The inaugural Sno*pelika Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting will take place Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Opelika Courthouse Square. 

The city of Opelika will welcome the Christmas season with Sno*pelika, a Christmas festival and tree lighting in the city’s courthouse square tonight.

“I think people are excited about having the Christmas tree lighting. We really wanted this to be a kickoff to the Christmas season,” said Mackenzie Kayler, manager of programs and events for the Opelika Chamber of Commerce. “A pre-event to all of the great events that Opelika already has.”

Beginning at 5 p.m., artificial snow will start falling over the square, sure to excite young residents as they slide down the inflatable slide and play inside an inflatable snow globe. The East Alabama Medical Center, who also is the sponsor for the event, will open its “Peppermint Parkway.”

Those interested in entering their dog in the Reindog Parade taking place at 5:30 p.m. will be able to register their pet at the beginning of Sno*pelika.

Judges will present awards for most festive, best-dressed owner and pet as well as most creative.

Butcher Paper BBQ and Zaxby’s will be selling food, and residents will have the chance to hear choir performances from the city’s schools and local churches.

At 7:30, the Opelika High School Band will lead everyone to Railroad Avenue for the lighting of the city Christmas tree.

While there is no admission charge for the event, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office will be collecting toy donations throughout the evening. The donations will go toward its a nnual Christmas Toy Drive.

Parade Saturday

After being canceled, replaced, reinstated and canceled again, the city of Opelika’s annual Christmas parade will make its way back through downtown Saturday.

This year’s 10 a.m. parade will have 70 entries. The parade also will have a rain date — Dec. 8 at 3 p.m.

Leading the parade this year will be Kelly Hutchinson and Kate Watts, the recently crowned Miss Alabama USA and Miss Alabama Teen USA, respectively.

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