ALTON - Calling all Alton High School and Marquette Catholic High School alum! If you graduated in the 1960s or 70s, a downtown block party is the place to be on Sept. 23.

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From 5–10 p.m., former Redbirds and Explorers are invited to Mac’s Downtown on 3rd Street for a night of food, music and catching up with old friends.

“A lot of these people, you think you see them around town all the time but you really don’t,” organizer Dave Wickenhauser said. “I get people all the time who say, ‘I don’t go to my class reunion because I see everybody anyway.’ You don’t. Believe me, you don’t.”

Mac’s Downtown owner Mac Lenhardt has taken on the costs of the space and the band, so the event is completely free for block party attendees. Wickenhauser encourages people to grab dinner at Mac’s and enjoy the restaurant’s food and drinks throughout the night.

Local band Number 4 Combo will take the stage from 6–10 p.m. to play 60s and 70s classics, which Wickenhauser calls “music from our glory days.” He added that while the event is geared toward Alton High School and Marquette Catholic High School grads, they won’t turn away anyone who wants to come by and have a good time.

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“This is supposed to be Alton High and Marquette, but we do get some from Wood River, some from Jerseyville, some from Bethalto, Brighton, because they know people in our class,” he explained.

But this leniency only extends to people who graduated in the 60s and 70s; Wickenhauser draws the line at the 80s. Many of his classmates have children who are 80s grads, and while they love their kids, they don’t want to party with them.

“I don’t want to be there with my kids,” Wickenhauser laughed. “That’s the first thing I thought about. I don’t want my kids to hear any stories about me.”

Sorry, kids. But if you were in high school during Beatlemania or still have a pair of bell-bottoms hidden in your closet, come on out from 5–10 p.m. on Sept. 23. Not only will it be a fun night, but Wickenhauser hopes people will take the chance to reconnect, reminisce and have a great time.

“It’s very important that people show up, and it’ll be well worth your time,” he added. “There’s no cost involved, so if you come for a half hour and you’re bored, go home. But you won’t be, I guarantee it. It’s going to be a good event.”

Photo courtesy of the 1970 Alton High School Tatler.

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