FOLEY – Santa Claus came to town in Foley over the weekend as the city held its Christmas in the Park, Christmas Parade and Let It Snow celebrations.
Events were rescheduled from the previous weekend after rain was forecast to sweep through the area on Dec. 1 and 2.
The celebrations kicked off Friday night with Christmas in the Park and the lighting of the Foley Christmas Tree. Mayor Ralph Hellmich welcomed the crowd to Heritage Park and thanked everyone who organized and helped with the effort to reschedule the event.
“I would like to welcome all of our dignitaries and I would like to thank everybody for all of the effort that they went to to make our city beautiful during Christmas. It is a maximum effort and it takes a little while to get all the Christmas lights out,” Hellmich said. “We have a lot of work that goes on with our city. Our beautification Committee, all the hard work of Christmas decorations around town. All the different city departments, I want to thank them for their extra hard work. They come and set up our projects, all of our special decorations, tents, everything that we do is because our employees are so good at what they do and we sure appreciate it.”
After the crowd counted down from 10, Hellmich and two local children threw the switch that signaled the lighting of the city tree.
Following the lighting, Santa Claus arrived in a Foley fire engine escorted by police. He took his seat in the park pavilion and heard requests from children for more than an hour during the event.
Winners of the contest to decorate Christmas trees in Heritage Park were also announced. Foley Elementary School received the first-place award. Second place went to Cooper Farms. Oak Hill Farms received the third place award. Honorable mention awards went to the Bon Secour Chapter of the NSDAR and Darlene’s Hair Salon.
Events continued Saturday with the Kiwanis Christmas Parade and Let It Snow celebration. The parade was the largest procession since the parade began in 1952. After some other holiday parades were canceled following severe weather earlier in December, some floats were brought to Foley to join the South Baldwin event.
“It’s a bigger parade than last year. It has a little longer parade route,” Hellmich said. “Also, after the Christmas Parade, we will have Let It Snow from 11 to 2 p.m. here in the park.”