By: Teresa Todd
The 3rd Annual North Pole Stroll was an amazing success this past December 2017, in Big Springs Memorial Park. With a record number of children and parents coming to visit Santa, and the guests visiting the park daily, attendance easily reached over 10,000 for the 30 days of festivities.

I would like to take the time to thank our sponsors, community organizations, and decorators for their time and energy that made this annual event a “Holiday Hallmark” event for our community.

The event wouldn’t be possible without the efforts from Ben Wiley and the City Parks and Recreation staff preparing the park with the beautiful Frazer firs; Mr. Kerr and Ms. Calvert from Lowes of Athens who secured the 52 seven-foot-tall trees, which made this year’s Stroll even better than the ones in the past; and for everyone’s special efforts, I greatly thank you all!

Santa, as always, was amazing! His kind-hearted patience and caring demeanor, listening to each and every child and adult who had a wish list for him, was fantastic.

Lynne Hart and volunteers of Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful with their exhibit the “Tired Family” was the place to snap a selfie or take a group photo to remember your experience for the holidays.

The Athens-Limestone County Tourism staff, Cayce Hutchins, Andrea Turner, and Teresa Todd, are all very proud to bring this event to our community each year and look forward to making it happen again in 2018 with a Bicentennial flair.

Thank you to these Tree Sponsors & Decorators:

Medical Massage Therapy; City of Athens Utilities and Relay for Life; Athens First United Methodist; First Presbyterian Church of Athens “on the Square”; Dr. Griggs Orthodontics; Limestone County Master Gardeners; Optimist Club of Athens; Dealer Auto Auction; Friends of Athens Limestone Animal Shelter; First Baptist Church Mission Group; Martin & Hubbs Inc.; Welleswood Venue Inc.; Brown & Brown Accountants; Limestone Health Facility and Athens Dulcimer Group; Athens News Courier and Girl Scout Troop 1922; Southeast Quality Refrigeration; Great Oaks Management and the Limestone Lodge Assisted Living; EFI Automotive; Athens Lions Club; Fowler Auction & Real Estate and Athens Main Street; Innovative Realty Solution, LLC; Lowes of Athens; Maria A. Taylor – Learn to Read Council of Athens & Limestone County Inc.; Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives and Volunteers; Boy Scouts of America Arrowhead District; Karen Sticker – In Memory of Korry Young; The Valley Star; Chick-fil-A of Athens; The J.T. Ray Company; Brody Jackson – State Farm Ins.; the Family of Richard and Mabel Gooch; Courtesy First Home Lenders and Athens Arts League; First National Bank; Athens-Limestone Hospital Department of Radiology; Wee Wisdom’s Little Red School; Hospice of Limestone County; Innovative Health Solutions; Redstone Federal Credit Union; Southern Home Realty of North Alabama; Defensive Applications and Behind the Badge; Capt. Thomas H Hobbs Camp 768, Sons of Confederate Veterans; Traditions of Athens; Kindred Hospice; Alabama Real Estate Solutions; Athens Limestone Community Association; Jimmy Smith – Buick – GMC; Smith INFINITI of Huntsville; Recentered; Athens Dental Associates; Greater Chamber of Commerce L.E.A.D program; and the Huntsville International Airport.
By: Teresa Todd, TMP
President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

By Cayce Lee
Social Media Specialist

Elkmont, Alabama, is a small community in Limestone County, between Athens and the Tennessee State line. It is probably best known for the Richard Martin Rails-to-Trails, goat cheese makers Belle Chevre and Humble Heart Farms, and antique and specialty shops. Elkmont’s rural roots and agricultural traditions lend to its year-round draw. Elkmont’s population of approximately 253 triples on the first Saturday in December each year as the promise of marching bands, floats and the “Man in Red” appearance flourish before the annual Christmas Parade.

Elkmont’s small police department had a community-wide response to help with the increased population and traffic that moved into the community for the big day. As main roads were closed to traffic for the parade, the Elkmont Fire Department; Ardmore Volunteer Fire Departments; and officers from the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Athens Police Department volunteered their time to keep the community and visitors safe and direct traffic.

The temporary population boom – and economic boon to downtown businesses — results from the parade hosted by the Elkmont Lions Club, which was planned by 7 members of the very active community civic club for the 2017 event. This year’s parade theme was “Christmas on the Farm,” paying homage to the contributions of farmers and agriculture to the community and the world. This year’s parade stretched from end to end with 46 entries including Elkmont High School’s Marching Red Devil Band and cheerleaders, 4-H Club, Girl Scouts, and even participation from the Limestone County Revenue Commission.

Fortunately for this year’s parade, the week of sunny skies and seasonably warm temperatures continued for its December 2nd 1:00 P.M. kickoff leading to happy, large crowds for the day. The parade started at Elkmont High School and wound through the heart of Downtown Elkmont, Alabama, ending at the Piggly Wiggly Shopping Center on AL-127, giving folks from near and far plenty of opportunities to line the route and enjoy the season’s greetings from each float, tractor, car and in-between entrants.

To highlight this year’s “Christmas on the Farm” theme, tractors rolled out for the parade, as well, and a special division for “Best Antique Tractor” was added to the yearly category of Best Float. The Elkmont Lions Club invited Teresa Todd, Rita Jordan, and Barbara Evans to judge the floats, and Tim Toone from Owens and Mike Gooch to judge the tractors for this year’s event.

