Alton Main Street Newsletter April 2023

Director’s Note ~

The State of Illinois has announced its next round of Back 2 Business pandemic relief grants for restaurants, hotels, and the creative arts sector. Applications open April 5th. Alton Main Street is a Community Navigator for this program; CLICK HERE to find full eligibility requirements and FAQ’s on our website.  Business owners who have remaining questions are encouraged to contact our office for help with your application.

We are proud to share that two members of our Board of Directors have been selected as 2023 Women of Distinction by the YWCA! Congratulations to Stephanie Schrage, Christine Favilla and all of this year’s honorees.

Our gardening projects kick off this month and volunteers are needed; join the Alton Main Street Gardening Group on Facebook for details!

~ Sara McGibany, Executive Director

There are many sure signs of Spring happening this month. Get ready for some fun community gatherings, such as Riverbend Earth Day!

Riverbend Earth Day is back at The Old Bakery Beer Company on Sat, April 15th from 11:30am-4:30pm!  Start the day off with live music from Marko Polo, who writes music to teach kids about animals.  Then, enjoy a day full of live music from Raw Earth, Salt of the Earth, and Talam while shopping from over 25 eco-friendly vendors, including 2 native plant vendors! 10+ environmental organizations will be there to provide information and activities for both children and adults.  The event is free to attend, and food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Theodora Farms

Theodora Farms is opening for the season on April 15th!  Visit their FarmStore located at 4835 N. Alby Rd. in Godfrey. They’ll be hosting their annual plant sale with vegetables, perennial and annual herbs, and perennial landscaping plants available for purchase. The FarmStore will be fully stocked with meat, eggs, dairy, pantry items, and of course, the farm’s USDA Certified Organic vegetables.

Hours this year will be Tues, Wed, Sat 10am-2pm; Thurs, Fri 10am-6pm. Check their website, Instagram and Facebook for updates.

Pop-Up Clothing Swap

Give your closet a spring cleaning and attend the Pop-Up Clothing Swap on Sun, April 30th from Noon-4pm! Join us at Mineral Springs Mall, located at 301 E. Broadway. Bring gently used clothing, shoes & accessories that you no longer want and trade for as many new pieces  as you can carry for your wardrobe. Bring your worn out clothing, blankets, towels, etc. in any condition to be recycled with Remains Inc. – let’s keep those fabrics out of the landfill!

It’s just $5 to attend if you bring clothes to swap, or $10 to attend empty-handed! A drop off will be held on Sat, April 29th from 4-6pm. Leftover clothing will be donated to local charities to help those in need. CLICK HERE to RSVP on Facebook

Spring City-Wide Litter Clean Up

Please join in this important biannual effort to clean up our streets!

Saturday, April 22nd from 9am-Noon

Visit our registration station at 3rd & Belle for donuts, bags, gloves, and directions to areas in need.

For full details:

CLICK HERE to RSVP on Facebook

Interested in studying Martial Arts? You have options in Alton!

Iron Dragon Hung Kuen is a traditional Kung Fu school Located at the Historic Milton School House.  The Sifu (teacher) is Wayne Judge, a direct disciple and the local representative of Grandmaster Chiu Chi Ling, who has starred in over 80 movies including “Kung Fu Hustle”.  The specific style taught is Hung Gar Kuen, a system that imitates the movements of five animals and originates from the Southern Shaolin Temple. Hung Kuen is unique from other Martial arts with a focus on techniques that work in real life combat: effective defense, the use of over 18 weapons, and the art of Chinese Lion Dance. For more info:
[email protected] or

There’s also a new Martial Arts school at the YWCA of Southwestern Illinois called Blue Wave Spirit! The school is open to all students ages 5 and up. As part of the Chung Do Association, several families train together with Head Instructor Tom Withee. Currently their classes are “all ranks, all ages” on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. They have open enrollment and walk-ins are welcome. Chung Do Kwan is a traditional Tae Kwon Do style that emphasizes self-defense, focus and discipline.

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events!

