A Birmingham tradition. Regions Bank holiday lights are back! (Photos)

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The annual lighting began in the 1970s when the building that is now the Regions Center was shared by First National Bank of Birmingham and Southern Natural Gas. Regions Bank has kept the tradition going. Photo via Regions Bank

It is one of my favorite Birmingham traditions – the Regions Bank Holiday Lights.

 

Displayed on the 30 story Regions Center Building at 1900 5th Ave. North downtown, the lights will be turned on for the first time this Christmas season at approximately 4:45, Friday, November 27th. 

Beginning at dusk, everyday until January 1st, the 390 feet office tower will be illuminated. Expect to see red, green and white lights illuminate a Christmas tree, a massive wreath and a giant stocking. 

The giant stocking traditionally occupies the north side of the Regions Center, greeting drivers along Interstate 20/59 as they pass through downtown. Photo via Regions Bank

“The lighting of the Regions Center is a tradition going back more than 40 years, and Regions Bank is proud to keep the tradition alive, especially during a year in which so much has changed,” said Joe Holcombe, senior facilities project manager in Regions’ Corporate Real Estate division in a news release “In recent weeks, crews have been installing and testing lights, working hard to get Birmingham’s tallest holiday display ready for the season. As the lights come on this evening, we wish everyone a happy holiday season and a brighter new year to come.”

Marking History

The Regions Center was illuminated in a patriotic display (left) during the 1991 Gulf War. The building displayed the Olympic torch and rings (right) during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Photo via Regions Bank

Beyond Christmas, in the spring, the Regions Center is lit up during the Regions Tradition golf tournament.  I also remember when a special display was created when the 1996 Olympics Soccer games were in town. And for Birmingham natives, who could ever forget the lights during the Gulf War in 1991. 

Here is a – article linked here on Regions’ news website about the history of this Birmingham original idea and tradition.

Going Downtown? 

The Regions Center lights are visible across the city, from Southside condos, to vistas on Red Mountain, to nearby Interstates and even to passengers on planes about to land at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. Photo via Regions Bank

If you plan to go downtown, make a day out of it.  Here are the Bham Now business and nonprofit directories  to help guide you all Christmas season.

And when you are done, take a walk around the Regions Center in the evening. You won’t regret it.


  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.