Everyone looks forward to the holiday season and all of its merriment. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, holiday celebrations are different this year in the River City. Decatur Morgan County Tourism is committed to offering families safe and responsible options to celebrate Christmas and the magic of the season. For those in search of holiday merriment, Decatur Morgan County Tourism has compiled a list of places to experience the holiday season safely in and around the River City.
Returning for the fifth year, the Hartselle Holiday Market is set for Saturday, December 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located at the Hartselle Tabernacle at 35 Tabernacle Road, the shopping extravaganza features dozens of vendors of handmade and brand items.
The City of Priceville Park and Recreation’s Annual Shelia Smith Christmas Parade is set for Saturday, December 5 at 2 p.m. with a rain date of December 12. For more information, call the Priceville Municipal Building at (256) 355-5476, ext. 0. A map of the parade route is available at https://www.cityofpriceville.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Christmas-Parade-Map-2018.pdf.
Beginning December 7th until New Year’s Day, families are invited to join in on the spirit of the holiday season with Enchanted Forest of Decatur, a tinsel stroll among a beautiful display of live Christmas trees trimmed in festive decorations. Sponsored and decorated by individuals, groups and businesses from Decatur and the surrounding area. Every tree is uniquely decorated, and solar lights will give that extra sparkle for an unforgettable Christmas light display. The month-long event, now in its third year, will take place in Founders Park, across from the Old State Bank in historic downtown Decatur. Admission is free.
Proceeds of Enchanted Forest of Decatur are donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) to assist in bringing more research for a cure and additional awareness of these diseases. Because of the success of the 2019 and 2020 events over $20,000 has been donated to LLS. For more information, visit www.EnchantedForestOfDecatur.com or Enchanted Forest of Decatur on Facebook.
In 2020 uncertainty reigns, but the Historic Decatur Christmas Tour will go on according to Christmas Tour Chair Harriette Mathews. In a nod to COVID-19 health concerns, the 2020 event will feature a virtual tour of homes on https://decaturchristmastour.com/ on Saturday, December 12 with two videos and a slideshow playing on the website instead of in-home tours. On that date, outdoor sites in the districts will glow with lights and sparkle in Christmas finery for your strolling pleasure virtually and the grand historic houses will be a feast for the eyes in all their Christmastime glory.
Presented yearly on the second Saturday in December, the Christmas Tour showcases a unique selection of historic homes curated by the Historic Decatur Association, a nonprofit devoted to the preservation of the homes within and character of the two districts that comprise Historic Decatur. The tour has been held annually for over 40 years and serves as a critical fundraiser for the organization.
Enchanted Forest of Decatur and Downtown Decatur Merchants invite everyone to take part in their first Downtown Decatur Cookie Walk. Set for December 12th, shoppers will receive one Christmas cookie from each of the participating locations while knocking out some Christmas shopping and supporting local businesses.
Participants will receive a reusable shopping bag filled with a map of participating merchants, a Christmas card that the merchants will sign, a hand-crafted tea towel and a beautifully crafted commemorative Christmas ornament. Then enjoy walking the downtown, meeting business owners and gathering one cookie or Christmas candy per shopping bag, from each of approximately 25 participating merchants. Participants should start the stroll at 10 a.m. on December 12 at the Decatur Church of Christ Outreach located at 240 Grant Street to pick up the shopping bag and the first cookie. All bags must be picked up before noon.
Advance reservation is required to take part in the event. To reserve a bag (or bags), make a $28 donation to the Enchanted Forest via Paypal by December 7th. Supply is limited.
In place of its annual Christmas Parade, the Decatur Jaycees are excited to host Decatur’s first reverse parade, Spectacle of Lights. Set to take place Thursday, December 17 through Sunday, December 20, the Spectacle of Lights reverse parade will allow the community to participate in the long-standing tradition of celebrating the holiday season together while continuing to give back to the community.
The Decatur Jaycees are challenging all Decatur businesses, organizations, churches and schools to support their community by putting on their best Christmas displays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for four nights (December 17-20). Each participating location will receive a location pin on Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority’s interactive map (https://decaturdowntown.org/), allowing community members to plan their very own parade route to view participant’s lights and décor. Registration to participate will close on Monday, December 7.
For information on additional sights and sounds in the Decatur/Morgan County area, visit www.decaturcvb.org.