Christmas in Butler County – no snow, just cheer
Published 7:00 am Sunday, December 24, 2023
An Editorial of The Greenville Advocate
American country band Alabama popularized the well-known Christmas class, “Christmas in Dixie,” releasing the song in December 1982. Four decades later, it still stands as a celebration of the southern holiday traditions, but rural communities like those in Butler County boast a few special holiday attributes songwriters Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen left off their list.
The song’s chorus highlights snow in the pines of Fort Payne, situated in north Alabama. But Butler County communities – Greenville, Georgiana, McKenzie, Mt. Zion – didn’t need snow to deliver holiday cheer this year.
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Each one featured a Christmas parade, some with floats and high school bands, others with horses and personal vehicles, but each was special to area residents who enjoyed coming out to participate, catch candy and enjoy watching their friends and neighbors process down the street.
Local musicians danced and sang for audiences at the Ritz Theatre who were delighted by the variety of entertainment showcased in “Christmas at the Ritz.”
Alabama neglected to mention the countless church and school programs which highlight the reason for the season, but Butler County residents did not forget to attend their local productions which featured wise men and Baby Jesus in a manger, Santa Claus coming to town, or the Grinch’s frustrated efforts to steal Christmas.
Instead of snow, Butler County communities boast colorful holiday light displays. Many residents, accustomed to the warm weather of south-central Alabama, felt the temperatures were cold enough, without adding snow to the mix.
“Christmas in Dixie” evokes Alabamians to wish one another a hearty “Merry Christmas tonight” 41 years after its release, and Butler County residents have no lack of holiday cheer with which to celebrate a joyous Christmas season.