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A crowd gathered at the Alabama Veterans Museum in Athens September 11th at 10am to learn the winner of a commemorative carbine donated by Remington.

Together We Stand, a citizen group organized in January to support law enforcement and First Responders, sold chances on the carbine to support their effort. Before Steve Hornberger, Assistant Director of the Veterans Museum, spun the round wire cage, Jerry Barksdale thanked Remington for their support.

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Museum President, Jerry Crabtree was blindfolded and drew the winning ticket. “And the winner is….Rex Davis of Athens,” he announced. A loud groan erupted from the losers. Barksdale called Davis and relayed the good news. “Are you kidding me?” asked Davis. Shortly, Davis arrived, picked up his carbine and donated $500 to Together We Stand.

For more information, contact Jerry Barksdale, organizer of Together We Stand.

Jerry Barksdale
18351 Dement Road,
Athens, Alabama 35611
Phone: 256-998-0048

By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

9-7-2015 9-32-20 AMWith the weather starting to cool off and the days getting shorter, that is a sure sign fall is on its way. In my line of work, it means fall fun is about to begin!

September 1st – 30th, the Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association will proudly exhibit works from three local artists Pamela Keller, Gary Anderson and Katelyn Harris who are featured in the Athens Voices Juried Exhibit at the Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur. Athens Voices celebrates 48 artists from the 8 Athens’ in the United States with a juried art show and traveling exhibit. Please stop by the Athens-Limestone Visitors Center located at 100 N. Beaty Street to see a sampling of the collection Monday – Friday 8:30AM-4:30PM and Saturday 8:30AM-11:45AM. For more information, please call 256-232-5411.

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The Alabama Veterans’ Museum’s Coffee Call will be held on September 5th from 8:00 AM- 9:30 AM at 100 W. Pryor Street. Veterans and their families come together for a free breakfast, and to share their dedication and service to our country at the Veterans’ Museum. The Athens Cruise-In will also be held on September 5th on the Square from 3:00 PM-6:00 PM.
As we observe 9/11 this year, we have an opportunity to participate in the Travis Manion Heroes Run. Join the Alabama Veterans Museum to raise awareness and honor the fallen on Saturday, September 12th. To donate or signup go to visit www.travismanion.org search heroes run Athens or email athens@911heroesrun.org. Use the code CB1 when registering so the museum will receive a portion of the proceeds. Also see Sandy Thompson’s piece.

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The Superheroes Day is September 12th at Big Spring Memorial Park 106 North Beaty Street Athens, AL. Come and join Team Victory 4 All in the park to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer. Everyone is encouraged to wear your super hero costume and enjoy the day in the park as Team Victory informs attendees about the threats of childhood cancers. Learn more at www.teamvictory4all.org
Athens-Limestone Hospital invites everyone to enjoy the day at Canebrake Golf Club for a round of golf supporting the Hospital Foundation. The 18th Annual Crystal Cup Tournament will be held on September 17th with a 3-Man Scramble. Join this full day of fun starting with lunch at 11:30 AM and tee off at 1:00 PM. Contact Laine Terry at 256-233-9236.

9-7-2015 9-37-25 AMA new event for Athens is the Alabama Veterans Museum’s Militaria Show to be held at the Limestone County Event Center two days, September 18th and 19th. Come enjoy exhibits on Antique and Military Guns, Ammo, Knives & Edged Weapons, Uniforms & Helmets, Medals, Patches & Badges, Flags, Fields Gear, Documents, Photography and more. Admission: $5.00 per adult. You can also purchase 2-Day passes for $8.00. Children under 12, Military, Police, Fire & Rescue, and Re-Enactors in Uniform will enjoy free admission. If you would like to reserve an exhibit table, contact Sandy Thompson, Veterans’ Museum Director at 256-771-7578. Vendors tables (6ft) are $45.00 and display tables (also 6ft) are $20.00.

Keep Athens Limestone Beautiful will be having their annual Duck and Run 5K on September 19th at Big Springs Memorial Park at Beaty and Market Streets. This mildly challenging race will take runners through historic Athens neighborhoods and through the Courthouse Square. Prizes will be awarded, including cash prizes. T-shirts guaranteed to the first 200 registered runners. Find more information at www.duckandrun5k.com.

Do you like the music of the BIG BANDS? Then come out to Yesterdays Event Center on September 24th for the Senior Lunch Matinée Show with Silvery Moon Big Band. Event begins 11:00AM with lunch at noon for only $10.00 – RSVP required. For more information email info@yesterdaysevents.com

The Annual Tourism Haunts Walks begin in October at the Athens Visitor Center meeting room. These guided Haunts Walks offer a special treat for the Halloween season. Here is your opportunity to get a glimpse into the haunted history and mysterious happenings of Athens through ghost stories. This walking tour takes you from the Athens Visitors Center through the historic districts, downtown and Athens State University with guides Shane Black, Billy Ward & Mac Martin recounting tales, woes, and the unexplained.

On October 2nd & 3rd, come out to the 49th Annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddler Convention on Founders Green located at 300 North Beaty Street, Athens, AL. 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. For more information on this festival go to www.athens.edu/fiddlers or call 256-233-8215.

Fit As A Fiddle Relay for Life 5K run will be held on October 3rd at the Athens SportsPlex located at 1403 U.S. 31N, Athens, AL. Join the City of Athens Relay for Life team for this annual fundraiser that uses the Athens Greenway to Athens High School Track and back for its route. For more information contact hhollman@athensal.us

One of the cutest races you will ever see is on October 3rd at the Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby at Big Spring Memorial Park Athens, AL. Get your ducks in a row for this Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful fundraiser. Adopt a duck for $5.00 or a Quack-Pack of 6 ducks for $25.00. Visit Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful (KALB) at 125 East Street, Athens, AL or call 256-233-8728 for more information.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

8-7-2015 2-19-43 PMThe 2nd Annual Chamber of Commerce Clay Shoot will be held on August 7th at the Limestone Hunting Preserve & Sporting Clays located on 28775 Coggins Road, Ardmore, AL. Chamber members are welcome to shoot as a 4 man-team for $550 time begins at 8:30AM till 11:30AM and lunch is included in registration. 256-232-2600.

Can you believe it has been 23 years the Annual Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days have been taking place? Come and enjoy the fun on August 7th and 8th. The Farm Heritage Grounds are located at 20147 Elkton Road, Athens, AL. You will see the equipment in action that has fed America for decades. See the Fast Crank Competition, Slow Race, Skillet Throw (for the ladies) and the Pedal Pull for the kids. The Fish Fry is at 5:00PM on Friday and entertainment at 5:30PM. Ages 12 and up $5.00, children 12 and under are free. Contact David Hargrove at 256-431-6226, Allen Dement at 256-431-0619, Marvin Putman at 256-431-2316 or Mike Hodges at 256-206-5926.

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Our August 14th Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association and Champion Chevrolet will present the Athens State University Community Band at ASU Founder Hall lawn. The theme, “A Night at the Movies” will present tunes from our favorite movies. Come hear this incredible band play music from James Bond, Disney, The Wizard of Oz, Star Trek, The Pink Panther, Danny Elfman and John Williams. This will be the last Singing for the 2015 year. Please mark your calendar and note the new time of 6:30PM as they commence to perform for this magical night under the trees at historical Founders Hall. Rain location will be in the ASU Gymnasium. www.VisitAthensAL.com

The second Friday of the month, you can stop downtown after you finish work. On August 14th come downtown to “Fridays After Five” on the Square in Downtown Athens, AL. You can enjoy music, dining, art and shopping from 5:00PM-9:00PM. www.fridaysafterfiveathens.com

First Baptist Church located at 201 East Hobbs Street, Athens, AL will have Men’s Night Out on August 15th. They are bringing to Athens an evening with Brodie Croyle and Tommy Bowden. Dinner will be at 5:00PM, with the main event starting at 6:45PM. Tickets are limited to 500 and are first come, first serve. Cost is $10.00 per person. First Baptist Church Athens 256-232-0602 FBCAthens.org.

Enjoy the Family Fun Day in the Park on August 15th in Big Spring Memorial Park 106 North Beaty Street Athens, AL. Join the Family Resource Center for the kick off of their new program Baby Talk from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. Games, music, face painting and prizes.

