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Volunteers complete final touches as COTR events set to kickoff

The Christmas lights will be shining bright on Demopolis the remainder of this week as the city kicks off its annual Christmas on the River celebration.

The Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce and the COTR Committee are set to begin this year’s activities beginning tonight, Nov. 28, at 5:30 p.m., with the annual Lighting of the Love Light Tree and announcement of this year’s Special Child at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital.

More details for COTR 2018 are available in this year’s Christmas on the River magazine.

Events continue Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. with the ceremonial Lighting of the Public Square as well as the crowning of this year’s St. Nicholas.

“St. Nicholas” is a Demopolis resident who best portrays the spirit of Christmas throughout the year by being involved in the lives of children within the community. This year’s nominees are: Diane Brooker, Kirk Brooker, Richard Bryant, Brandi Cross, Jennifer Jordan, Amanda Hall, Kayte Melton, Beverly Robinson, Nadine Rogers, and Jason Windham.

On Friday night, Lyon Hall and Historic Gaineswood will be open for tours and Christmas entertainment. There is a $5 entry fee and the homes are open from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Also on Friday is the Alabama State Championship BBQ Cook-Off tasting event at George Franks Field. Admission is $5 and is a BYOB event.

Saturday features the gems of COTR with the annual Day Parade and nighttime Nautical Parade. But first thing is the annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk with registration beginning at 8 a.m. and the run starting at 9 a.m.

Vendors will offer an assortment of items and food during the Fair on the Square from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

There will be an open house at Bluff Hall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5.

The judging and awards for the State BBQ Cook-Off will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at George Franks Field.

The Day Parade will make its tradition trek along Walnut Avenue beginning at 11:30 a.m.

The Nautical Parade will set sail at approximately 6 p.m. with a fireworks display to follow.

COTR concludes with the annual gala at the Demopolis Civic Center beginning at 6 p.m. Admission is $30 for single tickets or $50 per couple. The COTR Dance follows at 9 p.m.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, November 28 issue of the Demopolis Times.)