Alton has been designated one of six official Illinois Gateway Communities in the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.
An official announcement of the designation will be made at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Alton City Hall, 101 E. Third St., Alton.
Officials from the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition – the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area will join Alton Mayor Brant Walker and Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau President/CEO Brett Stawar for the announcement.
Statewide, the Gateway Communities include: Bloomington-Normal, Quincy, Danville, Springfield and Charleston. In each of the Gateways, visitors to the Heritage Area will find a visitor friendly place to get information about what to do, where to stay and places to see.
From the Gateway Communities, travelers are encouraged to explore the Heritage Area and other nearby communities.
“It is appropriate for Alton to be named a Gateway Area,” Stawar said. “With our historic ties to Abraham Lincoln we are uniquely positioned to continue to share the Lincoln legacy with visitors across the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.”
In addition to formally announcing the Gateways, Looking for Lincoln also announced the new Heritage Area highway signage program. In its first phase, 12 new highway signs have been located near the borders of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.
Sarah Watson, executive director of Looking for Lincoln – ALNHA, stated, “These signs are a great step toward continuing to let people know about us. The ALNHA is a tremendous travel destination with an important story to share – the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.”
Designed by the Illinois Department of Transportation, the signs are similar to those scattered throughout the U.S. denoting National Forests and National Parks. Located along both state and federal highways, the signs outline the boundaries of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area to let travelers know they have entered a federally designated heritage area. The signs are the culmination of a two-year effort between Looking for Lincoln and IDOT.
Watson added: “Now, when visitors travel on our highways entering the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, they’ll know they are in the midst of an area that is identified as being significant to the history and heritage of our country. It reminds both our visitors and our residents that this 42-county region represents an important chapter in our national story.”
For more information about the Looking for Lincoln and the National Heritage Area, visit www.lookingforlincoln.com.
— From the Illinois Business Journal