Summer 2015 is just around the corner and local businesses kicked off the much-anticipated summer tourist season in the Riverbend.
Hosted by Argosy Casino and emceed by Derrick Keith of WIL 92.3, a crowd of more than 200 representatives from area businesses and attractions were on hand May 6 to showcase what they have to offer for family summer fun. Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau and Argosy Casino provided a luncheon during the presentation for guests and presenters.
The mascot for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a remote-controlled pelican named Fisher, roamed the stage with announcements before handing the microphone over to Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau President Brett Stawar.
Stawar announced the launch of #ExploreGreatRivers campaign. Businesses will be sent a hashtag decal to place on their doors or windows. Anyone can take a photo, share and post with the hashtag on social media or scan the QR code on the shop’s decal to have their pictures posted to the region’s official travel site.
Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau showcased a new family-centered vacation promotion, Kid’Cation, to give families a local vacation option. The Kid’Cation event will be held from July 31 through Aug. 9.
“We know parents often wait almost too late to plan a last-minute getaway,” Stawar said. “Kid’Cation is a way we can offer a competitive slate of events, specials, activities and giveaways for families looking for an affordable end-of-summer vacation. The support for Kid’Cation throughout our region has been phenomenal.”
Regional activities include concerts at the Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater featuring the Alton Muny Band, Pirate Cruises on the Hakuna Matata Riverboat in Grafton, free children’s admission to Raging Rivers Water Park, tours of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam and other activities sponsored by businesses and attractions. Restaurants and hotels also are offering Kid’Cation specials. Amtrak also will offer a round-trip ticket price for children traveling with parents from St. Louis to Alton.
The third annual AllStar Restaurant Week is offered by 17 Greater Alton restaurants from July 10 through July 19. Along with special prices, diners 21 and older can bring their restaurant receipt to the Alton Visitors Center to receive a free St. Louis Cardinals Budweiser pilsner glass.
Rally presenters included:
• Pere Marquette Lodge, celebrating their 75th anniversary in 2015
• Grafton Winery, building an Eckert’s addition
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Meeting of the Rivers Foundation
• Argosy Casino, announcing their Christmas in July promotion
• Alton Little Theater, performing a cabaret dinner show, Spirit of Peoria, Aug. 26.
• Raging Rivers Water Park
• Great Godfrey Corn Maze
• Family Fishing Fair in June at Pere Marquette Park
• Grafton Zipline
• Captain Andy’s Parasailing and Grafton Harbor
• Lewis and Clark Community College Signature Gardens and Garden of Eatin’
• Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and Confluence Tower
• Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheatre Summer Concert Services: Allison Kraus, Dwight Yoakam and Lynyrd Skynyrd
• The Nature Institute and the Audubon Center at Riverlands
• Sports All Around Alton
• Haunted Alton