Christmas Tree lighting set for Dec. 1

Published 11:37 am Monday, November 14, 2016

The Christmas Tree in Corner Park waits to shine on Dec. 1. (Joyanna Love/ Advertiser)

The Christmas Tree in Corner Park waits to shine on Dec. 1. (Joyanna Love/ Advertiser)

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

CLANTON — Planning is underway for the city’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting event.

This free community event puts the finishing touch on the holiday decorations by lighting the Christmas tree in Corner Park for the first time.

The park is located at the intersection of 2nd Avenue North and 6th Street North.

City Council member and event organizer Mary Mell Smith said the event will be Dec. 1 this year.

The official ceremony begins at 6 p.m. with a special visit from Santa at 5 p.m.

“I encourage parents to come earlier (so the children can see Santa),” Smith said.

While there will not be a professional photographer doing Santa photos, Smith said parents are encouraged to take their own.

Mayor Billy Joe Driver will lead the countdown to the tree lighting.

“What I enjoy most about the event is seeing the faces of the children especially when Santa Claus comes,” Smith said.

Wide smiles are also present when the tree is lit for the first time, she said.

There will be bleachers available for seating during the event and attendees are welcome to bring a lawn chair.

Entertainment will feature the West End Baptist Children’s choir.

“We try to get a different children’s choir every year,” Smith said.

Various local dance and twirling groups will also be participating.

“It’s all about Christmas, but we try to do it where the children have a good time,” Smith said.

Sally Pitts will serve as emcee this year.

Various local pageant queens will also introduce themselves during the event.

The town has been welcoming Christmas in similar fashion for several years. Smith said she has organized the event for at least the past five or six years. Smith inherited the program from the former organizer, and was uncertain how many years it had been held before she took it over.