EDITOR’S NOTE: This monthly column, provided by the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, discusses tourism events on the horizon.
All of us at the Alton Regional CVB can hardly believe we are already in mid-October.
For months we talk about the depth of October and its impact on tourism. It is typically the largest tourism revenue generator for the entire year. And this year is lining up to be just that. It is simply amazing to see the vast amount of fall festivals, activities and rush of visitors. This past week I spent some time in downtown Alton and Grafton and the people are buzzing. While we are seeing some color changes at this point, the seven-day forecast still flirts a lot with the 80s. It will be interesting to see how far this season extends.
Still to come, many exciting things await on the horizon, such as the continuation of Vintage Voices, fall color cruises on the Hakuna Matata and the 100th Alton Halloween Parade. If all goes well, the Alton Regional CVB and Alton Little Theater plan to team up to have the spookiest, oookiest and kookiest float around. Let’s just leave it at that! But please come out to be a part of history as Alton celebrates its 100th parade, in the most haunted small town in America to boot.
This past month has been special, as we’ve had a lot of great recognitions to note. The Illinois Made program came to town to showcase and celebrate the makers we have right here. Mississippi Mud Pottery and Old Bakery Beer got the thumbs-up from the state for helping to make this place extremely special. Also, the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area came down to dedicate new highway signs and name Alton as a Gateway Community to the Looking for Lincoln experience in the heritage area. Then, we kicked off the Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail this week, which will provide a great storyline on Godfrey and tie in so eloquently with Alton’s Lincoln and Civil War Legacy Trail. All pretty cool stuff. And there is even more planned next week as Alton hosts the launch of the National Geographic Mississippi River Geotourism project for the entire St. Louis region. Again, this place matters and October has once again shown us how vibrant this place continues to be.
No one really knows for sure when we will reach that fall color peak, but you can stay tuned daily to VisitAlton.com/Fall and we will keep you posted. My hope is that we go into the first weeks of November. Here’s to an extended fall color season that ushers us right into the holidays. Happy fall, y’all!
Stawar is president and CEO of the CVB, which works for the vested interests of hospitality partners in Madison, Jersey and Calhoun counties.