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Since he had given a full report at the recent new business breakfast, Mayor Rick Gottman presented an abbreviated update as the program for last week’s monthly meeting of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce.
He told a small crowd of chamber members that three new businesses will be opening soon in downtown Vandalia – two service businesses and one retail store. Additionally, three more are looking at the western I-70 interchange area – two restaurants and one retail store. One of the restaurants will be Randy’s House of Barbecue; it will be located in the former Craig O’s restaurant site in Vandalia Commons.
“There have been a lot of things popping up here lately,” he said.
Gottman also said that although the roadwork is nearly complete on the Gallatin Street project, the period lighting element of the project won’t be installed until December.
With the Christmas season approaching, he said that the community Christmas tree will return to its traditional place in the 700 block of Gallatin Street. A new addition this year will be a second tree on the Vandalia Statehouse lawn.
Gottman said that the city has applied for a grant to maintain and improve Lincoln Park in the 300 block of Gallatin Street.
The holiday will be kicked off with the Olde Tyme Christmas celebration on Friday, Nov. 18, from 5-9 p.m. Downtown merchants will stay open late and special attractions will be featured throughout the downtown area.
Chamber President Dana Whiteman also announced several upcoming events:
• A Business After-Hours will be held this Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at Land of Lincoln Credit Union.
• Josh Henry will be holding a class to teach business owners about the use of social media (Facebook and Twitter) to promote their business. Those classes will be held Nov. 15 and 22.
• The Chamber's annual banquet will be held Thursday, Jan. 26. A magician has been contracted for the program.
• The chamber will not hold a Home & Garden Show this year.
Tourism Secretary June Mahon reported that the Tourism Information Center had 143 visitors from 19 states and two foreign countries during October.