This year’s awards are as follows:
Best Antique Tractor: 1st Place– Tommy Elmore’s 1936 BR John Deere and Wagon; 2nd Place – Larry Appleton’s 1957 601 Ford, and 3rd Place – Rusty Beddingfield’s 1956 Allis Chalmers WD45.
Float Awards: Grand Prize – The Limestone County Revenue Commission, 1st Place – New Bethel Baptist Church, 2nd Place Girl Scout Troop 1133/1134, 3rd Place – Limestone County 4-H


Photo Courtesy of Susan Plyant of Elkmont Lions Club
By: Cayce Lee
Social Media Specialist

Tourism – Holiday Happenings

By: Cayce Lee
‘Tis the season to be jolly…well, first because Thanksgiving is almost here, but also because we have several Christmas season events on the calendar.

On December 1, the Athens-Limestone Public Library Foundation will be hosting a Christmas Soiree at the home of Monya and Mitch Claborn (1808 Lindsay Lane South in Athens) starting at 6:00 p.m. Admission is $75.00 for this exclusive event. Tickets are limited and will be on sale at the Library (603 South Jefferson Street in Athens) or online at ALCPLFoundation.org

A popular event is the Athens North Pole Stroll, which is a display of live cut Christmas Trees located in the Big Spring Memorial Park (AKA ‘the Duck Pond’ at 100 North Beaty Street). Make plans to bring family and friends to visit the park and stroll through the beautifully decorated trees and Christmas scenes from December 1-30. For more info call 256-232-5411

Christmas Then and Now at Calvary Epicenter (4839 Calvary Boulevard in Tanner) will be December 1-3. Come experience the magic of “Now” and the majesty of “Then!” For over 20 years people from all across North Alabama and the surrounding areas have counted Christmas Now & Then as one of their favorite family traditions. For tickets and info look for the link on our website events page at visitathensal.com.

Christmas parades are as follows: Elkmont, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m.; Ardmore, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m.; Athens, Dec.7 at 6:30

For info on these and many other events during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, please visit our website at visitathensal.com or our Facebook page.
By: Cayce Lee
Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

By: Teresa Todd, TMP
NORTH POLE STROLL – Christmas trees are being presold for the North Pole Stroll. DEADLINE IS Oct 31, 2017. Lowes of Athens sponsors our 7ft tall Christmas trees. Only SOLAR-LED lights are used along with unbreakable ornaments. There will be signs at each tree by Athens Sign Co. highlighting its sponsor and decorator.

The deadline to order your Christmas tree is October 31! Pick up your forms at the Tourism Office or online at VisitAthensAL.com (go to “Things to do” tab – click on the ‘North Pole Stroll’ link, look for a ‘click here’ link at the top of text for forms.)
Now – December 10 — Deck our Halls with Jingle Paws picture collection with the Friends of Athens-Limestone Animal Shelter. Bring your 4×6 or small picture and commemorate your pet for $10.00. Pictures will be non-returnable. Your pet’s picture will be laminated and featured at the Athens North Pole Stroll and Ardmore Tinsel Trail. Drop off — Athens Tree: Athens-Limestone Animal Shelter; Ardmore Tree: Ardmore Companion Hospital VisitAthensAL.com

Oct 19 — Judge James E. Horton Jr. Monument Dedication on the lawn of the Limestone County Courthouse (520 South Jefferson Street in Athens) at noon honoring the judge’s contribution to the Scottsboro Boys Trial. Light refreshments to follow. VisitAthensAL.com

Oct 19 — Through the Eyes of a Soldier with the Captain Thomas H. Hobbs Sons of Confederate Veterans at the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives (100 West Pryor Street in Athens) starting at 6:00 P.M. Speaker Bruce Stewart will talk about the common man in the ranks, perspectives/lives before, during and after the Civil War based on his manuscript. FB Event Page


Oct 20 & 21, 27 & 28
— Doomsday at Dog Days (Dog Day Flea Market Grounds 30444 Gowan Road in Ardmore, TN) with ticket sales 7:00 -11:00 P.M and attraction opens 7:30 P.M. VisitAthensAL.com

Oct 20 — ARToberfest with High Cotton Arts (103 West Washington Street in Athens) from 6:00 -9:00 P.M. Enjoy beverages, brats and brushes to the sounds of The Little German Band of Huntsville. Tickets at EVENTBRITE FB Event Page

Oct 21 — Fall Festival at the Shops of Ardmore Avenue in Ardmore, Alabama with Trunk or Treat with merchants, games, coloring contest, fall food and music.

Oct 23-28 — 11th Annual Athens Storytelling Festival in downtown Athens, AL will make you laugh, cry, and sigh as the storytellers fill the tent with entertainment. www.AthensStoryTellingFestival.com
Special Monday night FREE music night with members of ‘Iron Horse’ and ‘Just Down the Road’ starting at 6:30 P.M.
School Days Oct 24 – 26 with Donald Davis, Bil Lepp, Carmen Deedy and Bobby Norfolk.

Oct 24 – Dan Williams Local Teller Competition

Oct 26 is the Tellers Olio, with a sampling of all tellers and winner of competition

Oct 27 – 28 All day tellers Friday and Saturday with Donald Davis, The Dill Pickers, Bil Lepp, Geraldine Buckley and Bill Harley. VisitAthensAL.com

Oct 28 — Pride of Athens Marching Invitational at Athens Stadium (100 U.S. Highway 31N in Athens) from 3:00 -10:00 P.M. This annual Marching Band Contest will feature regional High School Marching Bands and an exhibition of the Golden Eagle Marching Band and the UNA “Pride of Dixie” Marching Band. Open to the public.

