By Jeanette Dunnavant, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

The Athens Grease Festival event planners are very excited about the upcoming new festival they are bringing to downtown Athens, AL. Spirit of Athens Director, Trisha Black shared the following information about the festival.

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 www.athensgreasefestival.com or call 256.232.9040 256.232.9040

For information about the above event and other Athens-Limestone County events call 256-232-5411/256-867-1438 or visit our website www.VisitAthensAL.com.

By Jeanette Dunnavant, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

Crape Myrtles are beautiful this year!

We are very fortunate to have such beautiful crape myrtles this year and just in time for the 20th Annual Ardmore Crape Myrtle Festival and the Miss Crape Myrtle Beauty Pageant. Join us for festival fun on Saturday August 25th, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM, at the Ardmore John Barnes Park located on Ardmore Ridge Road. The festival offers something for everyone. The Kids’ Korner will have rides, games and lots of fun for the little ones. Over 40 vendors will be participating this year offering delicious festival food as well as arts and crafts of all types. The Ardmore AL/TN Chamber of Commerce hosts the event and will be selling crape myrtles in all colors from miniature 1-gallon containers to large plants in 7-gallon containers. The hard to find deep red crape myrtles in 3-gallon containers will also be available. It is suggested that you pre-order and reserve your plants. Admission is free; however, donations are accepted and appreciated.

Live music of country, gospel, bluegrass and rock and roll can be enjoyed at the amphitheater. Bring your chairs or blankets and settle in for a wonderful day of music.

The pageant will be August 24th, 5:30PM, at the Ardmore, TN Annex building. The pageant is a wonderful opportunity for young ladies to learn the art of pageantry. Admission is $3.00 for everyone but participants.

For more information about the events above, contact Linda Higginbotham at 256-423-8252

The next two weeks offer lots of fun and exciting events to attend.

The 20th Annual Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days will be August 3rd and 4th at 20147 Elkton Road, Athens, AL. Show grounds open at 9:00 AM on Friday and 7:00 AM on Saturday. There will be gasoline engines, steam engines, antique tractors, cars, trucks, horse drawn equipment, parts vendors, collectibles, and much more. Events include the Parade of Power, Fast Crank Competition, Slow Races, Skillet Throw (for the ladies), Pedal Pull (for the kids) and lots of fun for the entire family. Live entertainment on Friday night will be at 5:00 PM. Admission is $5.00. Children 10 and under are admitted free. Free parking. Contact David Hargrove at 256-431-6226 or Allen Dement at 256-431-0619 for more information.

After you have enjoyed a day at the Farm Heritage Days, drive to Ardmore for the 20th Annual Ardmore Police Rodeo, August 3rd & 4th. The rodeo will be held at the Ardmore, TN John Barnes Park located at 30500 Ardmore Ridge Road. It’s time for bucking, roping, bare back riding, barrel racing and much more. Bring the kids to see the rodeo clowns. Admission is $10 (6-12 years) and $12 (adults) in advance or at gate. 5 and under are admitted free. Two $100 cash giveaways each night. Be sure and purchase your chances on the saddle to be given away. A new Buckle will be given to each event winner. Contact Officer Tom Combs – Rodeo Coordinator at 256-434-0329 or Ardmore Police Department at 256-423-2146 for more information. Contractor this year is Burgess Rodeo Company.

Come to downtown Athens August 4th, 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM, for the monthly Cruise In on the Square. Bring your antique vehicle and park around the square. Join the fun by enjoying delicious dishes offered by our downtown restaurants. Come early and check out the great buys at the downtown businesses. Be sure and get an ice cream cone at Limestone Drug or milk shake at Kreme Delight. Make it a family night. Contact Tom at 256-457-9179 .