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Yesterdays Event Center will have their Senior Lunch Matinee on August 27th with the Copeland Road Barbershop Quartet. Yesterdays Event Center is located on 15631 Brownsferry Road, Athens, AL. The show and lunch is only $10.00 and includes lunch, drink and dessert. Groups welcome. Events begin at 11:00AM for lunch, with the show kicking off at 12:00PM. Cancellation policy applies. RSVP required: info@yesterdaysevents.com

Aug 29th come to the Ardmore Crape Myrtle Festival at the John Barnes Park, Ardmore Ridge Road, Ardmore, TN. This annual event is held at the Ardmore, TN John Barnes Park and offers live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, delicious festival food and all types and colors of crape myrtles. www.ArdmoreALTNChamber.org

Car Shows and Cruz-In

The Ardmore Boys and Girls Club invite you to bring you unique collectible car or truck to the 10th Annual Cruz-In at the Ardmore Sonic Drive-In located at 26909 Main Street Ardmore, AL. on August 6th from 6:00PM to 8:00PM. Share the nostalgia and memories of yesterday. There is no fee and no judging. Donations appreciated.

The Ardmore Quarterback Club invites you to one of the biggest 1-day shows in the mid-south. On August 15th, the Ardmore Car Show will be held at the John Barnes Park 30515 Ardmore Ridge Road Ardmore, TN. The show will take place rain or shine from 10:00AM to 3:00PM. For more information, call 256-614-5542.

The EHS Band Boosters Car Show will be held on August 29th at the Elkmont High School located at 25630 Evans Avenue Elkmont, AL. Muscle cars, street rods, custom trucks, antique classics, and late model vehicles will roll into Elkmont for a day of cars. For more information: Mike Ikard 256-431-0542. Registration forms can be found at elkmontband.org.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

7-3-2015 3-08-42 PMThe annual traditional Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival is back in swing for a short 6 weeks, so be sure to make you plans to attend. For over 50 years, our Kiddie Carnival has been located at 309 East Forrest Street in Athens across from the Middle school. The carnival is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday through August 1st from 6:30pm till 9:30pm. Remember the carnival will not be open on the 4th of July!

On the first Saturday of each month, (which will be July 4th this month,) come out to the Alabama Veterans’ Museum Coffee Call from 8am-9:30am. Also, each first Saturday is the Athens Cruise-In. Enjoy a meal at our exceptional restaurants or stop over at our unique boutique shops. The Athens Saturday Market will celebrate the Fourth of July weekend with Patriotic Day at the Market. Come properly attired in your red, white and blue! Decorate your strollers, wagons and pets. Join us at 10am for contests.

The Fourth of July Fireworks Show will be held on Saturday at dusk at the Athens High School football stadium. This is a great family gathering time to tailgate and get ready for the long weekend celebrating our country’s 239th year of independence.

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On July 16th come out to the 10th Annual Cruz-In in Ardmore at the Sonic Drive-In on 26909 Main Street Ardmore, AL. Join the Ardmore Boys and Girls Club from 6pm-8pm and share the nostalgia of yesterday. Bring your unique collectible car or truck. No fee, and no judging, though donations are appreciated.

The Hickory Barn BBQ located at 12250 U.S. Highway 72, Athens, AL., brings the Blue Handel Band for your enjoyment on July 17th. Come early and get a good seat for great barbeque and a music mix of Blues, Rock, and Soul with Blue Handel Band. For more information call 256-729-9600

On July 18th, show your support for our local Veterans by attending the 4th Annual Col. Sam Gibbons Memorial Walking Horse Show. The FREE event will be held at the Limestone County Sheriff’s Arena on Highway 99, Athens, AL. Join the Alabama Veterans’ Museum for their annual fundraiser benefitting the museum expansion project. Class sheets can be picked up at the Veterans’ Museum, 100 Pryor Street in Athens. Admission is free, the show begins at 5pm, with gates and concessions open at 4pm. For more information contact the Veterans’ Museum at 256-771-7578.

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CASA Mud Volleyball kicks off on Jul 18th, 2015 at Swan Creek Park 100 U.S. 31, Athens, AL. There is room for 100 teams come sling a little mud and have a good non-clean fun as they raise funds for CASA. The event begins at 9am. For information or individual/team registration go to www.active.com and search “CASA Mud Volleyball.”