ABOUT US:
For more information on any of these events, go to VISITATHENSAL.COM – (FACEBOOK) ATHENS-LIMESTONE TOURISM or call 256-232-5411. (The Tourism Office is located at 100 N. Beaty Street, Athens, AL, in Big Springs Memorial Park @ the Duck Pond) you can also email your events to CAYCE@VISITATHENSAL.COM to be published on our website and/or Facebook pages. Please give at least a 2-week or more notice of your event to publicize on our website.
By: Teresa Todd, TMP
President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association


By: Teresa Todd, TMP
Sept 1- 30 — Fall Archery Registration opens with the Athens Park & Rec Department.
VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 5 — Fall Soccer Opening Day at the Athens SportsPlex. VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 8 — Marvel-ous Friday After Five with High Cotton Art (103 West Washington Street in downtown Athens) from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Wear your superhero t-shirts or costumes in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Live music by John David Crow. Superhero/Comic-book Art Contest Winners display. Info: 256-232-7717
Sept 9 — Elkmont Lions Club Dove Hunt at Hobbs Farm (26229 Veto Road in Elkmont).
VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 9 — Superhero Day in Big Spring Memorial Park (100 North Beaty Street in Athens) with Eli’s Block Party. VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 9 — 9/11 Heroes Run at the Alabama Veterans Museum (100 West Pryor Street in Athens) from 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. VisitAthensAL.com.
Sept 9 — Drayer’s Swing Through 5K at Calhoun Community College (6250 U.S. Highway 31 in Tanner) starting at 8:00 a.m. VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 9 — 2nd Saturday Cruise-In at Bojangle’s (1316 U.S. Highway 72E in Athens just west of I-65 Exit 351) from 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Sept 9 — 2017 Youth Dove Hunt for Limestone County: Licensed adults will be allowed to register up to two youth hunters 15 years or younger. VisitAthensAL.com or 256-353-2634
Sept 11 — Monthly Meeting of the Limestone County Master Gardeners Association at the Athens-Limestone Visitor Center. The speaker and meeting is open to the public. Janet Hunt 256-614-3530
Sept 12 — Donnell House Membership Meeting at 5:00 p.m. at the Donnell House (601 South Clinton Street in Athens) with guest speaker from the Alabama 200 Committee. Free and open to the public.
Sept 12 — Elkmont High School Homecoming Parade at 6:00 p.m. starting at Piggly Wiggly on AL-127 to Upper Fort Hampton Road to Highland Avenue to Redus Road to Elkmont High School.
Sept 14 — Farm to Fork Dinner 2017 with 1818 Farms (24889 Lauderdale Street in Mooresville) from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. benefiting the Nature Conservancy. Tickets $100.00 each. VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 16 — Duck & Run 5K start and finish in Big Spring Memorial Park (100 North Beaty Street in Athens) starting at 8:00 a.m. For more information or registration VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 16 — Alabama Tennessee Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride. VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 16 — Power of Pink Pageant at Cedar Hill Elementary School (27905 Cedar Hill Road in Ardmore, AL) in the gymnasium. Proceeds benefit the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund. VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 17 — Winter Series 2017 with 2-S Arena (26155 Thach Road in Athens; off I-65 Exit 361). Exhibition Barrels from noon to 2:30 p.m. and show starts after 3:00 p.m. For more info: Mindy Sanders 256-278-5758
Sept 18 — Crystal Cup Golf Tournament with the Athens-Limestone Hospital Foundation at Canebrake Golf Club starting at 1:00 p.m. with a shotgun start. Leah Beth McNutt 256-233-9557
Sept 21 — Elvis Remembered at Yesterday’s Senior Lunch Matinee Show at 15631 Brownsferry Road in Athens featuring your favorite Elvis songs. All seating is reserved – $12.00 each, groups are seated together, doors open 10:30 a.m., events start at 11 a.m. with seating, opening announcements, blessing, and lunch. Show begins about noon. (About 1 hour show) E-mail reservations are required info@yesterdaysevents.com.
Sept 21 — 5th Annual Golf Tournament for the Foundation of Mental Health at Canebrake Golf Course (23015 Founders Circle in Athens). Registration starts at 11:30 a.m.; Lunch at noon; Golf at 1:00 p.m. Fee: $150.00 per person; $600.00 per foursome team. Putting Contest: 1 Putt $5.00/3 Putts $10.00. First hole-in-one on #3 wins a car. Info: Suzanne Linneman VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 21 — Be Ready Day at the Limestone County Event Center (114 West Pryor Street in Athens) from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Learn about local responders’ roles in the community, giveaways, free lunch and free admission.
Sept 22 & 23 — Doomsday at Dog Days (Dog Day Flea Market Grounds 30444 Gowan Road in Ardmore, TN) with tickets sales 7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. and attraction open 7:30 p.m. VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 23 — Athens PTO Cars & Truck Show (Athens High School 100 US31N in Athens, AL) from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Vehicles are $10.00 each. Proceeds benefit the Athens High School PTO. Spectators free.
Sept 23 — 2017 Jessica Elkins 5K in downtown Athens benefiting the Limestone Area Community Foundation Scholarship and Meningitis Awareness Fund. Walkers and runners invited. Registration: 7:00 a.m.; Race starts: 8:00 a.m. VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 23 — National Hunting and Fishing Day. Pledge to take someone hunting, fishing or target shooting. NHFDay.org Find resources like license, permits, shooting ranges, archery ranges & more at outdooralabama.com
Sept 23 — Who Greased the Greaser Mystery Dinner Show and the Warton Bed and Breakfast (300 North Marion Street in Athens) from 7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 23 — 1st Annual Union Hall Instrument Drive Concert at Big Spring Memorial Park (100 North Beaty Street in Athens) starting at 6:00 p.m. Johnny Hayes and the Loveseats of Nashville, TN, and Lamon Landers Band of Huntsville, AL, will headline. Proceeds benefit Athens-Limestone County School systems. Free and open to the public.
Sept 23 — Door Hanger Painting Bonding Night with Mays Memorial Baptist Church (23636 AL-251 in Toney) from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Deadline Sep 3rd. Cost: $30.00. VisitAthensAL.com FB Page
Sept 28 — Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night for Natalee Emerson (1291 U.S. Highway 72 East in Athens) from 5:00 p.m.-8:00p.m. Natalee Emerson is a 16-year-old student at Ardmore High School diagnosed with leukemia in July 2017, and is in treatment at St. Jude’s Hospital. Place an order and mention Natalee to help the Emerson family.
Sept 29 & 30 and Oct 6 & 7th — The Haunted Lester Hospital with tours from 7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. Strange things happen in the old Lester Hospital — blood curdling screams, sightings of the undead, and other unworldly apparitions — and they’re saving a bed for you. Admission: $10.00. VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 30 — Athens Grease Festival in downtown Athens, AL featuring fried food, music, and more. VisitAthensAL.com
Sept 30 — Limestone County Junior Rodeo 19 & Under at the Limestone County Sheriff’s Rodeo Arena with gates opening at 7:00 a.m. For information, send text to 256-318-3593
________________________________________
October 2017 Events

