ARAB, Ala. - Christmas lights are up in the city of Arab, but it's a process that takes days and even weeks.
The twinkle, the sparkles, that warm feeling -- Christmas lights just add a little something extra to the holiday season.
But then you remember putting them up can be as frustrating and exhausting as losing the Iron Bowl.
So that's why crews in Arab put the more than two million Christmas lights up weeks in advance. "We have some that are downtown on Main Street, and those are actually put up for us by the co-op for no charge," Mayor Bob Joslin said. "They started those last week. The second are the Christmas in the Park lights, which are at Arab City Park. Over two million lights are put up at City Park. The Parks and Rec Department starts putting those up in mid August."
Joslin says crews worked several days to get the lights up, and it takes a while to make sure everything is working right.
The bright side -- besides the end result -- is the lights don't break the bank. Last year they cost the city just over $2,500. "They're paid for by the city. It's never expressed on any personal utility bill for anybody in town," Joslin explains.
The City Council factors the cost into the budget. "It's included in our normal operations of our street lights," Joslin explains.
It's not the Christmas season yet, but getting an entire city to look merry and bright isn't the easiest task in the world, so it has to start early.