Taylor Hicks will headline Christmas on the Square in Talladega

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Taylor Hicks, the 2006 season winner of American Idol, will give a free concert during the 2017 edition of Christmas on

TALLADEGA -- Taylor Hicks, the 2006 season winner of American Idol, will give a free concert during the 2017 edition of Christmas on the Square.

The announcement was made by Talladega City Manager Patrick Bryant during Monday night’s City Council meeting and also in a press release.

The 2017 event, the second one the city has hosted, will be “bigger and better than last year’s inaugural event. The dates will be Dec. 15 through 17, with the annual Talladega Christmas Parade serving as the kickoff to this year’s event,” the release said.

Taylor Hicks will be giving a free concert Saturday, Dec. 16.

Hicks’ performance is made possible by a council-approved increase in the overall budget for the event from $100,000 last year to $150,000 this year. Bryant told the council Monday evening that of the $150,000, private sponsors had already pledged $91,000, “and we’re still hoping to increase that.”

“The community showed unprecedented support for this event last year, so we wanted to show them we are investing in them by moving forward with a bigger and better event this year,” he added in the release.

“In addition to the free concert, enhancements to this year’s event will include an ice skating rink, more food trucks, more street vendors and a larger Santa’s Workshop for children,” the release says. “The Ritz Theatre will once again show holiday-themed movies for the duration of the weekend, which will also be free to the public.

“The annual Talladega Christmas Parade will be added to this year’s Christmas on the Square. The ability to marry the longstanding tradition of the parade to this event will make the weekend and holiday season in Talladega truly special. We want to create positive memories for the children of our community and convey a positive image of our community to the world at large, and this weekend will accomplish both.”

At the meeting, Mayor Jerry Cooper reminded everyone of the reasons behind the Christmas season, adding that he was “excited to see people pull together and put their past behind them. You never know what is going on in someone else’s life, so it’s important to keep positive and show the love to each other.”

Councilman Gerald Cooper agreed, and Councilman Horace Patterson called the news of the event and announcement of the new total sponsorships “amazing.”

“This shows the spirit of our wonderful community,” he said, asking Bryant to please pass along the council’s pleasure with the planning of the event so far.

Council President David Street concurred, saying “$91,000 didn’t happen on its own. I want to thank Patrick and all the city employees that helped make that happen.”

Councilman Ricky Simpson was absent.

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Article Taylor Hicks will headline Christmas on the Square in Talladega compiled by www.annistonstar.com