HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The sixth annual Hanceville Civitan Club Tinsel Trail and Tree Lighting Ceremony took place Saturday at Veterans Park. Nearly 50 Christmas displays made by local businesses and individuals now line the park walkway around the pond. The displays and tree will remain until Jan. 1.
Guests enjoyed the trail, along with carriage rides and free hot chocolate before gathering at the park pavilion to prepare for the tree lighting. Before lighting the tree, Tyler Calvert and daughter Kallista were welcomed to sing renditions of “Silent Night” and “The First Noel.”
Pastor James Fields greeted visitors and thanked the Hanceville Town Council and Civitan Club for their participation. “This was a dream of Ms. Patty Dean. As you look around the lake at all the stations that are so beautiful, I want to encourage you to take part in it.
Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail also welcomed those who attended the tree lighting and encouraged residents to support those who made displays. “I want you to be invested in your community. I want you to take part in your community…You’ve got the Civitans, you’ve got the Lions Club, a lot of different service organizations around. Take part in your community.”
Hanceville Councilwoman and Civitan Club member Patty Dean added, “I just want to say how much I appreciate each and every one of you guys that participated. Without you, we couldn’t do this. This opens doors to bring people into our town.”
Dean has been part of the Civitans and in charge of the Tinsel Trail for three years. “When I came in, I told them that I would like to work it,” she said. “It gave me an opportunity to go around – I was running for council at the time – it gave me an opportunity to meet the merchants here in town and meet people.”
She continued, “Each year I tried to do something a little bit different. The first year that I took it, we added ‘in memory of’ for people that have lost loved ones. Last year, I added a sponsorship. A lot of businesses don’t have time to decorate. My hope is that eventually we can light it going down toward the stage and circle around.”
The Civitan Club sells Tinsel Trail spots for $25 and furnishes the signs, so when they have repeat decorators, they can make more profit by reusing signs. The proceeds go toward the Hanceville Civitan Club Scholarship Fund.
Dean said, “For the past two years we have given four $1,000 scholarships, and we give them to our Hanceville students, and it can go to their choice of college.” Community service and participation in school activities are a big part of the requirements for the scholarships, said Dean.
Tinsel Trail displays will be up until Jan. 1 to give the community the chance to enjoy them through the holiday season.
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