HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) – The threat for inclement weather put a damper on holiday traditions that span across Birmingham. Several cities in Jefferson County were forced to move their traditional tree lighting ceremonies inside this year out of an abundance of caution due to the threat for severe weather Tuesday night.
“We saw the inclement weather coming. We weren’t quite sure but with all the logistics that goes into this we wanted to make sure everyone was safe,” Hoover Events Manager Kelly Peoples said. “We moved it inside and it actually turned out just fine.”
“We want to get the big tree lit at city hall,” Peoples said. “It looks beautiful lit. Tradition is to do it right after Thanksgiving, we wanted to make sure we did it.”
Up Highway 31 in Vestavia Hills, the city moved its tree lighting ceremony into the new civic center. Mayor Ashley Curry says it is an event that was five years in the making.
“This Civic Center will give us the opportunity to host many things and you got a 10,000 square foot ballroom upstairs, we can accommodate any type of program,” Curry said.
Parents of student performers in Hoover said it was easier to hear their kids inside, even if the auditorium at the library was standing room only.
“There was a lot of people there and it was really great to give joy to everybody,” student performer Harper Berry said.
Hoover residents said it was a twist on tradition, but they are overjoyed to be back together again for events.
“We’ve been locked up for so long because of COVID so it was really just a great experience to be around people again and feel a little bit of the holiday spirit versus being stuck at home,” Undrea Brown said.
Rain or shine – the tree will continue to twinkle over Hoover standing at 43 feet tall with more than 60,000 lights throughout the holiday season. This year it was lit at the same time as the one indoors.