Christmas Wonderland on the Web

Posted On October 14, 2006

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Christmas Wonderland’s annual light display is celebrating its 15th season in Rock Spring Park with a modern promotional tool, its own Web site, www.christmaswonderlandofaltonil.net which is one of several means of promoting the event.

The show, with its 2.5 million lights and colorful displays, will open November 24, the day after Thanksgiving, and run through December 30. Hours will be 6 to 9 p.m. weekdays and 5 to 9 p.m. on weekends. The suggested donation is $7 per car or truck or $1 per person in vehicles carrying 10 or more people. A walk-through, no cars allowed, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, November 27, at a cost of $1 per person.

Some proceeds are given to nonprofit groups. The effort also involves spending money locally on advertising and materials. Carriage rides will return, but in a change from the past, people will have to make reservations ahead of time by calling (618) 458-6986 or e-mailing greattinghorsefarms@yahoo.com.

While Christmas Wonderland will have no new displays this year, the organization had  refurbished some of the colorful cutout displays, including the largest, The 12 Days of Christmas. The Alton Public Works Department soon will blacktop 300 more feet of road in the park, most at the expense of the organization.

To delight children, five “bearded ones” are lined up to hear their wishes in the Santa Claus house, where youngsters also will be able to obtain food to hand out to the animals in the petting zoo.

Organizations and churches have filled slots for people to help out during the display, such as directing vehicles through the park, except for six days. To volunteer, call (618) 462-1949. People also can volunteer to decorate trees in the “enchanted forest,” donated by Anderson Tree Farm, by calling (618) 251-4073.

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