Alabaster readies for annual water tower lighting and Festival of Trees

Published 1:33 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2023

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – The city of Alabaster is gearing up for a return to the Christmas holiday season as it prepares to present the annual lighting of the historic water tower and Festival of Trees on Friday, Dec. 1 from 6-8 p.m.

One of the city’s newest traditions, Alabaster’s annual water tower lighting was first displayed in 2020 and it now returns for its third iteration. The event will see the tower illuminated from below in alternating red and green lighting as city residents and visitors congregate on the greenspace.

“It’s quickly become one of our most popular and well-attended events each year, and we expect to have several hundred visitors in attendance again this year,” said Neal Wagner, public relations manager for the city of Alabaster.

The event will also feature a trackless train ride, vendors, food trucks and a stage for live musical performances. Children at the event will also have the opportunity to have their pictures taken Santa Claus.

This year will also mark the second time that Alabaster will host the Festival of Trees next to city hall at the water tower’s greenspace.

“We started hosting the Festival of Trees next to city hall last year, and have made it a part of the city’s Christmas celebration as well,” Wagner said. “We’re very thankful to our Parks and Recreation and facilities departments for all the hard work they put in to make these events possible.”

Alabaster’s Festival of Trees, although starting the same night as the water tower lighting celebration, will run through the remainder of December and conclude on Jan. 2 after the new year begins.

Those who registered for the event and paid the $250 entry fee will have the ability to decorate a single 7-8-foot live tree and showcase printed signage identifying themselves as the tree’s sponsor. Local businesses, organizations and individuals will also have the ability to advertise on the city’s website and Facebook page as part of their event registration.

On Wednesday, Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., registrants will have the opportunity to choose a tree on a first come first serve basis and begin their decorations. Participants will then have their trees take part in a judging and tree lighting ceremony that will be held on Thursday, Nov. 30 before their official unveiling during the celebration on Dec. 1.

A portion of each entry fee will go toward the provision of Christmas gifts for local families and children in need via Shelby County Emergency Services.