Tinsel Trail, Tuscaloosa’s Decorated Tree Trail, Enters 10th Year, Benefitting Local Non-Profit
The 10th annual Tuscaloosa Tinsel Trail opened to the public Monday, marking the start of the holiday season with a place for families to enjoy lit and decorated trees in downtown Tuscaloosa.
The annual event benefits Tuscaloosa One Place, a family resource center that provides social services through various programs and initiatives.
Ashley Cornelius-Hester, director of communications for the organization, said the event provides families with a free source of entertainment. The proceeds from the event allows the organization to fill the gaps that funding may not cover, giving the agency the ability to continue their efforts.
"I think the Tinsel Trail is one of the bets examples of what we try to do as an agency," Cornelius-Hester said. "Everything at Tinsel Trail is free, all of our event nights are free and we do that so every family has the ability to access something magical during the holiday season. It's a critically-important fundraiser. It's the heart of the holiday in Tuscaloosa."
Cornelius-Hester said one of the benefits of the fundraiser will assist with their "Holiday Heart" initiative, where families are matched with sponsors to receive gifts and food for the holiday season.
This year's event is the largest Tinsel Trail to date, featuring over 200 trees that were sponsored and decorated by local businesses and community organizations, which Cornelius-Hester said is a huge accomplishment.
"The sponsors really showed up and showed out this year," Cornelius-Hester said. "These trees are absolutely breathtaking."
Government Plaza has been the home of the trail for the second year, after it was moved from the Tuscaloosa River Walk due to construction along the area of Jack Warner Parkway. Nicole Mareno-Lacalle, the special event operations manager for the City of Tuscaloosa, said they are excited to bring the event back to the space.
"We saw a huge turnout last year and the community was really excited to have it here in the middle of downtown," Mareno-Lacalle said. "It's like a Hallmark movie. You can't walk out here and not be in the Christmas spirit, between all of the Tinsel Trail trees and ice-skating, but it brings the community together and that's what we're all about."
The 11th season of Holidays on the Plaza, the ice-skating portion, will also take place in the space, however the opening was postponed due to technical issues. Mareno-Lacalle said the event is scheduled to open later this week or at the beginning of next week.
The event is presented by Buffalo Rock, Sign Pro of Tuscaloosa and the University Medical Center. To learn more about the various event nights that will be featured at this year's event, click here.
Stay connected with the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on additional holiday events happening in and around the Druid City.
Check out some of this year's featured trees in a gallery of photos below!