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On Friday, Nov. 19 Alton Main Street held their annual tree lighting event that set the town abuzz with the holiday spirit. The 27th Annual Community Tree Lighting was held at Lincoln-Douglas Square. It began with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on the trolley at 6:00 p.m. The free festivities included caroling, cookies and hot cocoa was served until 6:45 when Mayor David Goins flipped the lights on the beautiful tree, which is provided by the Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club.
Songs filled the air throughout the evening provided by area Girl Scout Troops, and the Great Rivers Choral Society. Reverend Sheila Goins of the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church was there to bless the tree. Other speakers include Rotary Club President Steve Schwartz, and Salvation Army Captain Cassy Grey, who will be kicking off the “Tree of Lights” campaign with 2021 Chairpeople Taylor and Lily Freer. The MC for this community event was Chris Miller, Vice President of Alton Main Street.
Visitors had a chance to see the Salvation Army’s Big Red Kettle during the event, and the public is encouraged to help the less fortunate by bringing non-perishable food donations to the event to benefit the food pantry at the Salvation Army. The items will be constructed into a giant “Castle of Cans” at the foot of the Lincoln and Douglas statues during the event. Families are also welcome to create holiday crafts during the event with the Madison County Child Advocacy Center.
Families had the chance to enjoy the free trolley transportation provided between Lincoln-Douglas Square and the Riverbender.com Community Center, located at 200 W. 3rd Street.
Free horse and carriage rides were offered departing from the corner of 3rd and Belle Streets. Families had a chance to enter a drawing to ride in the carriage with Santa from the Square to the Community Center by posting their favorite photo from a prior Tree Lighting.Following the Tree Lighting, the public is invited to the Community Center’s Holiday Open House to play games, make crafts, visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus and warm up with refreshments indoors until 10:00 p.m. Don’t miss the Great $25,000 Toy Giveaway sponsored by Riverbender.com and Hit-n-Run Food Stores which will take place at the Riverbender.com Community Center’s Open House; every child who attends will be given a toy.
Alton Main Street would like to thank the following sponsors who have made this event possible: Illinois American Water, Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery, Alton Memorial Hospital, CNB Bank & Trust, 1st Mid-America Credit Union, Poputopia Gourmet Popcorn and Sweets, Picture This & More, Sam’s Loans, Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab, Chiro One, The Salvation Army, Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club, Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau, OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center, City of Alton, Riverbender.com, The Telegraph, WBGZ Radio and AdVantage.