Christmas lights go up in Alton in spite of crime -

Christmas lights go up in Alton in spite of crime

ALTON, Ill. (KMOV) -- Thieves nearly derailed the set up of three million lights for the Christmas Wonderland display in Alton when they stole $900 worth of electrical wiring last month, but the display still opened on time Friday night thanks to the kindness of people in the community.

WIBI radio donated money for new wiring, Home Depot paid two electricians to work two days to set up new lights and another electric company, which asked to remain anonymous, donated 2,000 feet of new wire.

Bob Osburn, who heads a group of 20 retirees called the "Grandpa Gang," says the donations saved the display.

The volunteer group works for 11 weeks to put on the Christmas light display to raise money for charity. Last year, they raised $25,000 for 44 area charities.

The Christmas Wonderland display is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the week and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. The display, located at 2100 College Avenue in Alton, is open through Dec. 27.

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