Christmas coming early in Demopolis

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Demopolis. This year, city horticulturist Barbara Blevins and her staff had to get in to the Christmas spirit a little earlier than normal in an effort to get all of the city’s holiday lights hung in time for the 41st annual Christmas on the River celebration.

“We have approximately 63 fixtures that we hang. But that’s not counting the ones down at the river,” Blevins, whose crew began hanging holiday lights around the city back in October, said. “There’s nine down at the river that we’ve added with the banners. So that’s nine more banners. Plus we put 12 banners out on Highway 80. We’re slowly updating the fixtures and I think they look better.”

In all, the crew will hang more than 10,000 holiday bulbs around the city in preparation for its biggest events. Blevins said she understands the murmurs that the lights were going up too early, but that it has proven to be a necessary evil given the volume of work to be done and the lack of time to do it.

“I know it’s early and I ask everybody to forgive but we’ve got two holidays this month and then we’ve got a class going on. People don’t know that we had hung over 1,000 lights in the park for the lighting of the park. Our crew has been doing it for four years,” Blevins said. “Not only we string all the lights in the park, all the lights in the civic center, we also light the pavilion down at the river. It’s just boom boom boom boom boom. I’ve tried to do it the week before Thanksgiving and the week after Thanksgiving, but we cannot get it all done. I just ask the people to forgive me for doing it so early.”

Blevins said her crew has had to take advantage of days with favorable weather, also noting that moving the start date of the project forward allows for a greater margin of error when incidental obstacles such as equipment malfunction occur.