Oct 3 and 5 – Athens-Limestone County Tourism will have their first week of the popular ‘Haunts Walks.’ Reservations are being accepted for Tuesday or Thursday night walks. Tickets are $5 per person.
Contact the Tourism Office at 256-232-5411 for reservations. VisitAthensAL.com
Oct 5 – 7 — 51st Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention at Athens State University (300 North Beaty Street in Athens). Three days of music, crafts, and fun. Thursday, October 5 headliners are Mark Kuykendall, Bobby Hicks and Asheville Bluegrass. Friday, October 6 headliners Daily and Vincent. VisitAthensAL.com
Now – Oct 31 – The North Pole Stroll: Tree sponsors are being accepted now! North Pole Stroll is a display of live cut Christmas Trees located in the Big Spring Memorial Park (AKA ‘the Duck Pond’) in the Historic Beaty District. Lowes of Athens has made these 7’ trees available to Athens-Limestone County Tourism to be sponsored by businesses, organizations, churches, schools, individuals and families for $100 ea. Athens City Parks and Rec Department will have the trees standing and awaiting the decorators. This holiday event will offer great fun coming up with your own special theme, and bringing family and friends to visit the park. Request your tree now; deadline is Oct 31, 2017!
By: Teresa Todd
President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

By: Teresa Todd TMP
Aug 3 — Ardmore Police Reserve Rodeo Street Dance at John Barnes Park (Hamlett Street in Ardmore, TN) from 6:30PM-9:00 PM – More info on the VisitAthensAl.com website

Aug 3, 4 & 5 — Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival opens at 309 East Forrest Street from 6:30-9:30 PM. More info on the VisitAthensAl.com website

Aug 4 — Singing on the Square at Limestone County Courthouse, Marion Street, Athens, AL. Join the Athens-Limestone County Tourism and sponsor Jimmy Smith Buick GMC for the final free concert in the Summer Concert Series starting at 6:30 PM with Athens State Community Band. This year, Band Director Roy Adams has a treat for our guests! The beautiful music of movie themes of John Williams from Harry Potter – Jurassic Park – Indiana Jones – ET: Extra Terrestrial – Superman – Star Wars – Saving Private Ryan and even more…. The concert will be 6:30 – 7:30 PM on the Courthouse Steps. If we have inclement weather, it will be held in the Vietnam Veterans Building located at 17915 W Elm St, Athens, AL. Be sure to bring your lawn chair.

Aug 4 & 5 — Piney Chapel Antique Engine and Tractor Association at 20147 Elkton Road in Athens with gates open at 7:00 AM until. Fish fry on Friday at 5:00 PM. Concessions and vendors too. Admission is $5.00; children 10 & under free. Info: 256-431-6226 or 256-206-5926

Aug 4 & 5 — Ardmore Police Reserve Rodeo at John Barnes Park with gates opening at 6:00 PM and rodeo action starting at 8:00 PM. Info – VisitAthensAl.com website

Aug 5 — Coffee Call from 8:00 AM-9:30 AM at the Alabama Veterans Museum & Archives 256-771-7578

Aug 5 — Athens Saturday Market from 8:00 AM-Noon with local producers, growers & entertainment.

