Annual Festivals and Events:
Annual Arts & Crafts Fair..(September)
Annual Chili Cook-Off......(October)
Annual Gingerbread Walk....(November-December)
Annual Way of Lights-Shrine
of Our Lady of Snows.......(November-December)
Belle Clair Fairgrounds:
Exhibition Hall has special events almost every weekend, including craft shows, home shows, antique shows, sports shows, and more.
The Belle Clair Fairgrounds offers dirt track racing almost every weekend during the summertime. Gateway International Speedway in nearby Madison brings world class NASCAR and Indy Car events to the St. Louis area
St. Louis Regional Attractions (20-30 minutes away):
Gateway Arch,Art Museum,Cardinal Baseball,St. Louis Zoo,Rams Football,Planetarium,Blues Hockey,Restaurants/Night Life,Magic House,Vipers Roller Hockey,Ambush Indoor Soccer, Science Center,Six Flags over St. Louis, Historical Cahokia Mounds
Movies: 5 theaters (35 screens) and a 2-screen drive-in, Looking Glass Playhouse (Lebanon) 618-537-4962,Belleville Philharmonic 618-235-5600, St. Louis Symphony (Powell Hall-St. Louis), Fox Theatre (St. Louis), Repertory Theatre (St. Louis)
Casino Queen (East St. Louis Riverfront)
There's a lot to do on the Casino Queen. Gamble, dine or relax and enjoy the spectacular view of the St. Louis skyline, framed by the Gateway Arch. You'll have a great time on your cruise on the Mississippi River.
The Belleville area is home to many fine visitor attractions--places where first time visitors and local residents can spend an hour or an entire day. Most of these are open to entire families and are both educational and entertaining.
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, operated by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, is located on over 200 acres of rolling hillsides and valleys. It is open to people of all faiths and denominations. The grounds feature unique architecture, imaginative landscaping, and devotional areas. Facilities include a full service restaurant, gift shop, 78 room motel, and visitor's center. The Main Shrine features a 2,400 seat amphitheater with grassy slopes that can accommodate large crowds or special services and events. Other features include The Way of The Cross, Resurrection Garden, The Lourdes Grotto replica, and Annunciation Garden. Each year at Christmas, the Shrine features The Way of Lights, with thousands of decorative light sculptures, decorations, and other special Holiday attractions.
Country Store and Farms
Eckert's pick-your-own orchards feature different fruits and vegetables each season. Eckert's is a place for families--a place to get back to the country and enjoy the beauty of the seasons and a full calendar of seasonal festivals. At the Belleville farm you will find the famous Country Store stocked with a full selection of fresh fruits and vegetables in season, as well as jams, jellies, teas, the Butcher Shoppe, an ice cream stand! Children will enjoy the Kid's Corral, petting farm, miniature golf, and pedal tractor paths. The entire family can ride into the fields to pick your own produce
The Cathedral of St. Peter
The Cathedral is located in Belleville at the corner of South Third and Harrison Streets. Founded in 1842 and dedicated in 1866, it is modeled after the Cathedral of Exeter, England. The English Gothic style of architecture utilized high, pointed arches aiming toward heaven. The arch is a prominent feature of the Cathedral and was popular in this style because it allowed for the building of higher structures. This type of architecture is actually a forerunner of today's modern skyscrapers. The Cathedral serves the Catholic Diocese of Belleville, which includes all of southern Illinois. The entire structure is rich with sculpture and stained glass. Your tour will include the main church and grounds, north nave and baptistry, the Marian Shrine, the south nave, and the sanctuary area. No visit to the Cathedral would be complete without viewing and possibly hearing the magnificent organ. Two organs are located in the Cathedral, both playable from either console. In all, when completed, the organ will contain 49 ranks of pipes. (618) 234-1166.