Our local Senior Rehab & Recovery Center will serve up Swamp Johns Dinner on June 22. The Senior Rehab and Recovery Center is located at 1600 West Hobbs Street, Athens, AL. Enjoy your dinner from 3pm-6pm with a selection of Shrimp, Fish and Chicken plus all the sides. Eat in or carryout, plates are $10 each. Proceeds to benefit our Limestone County Council on Aging.

The Sophisticated Swingers come to Yesterday’s Event Center located at 15631 Brownsferry Road in Athens on July 23rd for the Senior Lunch Matinée Show. Come enjoy the sounds of Sophisticated Swingers performing your favorite oldies for only a $10 admission fee, which includes lunch, drink and dessert. Groups are welcome. The doors open at 11am and the show kicks off at 12pm. RSVP required: info@yesterdaysevents.com

Our new venue for our Summer Concert Series is called “Singing in the Park” located in Big Spring Memorial Park. The next concert will be held on July 24th from 6pm-8pm with Matt Prater entertaining. The Park is located at the intersection of Beaty and Market Street, Athens, AL. and offers beautiful scenery and the park playground for the children. The rain location is Emmanuel Baptist Church 1917 U.S. Highway 72 Athens, AL. Join sponsor Champion Chevrolet of Athens for an evening of music in the park at 6pm with this month’s featured artist Matt Prater for two hours of music. Free admission. For more information, call 256-232-5411

The Tanner Championship Tractor and Truck Pull located at the Tanner High School at 12060 Sommers Road Athens will be held Jul 31st- Aug 1st. Come to the Southeast premier pulling event at 7pm organized by the Tanner Quarterback Club. Tickets at the gate are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 7 and up, children 6 and under are free.
Athens Limestone County Tourism Association is open Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm. Visit our website at www.VisitAthensAL.com, email us at info@VisitAthensAL.com, or call 256-232-5411 for more information on upcoming area events.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

6-6-2015 10-44-58 AMJune begins the joy of backyard grilling, heading out to the pool and lake, and lots of lawn care. The grilled food always tastes better, the pool is like a long lost friend coming back for an extended visit, and the yard, well unless you are growing some great veggies, I’ll leave it to my husband! We love being outside, no matter if it is to work or for fun, as long as we have a shady place to cool off with friends and a glass of sweet tea.

One of our favorite outdoor summer activities in Limestone County is biking. Biking for a cause is a great way to enjoy our beautiful scenic county, as well as help others. On June 6th, Bike MS: North Alabama will take the 89 mile route of the Noah Bike Trail to raise money and awareness for research and support programs for those living in Alabama and Mississippi. Routes include 25, 45, 75, and 100-mile route options – supported with well-stocked rest stops every 8-12 miles. Stop by the Visitor Center and pick up the Noah Bike Trail brochure, you will enjoy the large well laid out map for you to follow on your ride.

Join the Alabama Veterans Museum for Coffee Call at 8:00 AM on June 6th. Coffee Call is a popular day, (the first Saturday of each month), for Veterans to gather and have breakfast with their friends and family. Afterwards they take a walk through time as the exhibit halls tell the stories of America’s & Limestone County’s military history.
The Athens Cruise-In on the Square will be gathering downtown beginning around 3PM till dark. Bring your vehicle and meet with the other antique auto enthusiasts as the public enjoys wandering through the maze of cars reminiscing of days gone by.

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For those lucky people who booked early, 1818 Farms is having a Farm to Table Dinner on June 12th at their location at 24889 Lauderdale Street, Mooresville, AL. Guests will enjoy a four-course gourmet experience by Jakob Reed and his Chefs of Albany Bistro amid the lavender fields of 1818 Farms. The dinner will include heirloom vegetables grown and harvested. Guest will enjoy a short tour of the farm before the meal. Cost is $75.00. To register, visit 1818farms.com/products-page/classes/
The beautiful cool June nights are the perfect setting to enjoy Singing in the Park at Big Springs Memorial Park at Beaty and Market Streets. We will have our hometown favorite boogie band, Trippin’ Dixie from 6-8PM on June 19th. Come to this free Summer Concert to take advantage of great music and our beautiful park. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held at Emmanuel Baptist Church 1917 Hwy 72W.

