Wilsonville kicks off season with tree lighting

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer 

WILSONVILLE — People warmed themselves with hot chocolate and warmed their souls with the Christmas spirit as the colorful glow emanated from the 35-foot-tall Christmas tree in Wilsonville’s town center.

The town’s annual Tree Lighting, held on Monday, Dec. 2, also featured music from the Wilsonville Elementary Choir and Lincoln Byron Thomas and The Official Clutch Band. Santa even joined the band for a spirited rendition of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town.”

“We’ve got an excellent crowd,” said Mayor Lee McCarty. “We have fabulous music. Bruce Andrews with the Shelby County Arts Council booked this music for us. We have great music every year, and our Christmas tree is gorgeous.”

Paul Edwards, a longtime resident of Wilsonville, had the honor of flipping the switch to illuminate the Christmas tree.

Meanwhile, attendees mingled and enjoyed coffee, hot chocolate and cider provided by the town and kids had a chance to be photographed with Santa Claus while telling him their Christmas wishes.

Members of the Wilsonville Elementary Choir all wore traditional Santa hats while they sang Christmas songs. Then, Lincoln Byron Thomas and the Official Clutch Band played a diverse mix of jazz, gospel and holiday music for the crowd. Thomas is also a music instructor with the Shelby County Arts Council.

“It’s a lot of fun to come out with the town and see everyone on a cold night,” said Steve Thomas, pastor of Wilsonville Baptist Church, which sits not far from the town’s Central Park where the festivities were held. “It’s good to be part of a small town that enjoys being together.”