Victorian House Museum, 701 E. Washington Street
Built in 1866, this Victorian adaptation of a Greek revival home was built by a prosperous German immigrant. The 19th century furnishings in the home, made by local craftsmen, and the changing displays of vintage clothing, quilts, and other artifacts, provide a glimpse into the historic past of St. Clair County. The Victorian House Museum also contains a history research library, a gift shop, and the administrative offices of the St. Clair County Historical Society. You may reserve the museum for special occasions (weddings, meetings, receptions, teas, etc.) Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Sunday 2:00 until 4:00 p.m., or by appointment (618)234-0600.
Emma Kunz House Museum, 602 Fulton Street
This museum is the earliest dated brick Greek Revival house in the state of Illinois. Built in 1830, the Kunz House Museum is a classic example of an ethnic German street house. The majority of the woodwork, pine floors, and hardware is original to the house. The five rooms are completely furnished, illustrating the hardships of early settlers. Interesting artifacts include the horse hair furniture, coverlets, spinning wheel, dry sink, and rope bed. Sunday 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. or by appointment (618) 234-0600. For further information, call Belleville Tourism at 800-677-9255.
The health care needs of southwestern Illinois residents are served by Belleville's two excellent hospitals as well as the myriad supporting services, including long-term care facilities, home health care agencies, and a regional oncology care center. Combined, both hospitals employ over 3,000 people, making them second only to Scott Air Force Base as the largest Belleville area employers.
Both hospitals have extensive capabilities in major fields of medicine and both are staffed by fine physicians representing virtually all medical specialities. Additionally, both institutions have attained high marks from their respective accrediting bodies and maintain educational ties with several colleges and universities in Illinois and Missouri. Belleville has two of the area's best and most experienced emergency departments, which work closely with a strong EMS paramedic providers response system. Both hospitals also contract the services of ARCH, a medical air transport system that provides rapid transportation of patients and accident victims within a 150-mile radius.
Comprehensive outreach and community education wellness programs dealing with timely health-related topics as well as prenatal classes, CPR classes, diabetes classes, health screening programs, and a variety of support groups are sponsored by both hospitals. Aware of the ever-changing trends in health care delivery, both hospitals offer a wide range of outpatient diagnostic and treatment services at convenient locations in and around the Belleville area.
Memorial combines modern facilities, state-of-the-art medical technology, over 2,000 professional employees, and more than 260 skilled primary and specialty care physicians necessary for a 341-bed, full service medical center. Memorial provides complete medical, surgical, pediatric, obstetrical and psychiatric inpatient care and treatment services, including intensive care and cardiac telemetry monitoring as well as modern surgical facilities for inpatient and outpatient surgery services.
St. Elizabeth's Hospital
Rich in the Franciscan philosophy of providing health care with dignity and compassion, St. Elizabeth's is one of thirteen hospitals in the Hospital Sisters Health System. Founded by the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in 1875, St. Elizabeth's today is a modern, full-service, 498-bed hospital with a medical staff of more than 230 physicians representing over 30 medical specialties. St. Elizabeth's has a wide range of services available with professional staff that includes four board-certified pathologists, eight board-certified radiologists, two neonatologists, and experienced emergency care physicians.
Scott Air Force Base Medical Center
Scott Air Force Base Medical Center also offers a variety of health care services to active duty and retired military personnel who reside in the Belleville area.
Continuum of Care
Belleville is fortunate to be able to provide a full continuum of care for area residents. Services include maternal and well-child care, hospitals, long-term care and retirement facilities, home care, and adult day care programs, as well as outpatient counseling services. Access to health and social service information is available on the world wide web via the St. Clair County.
Health Care Commission's Southwest Illinois First Net (SWIFNET).
The Belleville Economy:
Steeped in tradition.
Strong in its diversity.
Reaching out to the nation and the world.
Manufacturing: At one time, Belleville was the stove capital of the world, with numerous foundries producing cast iron stoves under many brand names. Several of these companies still exist today, now producing kitchen ranges, space heating equipment, and porcelain parts for a variety of applications. A number of family-owned businesses are in their third and fourth generations. High productivity, quality workmanship, new manufacturing technologies, and export markets have helped small manufacturers stay competitive and prosper in a global economy. The Belle Valley Industrial Park now houses 21 companies with 953 employees in an attractive suburban setting.
