A Kodak moment… Fairhope citizens enjoy taking pictures of the lights for their social media posts.
A Kodak moment… Fairhope citizens enjoy taking pictures of the lights for their social media posts.
Madeline Piazza

Fairhope holds annual tree lighting ceremony

Lighting Up the Streets

by Madeline Piazza, reporter

FAIRHOPE, Ala. —Joy filled the air on November 16, as the city of Fairhope jump-started the holiday festivities with its annual tree lighting ceremony.

Lighting up the night… Fairhope citizens cheered as the streets filled with twinkling lights and snow. (Leah Hickman)

Crowds filled the streets for more than a block in most directions at the intersection of Fairhope Avenue and Section Street. All anxiously awaited the sparkles of lights that would flood downtown. 

“The effort and planning it took to get to this moment can’t be overstated, the city employees have been working on the lights since August,” said Fairhope citizen Julia Ruff. “We get to enjoy the final result, but don’t see all that goes into it.”

Families, friends and neighbors gathered to witness the start of the holiday season in a magical way. The moment the switch is flipped, the city transforms into a twinkling wonderland, eliciting gasps of wide-eyed wonder. 

“I love this event, this is my 10th year attending. It’s a tradition with my friends that I will always look back on and cherish,” said citizen Anne Haven Sherell.

The large crowd gathered around the Fairhope High School band as they played Christmas music and the school’s Choral Ensemble sang a selection of holiday songs.  Both groups had prepared for their performance during the last couple of months.

“I love performing at the lighting of the trees. This all took a lot of preparation and in the end it all came together perfectly,” said band member Emma Bumpers.

There were many activities for kids to take part in such as pictures with Mrs. Klaus, meeting The Dogwood Trail Maids, watching the soap snow fall from the sky, etc.

Some people have not always lived in Fairhope and they get to make new memories at lighting of the trees and experience the small town charm that the city offers. 

So this is Christmas… Fairhope’s band entertains the onlookers at the tree lighting. (Leah Hickman)

“I grew up in Ohio where it snows all the time, and I missed it so much,” said citizen Peyton Davis. “Going to the lighting of the trees every year brings back so many great memories, while I am creating new ones.”

All residents unite in a shared experience, marking the commencement of the festive season, a time steeped in tradition and fills the people with happiness.

“Christmas is my favorite season and this always gets me into the spirit. It’s so special to see my hometown light up and look like a Hallmark Christmas town. It makes me so happy,” Sherrel said.

Year after year, this spectacle continues to capture the hearts of  Fairhope’s citizens. The lighting of the trees is more than just a tradition; it’s a cherished ritual that brings the community together.

More to Discover