HAMILTON - Conservative estimates place turnout for the City of Hamilton’s 2018 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at more than 750 attendees.
The Hamilton City Council heard from Hamilton Mayor Bob Page at its meeting on Monday, Dec. 3, who publically thanked those who assisted in the city’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, which took place at Hamilton City Hall on Thursday, Nov. 29.
According to Page, he estimated that there were about 750 people who attended the ceremony. He called this a conservative estimate.
He noted that last year’s ceremony only had eight people attend.
Parking for the event was completely full and many attendees had to divert to nearby streets to park their vehicles.
This year’s event included performances from a number of groups, including the Pride of Hamilton Aggie Band, the Hamilton High School Color Guard, Hamilton High School Key Dancers, Elite Dance and Twirl, Studio-Extreme Twirlers, Alysse Nicolle’s School of the Arts and Hamilton Elementary School Choir and Hamilton Middle School Choir.
Page said that the event became, “chaotic with everyone having so much fun,” and he never had the opportunity to appropriately thank those involved.
The mayor said he wanted to make sure to thank the following sponsors:
• Tara Place Christmas Tree Farm, which provided the tree for the city;
• Walmart donated a gift card to purchase Christmas lights;
• Hamilton Boy Scout Troop 56 for providing the opening invocation and cleanup following the event;
• The Hamilton Area Chamber of Commerce for providing Christmas hats, candy canes and photography;
• The Hamilton Band Booster Club for selling refreshments and furnishing the sound system;
• The Hamilton Street Department for logistical set-up and services;
• The Hamilton Park and Recreation Department;
• The Hamilton Police Department;
• 49 County News;
• WMTY; and
• The Journal Record.
The Hamilton Council meeting took place the same night, Dec. 3, as the Hamilton Christmas Parade.
Page said that there was also a good turnout for the parade and the weather was perfect.
“It gave you that chill feeling that you need for Christmas,” Page said.
Page made mention of postponing the Dec. 3 meeting an hour from 6 p.m. to 7, during the councils Nov. 19 meeting to allow time for the council to attend the parade. However, the matter never came to a vote that night.
Hamilton councilwoman Tami Lewis Williams noted during a subsequent work session on Wednesday, Nov. 28, that the Dec. 3 meeting would be at the usual meeting time.
Page had mentioned a 7 p.m. start time for the Dec. 3 meeting during the work session. Williams responded, “We never voted to change that, so it’s at 6 p.m.”
“We talked about it enough that I think we’re going to try and get by with it,” Page said, encouraging the rest of the council to be present at the city function downtown.
“It’ll have to be cleared with (city attorney) Scott (Hunt) before I do that,” Williams said.
Williams told a reporter following the Dec. 3 meeting that she was in the city’s council chambers, along with Hunt and Hamilton City Clerk Angela Owen, at the usually meeting time at 6 p.m.
The meeting was not officially called to order until those attending the meeting and the rest of the council members arrived at 7 p.m.
In other business, the council:
• Approved a resolution to allow the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments (NACOLG) to handle the clerical responsibilities of the nearly-$1 million Ragsdale Housing Authority infrastructure project.
Through a matching grant and partnership with the Hamilton Housing Authority, the City of Hamilton is only responsible for matching about $200,000 of the costs.
NACOLG Community Development Specialist Heath King was present at the meeting to update the council on the matter.
King said that the bidding process for the project is expected to take place in roughly March or April 2019. He suspects construction will begin in May 2019 and take up to five to six months to complete.
The City of Hamilton initiated the project inquiry in March 2017.
• Observed the official swearing in of Wade Sullins as a Hamilton City Councilman, which was conducted by Marion County Probate Judge Rocky Ridings.
• Heard from state House District 17 Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, who updated the council on recent news and developments in the district.
Estes commended the council for its successful tree lighting event, calling it a wonderful scene straight from a Norman Rockwell painting.
See complete story in the Journal Record.