The 9th Annual Ardmore Quarterback Club Car Show will be August 11th at 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

One of the biggest and best car shows in Tennessee and Alabama is in Ardmore at the Ardmore, TN John Barnes Park located at 30500 Ardmore Ridge Road. Awards will be presented in 10 classes with the top five by class. Live music will be provided by Microwave Dave. The Club Grand Prize is a 1967 Chrysler Imperial. Pre-enter by August 4th and the fee is $20.00. Day of Show entry fee is $25.00. Spectator admission is $5.00 per person or $15.00 per family. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Contact: 256-423-7588 for more information.

On August 11th, the Athens State University Community Band will hold its annual Concert on the Square at 6:30 PM on the east side of the Limestone County courthouse in historic downtown Athens, AL. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy the music under the direction of Mr. Dan Havely. The concert is free but donations will be appreciated.

For information about the above events and other Athens-Limestone County events call 256-232-5411/256-867-1438 or visit our website www.VisitAthensAL.com. By Jeanette Dunnavant, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

The Tanner Tractor and Truck Pull, hosted by the Tanner Quarterback Club, is one of the largest events in the South. The pull will be at 7:00 PM, July 27thand 28that Tanner High School. Each night includes six classes sanctioned by the NTPA/Mid-South Pullers Association. On Saturday night the dual-wheel farm tractors join the competition.

Bring the entire family and enjoy this event. If you only go to one tractor/truck pull this year, this should be the one. Each night is full of excitement and fun. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children over 6. Children 6 and under are admitted free, and concessions are available. Event proceeds benefit the Tanner High School athletics and Tanner youth sports.

To find out more about the Tanner Pull call 256-497-4309 For information about this and other Athens-Limestone County events call 256-232-5411/256-867-1438 or visit our website, WWW.VisitAthensAL.com.
By Jeanette Dunnavant, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

As kids, we all loved to get muddy. Now adults love it as well – at least they do at the annual CASA Mud Volleyball Tournament.

This year the Care AssuranceSystem for the Aging and Homebound (CASA) is hosting their 24th Annual Volleyball Tournament at Swan Creek Park beside Athens High School on July 21st beginning at 9:00 AM. It’s time for teams to register to compete. About 90 teams compete each year and raise about $8,000 for the agency. The deadline to enter is July 11th. If you register by July 2nd, you will receive a t-shirt. Registration is $15 per play. Each team must have a minimum of eight members and two of those must be females.


Spectators are admitted free. If you’ve never attended one of the tournaments, this year would be the perfect time to go and support your favorite team. Don’t get too close to the net; you will get muddy! However, mud washes off and you’ll enjoy every minute of the games. For more information about the tournament, contact 256-777-1038. For information about this and other Athens-Limestone County events call 256-232-5411/256-867-1438 or visit our website www.VisitAthensAL.com.
By Jeanette Dunnavant, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

Athens Fireworks organizers are excited to announce that we will begin this year’s celebration early by having the Independence Day Celebration Fireworks Show on Saturday June 30th at dusk. By having the event on Saturday night instead of Wednesday night, this allows families and churches to have their own celebrations.

Independence Day is a favorite holiday of children because they enjoy the exciting and noisy fireworks. The fireworks are symbolic of when the United States became independent of Great Britain on July 4, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was approved. We all should remember that this holiday is the result of the valiant efforts and strong commitment of our American forefathers. We are fortunate enough to live in this wonderful USA and we should work together to maintain the integrity and values established by our forefathers.

Come to town early and have dinner and check out the unique shops downtown. Also, prior to the show will be a wonderful opportunity to honor all veterans by visiting the Alabama Veterans’ Museum which will be open 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. The museum is located at 100 West Pryor Street.
Contact Museum Director Sandy Thompson about groups and other information at 256- 771-7578.

This year the fireworks show is made possible by the City of Athens, Limestone County Commission, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association and Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce. The event will be held at Athens High School. A beautiful show is planned. Bring the entire family and enjoy the show.

For more information, contact Jeanette Dunnavant at 256-232-5411/256-867- 1438 or Jennifer Williamson at 256-232-2600.