Christmas on the River schedule packed with holiday joy

cotr schedule 2012-8.5X11

Christmas on the River returns this year with all of the traditional fare and a little bit of new flare in its 41st year as the city’s favorite festival.

The Demopolis Chamber of Commerce released the schedule of events earlier this week. As is customary, COTR kicks off with the Lighting of the Love Light Tree and the announcement of the Special Child on the front lawn of Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital. That event is scheduled to take place Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 5:30 p.m.

Thursday at 5:30 p.m., the festivities begin to take off with the Lighting of Public Square, the Crowning of St. Nick and the Reading of the Christmas Story in Public Square downtown.

Friday, Nov. 30 sees the Candlelight Evening at Gaineswood from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission to that event is $5 and comes complete with entertainment by John Bultman.

From 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday will be Christmas in the Canebrake at Bluff Hall and Lyon Hall. Admission is $5 per house for adults and free to children under 12.

The Alabama State Championship BBQ Cook-off gets fired up at 5 p.m. at George Franks Field at Demopolis City Landing. That event will feature music from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. with a yet-to-be-announced artist. Admission to the cook-off is $5.

Fair in the Square returns in all its down home, yuletide splendor Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 a.m. in Public Square.

The Jingle Bell Run is set for 8 a.m. in Public Square. Registration for that event is $15 before Nov. 16 and $20 afterward.

Bluff Hall opens its door from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with admission set at $5 for adults and $3 for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Gaineswood opens up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a $5 admission charge.

The Christmas Parade, complete with Grand Marshals Donnie Allison, Bobby Allison and Red Farmer – collectively known as The Alabama Gang – starts at 11:30 a.m.

The children’s play, Junie B. Jones, Jingle Bells Batman Smells, will take place at the Canebrake Theater at 2 p.m. Admission to that event is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

The Nautical Parade and Fireworks Display starts at 6 p.m. on the scenic Tombigbee River.

The Christmas on the River Gala is at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 in the Demopolis Civic Center. Admission to that event is $25 for adults and $15 for those aged 12 and under.

The Christmas on the River Dance runs from 9 p.m. Saturday to midnight. Admission is $10 and only those 21 and over are admitted.

As a special added bonus this year, Christmas on the River will feature The Nutcracker as performed by the Montgomery Ballet at the Demopolis High School Auditorium. The event is sponsored by the Two Rivers Arts Council.