The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

December 12, 2013

County dedicates new Christmas tree, parade draws 170-plus entrants

— County officials dedicated the new permanent Christmas tree prior to Thursday’s Reliance Bank Christmas Parade in Athens.

By mid-afternoon, a record 170-plus parade entrants lined up at Athens High School, with hundreds of vehicles parked along the parade route more than four hours before the parade started.

In downtown Athens, officials lit the nearly 6-foot Yoshino Japanese cedar about an hour before the floats wound around the downtown Square on a clear night with temperatures in the mid-30s.

The Wooley Springs Baptist Church choir sang several Christmas carols from the steps of the Limestone County Courthouse and vendors sold light-up antlers, hot dogs and hot chocolate.

Parade officials announced the Friends of Ripley won the grand prize for the best float. The Ripley float, which is organized by dozens of friends and families from the Clements community, showcased this year’s parade theme, “A Storybook Christmas,” by showcasing the animated TV special, “A Year Without Santa Claus.”

Clements student Kassy Craig, 12, said she has participated in the Ripley float “for as long as she could remember.”

“Being in the parade and sometimes winning is fun,” said Craig, who said the float participants celebrate by going to Pizza Hut.

The county planted the permanent young tree in late October to replace the previous custom of bringing in a temporary, full-grown tree. The new tree is expected to grow to about 22 feet.

Text Only
Local News

What is your favorite Easter candy?

Chocolate bunnies
Marshmallow chicks
Chocolate eggs with filling
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee