2016 Christmas parades, music festivals, tree lightings and happenings in Central Alabama

Alabama Christmas Lights
Photo c/o Youtube account listentoourlights

ALABAMA (WIAT) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year! WIAT CBS42 has your guide to all the Christmas fun in Central Alabama.

Whether you’re looking for a city Christmas parade or to take the whole family to hear the music of the holidays, we’ve got a full list of ideas for some Christmas fun:

Jump to a County: Chilton | Cullman | Jefferson | Shelby | St. Clair | Tuscaloosa | Walker

Chilton County events

Cullman County events

  • Christmas in Cullman Festival and Parade
    • The parade will be Friday, December 2 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The parade will be downtown on 1st Avenue from the Busy Bee Cafe to Depot Park.
      • Mayor Woody Jacobs will the light the city’s Christmas tree and light display at Depot Park. There will be a petting zoo, pictures with Santa, Christmas music, pony rides, free hot chocolate and other kids activities.
    • The festival will be Saturday, December 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. downtown.
      • There will be a car show in the Warehouse District shopping area, live music from Round, carriage rides, kids games and activities at Depot Park.
    • Both events are free.
  • Holly Market Arts & Crafts Show
    • Friday, December 2 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, December 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cullman Civic Center.
    • The show will feature over 80 vendors of handmade craft items. The show is free.

Jefferson County events

  • City of Hoover Christmas Tree Lighting
    • Thursday, December 1 at 5 p.m at Hoover City Hall in the main parking lot. Parking is at Hoover Public Library.
    • This event will feature a performance by the Hoover City School Choir, a Hoover City School student will the light the Christmas tree, a snow play area, Santa will make a grand entrance on a fire truck and light refreshments.
    • The event is free.
  • Miles College Golden Voices “Christmas Expressions”
    • Thursday, December 1 at 7 p.m. in Brown Hall Auditorium on the Miles College campus.
    • The concert will include music from different genres. It is free and open to the public.
  • All City Christmas Music Festival: “A Winter Wonderland”
    • Thursday, December 1 at 7 p.m. at Boutwell Auditorium.
    • Multiple local schools will perform together.
  • Samford University Hanging of the Green and Lighting of the Way
    • Both events will take place on Thursday, December 1 at Samford University.
    • The Hanging of the Green will happen at 6 p.m. in Reid Chapel.
    • Lighting of the Way will be at 7 p.m. on Centennial Walk in front of Davis Library.
  • Red Mountain Theatre Company’s “Holiday Spectacular”
    • Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 18 at the RMTC Cabaret Theatre. Ticket prices start at $19.
    • Showtimes: Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at 2 p.m.
    • Red Mountain Theatre Company Conservatory students perform with Birmingham’s best local artist.
  • Sensory Santa
    • Sunday, December 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at The Riverchase Galleria.
    • This is an event where children and adults can visit with Santa with less noise, lower volume, shorter lines and less stress for those with special needs.
  • Mountain Brook Holiday Parade
    • Sunday, December 4 at 3 p.m. The parade will go through Mountain Brook Village on Cahaba Road, Culver Road and Petticoat Lane. The stage will be set on the grass island between Realty South and Gilchrist in Mountain Brook Village.
    • There will be holiday floats, a marching band, music, elves, surprises from the floats, photos with the mayor and live entertainment from the center stage.
  • UAB Concert Choir’s “Christmas at Alys” Concert
    • Monday, December 5 at 7 p.m. in the Alys Stephens Center on UAB’s campus.
    • The concert is led by the UAB Concert Choir and Chamber Singers.
    • Calera High School Choir, Hueytown High School Choir, Steel City Men’s Chorus and more will perform.
  • City of Birmingham Annual Tree-lighting
    • Tuesday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Linn Park.
    • There will be a meet and greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, live music, food trucks and free prizes.
  • 2016 Lighting of the Star and Downtown Homewood Christmas Parade
    • Tuesday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m.
    • The historic Homewood Star at the top of 18th Street will be lit as the official beginning of the Downtown Homewood Christmas Parade. The Lighting of the Christmas Tree will immediately follow the parade at City Hall.
  • Saturn Santa Spectacular
    • Thursday, December 8 at Saturn. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m.
    • Admission is free, but the event is 18 and over. There will be free food and candy.
    • From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., have your picture taken with the sassiest Santa south of the North Pole.
    • Christmas karaoke will be at 8:30 p.m and Christmas Vacation will be screened at 10 p.m.
    • The night is planned to raise money for The Crisis Center.
  • Alabama School of Fine Arts Music Concert
    • Thursday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. Both performances will take place at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theater. Admission to $5-$10.
    • The concert features ASFA’s Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Choir and the Concerto delle Donne.
  • “Behold the Lamb of God” Christmas Tour
    • Friday, December 9 at 7 p.m. at Valleydale Church. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show and $30 for VIP.
    • Andrew Peterson will perform pieces from his “Behold the Lamb of God” Christmas album and storytelling songs.
  • Zoolight Safari 
    • December 9-11, December 16-23 and December 26-31 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Birmingham Zoo.
    • Over one million lights, holiday music and festive snowfalls. Ride on the Candy Cane Train, spin on the Jingle Bell Carousel, go on the 100 foot Yuletide Slide and the Santa Rollers, plus much more.
    • Santa will be there for photos from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Safari Peak.
    • There will be live music by Feel the Beat Entertainment under the Safari Peak from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Jingle Bell Breakfast 
    • Saturday, December 10 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the McWane Science Center. A movie will be shown at 9:30 a.m.
    • There will be a hot breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, crafts and the Ice Slide. There will be a special showing of Santa vs. the Snowman in the IMAX Dome.
    • Admissions is $25 for adults and $20 for kids. Members will receive $2 off.
  • Polar Express PJ Party
    • Saturday, December 10 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the McWane Science Center. The movie will be from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Wear your PJs and visit with Santa over hot chocolate and cookies. Polar Express will be played on the IMAX Dome.
    • Advanced reservations required. Admission is $14 for adults and $12 for kids. Members will receive $2 off.
  • Wacky Tacky Christmas Light Tour
    • December 11, 13 and 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The buses will leave from Avondale Brewing Company.
    • Admission is $25 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and younger.
  • Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
    • Sunday, December 11 at 8 p.m. at Saturn.
    • Jeffrey Butzer and T.T. Mahoney will perform the jazz soundtrack of the “Peanuts” television special.
    • Admission is $10.
  • Christmas is a Drag
    • Thursday, December 15 at Saturn. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show is at 9 p.m.
    • Admission is free, but the event is 18 and over.
    • Featuring Cierra Symone Campbell, Safaree Campbell, Sharon Cocx, Audrina Taylor and Victoria Taylor. The Christmas Queens will perform on stage.
    • There will be a model competition for the most hideous holiday sweater.
    • This event benefits the Birmingham Aids Outreach organization.
  • Saturn Christmas Swap
    • Saturday, December 17 at Saturn from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Admission is free, but the event is 18 and over.
    • Features local artists with selections of artwork, handmade goods, soap, vintage clothing and more.
  • Briarwood Christmas Festival
    • Sunday, December 18 from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at Briarwood Presbyterian Church. Admission and parking are free.
    • The Briarwood Chancel Choir and Festival Orchestra will present “How Great Our Joy!” It is a program of sacred choral and instrumental  music.
  • Winter Wonderland and the Magic Model Trains
    • Open daily through December 31 at the McWane Science Center.
    • There is an Ice Slide and a room with an extended zip line. You can climb aboard the McWane Train and go for a ride before viewing the Magic Model of Trains exhibit.
    • Admission is $9-$13.

