Why I Love Belleville, Illinois
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Why I Love Belleville, Illinois

Not many know about this gem of a city right across the Mississippi

Why I Love Belleville, Illinois
Rent Solution STL

When I say I am from Belleville, IL, not many people know where that is. I usually get questions like, "Is that by Chicago?" or, "Is it a small town?". Well for one, Illinois is more than just Chicago. Shoutout to all of Southern Illinois! If you're looking on a map, Belleville is right here:

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And in all honesty, it really is not that small of a town. We have a population of about 45,000 and that is growing every day. So when people ask where I am from, I am more than happy to say that I am from Belleville, and here are a few reasons why:

1. Belleville comes from the French Belle Ville, meaning beautiful city. And boy is Belleville a beautiful city. We have a beautiful town circle that we call the Square. This is where most of our annual events are held.

2. Belleville is home to the longest Main St. in the United States. It spans from East Saint Louis all the way through downtown Belleville and then out to Southwestern Illinois College. It is home to shops, dining, theaters, schools, and anything you could think of.

3. Belleville is also in the record books for having the most taverns per capita in St. Clair County. At least we like to have some fun.

4. The Skyview Drive-In, one of the few Drive-In movie theaters left in the United States is right here in Belleville, Illinois. Open April through October, the Drive-In has all the major movies playing on not one, but TWO screens along with a lot of fun for people of all ages. Just grab a car, some friends, and tons of food for a night of fun!

5. Laser tag. Belleville is home to the largest laser tag arena in the country, The Edge. Although sometimes it can be pricy, it is well worth the visit. The Edge is also home to a movie theater (including a 21+ dine in theater), bar and restaurant, and a ton of arcade games.

6. Belleville has some of the best annual festivals. From "Art on The Square" in April, to Oktoberfest (which is actually held in September), the Chili Cookoff in October, St. Patricks Day in March, and so many more, there is always something happening downtown. I always find myself coming home from school for festivals like this.

7. Eckert's Farm and Country Store is one of the biggest in the country and is located in Belleville with another one in Millstadt, IL. Eckert's is well known for their pumpkin picking, apple picking, restaurant, and custard. Eckert's custard is absolutely amazing, and definitely worth the trip. From the spring time through Halloween, Eckert's hosts several different events for children of all ages. The Millstadt Eckert's also has a lot of child oriented activities.

8. The Shrine is home to one of the biggest attractions during the holiday season, "The Way of Lights," which has been going on since 1970. "The Way of Lights" runs from December to January and has lights that show the story of the birth of Christ. It also includes camel and donkey rides, as well as plenty of activities for children. It is truly a site to see!

9. The Althoff Catholic High School and Belleville West High School sports team rivalry is one of the best high school sports rivalries in Southern Illinois. Being that there are only three competing high schools in Belleville, our rivalry is pretty big. I went to Belleville West, (Go Maroons!) and the best part of high school was the football and basketball team rivalry. The Althoff-West football and basketball games were two of the biggest games of the year, and it's where the most school spirit came out for both our students and players.

10. Belleville gets the best of both worlds. Being less than 20 miles away from St. Louis has its perks. I sometimes find myself spending more time over in St. Louis than I do in Belleville, and that was BEFORE I decided to attend Saint Louis University. Another perk of living so close is being a fan of St. Louis sports teams like The Cardinals, Blues and *sigh* The Rams. But hey, anything's better than being a Cubs or Blackhawks fan.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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