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Southwest Illinois News is a weekly news publication spotlighting attractions, events, entertainment, tourism, jobs and business developments in Southwestern Illinois
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Pere Marquette Lodge to Host Apple Festival
GRAFTON, IL, (, August 30, 2015 - The Apple Festival at Pere Marquette Lodge will be held on Sunday, September 13, from 11am to 3pm. Warm apple pie, fresh hand-dipped caramel apples, apple crafts and handmade jewelry are just a few of the offerings at the Apple Festival.

The festivities will also include apple wine tasting, kid's activities and restaurant favorites. Live music will be provided by Outlaw Opry from 11am to 3pm on the Winery Terrace.

An apple pie walk (similar to a cake walk) will be held at 12:30pm where visitors will purchase tickets and take a walk for a chance to take home a fresh baked apple pie. Proceeds from the apple pie walk will be donated to the Friends of Pere Marquette Foundation. The foundation was formed in 2009 by private citizens working to support, protect and enhance Pere Marquette State Park and its many programs.

The Lodge will host its third pumpkin roll at the Apple Festival at 2pm. Participants can bring their own pumpkin or purchase one at the festival to decorate for a competitive roll down the hill in front of the Lodge. Second and third place participants will win gift certificates fothe Lodge Restaurant and the fastest pumpkin will win the grand prize of a free nights stay at the historic Lodge.

Hand-built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in Pere Marquette State Park, Pere Marquette Lodge is an impressive structure of limestone and massive timbers. It is located just across the Illinois River from St. Louis, MO and includes 72 newly renovated guest rooms and cabins. The Lodge features a one-of-a-kind life size chess set, a 50ft limestone fireplace in the Great Room, a terrace overlooking the scenic Illinois River, an indoor pool, a Restaurant and a Winery.

The Apple Festival is free and open to the public. Call 618-786-2331 for more information.

CrowdSource Donates Back-to-School Supplies to YMCA of Southwest Illinois
Filled backpacks with onated items/backpacks at the Crowdsource headquarters ready to deliver to YMCA of Southwest Illinois. Photo courtesy Crowdsource
CrowdSource Donates Back-to-School Supplies to YMCA of Southwest Illinois
BELVILLE, IL, (, August 26, 2015 - Throughout the month of July, CrowdSource team members geared up to help local children prepare for the new school year by teaming up with the YMCA of Southwest Illinois.

The "Back to School Bash", which is held every summer by the YMCA, helps ensure that every child in the area is ready for the year ahead with backpacks filled with necessary school supplies. Other activities include back-to-school haircuts and face painting to keep the focus on the fun of looking forward to a new year.

Members of the CrowdSource team spent the month collecting money, using it to purchase brand new backpacks. The backpacks were then filled with school supplies so that children in the community have everything they need for the year ahead.

As one of the fastest-growing tech start-ups in the St. Louis metro area, CrowdSource is always looking for ways to get its team members involved with the community, and working with the YMCA to help out the area's youngest residents was the perfect fit. "It's an awesome feeling to be able to help these kids get ready for school and give back locally," said Brittany Corners, Director of Marketing and Communications. "It truly does take a village, and we're glad to be a part of it."

Allegiant Flys from MidAmerica St. Louis Airport to Vegas
(L - R) Tim Cantwell, MidAmerica Airport Director; Mark Kern, St. Clair County Board Chairman; and, Eric Fletcher, Allegiant Manager of Airports enjoyed the festivities at the annoucement of Allegiant's new, low-cost, nonstop flights from St. Louis to Las Vegas via MidAmerica St. Louis.

New Nonstop Flights from MidAmerica St. Louis Airport to Vegas
MASCOUTAH, IL, (, August 11, 2015 - Allegiant has announced new, low-cost, nonstop flights from St. Louis to Las Vegas via MidAmerica St. Louis Airport beginning Nov. 5, 2015. To celebrate the latest travel deal for St. Louis travelers, Allegiant is offering fares as low as $49 one way.

The flights will operate twice weekly and will fly nonstop between MidAmerica St. Louis Airport (BLV) and McCarran International Airport (LAS). Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found only at Las Vegas will be MidAmerica's third Allegiant destination, adding to existing service to Orlando and Tampa.

"We're thrilled to host Allegiant service to Las Vegas as the airline adds a third destination to its existing successful routes here at MidAmerica Airport," stated St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern. "Once again, travelers from throughout the bi-state St. Louis area will appreciate no lines and free parking as part of their hassle-free experience of flying directly from MidAmerica to the Entertainment Capital of the World."

Seats are limited for the special promotion. Price includes taxes and fees. Fares are one way and not available on all flights. Must be purchased by Aug. 14, 2015 for travel by Feb. 16, 2016. See archived story:
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport Welcomes Return of Allegiant Air

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New $675 Million Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge Is a Bridge to Jobs
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