EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a monthly column provided by the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau that discusses tourism events on the horizon.
We’ve ushered into another season of holiday spirit!
With the shopping season in full swing, please remember to shop local this season. Become a part of the #SpendRiverbend campaign that you can post on your social media any time you are out and about enjoying our region’s shops, restaurants and attractions.
With the holiday season upon us, we at the CVB cannot say enough about the cheer Christmas Wonderland spreads all year long. Sure, the smiles and joys of everyone going through Rock Spring Park is a wonderful experience and outcome. However, the funds raised through the park give throughout the year as local nonprofit groups share in the receipts. Last year more than $35,000 went back into our community. Please remember to visit Christmas Wonderland at Rock Spring Park this season and give what you can to help our communities stay strong.
Hold onto your hats because these first few weekends of the month are filled with great holiday events. Don’t forget about the Olde Alton Arts and Craft Show at Alton High School, with proceeds supporting the Alton Band and Orchestra Builders, running through Sunday.
In Grafton, check out the Taste of Chocolate and Holiday Riverwalk this weekend. Or, you will not want to miss the Elsah Home for the Holidays House Tour on Dec. 5. It is simply amazing! Speaking of house tours, check out the Bethalto House Tour this weekend or the Jerseyville House Tour and the Bethalto Victorian Christmas Spirit Walk on Dec. 13. To pay respect to our fallen heroes that served our country, do not miss the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Alton’s National Cemetery at 11 a.m.
Dec. 12. Our list of holiday events almost goes on as long as a child’s list to Santa. Find out all of the other great events and details for these events at www.VisitAlton.com.
The eagle events kick off soon as well; check out our latest eagle guide, counts and more at www.VisitAlton.com/Eagle. Please mark your calendar for the day after New Year’s Day, Sat., Jan. 2, for the Alton Eagle Fest to officially kick off the eagle season. Join us from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Alton Visitor Center for live eagles, trainers, shuttles, free T-shirt passport program, ice carvings, ice cube crush and so much more. We’ve seen a few of our feathered friends already in the region. Begin the season early with a hike this weekend through the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge. From all of us at the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, we wish you a fantastic holiday season! Here’s to a great 2016 and eagle season to start us in the right direction for the new year of tourism and life!
Stawar is president and CEO of the CVB, which works for the vested interests of hospitality partners in northwestern Madison County and all of Jersey and Calhoun counties.