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Can’t Miss Alabama: Christmas festivities include Holiday Spectacular, Vulcan’s Magical Nights and Wonderland Under Warrior

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It’s a winter wonderland in Alabama with parades and holiday lights.


Holiday Spectacular

Make a joyful noise at the Red Mountain Theatre (RMT) in Birmingham through Sunday, Dec. 18 during the annual celebration of the Holiday Spectacular. This year’s performance blends musical numbers both traditional and modern, from Celtic carols to recent seasonal songs from popular artists, plus choreography and a few animal friends. Singers Amy Johnson, Caleb Clark, Madison Hagler and Juna Givhan have all appeared in recent productions, and dance numbers will feature RMT favorites Jamorris Rivers and Bria Tyner. Joining the Spectacular this year is Morgan Smith, an Alabama native and alumna of the RMT Performing Ensembles. RMT also welcomes vocalist Dominique Posey, known for his 20-year career appearing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Vox Fortura and Perfect Note, among others. Performances are recommended for all ages. Tickets can be purchased online at

RMT’s 75-member performing ensemble will showcase some of the most talented young performers in Birmingham. (contributed)

Opelika’s Snopelika Parade and Tree Lighting

Hundreds of people are expected to attend Opelika’s official kickoff event for the Christmas season Friday, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. Attendees will enjoy an artificial snowfall and a tree lighting. Snopelika Parade and Tree Lighting will bring Christmas cheer in line with the city’s initiative to become a Christmas destination. For more information, call 334-745-4861. Visit the website to learn more.

West Alabama Christmas Parade

The Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority invites the community to attend the 46th annual West Alabama Christmas Parade on Monday, Dec. 5. This year’s parade theme is “A Retro Christmas.” Parade activities include decorated vehicles, floats, marching bands and walking groups. The tree lighting will be on the steps of the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse at 5:15 p.m., and the parade is at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Tuscaloosa.

Magical Nights: Vulcan’s Holiday Experience

Vulcan Park and Museum will be transformed into a wonderland filled with holiday lights, music and special guest appearances Dec. 2-4, Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 16-23. The Anvil and Museum will have extended hours until 8 p.m. Food, hot chocolate, wine and beer will be available for additional purchase. Tickets are available via the website or on Eventbrite. Admission includes access to the park grounds, observation tower and museum, and photos with Santa.

Alabama State Capitol Christmas tree lighting

Kick off the season at the Capitol’s annual tree-lighting celebration in Montgomery, Friday, Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m. The tree, grown in Bullock County, is a 35-foot eastern red cedar. The 151st Alabama Army National Guard Band will perform at 5 p.m. The tree will be displayed on the steps of the Capitol through the holiday season. For more information about the tree lighting, click here.

Birmingham Holiday Magic Market

Kick off the weekend with your neighbors and co-workers for dinner and light shopping at the Birmingham Holiday Magic Market on 20th Street between Second and Fourth Avenues North. There will be more than 15 vendors plus a live performance by the Eight String Violins. Table and chairs will be placed in the street to keep the party going. For the complete list of vendors, visit

Magic Christmas in Lights

Bellingrath Gardens and Home will have its annual holiday light display through Wednesday, Jan. 4. Stroll throughout the 65-acre gardens estate just south of Theodore. Beer, wine and special coffee with Irish cream will be available throughout the evening, as well as snacks, hot chocolate and s’mores. Magic Christmas in Lights will be open daily with extended hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bellingrath’s Magnolia Café will also serve holiday meals from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Follow this link to download the Magic Christmas in Lights map.

Christmas at OWA

Experience festive events in downtown OWA in Foley through Sunday, Dec. 25 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Holiday events include:

Wonderland Under Warrior

Rickwood Caverns is, once again, transformed into a winter wonderland through Sunday, Jan. 8. Wonderland Under Warrior, in the park’s centerpiece cave system, offers a magical experience featuring festive light displays, decorations and a number of characters who are available for photos. The cave temperature remains at 62 degrees year-round. Reservations are highly recommended. The entire walk is about 1 mile inside the cave. Rickwood Caverns State Park is located off Interstate 65 in Warrior, about 30 miles north of downtown Birmingham and about 75 miles south of Huntsville. Learn more here.

This time of year, Rickwood Caverns transforms into Wonderland Under Warrior, with its spectacular rock formations illuminated by festive light displays. (contributed)