Linden preparing for annual ChiLLy Fest

The City of Linden is still writing its annual Christmas tradition as it gets ready for its fourth ChiLLY Fest celebration, which will take place Dec. 7 and 8.

“It has grown to be the largest event Linden holds every year with Easter at the Gazebo coming in second, and second for the County next to Christmas on the River,” organizer Bruce Ward said of how well the event has been received in the area. “Everyone loves the fact that they can come and sample the chili, see the lights and creations that people come up with for the parade, and the fireworks show is just the best. It is also great just seeing everyone working together and coming out and socializing.”

While it is in only its fifth year, ChiLLy Fest has raked in its share of honors. In 2009, the Tuscaloosa News named it a Top Event in West Albama. In 2010, Southern Living Magazine called it A Top Event in the South. In its 2010 issue, Alabama Events Magazine called ChiLLY Fest A Top 10 Event in December. In 2010, Alabama Living named ChiLLy Fest a Top Destination for December.

Still, the event only came together after the success of the Parade of Lights, which began in 2006 and the Chili Cook-off, which started in 2007 — both of which are now staples on Linden’s December landscape.

This year, ChiLLy Fest will offer new features including a car show, an event that is sponsored by Great American Loans of Demopolis and will take place in the Papa’s Foods parking lot.

“There has always been some form of entertainment on that Saturday. This year I have been working with Amy Ward with 107.5 WVFG,” Bruce Ward said. “Amy came up with something called the Gospel Explosion! Amy and the famous Linda Sammons and others are working to bring a great mixture of Gospel music to Linden this year, and we looking forward to it. Back again this year the T & D Project will be rocking Linden with a Free Concert at the Chili Cookers Party on that Friday night. We were unfortunately unable to have the Christmas Carnival last year, but we are very happy to announce that it will be back this year for both days.”

ChiLLy Fest will also include its regular features such as arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, the Poot-n-Scoot 5K Fun Run, ChiLLy Fest Pageant, the Christmas Parade of Lights and the fireworks finale.

Registration forms for ChiLLy Fest can be found online at Those seeking more information are encouraged to call Bruce Ward at City Hall at 334-295-5051.

ChiLLy Fest Schedule of Events

Dec. 7th

Christmas Carnival -All Evening

Chili Cookers Party! -7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

T&D Project -Free Concert

Dec. 8th

Arts & Crafts and Food Vendors -8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Poot-n-Scoot (Run, Walk & Fun Run) -9 a.m.

Christmas Carnival -All Day

ChiLLy Fest Cruise In Car Show -9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Papa’s Food Parking Lot

Gospel Explosion! -10 a.m. – 1 p.m. sponsored by WVFG 107.5

ChiLLy Fest Pageant- To Be Announced

Chili Cook-Off

Judging -11 a.m.

Public Serving -Noon

Christmas Parade of Lights – 6:30 p.m.

Fireworks Extravaganza – Following Parade