Events Mountain Lakes Travel & Tourism


Decatur, Ala. – The city of Athens is embracing its love of deep-fried foods and is set to serve up one day dedicated to all things dipped, battered and fried. The inaugural Athens Grease Festival is set for September 29, 2012 in downtown Athens, and along with celebrating the South’s love of fried food, the one day event also pays tribute to the Greek origination of the town’s name.

The downtown area will be filled with Southern crafts, Olympic-themed activities, and a variety of food vendors who will offer at least one fried item on their menus. And in the South, fried food is not limited to vegetables and meat; desserts such as fried Oreos and fried Twinkies have become increasingly popular. Organizers are not worried about encouraging others to indulge as long as everyone eats responsibly the other 364 days of the year. No fried food festival would be complete without a contest to see can best dip, batter, and fry. Food vendors and downtown restaurants are challenged with to see who can come up with the best fried vegetable, best fried meat, best fried dessert, and most outrageous.

Other activities planned for the day-long event include a bike ride, fun run, and a children’s area. Festival goers are encouraged to wear their togas to what may turn out to be the largest toga party in North Alabama and dance to live music provided by Faron Davis, The Charles and Grant Show, Matt Prater, Richie and Deemer, Joey Thompson and Charles Williams, and The Park Band.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and admission is $ 5 or $ 4 for toga wearers. Children 12 years and under get in free. The Athens Grease Festival is organized and hosted by Spirit of Athens, a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Athens. Proceeds from the festival will benefit Spirit of Athens and downtown restoration and renovation projects. For more information, visit or call 256.232.9040.

About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)

AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state. It is supported by 500-plus members consisting of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions and individuals.Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston.Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting

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Travel & Tourism

Rocking and Rolling on the Mountains: A Driving Tour Through Steele, Ashville and Springville – Sweet Home Alabama

Road Trip #24

Get off the stretch of interstate that lies between Birmingham and Gadsden for a wonderful road trip where you will find beautiful mountains, historic towns and one of the best bouldering sites in America as well as attractions, shops and restaurants operated by local townspeople. The Schultz family owns and operates a nature park on Chandler Mountain near Steele. Near Springville, the Whites of White’s Mountain have built a bluegrass music festival park while another family of Whites on Pine Mountain cut off-road vehicle adventure trails on their land. And in the city of Springville at Homestead Hollow, thousands come for the annual arts and crafts events. A visit to attractions along Interstate 59 just northeast of Birmingham will allow you to race or climb your way to adventure and enjoy traditional bluegrass music, all on top of a mountain. This entire trip is off three adjacent I-59 exits: 166, 156 and 154 near the towns of Steele, Ashville and Springville.

via Rocking and Rolling on the Mountains: A Driving Tour Through Steele, Ashville and Springville – Sweet Home Alabama.

Travel & Tourism

Fort Payne: The View From Lookout Mountain – Sweet Home Alabama

English: Aerial view of Fort Payne, Alabama, USA

The Alabama Tourism folks have put together a number of “Road Trips” in the Alabama Mountain Dreams area of coverage. I’ll be linking to a number of them in coming posts. This particular road trip is one I need to spend some time exploring. Every time we make our trip to the mountains from our home in Texas it’s this area that gets our mountain excitement started. Traveling up I59 we can not wait till Lookout Mountain comes in sight off to the east. From this point on in the trip, mountains will become our constant companions.

Road Trip #27

The largest city along the Alabama portion of Lookout Mountain Parkway is Fort Payne (887-805-4740). It is located on what was originally an important village in the Cherokee Nation and was home to Sequoyah who created the Cherokee alphabet that made reading and writing in that language possible. History tells us that Sequoyah is the only person ever to conceive an alphabet in its entirety.

A canvas of scenic beauty year-round is the best way to describe the Lookout Mountain area of northeastern Alabama, especially in DeKalb County, near Fort Payne. Native poplars, dogwoods, maples and hickories explode throughout the area in the fall and provide a panoramic showcase of vibrant yellow, gold and orange. Chock-full of natural splendor, the area is also known for its protected forestlands, which are rich with greenery in the spring. Little River Canyon, considered a marvel of nature and a recreational wonder, boasts a river that begins and ends entirely on top of a mountain and attracts visitors throughout the year. Many come here simply to view the beautiful waterfalls; others come to enjoy some of the country’s best whitewater kayaking.

To read more about this road trip you can go to…  Fort Payne: The View From Lookout Mountain – Sweet Home Alabama.