After you finish the rest of your turkey and watch some football, take time to look at the events going on in the Shoals and be part of your community during Christmas and the holiday season.
“Christmas is a time when we all walk a little slower — even in a time when we have to shop frantically for those gifts — it gives us time to spend time together and say thank you and God bless you,” said Susann Hamlin, executive director at Colbert County Tourism. “It gives us time to be inspired.”
Debbie Wilson, director of the Florence-Lauderdale tourism office, said holiday events get the people and downtown businesses excited for the holiday season.
“We’re so fortunate that we have such a wonderful downtown area,” Wilson said. “It’s perfect during all seasons for things like First Friday, but this way it’s kind of like having mini First Fridays all month. Downtown gets all dressed up and there are a lot of people and a lot of activity all week.”
The following is a list of events provided to the TimesDaily. Days, dates and times are subject to change.
-- Santa Express
A new event in Tuscumbia for the holiday season is Santa Express. It is scheduled to run 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday, Nov. 27, and Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15 at the Historic Tuscumbia Railroad Depot in downtown.
Children attending can listen to a reading of “The Polar Express” and get souvenir tickets and jingle bells. There also will be an area to have photographs made with Santa.
“I’m excited about Santa Express because it’s going to be at the depot,” Hamlin said. “The round house has just been finished, and children will be able to see all the trains cars that are down there.”
Details: Tuscumbia Depot, 256-389-1357.
-- Sugarplum Marketplace
For those looking to do a little holiday shopping, the Sugarplum Marketplace will be open in Muscle Shoals from Friday, Nov. 30, through Saturday, Dec. 1, at the North Alabama Fairgrounds. In addition to shopping, there will be entertainment throughout the two-day event.
The Marketplace is at 65 Sportsplex Drive. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The cost is $5 for a one-day pass.
Details: jltheshoals.org/sugarplummarket or 256-383-0783.
-- The Trees of Christmas
The Trees of Christmas at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art is a display of nine living spruce and fir trees that have each been uniquely decorated.
“Of course, the Trees of Christmas are always beautiful,” Hamlin said. “If you have family coming in at Christmas time you can take them by to see the trees and get in the Christmas spirit. They are always beautifully done. It gives people great pride in our community to see the people who take a lot of time to make their trees.”
The exhibit runs from Friday, Nov. 30, until Christmas Eve, Monday, Dec. 24. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The museum is at at 511 N. Water St. in Tuscumbia.
Details: 256-383-0533 or tvaa.net.
-- Come Home for Christmas to Cherokee
On Saturday, Dec. 1, the town will be hosting Come Home for Christmas to Cherokee in downtown. The event is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes a free breakfast with Santa. There will also be arts and crafts until 1 p.m.
Bobby Denton will perform along with local talent from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by Freda Daily reading the “Christmas Story” at 3 p.m.
-- Plantation Christmas
Traditional decorations will adorn Belle Mont Mansion in Tuscumbia and visitors are welcome to visit the old plantation home 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2.
“The Belle Mont event is always great,” Hamlin said. “We have wonderful volunteers who dress in period clothing and welcome our guests. The hall and the mansion are always beautifully decorated. The music and the vintage ball room dancing creates a lovely day at Belle Mont.”
The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children. Children younger than 6 are admitted free.
Located at 1569 Cook Lane in Tuscumbia, Plantation Christmas will feature traditional live decorations, period Christmas music and vintage ballroom dancing.
-- Dickens Christmas, Y’all
On Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8, Tuscumbia brings characters out of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” into the streets and shops of downtown.
“The Dickens Christmas Y’all was successful last year, and we are expecting it to be even better this year with new events,” said Hamlin. “There is an opportunity for kids to go and have the milk and cookies with Tiny Tim. All of those things are Christmas-y but educational as well.”
Having Dickens Christmas, Y’all in Tuscumbia is good opportunity for the city to bring in shoppers from throughout the region, Hamlin said. She added that having as many events as possible brings in more people from out of town who are looking to do a variety of things at once.
Dickens Christmas, Y’all starts at 7 p.m. Friday, with the Dickens feast at the Roundhouse at the Tuscumbia Railway Depot. Seating for the feast is limited to advance ticket holders. Feast tickets are $25 and available at Fiddledee D! at 111 S. Main St. in Tuscumbia.
Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, and continuing throughout the day, there will be arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, Dickens characters, carolers, carriages, trolly rides, dancer and shopping. Downtown shops will be open late for the event. Admission is charged for some events.
-- Christmas at Ivy Green
Starting Saturday, Dec. 8, and continuing through Christmas Eve, Helen Keller’s historic birthplace, Ivy Green, will be decorated and open to the public. Ivy Green is at 300 North Commons W, Tuscumbia.
Hamlin said Christmas at Ivy Green is another opportunity for families to do something seasonal that also is educational.
-- Victorian Tree Ornament Workshop
The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art will host an ornament workshop 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Led by Melissa Crissom, the workshop is designed for children in third through sixth grades. The cost is $15 per child and $12 for TVAA members. Registration is required by Friday, Nov. 30, by contacting Keith McMurtrey at 256-383-0533 or tvaa.net.
-- Tree lighting in Rogersville
On Friday, the city of Rogersville will officially light their town Christmas tree in downtown.
-- Christmas Pottery Show
Local potters will be showcasing their work at M.C.’s Hallelujah Hands, 1809 N. Wood Ave., Florence, noon to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.
Works by local potters Lauren Zuelke, Beverly Wiginton, Jim Jerkins, M.C. Jerkins, Susan Campbell, Mona Pedersen, Kaye Stegall and Amy Hudson will be featured.
-- First Saturday in Rogersville
Rogersville will host First Saturday on Dec. 1. The event will feature a candlelight tour of downtown. Shops on Lee Street will have cider and s’mores for shoppers and the shops will be open late.
-- Miniature Paintings
A holiday exhibit of miniature paintings will be featured at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts. The paintings are sponsored by the Shoals Artist Guild and the exhibit will run through January in the guild’s gallery at arts center, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence.
-- Killen Christmas Tour of Homes
From 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, five homes and Killen’s Old Town Hall will be open to the public for touring. Canned goods will be collected as the price of admission to each home. The tour will begin at the Old Town Hall.
-- First Friday in Florence
Florence’s First Friday will feature a holiday and will take place, of course, on the first Friday, which is Dec. 7.
“It’ll be great to have all that activity going on during Friday,” Wilson said. “You can do some shopping and then hop over there for the lighting of the tree in Wilson Park. It’ll be a really full night of getting into the Christmas spirit.”
Wilson said she expects a big turnout for First Friday especially because the Florence Christmas Parade is the weekend before and people will be in the holiday mood.
-- Florence Tree Lighting in Wilson Park
The lighting of Wilson Park and the large Christmas tree in the park will take place during First Friday at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7.
“People love tree lightings, they are just drawn to lightings and activities,” Wilson said.
There will be students from Mars Hill Bible School Bible School singing carols during the lighting of the tree,
The tree was grown for this purpose and is expected to stand about 12- to 15-feet tall.
Please see Holiday, Page 2E
Concerts, dance, performances
-- “Christmas Magic-Lantern Show”
American Magic-Lantern Theater will be recreating the Victorian-era magic-lantern show at the Lou B. Bevill Fine Arts Center on the Phil Campbell campus of Northwest-Shoals Community College. A public showing will at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30.
Tickets are $8 and available at the Phil Campbell’s cashier office or by phone at 256-331-6382. Tickets may also be purchased at the door if available.
-- “Amahl and The Night Visitors”
The University of North Alabama’s Opera/Musical Theatre program is presenting “Amahl and The Night Visitors,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults and are available at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence, and at the door.
The opera, written by Gian Carlo Menotti, will feature music director and conductor Terrance Brown, stage director Tiffany Bostic-Brown and pianist Karen Cantrell, along with members of the UNA choruses.
Details: 256-765-5122 or una.edu/music-theatre.
-- Shoals Community Concert Band
The Shoals Community Concert Band will be performing a free Christmas concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2, at First Presbyterian Church in Florence.
-- Shoals Chamber Singers concert
The Shoals Chamber Singers’ 2012 Christmas concert, “There is Faint Music,” will be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, in the sanctuary of Grace Episcopal Church, Sheffield. Guest artist will be Ian Loeppky, director of choral activities at the University of North Alabama.
