Franklin County parades into Christmas season

Franklin County is getting ready for seasonal festivities, preparing for its yearly parades and other events  in Russellville, Red Bay, Vina and Phil Campbell.

“The Franklin County Christmas parades are always a highlight,” shared Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Director Cassie Medley. “Seeing the excitement of children and the young at heart as they anxiously wait for a glimpse of Santa never gets old.”

DEC. 1 – RUSSELLVILLE

Before the parade: Dec. 1 at 4:15 p.m., the Cultura Garden Club’s Every Light a Prayer for Peace program will take place on the Franklin County Courthouse steps. The event will feature songs and speakers encouraging peace. Veterans, active military, front-line workers, first responders and EMS will be honored. Derek Washington, of First Freewill Baptist Church, will give the Prayer for Peace Message.

The official tree lighting, across the street in front of the Byars Building, will wrap up the event, immediately preceding the Russellville Christmas Parade.

Parade: Russellville’s Christmas parade is set for 6 p.m. in downtown Russellville. Lineup will be at 5:15 p.m. by the Big Star parking lot. Deadline for entry was 4 p.m. Nov. 28. The theme is Christmas Past.

“Our community Christmas parades are a well-loved tradition and offer wonderful opportunities to get out and enjoy free fun with family and friends and remember what this season is all about,” shared Russellville Mayor David Grissom.

Afterparty: The Russellville Christmas Parade Afterparty will take place at 7 p.m in City Lake Park. Three Russellville City Schools chorus groups will be singing Christmas carols. Food vendors will be selling hamburgers and hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, funnel cakes, brownies, cookies, cake pops, muffins, cupcakes, coffee, hot chocolate, soft drinks and more.

DEC. 4-5 – RED BAY

Dec. 4: Red Bay will be having food, fellowship and fun to kick off the Christmas season.

The Red Bay Senior Center, 115 5th Ave. SE., will host a soup lunch for seniors in the Senior Center starting at 11 a.m. Cost is $5 per person and includes homemade soup, crackers or cornbread, dessert and a drink. Music will be provided by Joe King. All proceeds will help fund activities at the center.

Red Bay will host a Christmas Open House from 1-4 p.m. Local businesses will be open during that time.

The city will have its annual tree lighting ceremony in Bay Tree Park at 5 p.m. Dec. 4 with a new, large tree and live music.

The Red Bay Museum will also be open that day, with no admission charge. Exhibits include re-creations of Red Bay landmarks with actual items, including the Hotel Red Bay lobby, soda fountain, dry good stores, Bay Theater, farm and country store display, old bank cashier windows and vault door from the Bank of Red Bay, medical items from the medical clinic and hospital and more, including a massive Tammy Wynette tribute.

“Born, raised and schooled in Itawamba County, halfway between Red Bay and Tremont, Miss., Tammy would refer to Red Bay as her hometown, as this is where she went to shop, to the doctor, to the movies and to visit friends and family,” Red Bay Museum curator Scotty Kennedy  explained. He noted Wynette also performed five concerts that benefited Red Bay School, as well as served as the grand marshal for the Christmas Parades in the 1980s.

A television series about Wynette, based on the book by Georgette Jones, will premiere Dec. 4 on Showtime, starring Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon. Some items used in the series were loaned to the museum by Georgette Jones and are now on display.
For more information on the Red Bay Museum, contact Kennedy at 256-356-8758.

Dec. 5: The annual Red Bay Christmas parade will be Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. in downtown Red Bay. For more information, call Red Bay City Hall at 256-356-4473.

DEC. 6 – VINA

Vina’s Christmas parade will be Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. in downtown Vina. For more information, call Vina Town Hall at 256-356-4996.

DEC. 8 – PHIL CAMPBELL

Phil Campbell’s Christmas parade will be Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. Weather-permitting, there will be a tree lighting in the park after the parade, including recently-purchased Christmas lights. For more information, call Phil Campbell Town Hall at at 205-993-5313.

“We are very excited to be able to do this,” explained Phil Campbell Mayor Michael McQuary. “We will add more lights next year. I encourage everybody to come out and enjoy all the parades throughout Franklin County.”

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