By Matt Bryant 

Nearly 500 Hoover residents and friends filled the parking lot of Hoover City Hall Tuesday evening to get an in-person view of the annual lighting of the Hoover Christmas tree. The massive tree stands about 43-feet tall and boasts more than 62-thousand twinkling lights. 

This year’s celebrity lighter was Jesse Humphreys. The Gwin Elementary fourth grader received a life-saving kidney transplant this past spring. What makes the transplant even more special is that his mom, Eden, was his donor. Jesse joined with Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato to flip the switch that lights the tree.  

Members of the Spain Park Jazz Band set the tone for the evening by greeting attendees with holiday tunes. The Shades Mountain Elementary choir kept the spirit going by providing several spirited Christmas songs of their own. The Hoover Beautification Board dispensed Christmas tree shaped snack cakes while Red Diamond provided free hot chocolate and coffee, which helped to warm many as temperatures hovered in the low forties. 

After the lighting and singing, it was then time for the honoree of the hour to make an appearance. Riding in the front seat of a Hoover fire engine, Santa himself arrived to greet the crowd, waving and sharing greetings. To add to the ambience, a snow blower blasted faux flakes in the air, to the delight of many.  

The night ended with guests making the trek across the street to the Hoover Library, where they could take pictures with Santa and also mail a Christmas wish list to the North Pole.