Kooliverse Couture Night
Fri, March 31st 6pm-Close
at The Conservatory

Halfway to the Mississippi Earthtones Festival Artist Gathering
Sat, April 8th 4-6pm
at Jacoby Arts Center

Alton Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market
Opening Day & Community Yard Sale
Sat, May 13th 8am-Noon

Pup Crawl (that’s a Pub Crawl + dogs!)
Sat, May 20th Noon-8pm

What’s Up Downtown
Tues, May 23rd 5:30-7pm
at Jacoby Arts Center

Find full details by clicking each event’s title, and at the following websites:

Brass Monkey Collectibles

An incredible new shop that’s a perfect fit for Antique Row has recently opened at 302 E. Broadway! At Brass Monkey Collectiibles you’ll find antiques & vintage items galore: home decor, furniture, glassware, clothing, collectibles, comic books, model cars, action figures, vintage signage, trading cards, games and so much more. Owner Greg Brown formerly operated the Hangar Emporium in Bethalto, and is enthusiastically diving into a project of his own. Stop by soon to buy, sell or trade!

FLOCK & Food Truck Park

Flock is officially open for the season! We have so many fun events & collaborations planned this year starting with an Easter Egg Hunt on Sun, April 2nd. We will keep the family fun going all season long with movie nights the 3rd Friday of each month from May-October! Keep an eye on our Facebook or Instagram for more details on this outdoor family friendly event.

The Hayner Public Library District

Spring has finally sprung, and we are springing into action with great programs for the whole family in April! Jared Hennings will be showcasing his amazing musical talent on April 4th in our Performance Room, and our Art Talks resume with three feature presentations in partnership with Jacoby Arts Center. Murder on the Orient Express is this month’s “From Story to Film” selection, where attendees will discuss Agatha Christie’s bestseller and view the 2017 adaptation. Our drop-in crafting program “Xs and Sews” continues, as do the exceptionally informative “Branching Out” genealogy lectures and discussions! Family story times continue twice a week, and don’t forget to pick up your kids take home craft every Wed at our Alton Square branch. Visit our website or social media sites for more details!

Post Commons

Calling all brides-to-be! Join us for our first Wedding Expo on Sun, April 30th from 11am-2pm! Guests can expect over 35 vendors who will be showcasing their unique wedding offerings. There will be giveaways, a coffee bar, food and alcoholic beverages! Each attendee will get a free mimosa with their ticket purchase, as well as the chance to win half off a venue rental at Post Commons, located at 300 Alby Street.

PopUtopia Gourmet Popcorn & Sweets

We are having a tasting event on Sat, April 1st from Noon to 4pm, featuring our pantry and grocery line of new products from small sustainable farms: charcuterie meats, cheeses, olives, pickled vegetables, Santa Barbara soups, beer breads, Amish goods and more! Visit our shop 7 days a week, right under the escalators at Alton Square Mall.

Senior Services Plus

We have a lot of great programming coming up, including learning about incentives from Ameren Illinois, Anxiety/Depression Screenings, a Meet the Legislators forum, and a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)® program. For details call 618-465-3298. Senior Services Plus is located at 2603 North Rodgers Avenue in Alton.

Riverbend Head Start & Family Services

Drivers are needed for our most precious cargo! We are seeking bus drivers (starting pay $17/hour) and monitors (starting pay $13.50/ hour) and we offer sign-on bonuses! First Student is in charge of hiring bus drivers to service the six Head Start locations in Madison County, and there is currently a nationwide bus driver shortage. In becoming a school bus driver? Apply at

The Alton River Dragons 2023 Season Kicks Off On June 1st!

Alton’s Prospect League baseball team is offering organizations, kids sports teams, clubs, etc. who are looking to raise money the opportunity to sell River Dragons tickets as a fundraiser! You can sell tickets for $10 and keep half of the proceeds to benefit your organization. Groups are asked to commit to a minimum of 50 tickets per game, and there’s no limit on how many you can sell—contact [email protected]

Find a game schedule, buy tickets & merch and much more at