Father Christmas at Wetumpka's Dickens Christmas

Submitted / The Herald

Father Christmas will greet and take photos with visitors to Wetumpka’s Dickens Christmas.

Elmore County residents should have plenty of opportunities to get into the Christmas spirit this holiday season.

From events taking place on the water at Lake Jordan, toy drives, professional ballet performances and more, there is no shortage of event dates and locations for one to take in.

New for 2019 is Dickens Christmas taking place in Wetumpka from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7. 

The two-night community event is sponsored by the Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Wetumpka and the City of Wetumpka. 

The event was influenced by an Illinois town chamber executive director Shellie Whitfield visited 20 years ago.

“When I moved to Wetumpka I said we should turn this area downtown into a Dickens Christmas,” Whitfield said. “A little town called Lebanon has done a Victorian Christmas. It is absolutely exquisite.”

Guests will be transported back to scenes from “A Christmas Carol” with period carolers; Father Christmas will be on site for free photos; and there will also be authentic vendors, decorated downtown businesses, free horse drawn carriage rides and the annual snow in the alleyway.

“Trying to fill the downtown with a magical Christmas for our families is what we are doing,” Whitfield said.

Other events and programs happening in Elmore County include the following.

Ongoing

TOY DRIVE: The Wetumpka Police Department and The Christmas on the Coosa Queens Team are holding a toy drive to help provide gifts for their Christmas project for local children. They would love to have your support. They are asking for new unwrapped toys for area kids this year at Christmas. Drop off locations are City Administration Building, Wetumpka Chamber, First Presbyterian Church, River Perk, Touch of Class, Frios and The Gab Salon & Spa. For more information, contact Jennifer at 334-956-9074.

TOY DRIVE: The Millbrook Police Department established Operation Blue Santa several years ago as a way to provide Christmas gifts for area children who may go without through no fault of their own. The program was created by Lt. Don Pugh. Monetary and new, unwrapped gifts for children ages one through 12 may be dropped off at Millbrook PD by Dec. 13. 

DONATIONS FOR FOSTER CHILDREN: The First Community Bank in Eclectic wants you to help it be Santa. It is teaming up with Elmore County DHR to help kids in foster care have a blessed Christmas. It is asking for donations of new toys, clothing items and stocking stuffers. Get in the giving spirit. Now through Dec. 5, there will be a drop box at Eclectic Branch of First Community Bank. 

Dec. 1-30

CHRISTMAS WALK: A Christmas Storybook Walk in Historic Wetumpka presented by Main Street Wetumpka and Publications Press begins at 114 Company St. Participants will take a journey involving beautifully themed and decorated Christmas trees at participating downtown businesses. Participants will enjoy reading “The Legend of the Christmas Tree” by Rick Osborne. Maps for the storybook walk will be available at Main Street Wetumpka. 

VINTAGE NATIVITY EXHIBIT: The Elmore County Museum is gearing up for its annual Nativity exhibit. The exhibit will feature over 250 Nativities this year and a lot of them are new. The Exhibit will be on display the entire month of December. The museum will be open late, until 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6. The regular time to see Nativities will be Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

Sunday, Dec. 1

“THE NUTCRACKER” PRESENTED BY MONTGOMERY BALLET: Montgomery Ballet will bring its 48th annual performance of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at The Historic Mount Vernon theatre in Tallassee. Founded in 1958, Montgomery ballet is the only professional dance company in the city of Montgomery and is one of the three in the state of Alabama. For more information and tickets contact www.mtvernontheatre.net   

Thursday, Dec 5 

CITY OF MILLBROOK TREE LIGHTING: The annual tree lighting festivities will be at The Village Green starting at 6 p.m. in Millbrook. 

Dec. 6-7

ARTISTS MARKET: The Kelly Artists Market Christmas Dickens Shop will be held 5-8 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. This event is in conjunction with Wetumpka’s Dickens Downtown Christmas Celebration. Artists will be at the old Austin’s flower shop on Company Street in Wetumpka to set up the Christmas Dickens Shop. Go to thekelly.org for more information.

HOLIDAY MARKET IN TALLASSEE: Christmas in Tallassee Holiday Market will be in Veteran’s Park at 3 Freeman Ave. (across from city hall) in Tallassee from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. The holiday market features handmade crafts, art, jewelry and more. 

