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Downtown Alton’s 29th annual Tree Lighting is Friday, Nov. 17

(Photo courtesy Alton Main Street)


On Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, Alton Main Street will host an event that’s designed to kick off the spirit of the holiday season.

The 29th annual community Tree Lighting at Lincoln-Douglas Square in Alton will begin with the arrival of Santa Claus on the trolley at 6 p.m.

Free festivities including caroling, cookies and hot cocoa will continue until 6:45 p.m. when Alton Mayor David Goins flips the lights on the beautiful tree provided by the Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club. Families are encouraged to bring their cameras to take pictures with Santa and costumed holiday characters.

Songs will fill the air throughout the evening provided by area Girl Scout Troops, the Salvation Army’s “Let the Music Begin” singing group and the Great Rivers Choral Society. Pastor Patrick Thatcher of Country Bible Church will bless the tree, and other speakers include Alton Main Street President Stephanie Schrage, Rotary Club President Jim Claywell, and Salvation Army Captain Cassy Grey, who will be kicking off the “Tree of Lights” campaign with 2022 Co-chairs Mike and Karen Roberts.

Visitors can check out the Salvation Army’s Big Red Kettle as well as a bounce house, and the public is encouraged to help the less fortunate by bringing non-perishable food donations to benefit the food pantry at the Salvation Army. The items will be constructed into a giant “Castle of Cans” at the foot of the Lincoln and Douglas statues during the event.

Between the hours of 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., free trolley transportation will be provided between Lincoln-Douglas Square and the corner of 3rd and Belle Streets.

The public is encouraged to make a night of it and enjoy the fun activities in the district while patronizing the downtown merchants and restaurants for their holiday shopping and dining.

You can find more information on the many ways that Alton Main Street is working to promote and advance the historic district, as well as ways to get involved at

Alton Main Street would like to thank the following sponsors who have made this event possible: the City of Alton, Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau, Chiro One Wellness Centers, Simmons Hanly Conroy, 1st Mid-America Credit Union, AltonWorks, Imperial Manufacturing, Sam’s Pawn Shop, Altonized Community Federal Credit Union, The Salvation Army, Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club, OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center, Roberts Motors, Andy’s Auto Body,, WBGZ Radio, The Telegraph and the AdVantage.

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