Montevallo hosts festive Christmas parade ahead of holiday season

Published 12:43 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – The night’s air was crisp and chilly on the night of Thursday, Nov. 30, but that did not detract from a festive night at Montevallo’s annual Christmas Parade.

The event started with Christmas music from JQ’s One Man Swing Band on the post office lawn and was followed by the tree-lighting ceremony by Tim Tingle at 5:30 p.m. as the city came together to ring in the holiday season.

“Someone said it looked like a Norman Rockwell painting,” Montevallo Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Adele Nelson said of the downtown area, referencing the myriad of lights and decorations adorning buildings and lampposts.

The parade itself began at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Wadsworth and Ashville Road on Alabama 119 and proceeded south on Main Street for five blocks ending at Shelby Street. Numerous organizations, including the Montevallo Fire Department, the Montevallo High School marching band and local churches, paraded down main street in floats and festive costumes.

“This year’s parade was a big success, with numerous community groups participating,” Nelson said. “It was a great evening to be in Montevallo. Our city crew, volunteers and the merchants have really decked the town with decorations and lights. The parade was a great way to kick off the Christmas season.”

Popular parade MCs, “Dollar Bill” Lawson and Steve Gilbert took turns announcing parade participants including the Grand Marshal, Jackie “Penny” Chappell along with the parade trophy winners: Most Creative – Alabama Custom Trailer and RV, Most Christmas Spirit – Parnell Memorial Library,  Best Theme – City of Montevallo, and  Best Overall – St Thomas Catholic Church.

“I think we had six apparatuses in the parade this year,” said Lt. Wesley Mims of the Montevallo Fire Department. “We’ve been in the parade every year since it started. It was a good turnout this year, and it was a long parade. The people I knew who were there said it was good too.”

Parade attendees were also able to enjoy the holiday window decorations in the storefronts of businesses who were competing in the 7th annual holiday window contest. The official results of the people’s choice award for the contest will be announced on Friday, Dec. 8.

“Our Christmas tree, Christmas banners, lights and parade helped kick off the holiday season,” Nelson said.

This year’s Montevallo Christmas Parade sponsors included the city of Montevallo, Dixie Decorations, Dixon Designs, Lucky’s Foodland, Montevallo Main Street, Team Lehman, The Type Shop, Trustmark Bank, Slice, Montevallo ACE Hardware, State Farm/Bob Butterworth, Blue Phrog Gallery, Falcon Art Supply,  University of Montevallo and State Legislators: Sen. April Weaver, Rep. Russell Bedsole and Rep. Kenneth Paschal.

Overall the event was well attended, with several hundred people showing up to admire the parade passing along the Main Street. Attendees had the chance to warm themselves with hot cider provided by members of Wilton Bible Baptist Church. By all accounts, this year’s annual Montevallo Christmas parade was a great success.

“The parade went great,” said Becky Cox-Rodgers, co-manager of Falcon Art Supply. “Weather was good, the quality of the floats was really nice this year and everybody had a great time.”