Following a special tree lighting ceremony last Thursday, Lawrence County's first Christmas on the Square Trail of Trees continues to draw visitors to downtown Moulton each week this holiday season.
The event, which was first brought about by ideas tossed around from Lawrence County commissioners, has quickly grown into a spectacular holiday display that falls easily in ranks with similar "Tinsel Trail" and Christmas tree displays like those exhibited in Huntsville or Decatur.
County Administrator Heather Dyar said an idea to put up a single Community Christmas Tree on the site of Moulton's former Star Theatre first sparked the vision that grew into the final product hundreds of locals and visitors are now enjoying this December.
When the Lawrence County Chamber and several other volunteers got involved, including the Moulton Young Professionals who helped make decorating the square for Christmas last year a reality, several community members have compared this year's display to a scene from a Hallmark movie.
"This all began with a thought and a vision. Once placed in motion, it became a reality," Dyar said. "The Christmas Committee has worked so hard in a short amount of time—covered in prayer and in faith—to bring this event to fruition… We have some really amazing, talented, hardworking, civic-minded folks who love this community."
Many individuals and organizations who sponsored trees for the event found ways to get community members as well as young students involved in the effort. Wendy Norwood, a co-founder of the Marlee Sutton Foundation, said she sought help from the Lawrence County Development Center and its students in decorating the foundation's tree.
Students at the center gathered ribbon, glitter, and sequins to hand-make unique ornaments for the tree, Norwood said.
"The trees are all so beautiful. I'm so proud of our city and our communities," she added.
Local schools and churches also got youth from all over the county involved in helping to make the tree displays a possibility this year, and many businesses added their personal touch. Some even offered promotions or small tokens to visitors who took the time to pause at their trees.
Lawrence County's Industrial Development Board sponsored a tree with ornaments made from welding and graphic design students of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, according to IDB President Tabitha Pace.
"We applaud the Christmas Committee for pulling this off," she said. "This is wonderful, not just for Moulton, but for the entire county."
Communities and other municipalities like the towns of Hillsboro, Town Creek, and Courtland have individual trees decorated around the courthouse lawn as well.
Christmas on the Square—being promoted as #COTS42 on social media—drew hundreds, maybe even over a thousand, to the square for the lighting ceremony that was held last Thursday, Commissioner Bobby Burch said. The display is expected to continue drawing visitors throughout December with other events planned like a Hot Chocolate Social set for this weekend.
On Saturday, the community and out-of-county visitors are invited back to the courthouse lawn, not only to enjoy the trees—which will be lit nightly—but also to warm up with hot cocoa and a tasty smores station.
The Hot Chocolate Social, happening at 7 p.m., will also include live music, dancing, and services from some of the county's local food trucks, organizers said.
Other events coming up will include a movie screening on Friday, Dec. 20, beginning at 7 p.m. For further updates and other related announcements, visit Lawrence County Christmas on the Square 2019 on Facebook.