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ALTON - After an absence approaching two decades, the Alton Expo on the riverfront is now in the second year of its second life.

Alton Mayor Brant Walker said this year is even better than 2017, when the Expo returned from its proverbial grave. Walker said more rides were added and each band playing the event is a "headliner to themselves."

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"I'm thrilled this administration was able to bring back the Expo," Walker said. "A lot of people who are my age now have a lot of memories down there, and now they can even take their kids and have a great time."

Thursday, the pit for mud volleyball was being dug for use. Bluff City Grill owner Cathy Gross sponsored the return of that iconic event. She is one of many sponsors Walker thanked for the beloved event's 2017 and 2018 returns. He also thanked Liberty Bank, which sponsors the city's riverfront amphitheater.

"My hat's off to them," he said. "With all of our local business sponsors and partners together, I would have to say this is truly a community event."

After opening at 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday evening, the Expo will continue that trend Friday, before opening at 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. It goes until 11 p.m. each evening, except Sunday, when it ends at 6 p.m.

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