Shelby County events

  • City of Helena 46th Annual Christmas Parade
    • Saturday, December 3 at 1 p.m. at City Hall.
    • The theme for the parade is “Put the fire out….Santa’s coming.” The parade will honor Fire Departments for the service they provide to residents.
  • City of Calera Christmas Village and Craft Fair
    • Saturday, December 3 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Calera City Hall.
    • Pictures with Santa will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. only.
    • There will be holiday shopping with local vendors. Kids can fill their stocking with Christmas candy from each vendor.
    • There will be a jump station, hot chocolate booth and lighting of the Christmas tree.
  • Sensory Santa
    • Saturday, December 3 from 2 p.m.to 5 p.m. at Alabaster First United Methodist Church.
    • This is an event where children and adults can visit with Santa with less noise, lower volume, shorter lines and less stress for those with special needs.
  • “A Christmas Memory” with Dolores Hydock
    • Monday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Albert L. Scott Public Library. Admission is free.
    • Storyteller and actress Dolores Hydock performs the short story by Truman Capote.

St. Clair County events

Tuscaloosa County events

  • Dickens Downtown
    • Tuesday, December 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in downtown Northport.
    • Theatre Tuscaloosa will perform scenes from “A Christmas Carol,” local choirs, the 5th Alabama Regimental Band, a real English Town Crier, Father Christmas and business and neighborhood open house.

Walker County events

  • The Chamber of Commerce of Walker County’s Annual Christmas Parade
    • Tuesday, December 6 at 6:00 p.m. in downtown Jasper.
    • There are reports that Santa Claus may make an appearance at the Jasper Civic Center before heading out to ride in the parade.
  • Oakman Christmas Parade
    • Friday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m. Lineup will begin at 6 p.m. in the Oakman Elementary School parking lot.
  • Townley Christmas Parade
    • Saturday, December 17 at 1 p.m. at the Townley Community Center.
  • Sipsey Christmas Parade
    • Saturday, December 17 at 10 a.m.
    • There will be a community lunch at the Sipsey Community Center after the parade.

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