I love living in a small town. The celebrations that we have here are intimate, home-grown and full of local personality. I know places like New York City have wonderfully huge celebrations such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade and the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, but those big events seem impersonal to me.
The Christmas season here is especially festive. I enjoy the town parade filled with local students, and I love watching the kids run amok at our version of the “Polar Express,” the Rockybrook Train, located in our town park. (This park is locally known as Monkey Park – and yes there is a story behind that). These are events where you probably know at least one participant and many of the onlookers. If you don’t know anyone, it won’t be long before you find yourself visiting with the person next to you. It’s the very southern phenomena of the instant new best friend. We find them in grocery lines, while raking our front yards, at local events – anywhere southerners gather and have a few minutes to entertain themselves. We are a friendly bunch.
Our holiday celebrations are full of local beauty queens, home-made floats and themed neighborhood tours. We have a luminary neighborhood tour, a Christmas lights house tour, a historic district Victorian Front Porch Tour, the light show at the Grand National golf course, the family out on Oak Bowery that have filled their expansive yard with every Christmas decoration imaginable, and the Christmas in a Railroad Town celebration downtown. For the two weeks leading up to Christmas it’s hard not to stumble upon some small and incredibly decorated expression of the holiday season.
All of the pictures shown here are from the Victorian Front Porch Tour in the Opelika historic district. Every year, this neighborhood turns its porches into vignettes of times past. The houses are beautifully decorated with greenery, and on each porch stands a life-sized figure dressed in Victorian garb. Up close, they creep me out a little bit, but from the sidewalk, this is a lovely sight to see.