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2M holiday lights illuminate Arab with Christmas in the Park

More than two million lights are on display in Arab this holiday season. The 29th annual Christmas in the Park continues now through Sunday, December 31 at Arab City Park.

Merriment and holiday splendor is offered in the spectacle. Organizers say there are also plenty photo opportunities as the lights magnify the beauty of the grounds.

 “They're welcome to stroll at their own pace,” said Tabitha Dailey, who’s the Arab Historic Village Coordinator. “They can take as many pictures as they want. We want them to come and be able to create memories that they'll be discussing for years to come.”

Dailey said Christmas in the Park is a yearly holiday event that’s used as a way to bring the city together with the beauty of lights.

“This event began as a way to bring enjoyment to the members of our community,” she explained. “One of our previous mayors went to Guntersville to attend the firework show. As the fireworks were going off, he heard the ooh’s and ahh’s and the excitement that it brought to that town. He really wanted Arab to have something that could bring excitement to our community.”

The undertaking of putting up millions of holiday lights each year is no easy feat. Dailey said preparation for the event takes months to put together.

“We start in September, testing the lights from previous years. We repair them. We restore them. We don't just toss away lights if they're not working,” she explained. “Over the last couple of years, our director has also made it a mission to slowly start transitioning all of our lights to LED. These are much more energy efficient, and they provide just a crisper lighting experience.”

Dailey said the spectacle at Arab City Park changes each year. This means, visitors can see a brand-new Christmas in the Park display this 2023 season.

“We start each year from scratch. We don't have a blueprint of our display. So, it's never the same two years in a row,” she explained. “Some things might be in the same location, but we spend countless hours preparing and talking. We actually have several practice lightings. A lot goes into getting it ready.”

Dailey said visiting the lighting display has become a yearly tradition for some of the city’s residents. She said the presentation is a wonderful experience for all to enjoy.

“It's a good place to step away from all the distractions that we've got going on in this world and just spend quality time making memories with families,” she said. “And with it being free, you just can't ask for anything more.”

Arab’s Christmas in the Park is open to the public at no cost. The nightly lights display runs from 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., weather permitting.


Baillee Majors is the Morning Edition host and a reporter at Alabama Public Radio.
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