This is the “Year of Alabama BBQ” and the Elkmont Lions Club Smokin’ Railroad Street Barbeque Cook-Off in Downtown Elkmont, AL. This sanctioned cook-off will be held on Jun 20th – 21st. Competitors’ entry fee is $140.00, which covers all the categories – ribs, chicken and pulled pork. People’s Choice tickets go on sale at 10:30AM for $1.00 each with the tasting starting at 11:00am. Winners will be announced at 3:30PM. Contact Larry or Susan Pylant for more information at 256-732-4493, or www.elkmontlionsclub.com

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Then, finally, what the kids have been waiting for since last year: the Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival at 309 East Forrest Street, Athens, AL. The carnival will be open to the public starting June 25th – August 1st on Thursday-Saturday, and your family can enjoy the carnival from 6:30-9:30. The carnival will be closed on July 4th.

Whatever you enjoy, just take a look at what we have to offer right in your own hometown. I’m sure we can find an activity for your taste or pleasure.
To learn about more activities, brochures, restaurants, hotels, walking trails and lots more ideas, visit us online at www.VisitAthensAL.com or call 256-232-5411 from 8:AM-5PM M-F and 9:AM-1PM on Saturdays through the summer.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

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5-1-2015 12-18-40 PMBring your hot rod, motorcycle, truck, unique vehicle or motorcycle and park on the square at the May 2nd Cruise-In Downtown Athens, AL. You can share your love of automobiles with other enthusiasts from 3:00PM to 6:00PM at no charge. While you are there, take a break and shop at the unique boutiques and stores, or enjoy a delicious meal downtown at one of the many restaurants on the Square.

On May 5th the Athens Swim Team Registration begins at the Athens Recreation Center 270 U.S. Highway 31-N, Athens, AL. Limestone County residents who are ages 5 to 18 and are avid swimmers are encouraged to register for the Athens Gators – Athens Swim Team. Ages 8 and under are required to swim 25 yards; ages 9-12 are required to swim 50 yards and ages 13-18 are required 100 yards unassisted. Registration is $125.00 (up to $40.00 credit for working one fundraiser) includes latex swim team swim cap, coaching fees, meet fees (except Madison Medal Meet) and equipment other than swimsuit and goggles. For additional requirements, forms and more information: www.athensgators.org

What about bass fishing at Ingalls Harbor? The Athens Relay for Life will be having their 4th Annual Bass Fishing tournament in Ingalls Harbor located at 701 Market Street NW Decatur. Anglers are invited to head out on the waters in search biggest bass from safe light until 3:00PM. Lunch will be provided to registered boaters. For registration: www.active.com/decatur-al/other-endurance/city-of-athens-4th-annual-relay-for-life-bass-fishing-tournament-2015.

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Are you ready for some RODEO? We have a week of rodeo related events starting May 9th with the Limestone County Sheriff’s Rodeo Parade at 1:00PM. Groups and individual participants are welcome to participate at no fee. Sheriff Mike Blakely will lead the way for the parade featuring Queen Contestants, Cowgirls and Cowboys of all ages on horseback along with many buggies and wagons. The route will depart the arena onto Alabama Highway 99/Market Street to the Limestone County Courthouse.

The Preston’s Rodeo Kickoff at Preston’s Western and Outdoor Wear begins May 11 at 5:00PM. Bring the kids for a little free fun including horseback rides and a little western fun. Then on May 12, put on your dancing boots for the Sarrell Dental Street Dance and Fashion Show at the Limestone County Courthouse Square at Marion and Market Streets in Athens, AL. There will be line dancing and live music from the Jeff Whitlow Band. The Rodeo Slack Day roping will be held on May 14th where all team roping contestants will compete. Area elementary schools will reward their “Leader in Me” and “Reading Initiative” participants with a field trip to watch slack day. Gates Open at 8:00AM, slack begins at 9:00AM. Slack Day admission is $5.00.

On May 15, the Special Needs Rodeo attends the Limestone County Sheriff Rodeo Arena sponsored by Turner Beverage Company of Huntsville, and Combined Public Communication. Children and adults with special needs are offered a day of rodeo and lunch. Festivities begin at 10:00AM and end at 1:00PM. Also on May 15 -16, you can come and see the Rodeo that has been voted twice as the “Top 20 Events of the Year” by Southern Tourism Society and named “RODEO OF THE YEAR” during the Lone Star National Finals Rodeo. The 33rd Annual Limestone County Sheriff’s Rodeo Arena is located at Alabama Highway 99, Athens, AL 35611. Gates open at 6:00PM and kids 10 & under can enjoy pony rides. 7:00PM – Kids Gold Rush. 8:00PM – Opening Ceremony and event kickoff including bareback and saddle bronc riding, calf and break-away roping, steer wrestling, kids calf scramble, barrel racing, chuck wagon racings, bull riding, professional rodeo clowns, specialty acts and more. Advance tickets: Adults $10.00, Children 12 and under $8.00 at Limestone County Sheriff’s Office 101 West Elm Street, Athens. For more information: www.limestonesheriffrodeo.com
Just to prove it is an outdoor extravaganza here are a few more outdoor events for May!