Friday, Dec. 6

TREE LIGHTING IN TALLASSEE: The City of Tallassee will host the City of Tallassee tree lighting festivities 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Come help Santa and Mayor Johnny Hammock count down to the lighting of Tallassee’s official Christmas tree.

Saturday, Dec. 7 

TALLASSEE CHRISTMAS PARADE: The City of Tallassee will hold the Tallassee Christmas Parade at 10 a.m. Visit the Tallassee Chamber of Commerce website for more information. 

HERBS FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Herbs for the Holidays presented by advanced master gardener Debbie Boutelier will be from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 7. Herbs for the Holidays explores the variety of homemade gifts and goodies made with the bounty of your herb garden. Ticket price of $30 includes event, garden admission and a handout with instructions. Visit www.jasminehill.org for tickets. 

MILLBROOK CHRISTMAS PARADE: Spirit of Christmas Parade presents A Musical Millbrook Christmas starting at 2 p.m. on Main Street in Millbrook. There will be arts and crafts, food and entertainment on The Village Green 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pictures in the gazebo with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be taken 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for children under 12. The parade rain date is Dec 8. Contact Kathy Kelly at 334-322-9871 for more information.

Sunday, Dec. 8 

SANTA AND FRIENDS VISIT LAKE JORDAN: Lake Jordan HOBO’s and friends event will be from noon until 5 p.m. with weather permitting. Elvis, Frosty, characters from “Frozen” and others will join Santa and Mrs. Claus as they make their way to visit the Lake Jordan family. There will be two stops at public locations: the state dock (rotary ramp) around 1:30 p.m. and Bonner’s Landing boat ramp at Jordan Lake around 3:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 13

RUN LIKE THE DICKENS FUN RUN/WALK: This fun run/walk will be hosted by the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce at Gold Star Park at 212 South Main St. in Wetumpka. Guests are invited to come celebrate the craziness of the season by running/walking through Christmas lights and the Griswold Family Christmas. Ridiculous Christmas inspired running attire is encouraged. Hot Chocolate and s’mores provided. Strollers and families are welcome. Registration is at 5:30 p.m. with the run starting at 7 p.m.

EQUALITY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION: Susan Selman of Rockford will perform piano carols and sing at a Christmas celebration 7-9 p.m. Open mic will be available for all musicians to perform. Admission is free. The Equality Performing Arts Center is located at 560 Hwy. 9 in Equality. 

Saturday, Dec. 14 

CHRISTMAS ON THE COOSA PRESENTS CHRISTMAS OF YEARS PAST: Join us this year for Christmas on the Coosa celebration. We will begin the morning with with our annual character breakfast, arts and crafts vendors and food vendors which will be an all-day set up. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. and the wakeboarding show will begin at 4 p.m. Santa will ski across the Coosa River at 6 p.m.

PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Christmas on the Coosa Character Pancake Breakfast will be Dec. 14 at the Wetumpka Civic Center. There will be two times 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. $3 for children and $6 for adults. Tickets available at the City Administration Office or call 334-567-5147. 

CANDY CANE 5K: The YMCA Candy Cane 5K Run annual campaign fundraiser will be hosted by Wetumpka YMCA with proceeds benefiting the Wetumpka YMCA annual campaign. This is for all fitness levels. It will be at the Wetumpka Middle School at 8 a.m. and the cost is $30. Registration is until Dec. 14 For more information contact Jacolby Chatman at 334-567-8282.  

ECLECTIC PARADE AND HOLIDAY FESTIVAL: Town of Eclectic’s A Walk Through Candyland hosted by the Town of Eclectic 145 Main St. in Eclectic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come out and join us for a day of fun and take “a Walk Through Candyland” at the town of Eclectic Holiday Festival. There will be games a vendor market from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the town hall parking lot, the Christmas Parade at 2 p.m., coloring contest and special deals with our local business and much more. The Christmas tree lighting with Christmas caroling will be at town hall immediately following the parade. 

SANTA PAWS IS COMING TO TOWN: Have your pet’s photo taken with Santa at Urban Tails 305 Barnett Blvd. in Tallassee 4 to 6 p.m.

Sunday Dec. 15

Seven Gables Christmas Open House: A fundraiser for ACTS, assists families in need in the greater Tallassee Area. The event will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. A donation of $5 donation at the door is greatly appreciated. Please make checks payable to ACTS.