Last Saturday, I had the pleasure to be a part of the O’Fallon Veterans Day ceremonies. It was an incredible experience, and I was very delighted to see the large number of O’Fallon residents that attended the ceremonies at the monument and lined the streets during the parade.
I hope that the success of the Veterans Day ceremonies will carry over to the O’Fallon Illuminated Holiday Parade, which will be held through the streets of downtown O’Fallon on Saturday, Nov. 25, beginning at 6 p.m.
For those who may not have heard, a couple of weeks ago, the volunteers that organized the annual holiday parade for many years decided that they could no longer hold the event. When we learned of the possible cancellation of the parade, we immediately began to take action in order to save the event. In the first 48 hours, a number of local companies and individuals expressed their interest to step up and help.
Beth Ortega, an O’Fallon resident, volunteered to serve as chairperson and coordinator of the annual O’Fallon Illuminated Holiday Parade. And as a result, the event will go on, as planned, on Nov. 25.
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The route for the parade has changed from previous years. This year, the parade will step off at 6 p.m. from Parkview and 7th Street and proceed to S. Lincoln before turning north and heading to State Street. Once reaching State Street, the parade will turn east and head to Vine Street, where it will then turn south and cross the railroad tracks, finally stopping at “Santa’s Village” at the parking lot near 1st Street and Vine (the future home of the downtown pavilion).
New this year, immediately following the parade, will be the first annual “Santa’s Village Expo” — a fun community gathering at the parking lot near 1st Street and Vine Street that will have refreshments, prizes, Santa visits, s’mores, and much more.
I hope that everyone will line the streets of O’Fallon and help us march in the holiday season. The lighted parade will be a joy for all ages and an ongoing O’Fallon community tradition.
Information about the parade and expo, as well as how to register to walk in the parade or sponsor a float can be found at ofallonholidayparade.com.
Also, I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you and your families a great Thanksgiving. I know that my family will be together to enjoy the day. We all have many things that we can be thankful for. Personally, I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to serve you as our city’s mayor.
As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.