LaGrange College Christmas in the Country is November 22-24

by Dennis Sherer
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LEIGHTON-For many Tennessee Valley residents, the holiday festival seasons begins with a trip to LaGrange Mountain in eastern Colbert County.

The LaGrange Living Historical Association’s annual Christmas in the Country celebration is a holiday tradition for families from throughout the Valley region. For most, it’s their first holiday festival of the season. This year’s celebration is 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Friday, Nov. 22, Saturday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov.24 at LaGrange College Site Park, 1461 LaGrange College Rd., Leighton.  Admission is free. Donations will be accepted.

While the time-honored tradition of decorating the historical buildings at the site to resemble and old-time Christmas continues this year, organizer Louise Lenz said the celebration will include several changes. The changes include new vendors and artists. Pioneer craft demonstrations include sheep shearing, yarn spinning and blacksmithing. There will also be hayrides and tours of LaGrange Cemetery.  For more details on becoming an arts and crafts vendor or demonstrator, contact Lenz at

Music by Buford Parker will be featured on Saturday. The Hallmark Sisters will perform on Sunday.

Susann Hamlin, president and CEO of Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau, said Christmas in the Country provides a glimpse of what holiday celebrations in north Alabama were like in more than a century ago.

Lenz said some of the Christmas trees that will be on display will be decorated as early settlers would have trimmed theirs, by using bird’s nests and other natural materials. There will be plenty of cakes, pies, cookies and other treats at the ever popular Christmas in the Country Bake Sale.

A memorial for deceased veterans will be displayed in the chapel. Area residents are encouraged to add photographs to the display. The name, rank and branch of service of the veteran should accompany the photographs.

The LaGrange Observatory will be open for star and planet gazing nightly during the festival.

Both Santa and Mrs. Claus will attend the celebration. Lenz said Christmas in the Country is a popular place for making Christmas card photos with Santa.

Students from throughout north Alabama will attend the first day of the event. Lenz said it’s important for children to learn about pioneer Christmas celebrations.

LaGrange College was Alabama’s first chartered college and the forerunner of the University of North Alabama. It was burned by Union forces during the Civil War. LaGrange College Site Park is located off Alabama 157, 8 miles southeast of Muscle Shoals.

For more details about the festival, call 256-446-9324 or the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau at 256-383-0783.

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