The 18th annual Tree Lighting at Lincoln Douglas Square in downtown Alton is tonight.   Alton Main Street is the host of the event that will begin at the square, then continue to West Third Street featuring music, snacks, Santa, a live reindeer, and other holiday season characters.  The event begins at 6pm with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus and the tree lighting around 6:45.

Main Street United Methodist Church Youth Choir, along with some local Girl Scout Troops, will provide musical entertainment.  The Alton Salvation Army, which will kick off its tree of lights campaign, will bring along free cookies and hot chocolate for all, and visitors are encouraged to bring their cameras to get a free picture with Santa.  Alton Main Street Executive Director Sara McGibany says there are actually two parts to the night:


McGibany comment

A community-wide canned food drive will also wrap up, and donations may be dropped off at the base of the statues where a large Castle of Cans will be constructed.  Free trolley service will be available from 5:30 to 7:30pm between Lincoln Douglas Square and the Riverbender Community Center where they will have a free open house from 7-9pm.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/