So, I grew up in a small town called Demopolis, AL. Many of you that will see this have probably never heard of it, but few of you have. For those of you that do not know of this small southern town, it hosts a festival-type event every year to celebrate Christmas, the holiday that gets celebrated for months in the south.

This event, called Christmas on the River, begins in October, when most are thinking of pumpkins and Halloween costumes, with a series of beauty pageants ranging from Little Miss COTR, all the way to the coveted Miss COTR that every girl dreams of becoming one day. The event then lingers on through November, consisting of plentiful behind-the-scenes work in preparation for the events themselves. I was lucky enough to help with the numerous float building projects and organizing aspects of this wonderful event, due to the fact that my mom was chairman of the day parade for many years. The events begin in December, with the celebration of the special child and the announcement of St. Nick, a reading of The Christmas Story and the lighting of the downtown park with a visit from Santa himself, and then Christmas in the Canebrake, candlelit tours of historical homes, Canebrake children's plays, the Alabama State BBQ Cook-Off, Fair in the Square arts and crafts show, a day parade, and a nautical night parade with a fireworks show and semi-formal Gala on the Tombigbee River. The queens and their courts chosen in the pageants play a special role in all of these events, a true honor to anyone that receives it.

However, my Christmas wish is that the Chamber of Commerce will consider adding a Miss College COTR. I myself was chosen as Little Miss COTR many years ago, and it was an experience I will never forget. What I'm asking for is a last chance for all those girls that have graduated high school and gone off to college, to participate, once again, in the best part about growing up in Demopolis, AL. I would like for a college version of Miss COTR to be created for girls freshman-seniors in college. Why not add a new tradition to the many we already love? So, to put a smile on all of our stressed out, college student faces, let us have this chance to reminisce.

So, ladies, let's grab our gowns and heels, do our hair and makeup while listening to some Christmas tunes and be queens one last time.