The 21st annual Community Tree Lighting will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on the trolley.
ALTON — Alton Main Street will host the 21st annual Community Tree Lighting at Lincoln-Douglas Square Friday, Nov. 20.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on the trolley. Free festivities, including caroling, candy, cookies and hot cocoa, will continue until 6:45 p.m., when Mayor Brant Walker flips the lights on the tree, provided by the Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club. Families are encouraged to bring their cameras to take pictures with Santa and costumed holiday characters.
Carols, provided by area Girl Scouts, will fill the air throughout the evening, and Pastor Mike Adams of Lifehouse Church will bless the tree. Other speakers include Rotary Club 2015 President Liz Parker and Salvation Army Lts. Bryan and Teri Ellison, who along with Chair-Family Kevin, Julie, Kathleen, Jonathan & KJ Botterbush, will kick off the red kettle Tree of Lights campaign.
The public is encouraged to help the less fortunate by bringing canned food donations, which will be constructed into a giant Castle of Cans to benefit the Salvation Army food pantry. Residents also can drop off non-perishable food donations in advance at collection boxes in the lobbies of Alton City Hall, the Alton Police Department, or either of the Alton fire stations any time before 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19.
Between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., free trolley transportation will be provided between Lincoln-Douglas Square and the Riverbender.com Community Center, 200 W. Third St. Following the tree-lighting, the public is invited to the center’s holiday open house to play games, do crafts, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and warm up with refreshments indoors until 10 p.m.
The public is encouraged to make a night of it and enjoy the activities in the district while patronizing downtown merchants for holiday shopping. The public can find more information on ways Alton Main Street is working to promote and improve the historic district, as well as ways to get involved, at www.DowntownAlton.com.
Alton Main Street would like to thank the following sponsors who have made this event possible: Riverbender.com, The Telegraph, WBGZ Radio, AdVantage News, Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club, the Salvation Army, Argosy Casino, OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center, Phillips 66, Alton Rehab & Nursing Center, Roberts Motors, Firehouse Bar, Robert “Bob” Sanders Waste System; Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab; Paul Lauschke & Associates, CNB Bank & Trust, Carrollton Bank, Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation, Liberty Bank and Scott Credit Union.