Admission to the concert is free, however, donations will be accepted at the door. The church is at 130 Darby Ave., Sheffield.
Details: Jerry Olson, 256-383-1515, or shoalschambersingers.com.
-- Rock and Roll Christmas Dance
North Alabama Dance Club and Florence Parks and Recreation Department will host a formal/semi-formal Christmas Dance with Jerry Rogers on Saturday, Dec. 8. The cost is $15 for members and $20 for guests.
Details: Suzy Robbins, 256-740-1661 or email@example.com; or renez.com/nadanceclub
-- “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”
Time Out for Theatre presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at the Ritz Theatre, 111 W. Third St., Sheffield, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. The play is directed by Laura Ashley Foster and tickets are avaiable at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art in Tuscumbia. Advance tickets are $5 for students, $7 for adults. At the door, tickets are $7 for students and $8 for adults.
Details: 256-383-0533, tvaa.net or ritztheatre.ticketleap.com
-- Shoals Symphony at UNA
The Shoals Symphony at the University of North Alabama will be performing its second concert of season at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, in Norton Auditorium on campus.
The concert will feature the premiere of Shoals native Roger Briggs’ Symphony No. 2, titled “The Shoals.”
Advance tickets are available at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence.
-- Christmas in the Shoals
Florence Camerata presents Christmas in the Shoals at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Grace Episcopal Church, 103 Darby Ave., Sheffield.
Florence Camarata is a community chorus and Christmas in the Shoals is its first concert of the 2012-13 season. Adult season and individual tickets are available at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence. Season tickets are $50 each, individual tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students.
Details: 256-760-6379; Ian Loeppky, director, 256-765-4515 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Minor Hill, Tenn.
The Minor Hill Christmas Parade starts at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The parade begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Deshler High School, travels Main Street, goes left onto Sixth Street and then left onto Dickson Street.
The parade begins at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, in downtown. In event of rain, the parade will be at noon Saturday, Dec. 1.
Wilson said she’s excited the Florence Christmas Parade is running earlier than usual this year because it gets people to downtown a little bit earlier and just gets everyone in the Christmas spirit earlier.
“People that are coming into visit all through the month like to see everyone decorated,” Wilson said. “And the parade gets all the stores in downtown motivated to decorate.”
The parade starts at 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.
The parade is at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in downtown. Bobby Denton, Howard Keeton, Willodean Malone and Bud and Eloise Mills will be grand marshals. Details: 256-383-0783.
The parade is scheduled for downtown on Saturday, Dec. 1.
The parade starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at 10th Street and turns onto Second Street. After the parade, there will be entertainment at the corner of Fifth Street and North Montgomery Avenue. Details: 256-383-0783.
The parade is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 2.
n Waterloo Off-Road
People are encouraged to bring their off-road vehicles to participate in the Waterloo Off-Road Christmas Parade on Sunday, Dec. 2. Lineup starts at 4:30 p.m. at the south boat ramp in Waterloo. Beginning at 5 p.m., the parade travels through the town, ending at the lot next to the post office. Participants are asked to decorate their vehicle with a holiday theme. The town tree will be lighted after the parade. Details: Waterloo City Hall, 256-764-3237.
-- Muscle Shoals
The parade starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Gusmus Avenue and travels to Sheffield Avenue and turns by the Muscle Shoals Post Office. Details: 256-383-0783.
-- Wilson Lake Light Parade
Boats are featured in this parade, which starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Details: 256-740-4141.
-- Joe Wheeler Parade of Lights
The Joe Wheeler Parade of Lights will be Saturday, Dec. 8. The parade is at 6 p.m. and line-up is at 5:45 p.m. Judging is at 4:30 p.m. Details: 256-247-6971 or email email@example.com.
The town’s parade is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 9.
On Saturday, Dec. 15, the parade will be in downtown, with lineup at 4:15 p.m. behind the high school gym. The parade starts at 6 p.m. and there will be a yule log ceremony at the Presbyterian Church on Lee Street after the parade. Details: 256-740-4141.
Bobby Bozeman can be reached at 256-740-5722 or bobby.bozeman@TimesDaily.com.