Christmas lights put on Broad

Published 8:03 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Downtown Selma is ready for the holidays with wreaths and lights being put up throughout the city Tuesday.

The Selma Public Works Department was busy stringing lights and putting the final touches on the Christmas decorations for all to enjoy.

“All the lights in the trees and everything, it just lights up Selma,” said McKenzie Strother, who was shopping downtown Tuesday. “It helps you get in the Christmas spirit and lets you know Christmas is just around the corner.”

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Strother said her late great-grandfather Billy McKenzie was once responsible for putting the decorations up downtown, so every time she sees them she thinks of the tradition that has carried on throughout the years.

“Whenever he lived in Selma … he would be the man that would put them up down Broad Street and put up all the Christmas lights on the wreathes,” Strother said. “My grandmother used to always tell me that he would do it. I never got to meet him, but just coming home and seeing that, it’s a nice little reminder knowing that he was once the man that used to always put them up.”

Logan Cole, who was shopping with Strother, said when the lights go up, it’s time for Christmas.

“Every time [the lights] go up, it just lets you know that it’s only a couple weeks away and it’s the happiest time of the year and I feel like Selma is just so much brighter and more cheerful whenever Christmas rolls around,” Cole said.

“I love Christmas, especially in Selma. I always remember all the lights going up ever since we were little and it would just make me so happy.”

Leo Watkins, an employee with the Public Works Department, was one of the ones responsible for creating the holiday atmosphere downtown by hanging the wreathes Tuesday.

Watkins could be seen high up in a bucket truck hanging and fluffing the wreathes before plugging them in for all to see.

“It makes me feel good because people love the festivities and they like to see things like this,” Watkins said. “It’s Christmas time and it’s Thanksgiving and people want to see the festivities, they want to see the lights on the trees, they want to see the wreathes.”

Watkins said they hang 22 wreathes downtown, as well as stringing lights and putting up more decorations.

Although the ornamentation is for everyone to see, Watkins said he still enjoys driving through downtown and seeing it for himself.

“It makes me feel good when I drive down the street and see it,” Watkins said.