Pelham Christmas tree lighting is Dec. 1

Santa skates during last year's Christmas tree lighting ceremony. (File)

Santa skates during last year’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Fall might have just begun, but Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena Director Danny Tate and Pelham Executive Administrative Assistant Paula Holly are already thinking about Christmas and the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 1.

“It’s really exciting,” Holly said. “(This year) will be more focused on the community.”

Guests will be welcomed to the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena by carolers from the Pelham High School Chamber Choir, and the first 1,000 attendants will receive commemorative ornaments for Pelham’s 50th anniversary, courtesy of the city’s Beautification Board.

Santa will be available to take pictures with “our youngest children” from 5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. in the Banquet Hall, Tate added.

The Christmas tree lighting program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Ice Arena, and will include performances from the eight and under Pelham hockey team, the Birmingham Figure Skating Club, the Pelham Skate School, Pelham City Schools students, and of course, a skating Santa.

“We decided last year we were done with Santa on the Zamboni,” Holly said. Instead, Santa will perform on ice.

“It’ll be a much more festive performance,” Tate said.

Tate and Holly have made changes to the program’s layout in order to “really highlight our school children,” Holly explained.

“When you come into the arena, all of our students will be highlighted at the rear of the arena. All of our bands will be on the stage for music,” Holly said. “We will have spotlights to highlight our performers.”

Upon entering the arena, the Valley Intermediate School Choir, Valley Elementary School choir and Riverchase Middle School Band will be located behind the ice to the left. The RMS choir and PHS choir and jazz band will be located behind the ice to the right.

“This new layout opens up all of our seating,” Holly said.

Following the performance, guests are invited to participate in free skating and join Santa for cookies and hot chocolate.