Aug 5 — 1st Annual Miss Black and Gold Pageant at Cedar Hill Elementary School with proceeds benefitting Montana Worley and her battle against cancer. More info on the VisitAthensAl.com website

Aug 8 — Hunting Information with Q&A at the Athens-Limestone Visitors Center (100 North Beaty Street in Athens) from 5:00-6:00 PM with Alabama State Game Warden Sergeant Fulks. Learn about new laws impacting your hunting season, game counts, and changes in dates for certain seasons. Information: 256-232-5411

Aug 12 — Athens Saturday Market (409 South Green Street in Athens) from 8:00 AM-Noon with local producers, growers and entertainment. VisitAthensAL.com

Aug 11 — Truckin’ Good Times at the Athens Sportsplex (US31 & Elm Street in Athens) from 5:00 PM-10:00 PM. Bring the family and enjoy a variety of flavors and treats with a showcase of dishes from food trucks.

Aug 12 — 3rd Annual Athens-Limestone Homebuilders Association Clay Shoot at the Limestone Hunting Preserve (28755 Coggins Road in Ardmore, AL). Registration starts at 7:15 A.M. with shooting at 8 A.M. Lunch will be served at 11:30. Contact Keith Griffin 256-777-3633. VisitAthensAL.com

Aug 12 — Ardmore Quarterback Club Car Show at John Barnes Park (30510 Ardmore Ridge Road in Ardmore, TN) from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM. Fee to Register. Spectators: $5.00 per person, $15.00 per family, Children 12 and under are free. Rain or Shine. Proceeds benefit Ardmore High School Athletic Programs. VisitAthensAL.com

Aug 12 — Legacy of Life: 30 Years Celebration for the Women’s Resource Center of Athens at the Limestone County Event Center with guest speaker Pam Tebow, mother of renowned athlete Tim Tebow. Music with The Hogan Family, silent auction, and dinner. Doors open at 5:00 PM; dinner served at 5:30 PM. VisitAthensAL.com

Aug 17 —
Southern Splendor at Yesterday’s Senior Lunch Matinee Show at 15631 Brownsferry Road in Athens featuring the A Capella talents of men’s group Southern Splendor. All seating is reserved – $12.00 each, groups are seated together, doors open 10:30 AM, event starts at 11 AM with seating. E-mail reservations are required info@yesterdaysevents.com.

Aug 18 — Sporting Clay Tournament with the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce at the Limestone Hunting Preserve (28755 Coggins Road in Ardmore, AL). Four-man teams will enjoy the thrill of clay shooting, Duck Flurry, lunch and awards. Teams are $550.00 each. VisitAthensAL.com

Aug 19 — Athens Saturday Market (409 South Green Street in Athens) from 8:00 AM-Noon with local producers, growers and entertainment. VisitAthensAL.com

Aug 19 — 9/11 Heroes Run Pancake Breakfast at the Alabama Veterans Museum (100 West Pryor Street in Athens) from 8:00 AM-10:00 AM benefitting the 9/11 Heroes Run. Enjoy a stack of pancakes, sausage, and juice for $5.00. VisitAthensAL.com

Aug 22 – 26 –– Limestone County Summer Fair (Limestone County Sheriff’s Arena on AL-99 past the Elm Street intersection in Athens). Free parking. Gate Admission: $5.00 per person; 3 and under free admission. Armbands are $25.00 each; individual ride tickets available. Vendors and area organizations wanted, details. VisitAthensAL.com

Aug 26 — Athens Saturday Market (409 South Green Street in Athens) from 8:00 AM-Noon with local producers, growers and entertainment. VisitAthensAL.com

Aug 26 — 7th Annual Elkmont Band Booster Car Show at Elkmont High School from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. Registration is $20.00 Admission: $5.00 for 11 & up; Free for 10 & under. For more info: Mike Ikard 256-431-0542; Mark McChristian 256-206-2498; or Farrah Simpson 256-777-6019. VisitAthensAL.com

Aug 26 — Ardmore Crape Myrtle Festival in downtown Ardmore, AL from 2:00 PM-8:00 PM. Vendors, kids activities, food and entertainment. VisitAthensAL.com

Aug 31 — Light the Courthouse Gold! Join the Eli’s Block Party Childhood Cancer Foundation and the Limestone County Commission as they light up the courthouse in gold in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness month from 6:30 PM-9:00 PM. VisitAthensAL.com

Athens-Limestone County Tourism will assist in promoting your events, festivals or reunions via Facebook, Twitter and our website. For more information on how we can be of assistance call 256-232-5411 or www.VisitAthensAL.com
By Teresa Todd, TMP
President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association


The following information about the Elk River is taken from https://limestonecounty-al.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/canoe-and-kayaking/

Elkmont, AL
The Limestone County Canoe and Kayak Trail offers a true paddling adventure in North Alabama. This 21.9 mile Class-1 route along the Elk River begins at Elkmont just west of I-65 at Exit 361 and ends at Wheeler Lake at Joe Wheeler State Park.
The beautiful Elk River is the perfect place for canoeing and kayaking in Limestone County. The water is challenging, and the scenery changes with the seasons. In the spring, you will enjoy the white Dogwood, and the Redbud trees blooming along the riverbanks are breathtaking. Scenery along the route includes untouched forests, towering bluffs and peaceful, rolling meadows. With five easy in-and-out points, the Elk River’s water levels are TVA Dam controlled, which means good canoeing even during dry summers.

The route begins at Elkmont, AL a short drive from I-65, at Exit 361. Turn West on Sandlin Road. Once in Elkmont, turn right onto Upper Ft. Hampton Road. Proceed 0.1 miles and turn onto Veto Road. Go 5.2 miles to the Tennessee/Alabama state line. Continue straight for 6.6 miles to the Elk River.

