other cities, and they wanted to bring the idea to Alton to share with the Riverbend community. All of the vendors and keynote speakers are local, and there will be a raffle with donations from over 30 local businesses.

The festival itself is completely free, but there will be chances to donate to Amare, NFP. Proceeds from the basket raffle and 50/50 raffle will also go to Amare. The organization is based out of Wood River and provides resources and coaching for people in recovery from substance use disorders.

“Amare helps local individuals on their road to recovery,” Webb explained. “We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful community with such big hearts like that.”

In addition to the keynote speakers and vendors, attendees can enjoy several workshops, including sessions on yoga, meditation, ecstatic dance, crafts and more. There will also be a few Kid Zones available. Ahlin and Webb encourage attendees to bring their loved ones to the Riverbend Wellness Festival.

“A lot of times, these types of events, these wellness events are geared toward an individual,” Webb said. “If you’re an individual, come. If you’re a family, bring the whole family. Let’s learn together, as a family, how to embrace overall wellness.”

For more information about the Riverbend Wellness Festival, visit the official Facebook event page.

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