The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 1, 2013

Park tree-lighting set for Tuesday

By Kim West

— The local Christmas calendar of events continues to rev up, with the 15th annual tree-lighting ceremony set for 5 p.m. Tuesday at Lincoln-Bridgeforth Park in Athens.

The public is invited to attend the event, which is sponsored by the 10-member park committee.

One of the most highly anticipated activities is the toy giveaway for pre-registered children from the community and the Boys & Girls Clubs, said committee member Jimmy Gill.

“We do this every year and try to give gifts to the kids that otherwise wouldn’t get anything, with donations of toys and bikes coming from different organizations,” said Gill.

He said there will be plenty of photo opportunities for families, with Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving at the park atop a truck from Athens Fire and Rescue’s nearby Station 1.

In addition to the tree lighting and toy giveaway, free hot chocolate, coffee and cookies will be available. Gill said the ceremony is usually capped with a round of Christmas carols with the children.

“Last year we had a little over 200 people,” he said. “We’ve had a really good turnout each year because it’s something the community looks forward to.

“And it’s a good time to have the ceremony, with the Christmas parade coming up on Thursday.”

The park is located near 814 Westview Ave., at the intersection of Hine Street and Westview.