Santa to return to Alabaster for annual pit stop

Published 2:41 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2022

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Santa Claus is returning to the city of Alabaster again for his annual pit stop in the city.

The Alabaster Fire Department will escort Santa Claus through the city on Christmas Eve and visit with local children on his stops through the city on Saturday, Dec. 24.

“This is a tradition the city and the Fire Department in particular looks forward to every year, and they really put a lot of thought and effort into making it a memorable experience for Alabaster children year after year,” said Neal Wagner, public relations for the city of Alabaster.

Changes were made to the event last year and will continue this year.

“The city has grown significantly over the past several years and has added several new neighborhoods,” Wagner said. “Rather than trying to continue doing brief stops in every neighborhood and pushing the tour well into the evening hours, as had been the case the past few years, the department last year moved to longer, more centralized stops hitting every part of the city. Not only does that allow Santa to spend more time with the kids at each stop, it allows his tour of Alabaster to wrap up well before bedtime and gives him plenty of time to get back to the North Pole for his journey around the world.”

Alabaster Fire Department Chief Tim Love explained the reasoning for the changes.

“We’re getting more and more people so we wanted to control the amount of stops and carry them into bigger areas,” Love said. “We started searching for a plan. How can we put equal number stops in different areas of the city, at parks, at church parking lots so we could bring in larger groups and we would stay there longer. We’d stay 30 to 45 minutes at that location. So, everybody (can) come out (and) get a chance to see Santa.”

With the city’s growth the department has run into issue with calls during the event. The new setup allows them to still carry on the city’s tradition.

“Last year, we did pretty good with it,” Love said. “I think we’ll see more and more people. We would love to pull up and there’d be 150 people at each stop. That’s what I would like to see. And then we can stay there and give all them a chance to spend some time with Santa and then move on to the next location and do the same thing.”

During the event there will be four trucks moving simultaneously all the time.

“This is something that’s been going on long before I came here, and tradition is huge in a city like Alabaster,” Love said. “This is a multi-generational event that goes on, and I think it’s just a huge part of what people plan for Christmas. It’s a part of the city that we have got to continue because I think it’s something that people appreciate. Even though we’re having to make some changes, I just think it’s something that’s really appreciated in the city.”

The 2022 Santa Stops are listed below:

Tower 19

  • Promenade across from Dairy Queen 1-2:30 p.m.
  • Thompson High School 3-4:30 p.m.
  • Veterans Park at the playground 5-6:30 p.m.

Engine 12

  • First Presbyterian Church, 8828 Highway 119, 1-1:30 p.m.
  • Municipal Park, 500 Warrior Drive, 1:40-2:10 p.m.
  • Keystone Mobile Home Park, 1564 Kent Dairy Road, 2:20-2:50 p.m.
  • Meadow View Elementary School, 2800 Smokey Road, 3:55-4:25 p.m.
  • The Branch at Mission Hills Church, 16669 Mission Hills Road, 4:35-5:05 p.m.
  • Silver Creek Clubhouse, 257 Silver Creek Pkwy, 5:15-5:45 p.m.
  • Park Forest Clubhouse, Park Drive, 5:55-6:25 p.m.

Engine 13

  • The View Apartments Pool, Third Street N.E., 1-1:30 p.m.
  • Liberty Baptist Church, 306 Fifth Avenue S.E., 1:40-2:10 p.m.
  • Abbey Wooley Park, Park Road Parking Lot, 2:20-2:50 p.m.
  • Wellington Manor Clubhouse, 1500 Windsor Court, 3-3:30 p.m.
  • Hickory Hills Church, 190 Allen Drive, 3:55-4:25 p.m.
  • Weatherly School for Amazing Kids, 61 Weatherly Club Drive, 4:35-5:05 p.m.
  • Weatherly Clubhouse, 100 Wembley Way, 5:15-5:45 p.m.
  • Saddle Lakes Community Boat Dock, Canter Way, 5:55- 6:25 p.m.

Engine 11

  • Alabaster Church of God, 530 First Avenue W., 1-1:30 p.m.
  • First Baptist Church, 903 Third Avenue N.W., 1:40- 2:30 p.m.
  • Kingwood Church, 100 Harvest Way, 2:20-2:50 p.m.
  • Old Kingwood School, 1351 Royalty Drive, 3-3:30 p.m.
  • Evangel Church, 423 Thompson Road, 3:55-4:25 p.m.
  • Buck Creek Park, 701 Sixth Avenue, S.W., 4:35-5:05 p.m.
  • Neighborhood field on Victoria Station, across from 290 Victoria Station, 5:15-5:45 p.m.
  • Creek View Elementary School, 8568 Highway 17, 5:55-6:25 p.m.