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Time to celebrate Christmas on River

(Editor’s Note: The column originally appeared in the Dec. 2 print edition of the Demopolis Times.)

The time has finally arrived. Demopolis will be in the spotlight over the next four days as we celebrate together and welcome visitors for Christmas on the River.
On a personal note, I want to say how much I’m looking forward to my first COTR experience with my family and all of those we have met since arriving here this summer. It seems Christmas on the River is one of the very first things I heard about when I began the transition to Demopolis. Now, it is finally here — the event synonymous with Demopolis.
I’ve already learned a good bit about COTR. Perhaps most importantly the amount of time and effort that goes into making the event an annual success. I don’t know that there’s an official count, but it seems hundreds of local residents, young and old alike, find something to do in preparing for the many activities. We also see civic groups and other clubs come together to lend a helping hand, such as the hospital’s auxiliary group that has organized tonight’s Lighting of the Love Lights and the naming of this year’s Special Child.
There are few things more special than seeing a community come together and rise to the occasion in meeting a goal. The truth is, people in our community are rising to the occasion throughout the year for a plethora reasons, but Christmas on the River takes it to a whole new level.
The best way to show our appreciation to all of those who have worked so hard is simple — show up! Let us all come together to kick off this holiday season as a united community and celebrate this very special time of the year, both in terms of the holiday season and this very important local event. Let’s take time to visit the Fair on the Square on Saturday morning or attend the Lighting of the Square and crowning of “St. Nick” on Thursday night. If you’re like me you’ve had Friday’s State BBQ Cook-Off circled on your calendar for months. Of course, there’s the big Day Parade Saturday morning and the Nautical Parade that evening. Add to that open houses at our historic sites, performances by the Canebrake Players, the Jingle Bell Run, and you have something for everyone.
Of course, there will be plenty of other folks to get to know during Christmas on the River as visitors from across the region will be coming here to kick off their holiday as well. Let’s do our part to make them feel welcome and at home here in Demopolis. A simple kind word can go a long way in forming people’s perceptions and we certainly want every visitor to realize what a great community we have here.
As we get ready to kick off this great week, we thank all of those who played a role in this year’s Christmas on the River. Special thanks should also go to those at the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce who work so hard to make COTR a fun-filled event for everyone.
Now, let’s celebrate Christmas on the River!

Robert Blankenship is the Publisher and Editor of the Demopolis Times. He can be reached at robert.blankenship@demopolistimes.com.

Robert Blankenship is the Publisher and Editor of the Demopolis Times. He can be reached at robert.blankenship@demopolistimes.com.