ALTON | A meeting for Christmas Wonderland volunteers is set for 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, at the Rock Spring Park entrance, 2100 College Ave.
The park’s holiday transformation will begin Monday, Sept. 12, but new volunteers are needed to help put together the displays.
The Grandpa Gang, which coordinates the annual event, is looking for volunteers to work from 8 a.m. to noon three to five days a week Monday through Friday to help with tasks like setting up wooden displays and hanging lights. Restaurants band together to provide lunch later in the volunteer season.
“The Grandpas we have are getting older and we really need more help to make this display possible,” said Al Cowgill, head grandpa for the Grandpa Gang. “If people do not show up, we will not be able to do this any longer for our community.”
The Grandpa Gang, a group of retirees and volunteers, organizes and designs a Christmas spectacular of cascading lights, tunnels and displays each year. The park sparkles against the night sky with 3 million glistening lights, all hung by volunteers and the “gang.” Visitors and families can turn off their headlights and let the holiday displays carry them through the magical scene. Even a few of Alton’s historical figures visit, including displays of Robert Wadlow, the World’s Tallest Man, placing the star on the Christmas tree and the legendary Piasa Bird carrying a bag of gifts for the kids.
All proceeds from the attraction’s seasonal revenue is returned to the community in the form of donations to charities.
For information, call the Alton Visitor Center at (618) 465-6676.