Pelham kicks off Christmas season with concert in the park

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter 

PELHAM —  In a normal year, the city of Pelham would have a more traditional celebration to kick off Christmas festivities at the Pelham Civic Complex, however, in a year that is anything but normal, the city created a safe way for residents to celebrate together socially distanced in the city park.

The scene was a crowd of lawn chairs spread out on the youth football field at Pelham City Park on Sunday, Dec. 6, as residents dressed in their warmest clothes to hear Christmas classics and other songs performed by the band Act of Congress.

Director of Parks and Recreation D. Tyrell McGirt said that the event was designed to create a safe and fun way for the city to come together and celebrate the holiday even though it may take a new form.

“This is a little different. We all know that COVID-19 has touched our community and has impacted the way we do our daily operations and what we normally do over at the civic complex,” McGirt said. “We are now doing this outside to be a little safer but still bringing people together and to do some thing that makes Pelham feel like Christmastime.”

The two-hour concert featured music from the Birmingham based string instrument group Act of Congress.

“Act of Congress is a group of four from Michigan who only play string instruments,” McGirt said. “The group was formed back in 2006, and they are based here in the Birmingham and the Shelby County area. They are a tremendous local talent that we have here, and we highlighted them with this event.”

Guests drank warm drinks and enjoyed cookies provided by Pelham High School’s Culinary Academy that was on-site, while listening to many of their favorite Christmas classics.

Out of everything, the most valuable aspect of the concert was fostering a community bond during a particularly difficult year, while highlighting what the parks and facilities of the city have to offer.

“We want to have members of our community gather together and really get a chance to get to know our neighbors. We want to highlight our facilities and the good things we have going on here in Pelham,” McGirt explained. “And we want to showcase our local talent. And all those things are a little bit different this year, but I think everyone was in for a real treat with what we put together.”

Though the celebrations looked much different this year, the joy on the faces of parents and their children, and neighbors and loved ones was obvious as they sang along and enjoyed their favorite Christmas songs.