Kentucky Derby Day, Alton, 2022ALTON – The Irish Day Celebration and Kentucky Derby Day Celebration are all days that draw large crowds to Alton and other area business establishments. The St. Pat’s Celebrations and other significant times of the year around Alton are always captivating and the 2023 edition was certainly the same. Included are selections of the best photos submitted from those big days in Alton and again a St. Pat's video.

Three of the most Irish businesses of the group – Johnson’s Corner, Mac’s, and Morrison’s – once again had a lot to celebrate. Several other establishments throughout the area also had big celebrations, including the VFW Post 1308, which had a Poppy Dance for a fundraiser. VFW officials said that evening was dynamite and they will likely make it an annual tradition rather than standing on the street corners seeking donations for poppy sales.

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The three Irish establishments agree that St. Pat’s is one of the biggest days of the year. Each prepared an enormous amount of corned beef and cabbage in their kitchens. A man named Andy Fritz and Johnson’s owner Jimmy Johnson enjoyed themselves on St. Patty’s Day. Andy said it was a beautiful day” and a “beautiful time.” “It is even better hanging out with Jimmie than a Duck Hunt on that day every year,” he said. Jimmie said about 700 pounds of corned beef and cabbage were prepared and it was perfect weather.

Rob Lenhardt at Mac’s said about 700 pounds of the corned beef and cabbage delights were also prepared at their establishment and it was a fun time for all throughout the day.

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The Downtown Alton Pub Crawl was a big success in Alton the weekend prior to St. Pat's Day weekend. Morrison's owner Lisa Morrison described the two weekends for her business as the Irish Christmas and very important to their annual success.

"Everyone enjoyed the corned beef and food specials with the abundance of drinks," she said.

Rob Lenhardt and Mac’s are now starting to think about the big Kentucky Derby Day Celebration on Saturday, May 6. Spring is in the air in the Riverbend region and the Kentucky Derby Day event kicks off the summer season in Downtown Alton.

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