The five sites for easy in-and-out along the river are as follows:

  • Site 1 – Veto Road
  • Site 2 – AL Hwy 127 (6.2 river miles from Site 1)
  • Site 3 – Easter Ferry Road (10.3 river miles)
  • Site 4 – AL Hwy 99 (15.9 river miles)
  • Site 5 – Elk River Mills (21.9 river miles)

Riders may be picked up at any of the sites. For specific instructions to reach each site, visit https://limestonecounty-al.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/canoe-and-kayaking/.

Richard Martin Rails To Trails
Elkmont, AL

The 10.3-mile trail winds its way past the site of the Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle. The trail offers a back-to-nature greenway for hikers, bikers, joggers, bird watchers, horseback riders as well as naturalists, students, and historians. The trail head is in the picturesque & historic downtown of Elkmont AL. Trail hours are daylight to sunset. Due to horseback riding on the trails, motorized vehicles are not permitted on trails.

By: Teresa Todd, TMP
Presiden, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

Jul 6th, 7th, & 8th — Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival opens at 309 East Forrest Street (at the corner of Beaty and Forrest Street across from Athens Middle School) in Athens from 6:30PM-9:30PM. Tickets are $0.50 each, 1 ticket for each ride. Concessions available.

Jul 8th — Athens Saturday Market (409 South Green Street in Athens) from 8:00AM-12:00PM with local producers, growers, and entertainment.

Jul 8th — Heartland Angler Bass Tournament Div 1 Wheeler Lake/Elk River (Lee-Hi Boat Ramp at US 72 in Athens) from safe light until 3:00PM for the weekend angler. Membership: $35; Tournament Fees: $50; Lunker: $10. Matt Leicher can be reached by phone at 256-777-9843 or by email at aldeerhunter23@yahoo.com.

Jul 8th — Jake Marlow Memorial Tournament (Elkmont High School 25630 Evans Avenue in Elkmont, AL) pits mixed teams at bat. Teams entry is $150.00. For more information, please contact Stephanie Fleming at 256-278-8233.

Jul 11th — 2nd Annual Pizza For A Cure with County for A Cure at Village Pizza of East Limestone (15728 East Limestone Road in East Limestone) from 11:00AM- 9:00PM. A portion of all sales (dine in or carry out) from the Village Pizza of East Limestone will benefit the County for a Cure Relay for Life team. Gift Certificates will also be available to purchase. For faster service, call ahead and place your order at 256-232-3388.

Jul 13th, 14th, & 15th — Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival opens at 309 East Forrest Street (at the corner of Beaty and Forrest Street across from Athens Middle School) in Athens from 6:30-9:30PM. Tickets are $0.50 each, 1 ticket for each ride. Concessions available.

Jul 15th — Athens Saturday Market (409 South Green Street in Athens) from 8:00AM-12:00PM with local producers, growers and entertainment.

Jul 15th — Mud Volleyball for a Cure with County for a Cure at Swan Creek Park (100 U.S. 31N in Athens) from 8:00AM-5:00PM. Come cheer the teams as the mud flies and helps fight cancer.

Jul 20th — Sophisticated Swingers at Yesterday’s Senior Lunch Matinee Show (15631 Brownsferry Road in Athens). All seating is reserved. Tickets are $12.00 each and groups are seated together. Doors open at 10:30AM, events start at 11:00AM with seating, opening announcements, blessing, and lunch. The show begins about 12 noon, and lasts about 1 hour. Bus parking is available. E-mail reservations are required; contact info@yesterdaysevents.com.

July 21st — Singing on the Square, Limestone County Courthouse (Marion Street Athens, AL). Join the Athens-Limestone County Tourism and sponsor Jimmy Smith Buick GMC for a free concert starting at 6:00PM with Matt Prater. Rain location is the Vietnam Veterans Building, located at 17915 W Elm St, Athens.

Jul 20th, 21st, & 22nd — Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival opens at 309 East Forrest Street (at the corner of Beaty and Forrest Street across from Athens Middle School) in Athens from 6:30-9:30PM. Tickets are $0.50 each, 1 ticket for each ride. Concessions available.

Jul 22nd — Athens Saturday Market (409 South Green Street in Athens) from 8:00AM-12:00PM with local producers, growers and entertainment.

Jul 26th – 30th — 6th Annual National Youth Vocal Ministry Camp. The camp is expected to host approximately 700 campers. Campers will display their newly learned skills during a fantastic production featuring both the Junior Camp (ages 5-11) and Senior Camp (ages 12 and up). For more information about National Youth Vocal Ministry Camp (NYVMC), please visit their website, http://www.southsiderogersville.org/nyvmc.html.

Jul 27th, 28th, and 29th — Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival opens at 309 East Forrest Street (at the corner of Beaty and Forrest Street across from Athens Middle School) in Athens from 6:30-9:30PM. Tickets are $0.50 each, 1 ticket for each ride. Concessions available.

Jul 29th — Athens Saturday Market (409 South Green Street in Athens) from 8:00AM-12:00PM with local producers, growers and entertainment.

