ALTON — Alton Main Street will host an event Friday, Nov. 21, to kindle the holiday spirit.
The 20th annual Tree Lighting at Lincoln-Douglas Square will begin with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on the trolley at 6 p.m. The 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 Girl Scouts will fill the air throughout the evening, as well as the Main Street United Methodist Youth Choir. Father David Boase, retired rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Parish of Alton, will bless the tree. Other speakers include Rotary Club 2014 President John Hopkins and Salvation Army Lts. Bryan and Teri Ellison, who will kick off the red kettle Tree of Lights campaign.
The public is encouraged to help the less fortunate by bringing canned food donations to the event, which will be constructed into a giant “Castle of Cans” to benefit the food pantry at the Salvation Army. Residents also can drop off non-perishable food donations in advance into 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. 20.
Between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., free trolley transportation will be provided between Lincoln-Douglas Square and the Riverbender.com Community Center at 200 W. Third St. Following the tree lighting, the public is invited to the Community 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 enjoy the activities while patronizing downtown merchants for their holiday shopping. Outdoor holiday decorations are provided by Alton Main Street and installed by their team of volunteers. More information is available at www.DowntownAlton.com.
Alton Main Street would like to thank Chairpeople Stacey Noble Loveland and Sue Mueller, as well as the following sponsors who have made this event possible: Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club, the Salvation Army, Riverbender.com, The Telegraph, WBGZ Radio, AdVantage News, Argosy Casino, Saint Anthony’s Hospital, Alton Memorial Hospital, Mungenast Alton Toyota, Scott Credit Union, Roberts Motors, Phillips 66, Alton Rehab and Nursing Center, Liberty Bank, Carrollton Bank, Robert “Bob” Sanders Waste System, Sheppard, Morgan and Schwaab, Crown Vision Center, CNB Bank and Trust, King Law Firm, Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation and Paul Lauschke and Associates.