Grandpa Gang Lights 'Em Up

After a year's silence, the notorious Grandpa Gang has struck again. Unlike their contemporaries, who tag their territory with spray paint, the Grandpa Gang, a faceless crew of area retirees, make their mark by stringing lights into the treetops -- and they have once again hit Alton's Rock Spring Park (2100 College Avenue, Alton, Illinois). Park officials estimate that over two-and-a-half million lights have been hung, leaving little choice but to declare the site a Christmas Wonderland. Visitors are invited to drive through and witness the twinkling spectacle for a suggested donation of $7 per vehicle. Little is known about the Gang, but they are rumored to roll with a number of local charities. Last year, 45 grants totaling more than $20,000 were given to area charities from the money raised by the Grandpas' handiwork. Christmas Wonderland is open nightly through Wednesday, December 28. For more details, call 1-800-258-6645 or go to
Dec. 1-28, 2011