The above events are listed at VisitAthensAL.com. If you have events or activities you would like to have listed on VisitAthensAL.com, please email your information to Cayce@VisitAthensAL.com
By: Teresa Todd, TMP
President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

June 3 – Coffee Call: Veterans and their families are invited for breakfast and fellowship from 8:00AM-9:30AM at the Alabama Veterans Museum, 100 West Pryor Street in Athens. 256-771-7578

National Trail Day: Enjoy over 20 trails in Limestone County Alabama including the Limestone County Canoe and Kayak Trail, Richard Martin Rails-to-Trails, Marbut Bend Accessible Trail, Civil War Driving Trail, Noah Bike and Car Trail and more! For more info: 256-232-5411

Athens Saturday Market, 409 South Green Street in Athens, from 8:00AM-noon with local producers, growers and entertainment. VisitAthensAL.com

Book Sale at the Houston Memorial Library and Museum: At 101 N. Houston St. in Athens from 9am-noon. Paperbacks 10 for $1, hardbacks for $1 or 12 hardbacks for $10! Proceeds benefit the Houston Memorial Library and Museum’s repair and renovation.

Play Outside Day: Families are encouraged to get outside the first Saturday of every month and play in public parks, enjoy trails, hit the waterways, explore greenspaces and just play! Limestone County offers over 20 trails to explore including walking, cycling, horseback riding and kayaking – perfect for all ages. More info: 256-232-5411

Boogie Shoes Bash: At the Revival Center, 303 W. Washington St. in Athens, from 6:00PM-10:00PM. Come kick up your heels with Habitat for Humanity of Limestone County with music by Trippin’ Dixie. More info: Deb Kohlhase 256-230-6001

Bike MS: Rocket City 2017 will start and finish at James Clemens High School, 11306 County Line Road in Madison. Enjoy a scenic ride through Mooresville, Greenbrier and other portions of Limestone County. Riders can opt for a 20-, 40-, 63-, 100- or 126-mile ride on a fully supported course. VisitAthensAL.com

June 4 – Round Island Baptist Church 200th Celebration: Come celebrate 200 years of sharing the gospel of Jesus in our local community and the world. Many activities and historical displays covering two centuries of service. Food, fellowship and fun! VisitAthensAL.com

June 6 – Fishing & Boating with DCNR & ALEA: Starts 5:00PM in the Meeting Room of the Athens-Limestone Visitors Center. New to the community and want to learn the laws of the water? Join us for this info and Q&A session. Free! More info: 256-232-5411

June 9 & 10 – Elkmont Lions Club Smokin’ Railroad Street Barbecue Cookoff – Backyard Division in downtown Elkmont, AL, is a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event as well as a featured event of the Alabama Barbecue Trail. VisitAthensAL.com

June 10 – National Marina Day at Joe Wheeler State Park: Enjoy Concessions, free peddle boat rides, kids’ crafts and more at 4403 McLean Drive in Rogersville, AL. Hosted by Wheeler Yacht Club.

Battle for the Boards Cornhole Contest: The Blaze Baseball 9U team will host a cornhole tournament at Ardmore Park on Park Avenue in Ardmore, AL. Entry fee is $75.00 per team. Prizes: 1st Place – 20% of overall entry fee, 2nd Place – 10% of entry fee, 3rd Place – Gift Card + Entry Fee. If interested please phone Austin Turner (256)656-9313 or Tim Turner (256)508-0734 or go to the Blaze Baseball page. Registration deadline is 7:59 AM event day.

Athens Outdoor Short Track Race with the Tennessee Valley Flattrackers: Limestone County Sheriff’s Arena on AL-99. Gates open 2:00PM. Sign-up 4:00-6:00PM. Practice 7:00PM. Racing 8:00PM. Gate fee is $10.00; 6 years & under free. More info: Sam Brown 256-714-3729

Light Up the Night 5K & Fun Run with Athens Bible School: 7:30PM – 9:00PM. Runners will weave through the historic district of Athens, AL following luminaries to mark the course and wearing anything that glows. VisitAthensAL.com

June 10, 17, 24
– Athens Saturday Market, 409 South Green Street in Athens. from 8:00AM-12:00PM with local producers, growers and entertainment. VisitAthensAL.com

June 14 – Flag Day with Athens State University: Members of the ASU community will gather to honor the flag and first responders. Enjoy patriotic medleys performed by the Athens State Community Band and Copeland Road Barbershop Quartet. Guest speaker will be Eddie Hicks, Director of Morgan County EMA and Class of 2000. For info: 256-233-8184

Singer/Songwriter Night at Loft 1880: At 222 West Market St. in Athens from 6:00PM-9:00PM presented by Frank’s Good Stuff. Enjoy the sounds of Bruce Salmon of Austin, TX. Free to the public.

June 16 – Celebrate America at Yesterday’s Senior Lunch Matinee Show at 15631 Brownsferry Road in Athens featuring singer/impressionist Kevin Adams. All seating is reserved – $12.00 each. Groups are seated together. Doors open 10:30am; event starts at 11AM with seating, opening announcements, blessing, and lunch. Show begins around noon; about 1 hour show. Bus parking available. E-mail reservations are required info@yesterdaysevents.com.

Singing on the Square at Limestone County Courthouse, Marion Street, Athens, AL: Join Tourism and sponsor Jimmy Smith Buick GMC for a free concert starting at 6:00PM with Trippin’ Dixie. Be sure to bring your lawn chair. Rain location is the Vietnam Veterans Bldg. 17915 W Elm St, Athens.