Government Center: As the seat of St. Clair County, Belleville serves as home for numerous governmental, legal, and real estate service offices, providing a large base of employment in office and professional categories. When Scott Air Force Base is included, the government sector is easily the largest portion of the area employment mix.
Medical Center: Belleville is extremely fortunate to serve as home for two major hospitals: Memorial Hospital and St. Elizabeth's Hospital, which together provide over 2,700 jobs. Other medical offices, clinics, nursing homes, and laboratories easily double this amount.
Financial Center: Ten banks are located in Belleville, including small community banks to large multi-state holding companies. Belleville has long been the home of the largest financial institutions in Southern Illinois and notwithstanding changes in the industry, maintains that status. Magna Bank, a multi-state 8 billion holding company, chose Belleville as the location for the company's state-of-the-art Operations Center, which alone employs over 600 people. Credit Unions have a presence as well with Scott Credit and the Catholic Credit Union maintaining facilities here.
Quality Office Locations: Professional office locations are available in a variety of styles and price ranges, including older downtown buildings, modem Class A facilities, and moderately priced office parks. Most feature state-of-the-art telecommunications capabilities. Richland Office Park recently won the prestigious BOMA suburban office building of the year award.
Economic Development: Belleville Economic Progress, Inc., a non-profit development corporation and chamber of commerce, serves the greater Belleville area with business recruitment and retention programs, community marketing, and business assistance services. Aggressive public-private partnerships continue to produce a steady flow of new jobs into the area. For More Information, Contact: BEPI: (618) 233-2015
Quality Office Locations: Professional office locations are available in a variety of styles and price ranges, including older downtown buildings, modern class A facilities, and moderately priced office parks. Most feature state-of-the-art telecommunications capabilities. Richland Office Park recently won the prestigious BOMA suburban office building of the year award.
Economic Development: Belleville Economic Progress, Inc., a non-profit development corporation and chamber of commerce, serves the greater Belleville area with business recruitment and retention programs, community marketing, and business assistance services. Aggressive public-private partnerships continue to produce a steady flow of new jobs into the area. For more information, contact BEPI at (618) 233-2015
Belleville operates under the mayor-council form of government in which the mayor serves as the chief administrative officer for the city, with the city council serving as the legislative body of government. Sixteen alderman, two members elected from each of eight wards, comprise the city council and serve four year terms. The city treasurer and the city clerk are also elected positions. Citizens are encouraged to take an active and participatory role in the local government. Advisory committees, boards, and commissions, especially the Planning Commission, provide opportunities for citizens to become more directly involved in the future direction of the community.
Belleville has a professional police department with highly trained officers and staff committed to the continued excellence of performance in the practice of law enforcement. The department provides protection to citizens, operates crime prevention programs, and conducts proactive community service programs.
The Belleville Fire Department is staffed by full-time personnel and officers who have received training in modern fire fighting and prevention techniques. Belleville boasts a superior fire rating of 5, which affords property owners with affordable fire insurance premiums. The department operate three fully equipped fire houses providing overlapping coverage to the ever expanding corporate boundaries. The corporate limits of Belleville encompass approximately fifteen square miles, with a population of some 42,785 residents. Municipal services provided by the City include parks & recreation, street maintenance, sanitary sewer operations, refuse collection, and recycling. Belleville has one of the lowest tax rates for communities of similar size throughout the state.
The city administration has taken a proactive approach in attracting new businesses and promoting economic development to improve the overall quality of life in Belleville. Tax increment financing districts and enterprise zones are just two incentive financial assistance programs that are available to encourage and stimulate new investments. A major priority of the city administration is to ensure that future development and growth occurs in an orderly manner. This is managed through zoning and land use development codes. Conservation of older neighborhoods and residential areas is also a priority. Minimum property maintenance standards are enforced to ensure the older housing stock is properly maintained and safe for occupancy. Organized neighborhood associations throughout Belleville provide a direct communication link with the city administration on issues and concerns that impact individual neighborhoods.
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