It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (and Halloween and Thanksgiving) thanks to the Fort Payne and Rainsville Chambers of Commerce. Both of these organizations recently announced special new plans that include:
Ice Skating Rinks
Fort Payne’s Chamber is partnering with Fort Payne Main Street to host an ice skating rink Dec. 17-20 at the Rotary Pavilion. According to Chamber Executive Director Jennifer McCurdy, sponsorship opportunities are available during the event, a fundraiser for local civic clubs. For $1,000, sponsors will get a banner at the rink and advertising/social media mentions. Fort Payne Mayor Brian Baine called on volunteers from local civic clubs. For more information, email McCurdy at Jennifer@fortpaynechamber.com.
Executive Director Sandy Goff said buzz has been building since June when planning for the Rainsville Chamber’s ice skating rink started during Freedom Fest. As previously reported, the ice skating event is planned at the Rainsville City Park on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 5-10 p.m. and December 5 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A large number of sponsors stepped forward so the event could be presented to the public for free and these sponsors will be recognized with signage as part of the Sounds and Scenes of Christmas opening. Various businesses and individuals will decorate spots around the park walking trail for a beautiful holiday display kicking off with a lighting at 5 p.m. on Dec. 4. The park will be lit up daily through the end of December.
Rainsville’s ice skating event is the same day as its annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 4, beginning at 11 a.m. It is sponsored by the City of Rainsville and coordinated by the Chamber. The parade route includes Alabama Highway 35 and Main Street in downtown Rainsville, with lineup on Sam Ellis Drive. There is no cost to enter, but participants are required to pre-register by contacting the Chamber office at 256-638-7800 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before the Nov. 25 deadline. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best floats in commercial and non-commercial category: $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. To be eligible, floats should be complete and present at the lineup location by 10 a.m. Judging criterion will include overall visual appeal and originality, Goff said.
Retired Superintendent of Education Jim Cunningham has been announced as the grand marshal for Fort Payne’s Christmas Parade, scheduled for Friday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. Baine said the Christmas in the Park event, which was canceled last year, is returning and is planned for the same night as the parade.
Additionally, Baine also said this week that the SAM Foundation and Fort Payne Main Street fundraiser benefit concert featuring the Boys in the Band Alabama tribute band performance is also scheduled for that evening, which should enhance the downtown activities. The Candy Cane Lane is moving from the Alabama Walking Park to Gault Avenue, with plans to line the street lamps with illuminated Christmas trees. For information on sponsoring one of the Douglas fir trees, call 256-845-2671.
Holiday Open Houses
The Fort Payne Chamber is also co-sponsoring with Fort Payne Main Street a Holiday Open House event Nov. 6-8, from 5-7 p.m. Participating merchants will be offering holiday specials and door prizes for shoppers.
Rainsville’s Chamber plans a Holiday Open House event on Friday, Nov. 12 and 13 in the downtown area. Goff said individual merchants will participate with special deals and door prizes.
The Rainsville Chamber is hosting its own Halloween event, the Rainsville Spook-tacular, in the Rainsville City Park, starting at 5 p.m. Goff said the park will be decorated for unique picture-taking opportunities as children wear their costumes for early trick or treating. A number of businesses and churches plan to participate with activities for families and candy for children.
On Oct. 31, Fort Payne’s Chamber is participating in the Halloween Block Party, now moved to the VFW Fairgrounds and presented by Twin City Used Car Sales. Businesses, church or civic groups wanting to participate should call or email McCurdy. It is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Unlike last year’s drive-through event, families will be able to park and mingle. The annual Witch’s Ride to raise funds for Family Services of North Alabama begins at 4:30 p.m.
Although not specifically holiday-related, the Fort Payne Chamber will repeat its autumn tradition of honoring three local Women in Business at a luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 16 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Building. This year’s honorees are Silvia Hernandez, Linda Stiefel and Kelli Gardner.