WOOD RIVER - The year ended on a great note for the City of Wood River. After a very busy summer we moved to the fall months and holiday times with enthusiasm and expectation of an exciting new year and to carry the momentum of growth and improvements throughout our community.

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Wood River Mayor Tom StalcupBelow is a rundown on some of the great events from the past Fall & Winter. We would like to thank all of the volunteers that make these events a success.

On October 7, the Annual Food Truck Festival was held at Central Park. Thank you to the Enrichment Network for all their work on a great event that was enjoyed by all.

October 18, The Child Advocacy Center, (located in the old WR Hospital Building) celebrated 20 years of service to child victims of abuse and their families. City officials attended the anniversary ribbon cutting.

October 19, a Job Fair was held at the Roundhouse for the new Rec Center. Park and Rec. Director Jason Woody said the turnout was great and he wanted to thank all who participated to help fill the new positions at the Rec Center.

October 21, The Wood River Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by the Wood River Business Alliance, was held downtown. It was a great competition with great chili and fun was had by all. The Pump House was awarded the Grand Champion for the second year in a row.

October 22, The Daughters of the American Revolution held a headstone dedication. Two headstones were dedicated. Thank you to the DAR for all their work and dedication to keep this historic, sacred part of our history relevant and up to date.

October 23, Downtown Trick or Treat filled Ferguson Avenue with ghouls and goblins. All kinds of costumes filled the street and all had a good time. Thank you to all the Downtown Businesses for handing out treats to our children in a safe and friendly environment.

October 25-30, Camp DuBois held their annual Rendezvous. Re-enactors spent the week living and re-enacting times from the Revolutionary War period.

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On October 26 we honored Officer Tyler Timmins with the dedication of Tyler Timmins Drive. Officer Tyler Timmins was killed in the line of duty while working for the Pontoon Beach Police Department. Tyler was born and raised in Wood River and started his law enforcement career in Wood River.

October 28, The 38th Annual Halloween Parade was held. Long-time community partners Bob and Mae Kasten were parade marshals. Some say this was the best parade ever. Thank you to the Fire Department for their hard work every year coordinating this great event for our community.

November 9, The City of Wood River received the Outstanding Community Partner Award from Heartland Conservancy. Congratulations to City Manager Steve Palen, the Department Heads and city employees for this very worthy award.

November 11, Veterans Day held at the East Alton Wood River High School gym. Quilts of Valor presented hand-made quilts to over 20 military veterans. Special thanks goes out to Mary Roberts and her committee for the honor given to our veterans.

November 24, Holiday Traditions Night Market, this first-time event was highlighted by the lighting of the Downtown Christmas Tree. Special thank you to the Wood River Fire Department for helping get Santa and his Elves Downtown, his sleigh was in the shop and needed a ride and they were happy to help. Santa took the kids' wish lists and passed out candy. There were Horse-drawn Carriage rides, S'mores around the fire, Hot Cocoa and egg nog, and over 30 night market vendors. Thank you to all who supported this event and also a BIG thank you to the Wood River Business Alliance for making this new holiday tradition very successful! They are looking forward to an even bigger event next year.

November 25th, the Wood River Police Association hosted Santa Downtown at Sweet Tooth Candy shop during Small Business Saturday. Many of the Wood River businesses had specials during the day to celebrate Small Business. Small business is the heartbeat of our community and we appreciate all that they do. Please be sure to shop local.

December 9, Breakfast with Santa at the Roundhouse was another festive event. Not only getting a great pancake breakfast from Midwest Members Credit Union, thank you Lou and crew at Midwest Members for supporting this great event in our community.

Wood River continues to grow and new businesses are opening almost monthly. In December we cut the ribbon for 2 grand openings.

Dec. 2 - Cheesecake Lady

Dec. 15 - Atomic Pinball

"I hope that you had a safe and happy holiday season," Stalcup said. "We look forward to a very successful 2024. Thank you to all City Department Heads and their employees for all that you do for the citizens of our city."