James Spann, Sloss Furnaces among Alabama ornaments featured on national Christmas tree

Sloss Furnaces ornament, Alabama ornaments, Christmas tree
Vulcan, James Spann and other Birmingham landmarks are now on display on the national Christmas tree in Washington D.C. Photo via Shelby County Schools

Drop the papier-mâché—nothing I ever created in art class made it further than my mom’s dresser. The same isn’t true for these Shelby County High School art students. Their self-designed Alabama ornaments hang on the national Christmas tree in Washington D.C.

We predict these Alabama ornaments will bring a downpour of merriment with a 100% chance of joy

James Spann ornament, Alabama ornaments
Ruthie Johns designed the James Spann ornament. Photo via Shelby County Schools

With the support of their teacher, Mrs. Michelle Branson, 12 students from Shelby County High School created a variety of Alabama-themed ornaments for the 2020 National Christmas Tree. The tree is displayed on the Ellipse in President’s Park along with 56 smaller trees surrounding it.

Alabama ornaments Span(n) across different areas of the state 🎄

Designs include the Camellia, Alabama’s state flower, unforgettable landmarks like Sloss Furnaces and the state’s one and only Chief Meteorologist James Spann.

Ruthie Johns, the artist behind Spann’s shoutout, hit all the details of ABC 33/40’s iconic weatherman. Note the suspenders, rolled up sleeves and several terrifying tornadoes looming in the backdrop.

This isn’t the first time a national organization recognized Spann, either. In 2019, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) named him National Weatherperson of the Year.

Birmingham isn’t left out

In addition to James Spann, the students highlighted several other scenes unique to Birmingham. Images Sloss Furnaces, Legion Field and the Cahaba Lillies don ornaments. Congratulations to these local artists whose Alabama ornaments made it all the way to Washington D.C.!

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Irene Richardson
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