Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention – Sweet Home Alabama

English: 3 fiddlers in silhouette

Coming up next month, October 4th and 5th, 2012 at Athens State University.

The Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention is known as the “Granddaddy of Midsouth Fiddlers Conventions” for its role in reviving the tradition of competition in old time music. Approximately, 15,000 people are expected to attend the convention this year from more than 30 states. The convention brings some 200 contestants to compete for top prize money. There are 18 different categories, including several fiddle and guitar categories, harmonica, mandolin, bluegrass banjo, dulcimer, old time singing, banjo, and buck dancing. The Convention culminates in a “fiddle-off,” between the top two fiddlers. The winning fiddler is declared “Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddle Champion,” and takes home a trophy and $1000. A total of $11,850 will be awarded to contestants. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the outstanding music, 150 arts and crafts vendors and delicious festival food.  ~ Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention – Sweet Home Alabama.

For more info check out the website: www.athens.edu/fiddlers

Athen’s Fine Art Festival Returns September 8, 2012

Decatur, Ala. – Art On The Square arrives September 8, 2012, bringing with it approximately 50 selected visual artists who will display their work under the trees in downtown Athens. The public is invited to admire the work, and for those who can’t walk away empty-handed, original pieces of work will be available to purchase.

The annual event, now in its seventh year, features the creative works of painters, sculptors, metal artists, photographers, ceramicists, fiber artists, jewelry artists, mixed media artists, and more from across the United States. Festival-goers have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the artists and purchase original artwork.

In conjunction with the fine art festival, “Kudzu Chronicles: a Southern Writers Event at Art on the Square” will bring published authors and panel discussions to the Athens State University Center for Lifelong Learning. Aspiring writers are invited to hear authors speak on a variety of topics and join discussions on writing, getting published and historical research and genealogy. Authors include Christopher Fuqua, Dr. Julie Hedgepeth Williams, Kris Reisz, Robert S. Davis, Peggy Allen Towns, Rusty Bynum, Sara McDaris, Kelly Kazek, Jerry Barksdale, Bill Hunt, Penne Laubenthal, Charlotte Fulton, Karen Middleton, and Frank Travis.

In addition, high school bands will perform and the Alabama Blues Project Advanced Band is set to take the stage at 10:30 a.m. followed by award-winning blues band Microwave Dave and The Nukes at noon.

For young, budding artists, the KidsZone offers mini art camps for children to experience hands-on art at the festival. Set up along Marion Street throughout the event, the art camps will offer painting, bead making, swirl art, tye-dye shirts, face painting, multimedia collage, plus much more. All activities are free.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of the Limestone County Courthouse. In case of heavy rain, Art On The Square will take place at the Athens State University gymnasium. Admission is free. For more information including an up-to-date entertainment schedule, visit www.aots-athens.com or call 256.444.8156.

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. Members of the AMLA include 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 from AMLA by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting their web site at www.northalabama.org.

Press Room

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.

ARDMORE’S BLOOMING EVENT SET FOR AUGUST 25th

Decatur, Ala. – The town of Ardmore has designated itself the Crape Myrtle Capital of the South and in celebration, it hosts a free event filled with live music, food, and family-friendly activities. Always the last Saturday in August, the annual Crape Myrtle Festival arrives just in time for the peak of blooming season.

Festival-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chair and picnic blankets to enjoy the day under plenty of shade trees while listening to a variety of music including gospel, country, and rock-n-roll. Shade tree pickers are also welcome for an impromptu gathering at any time. For the children, there will be a kid’s area with free activities.

Along with ongoing live music, food vendors featuring traditional festival food and dozens of vendors offering home-baked goods, hand-crafted items, clothing, jewelry, candles, and more will be set up. Crape myrtles of various colors available in three- and five-gallon containers will be for sale throughout the day. To pre-order your favorite color, call 256.423.2141.

Set for August 25, 2012, the Crape Myrtle Festival will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at John Barnes City Park located on Ardmore Ridge Road in Ardmore, Tennessee. Admission is free. For more information, visit their Facebook page or call the Ardmore AL/TN Chamber of Commerce Office at 256.423.7588 or the Athens-Limestone Visitors Center at 256.232.5411.

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 consist 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 from the AMLA by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting their web site at www.NorthAlabama.org.

via ARDMORE’S BLOOMING EVENT SET FOR AUGUST 25th.

Alabamas Mountain Country – Southern Living

Here is a link to help plan a fall trip to the Alabama Mountains…What better way to spend a hot summer day.

Little River Canyon threads through some of the most stunning fall color in Alabama. This month discover the secret jewel cutting through the states slice of Lookout Mountain. Mother Nature may bring you here, but the antiques shopping and the enchanting small towns of Fort Payne and Mentone will keep you for the whole weekend.

via Alabamas Mountain Country – Southern Living.