Urban sidewalks, busy sidewalks, holiday outfits
The store feels like Christmas
“Silver Bell” where children laugh, people pass by, and meet smiles
Talk about the spirit of Christmas. Beginning with the festive Illuminations Holiday Parade that drew thousands to downtown O’Fallon, continuing the camaraderie of the community throughout December, downtown O’Fallon’s District merchants and the O’Fallon Shiloh Chamber of Commerce celebrate the most glorious time of the year. is welcoming
Small Business Saturday, November 25, continued for a month, fueled by the O’Fallon Shiloh Chamber of Commerce incentives “Tinsel Around Town” and “It Pays to Buy Local” campaigns.
“Many of the district’s merchants set record Saturday sales for their small businesses,” said Jon Greenstreet, owner of Bike Surgeon and member of the Association of Merchants. “It was great to see our customers take an interest in their local area.”
The biggest day downtown was Saturday, December 10th, with the hustle and bustle of the Winter Market at O’Fallon Station, plus the Tinsel Around Town promotion at the Chamber of Commerce, the Kids’ Craft Market at VFW Post 805, and the O’Fallon Public Library. A presentation was made. Story time and holiday cheer on the caboose.
Andrew Darner, director of O’Fallon Parks and Recreation, which oversees O’Fallon station, called the turnout “staggering.” He said the cars were parked in he five blocks in either direction.
“Winter Market was awesome! Biggest market crowd ever,” said Greenstreet.
It Pays to Buy Local Campaign
In its second year, the Chamber of Commerce ran a “Buy Local It’s Expensive” campaign. It tracked which companies brought in the most dollars and submitted the most receipts.
“We blew about $35,000 in total last year, with 96 more receipts submitted,” said Debbie Arell-Martinez, director of the Chamber of Commerce, who wanted to thank participating businesses and communities. I’m here.
22 days of shopping days from November 21st to December. 19. If he purchases anything for at least $10 at a participating local business, uploading a photo of the receipt and filling in his contact information will entitle him to one prize draw for every $10. increase. There was no limit to the number of receipts people could submit. Tinsel Around Town and he individual received double her points for receipts of items purchased at her market on December 10th.
Participating companies include 1st Street Lounge, Art Gecko Creative Studio, Bike Surgeon, Birch Market, Boarding House Bistro, Furchild, Juice Heal Thrive, Nitro Family Foods, Refinery Salon, Sanctuary Salon, Steven Mueller Florist, Sweet Katie Bee’s Bakery & Café. , and all Vine Street Winter Market vendors.
A total of 595 receipts were submitted, with Furchild leading with 190, Bike Surgeon with 173, Refinery Salon with 58, Steven Mueller Florist with 34, and Nitro Salsa with 22.
Sales totaling $103,817 were submitted to receipts, with Bike Surgeon in 1st, Refinery Salon in 2nd, Furchild in 3rd, Stephen Muller Florist in 4th, and Nitro Salsa in 5th.
Some downtown merchants participated in the second annual Christmas Carol Pub Crawl. The event featured prizes in the Ugly Sweater Contest and Team Singing Christmas Carol Contest on December 17th.
On December 19th, the conference room closed out the Snowman Selfie contest, with the winners being Brightly Senior Living of Glen Carbon for the most creative and Redbird Pediatrics of O’Fallon for the most selfies taken. Exhibition of JP Frost. The raffle winner won a total of $600.
Launched several years ago, the popular Snowman Selfie Challenge allows you to upload a selfie from participating companies to the #snowmanselfiechallenge Facebook page for a chance to win prizes of $500, $250, $125, $75 and $50. I applied for
“I’ve had a great time this past month watching selfies and receipts roll in,” says Arler Martinez.
bring back tradition
Police Lodge 198’s O’Fallon Fraternal Order made Christmas a little bit easier for 44 children by offering toys, clothing and gift shopping at the 22nd Annual O’Fallon Cops & Kids Program on December 4th. I made it brighter.
The season kicks off with the Illuminations Holiday Parade, which was moved from Saturday to Sunday, November 27th due to inclement weather. After this valuable community tradition has taken place, the community gathers on Vine Street from the Bike Surgeon to O’Fallon Station for free hot chocolate, popcorn, cookies, cider, decorations, coloring books, letters to Santa and character greetings. had.
“You showed up to thousands of people…and shared your spirit and love with us. I hope this tradition continues for years to come — grow and min Through sharing and loving each other.I love this town and I love this parade.Thank you for joining us every year and supporting us…this is really done by a small crew of about 15 people. , we love every minute!” wrote chairman Beth Ortega on the event’s Facebook page.
O’Fallon’s Mayor Herb Roach noted the success of the downtown vacation activities.
“They had a very good season. People enjoyed coming downtown and participating in all the activities,” he said at the December 19 city council meeting.
Now in its fourth season, O’Fallon Station is a thriving event hub that became the focal point of the Destination O’Fallon economic development initiative approved in 2016. Coordinated activities to draw people there.
Lease Across America
The O’Fallon Rotary Club’s annual Wreath Across Across, now in its sixth year, has been a “complete success,” said retired Air Force Colonel John “Woody” Almind, who coordinates the club’s projects. He works on programs throughout the year to help clubs raise funds and recruit volunteers to support their missions.
This year, similar programs were held nationwide on Saturday, December 17th. This is a national event honoring those who have served their country and is held on the third Saturday in December.
“The mission of Wreaths Across America is to 1.) remember the fallen, 2.) honor those who serve and their families, and 3.) teach children the value of freedom,” said Almind. “With that in mind, the ceremony is an ‘educational’ ceremony that teaches young people to honor veterans. It teaches the importance of things like the tap and the 21 salute. ”
The Rotary Club of O’Fallon purchased 792 wreaths and placed them in three O’Fallon cemeteries and three Shiloh cemeteries.
- O’Fallon City Cemetery, 601 N Oak St. (340 Garland).
- Keppler’s Cemetery aka St. Joseph Burial Association, 701 O’Fallon-Troy Road (just north of O’Fallon) near Lebanon (20 wreaths).
- Rock Spring Cemetery, 40 Commerce Drive, Lebanon (near cement factory) (5 wreaths).
- 4060 Lebanon Avenue (Shiloh Village) near Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery (St. Clair Cemetery) (310 Wreath).
- Shiloh Cemetery, near 210 S Main St., opposite Shiloh First United Methodist Church (93 wreaths)
- Engelmann Cemetery, off Shiloh Station Road (Five Wreaths).
“We had the largest attendance ever,” says Almind. “Twenty-three Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts participated, a record number.
The O’Fallon Township High School Interact Club distributed the program.
O’Fallon Rotarian Bob Kaufman hosted this year’s event. OTHS senior Olivia White sang the national anthem, while Cub Scout Pack 47, led by Scoutmaster Ryan Sommer, took the Pledge of Allegiance. Taps was played by Nathaniel Boston and Bryce Mikos of the OTHS Marching His Panthers.
Wreath layers included Boy and Girl Scouts, OTHS AFJROTC Cadet, OTHS Interact Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, Looking Glass Prairie Chapter (Kim Dalrymple) and Belleville Chapter (Brandy Warner and Paula Lee). I was.
Almind said next year’s Wreaths Across America ceremony is on December 16th.
Outlook for 2023
According to Greenstreet, the Downtown District merchants plan something each month.
“We are working on a calendar of events for 2023, starting with Brian Keller Day on January 28th, with a trivia walk and art show at the train station from 1-5pm. It’s a big event every season,” he said.