It’s the most wonderful time of the year in downtown Athens. Residents and visitors have the opportunity to join in the holiday spirit with the annual North Pole Stroll.

The stroll is set Dec. 3–31.

The North Pole Stroll welcomes visitors for a celebration of decorated Christmas trees placed in Big Spring Memorial Park. The approximately 6-foot Douglas fir trees are decorated by members of the community, local businesses and civic groups. One of the conditions for the décor is to keep it as green-friendly as possible by using solar LED lighting. Trees can have themes that match the sponsor’s mission, or they can be uniquely designed.

This year's celebration will also include horse-drawn carriage rides around the historic downtown area.

Named a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event for December, the North Pole Stroll is open each day until midnight. Participants can stroll at their own pace among the display of trees and enjoy the lights and holiday decorations. After a stroll through the Christmas trees, participants can take a scenic horse and carriage ride (fee charged) through the streets of the Beaty Historic District to hopefully create a true Hallmark Christmas moment. The carriage rides will be served by a four-passenger open-air wagon and are weather permitting. For more information on the carriage rides, visit Wild Hearts Cowboy Carriage Rides Facebook page for more information about the carriage rides.

The North Pole Stroll is organized by Athens-Limestone Tourism Association and supported by Lowe's of Athens, City of Athens, Limestone County Commission and City of Athens Parks and Recreation. Big Spring Memorial Park is located on Market Street East in downtown Athens. Admission is free. Call 256-232-5411 or visit for more information on the North Pole Stroll.

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