Demopolis ready for Christmas on the River

By Staff
special to The Star
Dec. 1, 2002
DEMOPOLIS, Ala. Christmas on the River has drawn people here for more than 36 years.
This year, a light display entitled "The Gift of Lights" has been added to the festivities. The Gift of Lights will be on display Nov. 29-Dec. 21 at the Demopolis Botanical Gardens. Admission is $3 for the light show.
Christmas on the River has grown from a river parade of "floats that really float" to a week of activities that include the entire community and definitely offer something for everyone.
Jim Parr, 22, is the youngest person to ever be named chairman of Christmas on the River. Three years ago, Parr was chairman of the night parade, which floats along the Tombigbee River.
Now he heads up events for the entire week.
His involvement in Christmas on the River led the recent University of West Alabama graduate to be selected as the youngest board member in the history of the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce.
Festivities are planned for Dec. 1-7. Among the highlights are:
Dec. 2, 5:30 p.m. A Demopolis resident who best portrays the spirit of Christmas all year long is crowned St. Nicholas in the Demopolis Public Square. This person reigns over all Christmas on the River events.
Dec. 5, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Historic Christmas Events at Bluff Hall, Lyon Hall and Gaineswood feature special period music and local citizens dressed in period costumes.
Dec. 6, 4 p.m.  The Alabama Championship Barbecue Cook-off, the last officially sanctioned preliminary event for the national barbecue competition, held in Memphis in May.
Dec. 7, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.  The Fair in the Square for artists, craftsmen and food vendors, sponsored by the Demopolis High School Band Boosters on the Public Square.
Dec. 7, 11:30 a.m. The Day Parade featuring elegant floats, marching bands and the grand marshal.
Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m. The Night Parade featuring more than 20 lighted floats presented against the backdrop of a festive fireworks display.
The all-volunteer event in this city of 8,000 has attracted as many as 40,000 visitors on the final day which is crammed with two parades, a 5K run, the Alabama Championship Barbecue Cook-off and the Fair in the Square.
RV campsites are available at nearby Foscue Park, and the city has several motels to accompany visitors.
For more information, contact the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 667, Demopolis, AL 36732 or call (334) 289-0270.

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