Baileyton seniors see massive turnout at annual community Christmas celebration

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1. Siblings Etzio (left) and Killian (right) Bravo pose for a photo with Santa and Mr. Claus at the Baileyton Senior Center community Christmas party on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. (Cayla Grace Murphy)

BAILEYTON, Ala. – With a line wrapped around the building and seemingly every child in Baileyton in attendance, excitement and anticipation built as the Baileyton Senior Center hosted its annual community Christmas party on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.  Amid festive sweaters, a large, decorated tree and decorations hung about the center, kids of all ages ate dinner and visited with their community’s seniors, all while keeping an eye on the stage in the corner of the center, stacked high with toys for every age and interest. Science experiment kits, balls for every sport, stuffed toys, music instruments and dolls lined the stage, waiting to be picked.

The man of the hour, Santa himself, along with Mrs. Claus, burst through the backdoor to raucous applause. Kids lined up to get their photos taken with the ever-elusive Saint Nick and enjoy a bag of fruit and candy canes before finally hitting the stage to bring home a toy.

Baileyton Senior Center President Jim Fisher said it’s a once-a-year celebration that the seniors love to put on, and the town has looked forward to, for over a decade.

“This has been going on 12 years now,” explained Fisher, saying it’s an opportunity for the town to come out and fellowship with the seniors of Baileyton, and for the seniors to give back to the kids in the community.

“There’s nothing like this! You can come in, sit down, relax and eat,” he said, gesturing to the massive swell of kiddos and families around him enjoying a hot meal with plenty of Christmas cookies for dessert. Fisher said the festive season has all in Baileyton feeling merry and bright, as the town council stepped in to help the seniors accomplish the massive feat.

“Dewayne (Sumner) and Benny (Guthrie) has done a lot, and so has Wendell (Peterson),” Fisher said, noting a working relationship between the town and the seniors.

Town Councilman Sumner echoed Fisher’s statements, sharing his excitement that the council and seniors are once again working in tandem for the benefit of the community of Baileyton.

“We’re excited for the seniors to be able to move forward and continue helping the community, and the members of the council here are willing to support and help in any way we possibly can to better Baileyton,” said Sumner.

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