ALTON - The 29th Annual Community Tree Lighting at Lincoln-Douglas Square is a fun event for Riverbend residents, but if you can’t make it out, you can still be a part of the celebration on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.

RiverBender.com has partnered with Big Z Media to stream parts of the tree lighting ceremony. Our Daily Show! host CJ Nasello will team up with Mike Roberts, former KSDK meteorologist, to host the broadcast.

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“It is really the official kickoff of Christmas in this area when the lights on that tree come on. It is maybe the earliest and biggest tree in the area,” Nick Darr, owner of WBGZ Radio, said. He added that he is excited about the collaboration between RiverBender.com and Big Z Media. “It has been a good partnership over the years. We obviously compete on some things, but we have been able to work on a lot of things together.”

The broadcast will start at 6 p.m. when Santa Claus arrives at Lincoln-Douglas Square in downtown Alton. CJ and Mike will stay on the air until after Alton Mayor David Goins flips the switch on the Christmas lights at 6:45 p.m.

For a full schedule of events at Friday night’s tree-lighting ceremony, read this article at RiverBender.com.

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As a Salvation Army board member, Darr is also excited about the Salvation Army Tree of Lights Campaign, which officially kicks off during the tree lighting ceremony. Mike Roberts will serve as a chair of the campaign and will share more about it during his broadcast with CJ.

“We are excited to have Mike and Karen Roberts as our honorary chairs for the Salvation Army bell-ringing campaign,” Darr added. “The Salvation Army is a great organization. This is the time of year where they achieve most of their fundraising. I encourage you to give to the campaign, but if you can’t give, please volunteer to ring bells.”

This year’s tree lighting ceremony is hosted by Alton Main Street, a local nonprofit that aims to revitalize Alton. The tree itself is provided by the Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club, which previously hosted the tree lighting for many years. Darr commended the Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club for all their civic work and said the tree-lighting is just another community event they are involved in for this region.

“The tree lighting is a great event for our community,” Darr said. “The Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club is great behind the scenes and definitely makes the community a better place to live in.”

You can stream the tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. at RiverBender.com/video. RiverBender.com and Big Z Media will also stream the Roxana playoff football game on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023. Read this article on RiverBender.com for more information about how to watch the football game broadcast.

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