On Monday, July 4th, Tuscaloosa will kick off its sixth annual Celebration on the River. Free family activities, a performance by the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and a fireworks display over the Black Warrior River will be featured.  

This year’s celebration is organized by The Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority. PARA’s free kid’s zone will include inflatable games, face painting and more. Along with visiting the kid’s zone, the Alabama National Guard will sponsor a rock wall and additional activities.  

The City of Tuscaloosa will host a free Christmas tree recycling event starting Dec. 26 through Sunday, Jan. 10.

During this free drop-off event, citizens and businesses can drop off live Christmas trees, live wreaths and live garlands in the designated area at the Curry Environmental Services facility located at 3440 Kauloosa Ave.

Holiday Shoppers, Take Note: Seasonal Items are Popular 

By Haleigh Amend 


A new store offers Tuscaloosa natives a variety of international foods as well as holiday decor and furniture. World Market opened in The Shoppes at Legacy Park in Tuscaloosa in October, giving area shoppers a chance to peruse unique foods, candies, decorations and toys. And with the holiday season in full swing, that’s a win-win.  The store offers special holidays sections seasonally. 


“We change that section out every month,” said World Market Manager Chad Hankins. “It goes from different holidays and periods. Sometimes, during the spring, we switch between springtime festival things to Easter or things like that.”  


World Market stocks a wide range of imported foods from all over the world, including several items for those with a sweet tooth. 

By Tori Linville

Walter Energy, also known as Jim Walter Resources, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July. With it came the possibility of more than 500 position layoffs. The latest round of layoffs totaled with 265 positions eliminated from the company’s No. 7 mine in Brookwood on Nov. 3.

This isn’t the first time the No. 7 mine has suffered. In the same month the company declared bankruptcy, 180 positions were cut in the Brookwood mine. Heather Bosch, a 27-year-old mother of two, said she decided to help because she knew what the miners and families were about to face.

“I’ve been in their shoes,” she said. “I’ve had no job with two kids, and one of the hardest questions to have a child ask is ‘Mommy, why can’t we have this?’ and it’s so hard to have to say ‘We don’t have the money.’”

Christmas Afloat, the lighted holiday boat parade along the Black Warrior River, is returning to Tuscaloosa and Northport on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. The event, put on by the “Pirates of the Warrior” boat club, had been held annually since 1990, but the April 2011 tornado destroyed so many boats, a three-year hiatus was taken.

“We are proud as a Boat Club to bring Christmas Afloat back to Tuscaloosa,” said Ken DeWitt, chairman of the event. “This has long been a local holiday tradition, but our club was battered hard by the storm in 2011, and we are slowly but surely returning to our former numbers.”

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Tuscaloosa – or it will soon. Tuscaloosa’s fourth annual Holidays on the River celebration kicks off in two weeks, but residents can buy their ice skating tickets now.

This year’s 60 ’X 100’ outdoor ice skating rink will be set up at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, and the fun starts on Dec. 1. Tickets for skate sessions are now available on Ticketmaster, allowing everyone to skip the lines at the box office window.

Still trying to figure out what to get that special someone for Christmas? Diamonds Direct Birmingham may be able to help. Check out the store’s 8th annual Holiday Designer Showcase this week. The chances are, you’ll find the perfect, glittering gift.

It seems the elves have been quite busy at University Mall in Tuscaloosa this week. They’re prepping everything in anticipation of Santa Claus’ big arrival. Santa is set to arrive at the Mall at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6 – and yes, the annual Toy Parade is happening.

The Toy Parade officially kicks off the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree. If the kiddos want to march along with the parade with Santa and the Holt High School band, they can…just be sure they also bring a new toy to donate (lineup starts at 5:45 p.m. in the Belk Men’s court).

Roll Tide, Santa!

Photo: University Mall

Tuscaloosa’s One Place’s Tinsel Trail is back again this year as part of the city’s holiday celebrations. Tuscaloosa’s Riverwalk and the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater will be lit with over 100 brightly decorated live Christmas trees from now through January 3. Each tree will be sponsored by a local business, organization, group, or individual, and all proceeds benefit Tuscaloosa’s One Place. If you haven't had a chance to check out the Tinsel Trail, you should: It's gorgeous!

A grand opening celebration for the Tinsel Trail, including a visit from Santa Claus, is planned for today, Nov. 23 at 5 p.m.

Members of the Junior League of Tuscaloosa will help get everyone in the swing of the holidays with the annual Breakfast with Santa and Mini Market, this Saturday, Nov. 14, at Indian Hills Country Club.

This event gives kids a chance to visit with Santa and enjoy fun activities, and parents a chance to get a jump on holiday shopping – local merchants will be set up. And of course, everyone will get a delicious breakfast.

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Lake Tuscaloosa Living (LTL) is the premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.


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