Christmas in Baileyton: ‘This is what it’s all about’

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Liam Pepper, age 3, poses with the giant teddy bear he won Saturday night at the 2018 Baileyton Christmas Celebration. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

BAILEYTON – Christmas cheer was in abundance Saturday evening in Baileyton. The 2018 Baileyton Christmas Celebration was held at the town’s senior center. The celebration is sponsored by the Town of Baileyton and this year saw a huge turnout.

Families were treated to free hot dogs, hamburgers, cookies, chips and drinks. They also had popcorn, nachos, snow cones and candy, along with bags of fruit for everyone to take home. Mayor Johnny Dyar checked on each table to make sure everyone had plenty.

The Baileyton Town Council had to work especially hard this year while planning this year’s celebration. Council members Windell Calloway, Wendell Peterson, Greg Griffin, Gene Sumner, Myra Martin and Town Clerk Patricia Gilbert made sure members of their community would still have a great event despite not being awarded a grant from Wal-Mart that helped in years past. 

There were tables of stuffed animals, toys, purses, blankets, shoes and other gifts for all the children and families to take home. Each child received a fun coloring book. A drawing was held to pick winners for three  large stuffed toys. A stuffed penguin and a large white tiger were donated by Michelle Sumner. A giant plush teddy bear was the grand prize donated by Billy Fletcher. Bobby Waller’s 3-year-old grandson, Liam Pepper, won the giant bear.

Liam smiled and said, “I’m happy!”

The mayor’s wife, Pat Dyar, smiled, “The people love this event. They start asking me about it months before and I constantly look for great deals on toys and things for the kids. Johnny works really hard and loves his town. He gets up every morning and puts on his overalls and does everything he can for Baileyton and the people.” 

Martin, Patricia Peterson, Pat Dyar and many others helped in the kitchen. The men of the council grilled the burgers and hot dogs, and Gilbert took photos of guests with Santa. 

The line to see Santa wrapped around the room for much of the night, but guests didn’t appear to mind the wait as many danced and sang along with Ray Kent and Jim Fisher, who provided live music. The duo took a break from singing to let members of the crowd sing karaoke to their Christmas favorites. 

Martin shared, “I think this might be our biggest crowd yet.” 

Mayor Dyar added, “This is a great turnout, and everyone is smiling and having a great time. This is our sixth year. The first two years were at the park, but we moved it here and it’s much better. I love seeing everyone coming together. This is what it’s all about.” 

Gene and Rebecca Sumner, Dewayne and Susan Sumner, and Jim and Michelle Fisher gave the fruit and drinks for the celebration rather than purchase gifts for each other this Christmas.

Pat Dyar said, “Many people donated to make this all possible, but these families we especially want to thank.”

This Thursday, Dec. 20 at 11:30 a.m. the Baileyton Seniors' Christmas Dinner will take place at the town’s senior center. The dinner will be provided by Walker Brothers and catered by Kims Parkside Catfish Restaurant. There will be many fun activities at the party. 

On Dec. 24, Kims Parkside Catfish Restaurant invites the community for Christmas Eve Dinner from 5-8 p.m.. The invitation is for people in need or just for fellowship. The meal is free, but the restaurant asks those who can bring canned or non-perishable food items for the Parkside Outreach Program. 

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