June 16 & 17 – 9th Annual Ardmore Truck& Tractor Pull at John Barnes Park, 26425 Hamlett St. in Ardmore, TN, starting at 7:00PM both nights. Ages 7 & up: $10.00; 6 & under: Free. No rain checks, no refunds. For more info call Mike Magnusson (256)468-4950 or VisitAthensAL.com

June 17 – Dalton Scott Memorial Trail Ridge on the Richard Martin Rails-to-Trails starting at 9:00AM with the Cowboys for Christ – Cowboyin’ for the Son Chapter. Park trailers at Veto Church on the north end or at Coffman Park on Airport Rd. on the south end and ride to Elkmont by noon for lunch and activities. $10.00 suggested donation to ride and for hamburger/hot dog lunch and drink. Bring your money for the auction! If you don’t ride, join the fun in Elkmont for music, activities and lunch. For more info call Shawn Adams 256-653-0159.

Celebrate Father’s Day in Limestone County with over 100 restaurants to choose from for a special meal. Take him fishing on the Tennessee or Elk River and try to land a record Bass or Catfish. Stroll, bike, kayak, or drive one of our 20+ themed trails. For more ideas visit the Athens-Limestone Visitors Center, 100 North Beaty St. in Athens.

June 24 – Christmas in June at Joe Wheeler State Park, 4403 McLean Drive in Rogersville, AL. Join Santa on his vacation at Joe Wheeler State Park from 7:00PM-10:00PM. Campers are encouraged to decorate their sites with traditional Christmas decor. Enjoy the Christmas parade at 7:00PM followed by a Christmas movie at the Activities Center in Section B of the Campground.

Heartland Angler Bass Tournament Div 1 Wheeler Lake/Elk River: Lee-Hi Boat Ramp at US 72 in Athens, from safe light until 3:00PM for the weekend angler. Membership: $35; Tournament fees: $50; Lunker: $10. Matt Leicher ~ 256-777-9843 or E-mail: aldeerhunter23@yahoo.com

Jun 29, 30, and July 1
– Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival opens at 309 East Forrest Street (at the corner of Beaty and Forrest St. across from Athens Middle School in Athens from 6:30-9:30PM. Tickets are $0.50 each, 1 ticket per ride. Concessions available. VisitAthensAL.com
By: Teresa Todd

We’re only six months into 2017 and Tourism has been more active than ever. To date we have already given two haunts walk tours for Leak City. Leak City is a one-of-a-kind Natural Gas and Fire Service training facility for people all over the U.S. to come master their skills here in Athens.

Also, we hosted several events for our ongoing bicentennial. On March 3 and 4, Rebekah Davis and Dr. Harry Joiner came together for an Oral History presentation. They presented a detailed the history of the Territory of Limestone County to our Athens Rotary Club as well as to the public at our newest venue, the Revival Center. Tourism also hosted Khris Anderson, the Executive Director of the North Alabama Bureau of the American Red Cross. This year marks the 100th Anniversary for this prodigious organization, and we were so honored to host them at our Athens Visitor’s Center.

May 23, we had the first of our bicentennial church tours with Dr. Eric Betts of Athens State University’s Curtis Coleman’s Religious Studies and Ethics class. We scheduled to tour four facilities. Dana Waldrop with Athens State University gave the tour of the “New Testament Chapel” in Founders Hall at the university. The next church on the tour was First Presbyterian Church (which was formed in 1829 as a Cumberland Presbyterian) with tour guide Buzz Estes. Our third church was Marion Street Church of Christ (This building was originally constructed in 1836 by the First United Methodist Church). Our tour guide was Wayne Kuykendall. Our final church was First United Methodist Church. (First United is actually older than our state. They relocated to the corner of Hobbs & Jefferson and built their current building in 1925.) Our tour guide for this final leg was Richard Martin.

On May 24, Athens-Limestone County Tourism was host to 29 students from India. This marked the fourth year of our ongoing partnership with Nina Tijoriwala, owner of EDU Outing Concepts from Mumbai, India. Along with myself, the students were welcomed by Commissioner Chairman Mark Yarbrough, Mayor Ronnie Marks and Athens State President Robert Glenn. Mrs. Sara Love offered an in-depth tour of the University’s facilities as lunch was served later in the day. We are partnering with local organizations to facilitate a program to encourage a two-day stay for next year’s excursion.

In April, we held five historical walking tours. Each Saturday we gave 4 to 5 separate tours so each visit would provide a different experience. We also had our Bicentennial Historical Cemetery Stroll. Altogether there were approximately 500 guests to enjoy the tours in Athens. Over 100 people explored Mooresville during the five weekends of walking tours. Out of the 67 counties in Alabama, Limestone County was second in attendance for the state. Next year we would like to have Ardmore and Elkmont included in the historical bicentennial tours to share their rich history.

Due to the threat of inclement weather, our first Singing on the Square was held in the Vietnam Veterans building on May 19, featuring lifelong Athens resident Garth Lovvern and his band “Temple of Blood.” Our next Singing on the Square Summer Concert will be headlined by another local favorite, “Trippin’ Dixie.” They are scheduled to take the stage on Friday, June 16.

Tourism along with Habitat for Humanity Director, Deb Kohlhase participated at the Rodeo Parade by offering parade watchers and rodeo fans a cool, nearby location at the Revival Center. We offered refreshments, a little bit of rodeo ambiance, and rodeo history the while awaiting the arrival of the 100 plus horses and buggies traveling along the parade route.

We greatly appreciate those who have come out to support Athens-Limestone County and all its events. If you didn’t make it to the first Singing on the Square performance, I feel we will have something for everyone to enjoy this summer.
See you soon!
By: Teresa Todd, TMP
President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association