5 Festive Events in Tuscaloosa this Holiday Season

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the city of champions! The holiday season is the most wonderful time of year in Tuscaloosa (other than football season, of course). We love any cause for a city-wide celebration, especially when it fills our streets with holly jolly cheer. And because we never do anything halfway, we channel our legendary spirit into celebrating the holiday season with festive events and local traditions that turn our town merry and bright. If you’ll be treating yourself to a stay at WestGate this season, check out our favorite holiday happenings (they’re not far from your front door)!

The Tuscaloosa Tinsel Trail

This beloved holiday tradition fills the heart of Tuscaloosa with twinkling lights and Christmas cheer as more than 200 festive trees take over Government Plaza. The trees are sponsored and decorated by local businesses, organizations, and individuals, and awards are given to the most popular designs. The Tinsel Trail is open from now through January 1, and it’s free to wander among their illustrious glow. Proceeds from the Tinsel Trail benefit Tuscaloosa’s One Place, a local family resource center. 

Holidays on the Plaza

We may not get snow, but we do have ice! Strap on a pair of skates and glide your heart out at Holidays on the Plaza, Tuscaloosa’s own ice-skating rink and winter wonderland. Tickets are $15 per person and include your skate rental and full rink access during operating hours. Take the whole family on Tuesdays in December to score discounted tickets!

West Alabama Christmas Parade

The 46th Annual West Alabama Christmas Parade will roll down Greensboro Avenue at 6:30pm on Monday, December 5. This historic parade is one of the biggest in the state and fills our downtown streets with decorated floats, marching bands, holiday characters and more. This year’s theme is “Retro Christmas,” so expect to see some iconic favorites from Christmases past.

Dickens Downtown 

On Tuesday, December 6, head to nearby Northport for a family celebration full of Christmas cheer. Based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, the annual event includes live Christmas carols, snow machines, artist demonstrations, and a visit from Father Christmas himself. The festival is held on Main Avenue in Historic Downtown Northport and lasts until 8 p.m.. Admission is free.


Merry & Bright at The Bama Theater

The historic Bama Theater is a perfect venue for Tuscaloosa’s first holiday film series. On December 17, enjoy watching the Christmas classics “Elf” (2 p.m.) and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (7 p.m.) with concessions and a specialty cocktail during the final show. Tickets are $12-$15 and benefit the Junior League of Tuscaloosa (JLT) and their community partners. 

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