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New podcast highlights O’Fallon and Shiloh communities

A new podcast highlighting businesses and events in the O’Fallon-Shiloh  area has begun, with new episodes released each Friday.

The 618 Now podcast provides a snapshot of what’s happening in the area.

“There is so much going on in our community. But we recognize it can be difficult keeping track of everything,” says podcast co-host, Jessica Lotz.

“Our goal is to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening and pull it all together for you in a weekly podcast. The hope is that on Friday mornings when you are getting ready for work or taking the kids to school, you’ll listen to the new five-minute episode and get an idea of what’s happening around town.”

Four episodes have been released and the feedback is encouraging.

“It’s funny; you do all of this prep work to find content you hope others might appreciate, you record the episode and then cross your fingers that others find it as interesting as you do!” According to Lotz, the most consistent feedback has been that listeners enjoy learning about what new construction projects are happening. “You see earth moving and buildings going up, but there is not always a sign promoting the new development and you’re left wondering what it’ll be once it’s complete. We do the research and share, in detail, about those developments.”

Podcasts download automatically to devices once a listener has subscribed through their favorite podcast service, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn and Google Play. In addition, podcasts contain “show notes” which are in-depth written descriptions that provide links to resources mentioned in each episode. “When we mention an upcoming event, we’ll put a link to either the event flyer or the event Facebook page in the show notes so listeners don’t have to seek out the information on their own. It’s right there in the episode notes,” explains Lotz.

The 618 Now, produced by the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the O’Fallon Weekly, also highlights upcoming events, like fundraisers and socials. Debbie Arell-Martinez, executive director of the Chamber, says this is just the beginning. “Listeners have reached out with ideas they’d like to see us cover. In one recent episode, we joked about having a Bloody Mary mix off between businesses that offer them. After that, a listener suggested we do a bonus episode about underappreciated menu items at local restaurants. Ask restaurants which meals are amazing, but don’t get enough respect and then share those on the podcast.”

Subscribe to The 618 Now wherever you listen to podcasts. Idea for an episode can be emailed to

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