City to light tree in style

Published 10:31pm Monday, December 2, 2013

The city of Selma has added a few small twists to the traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony this year.

In an effort to attract more people, the city is breaking with tradition, moving the tree light lighting ceremony to the Riverfront Park on Friday night, rather than hosting the event after the annual Christmas parade.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday and will also feature fireworks over the Alabama River.

“Over the years, people have kind of gotten away from coming out and enjoying the program,” Natalie Shelton, a member of the city’s committee who helped organize the holiday occasion, said. “We try to do something a little bit more different just to get more people out.”

The program, which is normally held in front of Selma City Hall, in conjuction with the Christmas parade, will also feature a performance from a praise team, a performance from a local choir and more.

Shelton said the committee thought the change might improve the ceremony, which she referred to as a kickoff of the Christmas season.

“We decided to separate [the tree lighting and parade] to make the program a little bit better and also to add the fireworks so we can do the Christmas tree lighting at night instead of during the day,” Shelton said. “It’s better to hold the Christmas tree lighting at night versus during the day.”

Pauline Williams, the city’s benefits manager, said the event should bring the community together.

“We need more unity in the city and I think this is a good and a very festive event to come out and congregate together,“ Williams said.

Shelton said she hopes the changes to the program, which took more than two months to organize, will draw in a bigger crowd for years to come.

“It’s going to be awesome,” she said. “I think the people are actually going to enjoy it.”

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