Santa returns to Christmas by the Lake

HALEYVILLE - Christmas by the Lake is back for 2021, with all the usual sights and features that make it such an incredible event each year.
Christmas by the Lake will officially open to the public Saturday, Dec. 11, running through Christmas night, Saturday, Dec. 25.  The event will be open Sunday-Thursday nights from 6-9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday nights from 6-10 p.m.  
Members of the Haleyville Fire Department - which sponsors the event each year - are currently working very hard to put up over a hundred thousand dazzling lights and holiday displays all around City Lake, which is located just past Haleyville City Schools at the end of 20th Street.  
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Christmas by the Lake, which had to be curtailed somewhat in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.  Acting Haleyville Fire Department Chief Terrell Baccus said that all elements of Christmas by the Lake that the public enjoys will be back this year.
“Santa will be back this year and we will be offering rides to the other side of the lake,”  Baccus detailed.
Santa Claus will be at the lake each night of the event, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when he will be very busy delivering presents.  Santa will be at his cabin, which will be decorated beautifully for Christmas, ready to hear what all the area boys and girls want this year.  Each child who attends will be given a toy, firefighters said.  Free hot chocolate, coffee, candy and cookies will be served in Santa’s cabin also.
The fire department will also be offering visitors free rides on the far side of the lake to take a closer look at the beautiful decorations on display in that area.
Everyone is encouraged to tune their radios to 100.1 FM as they drive through the park to listen to Christmas music as they take in the lake in all its festive glory.  
As always, Christmas by the Lake is completely free.  Donations are welcome, however.  A donation box will be available at the large Christmas tree near the turnaround, as well as inside Santa’s Cabin.  Donations can also be made by calling the Haleyville Fire Department at (205) 486-2435.  Those who would like to volunteer to help with Christmas by the Lake in any way are also encouraged to call the fire department, as volunteers are needed and welcomed.
For those who would like to get in on the decorating fun, the fire department welcomes individuals, churches and businesses that want to sponsor a site at the lake to decorate.  There is no cost to participate.  Call the fire department for more details.
Due to vandalism that occurred last year to some of the decorations as the fire department was working on decorating around the lake, the Haleyville City Council has given the fire department permission to keep the gates down to the lake locked while the decorations are being placed and during daytime hours while Christmas by the Lake is taking place.
Baccus asks for the public’s patience as the fire department works to have all the Christmas displays ready to glow Dec. 11.
“There will be some interference in and around City Lake while it is being worked upon.  Use of the lake may be limited at times as the work is being done.  Please have patience with us,”  Baccus said.

See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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