May 9 — Chick-Fil-A Connect Race Series Athens, AL. Join Chick-Fil-A for 5K and 10K on a USATF Certified course benefiting Bridges of Hope Adoption Ministry. Children 12 and under can enjoy the Family FunZone from 7:00-10:00AM packed with activities and inflatables as they wait for friends and family to cross the finish line. For more information or to register: cfaraceseries.com/races/148/

May 14 — Athens State Alumni Association Golf Classic. Canebrake Golf Club 23015 Founders Circle, Athens, AL 35613. Shotgun start at 1:00PM Four person teams are TBA and includes lunch, green fees, golf car, course refreshment, hospitality gifts and prizes. For more information or to request registration forms contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 256-233-8185 or alumni@athens.edu or www.myathens.info/golf-classic/

May 16 — 5th Annual Spencer Black 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Fun Run at Blue Springs Elementary 16787 Hardy Road, Athens, AL 35611 8:30AM. Come join the race to benefit Clements High School and Blue Spring Elementary School fitness programs and facilities. For more information, sign-up for runners notice or to make a donation, please contact Gary Van Wagnen 314-409-5102 or email garyvanwagnen@aol.com

May 19 — Alabama Wildlife Federation Wild Game Cook-off Athens, AL. Wild game cookers will come together to compete in the categories of fish, fowl and game. Cookers registration is free. (Cooking team form: alabamawildlife.org/apps/wildgame-cookoff-teams.php) Ticket price TBA and includes complimentary food and 1 year AWF Membership. Information: Greg Lambert – 256-998-0057 or AWF Headquarters 1-800-822-9453

May 23 — Spring Fling Arts and Crafts Festival. Whistle Hollow Farm 701 Lofton Hall Road, Ardmore, TN. Outside event from 10:00AM-3:00PM, must provide own tents. No direct sales, crafters only. Fee: $30.00, no electricity; $40.00 with electricity. Entertainment, homemade fried pies, and chicken salad at concession stand. Rain date: May 30th. For more information, 931-468-9437.
For your vacation information, class or church reunions, and local stay-cations, contact the Athens-Limestone County for brochures and information on local attractions, museums, art information and tours.

Athens- Limestone County Tourism – 100 N. Beaty Street – 256-232-5411 – www.VisitAthensAL.com
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

Getting outside is about having fun, right?

We get so eager to hit the trail, take to the roads or water or put on our explorers cap and just take off. Too often we overlook things we should think about like weather awareness, sun protection and safety.

The Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association’s Outdoor EXPO held in conjunction with the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful Earth Day on April 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. wants to give you the chance to add safety and awareness to your outdoor adventures.

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Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association Board will be sponsoring the Sci-Quest Roaming Dome from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00p.m. in the meeting room of the Athens-Limestone Visitors Center at the southwestern corner of Big Spring Memorial Park. Eager adventurers will be able to step inside and take a seat for Force 5, where extreme weather takes center stage in a full dome animated show. Adventurers will experience a forceful hurricane, a ripping tornado, and the most powerful storms in the solar system. So get ready to take cover for this exciting experience!

Jason Simpson, WHNT News 19’s Chief Meteorologist, will be at the Outdoor EXPO 2015 answering your weather questions, questions about Storm Hunter 19, sharing how you can stay weather aware and meeting attendees. He joined the WHNT 19 team in January 2012. Raised in Holly Pond, Jason is no stranger to the Tennessee Valley.

Jason has covered many weather events from hurricanes to tornadoes and blizzards. Jason was on the air April 27, 2011 and saw firsthand the magnitude of the destruction in different parts of Alabama including right here in Limestone County. After the storm he took action, volunteering in devastated areas to help people rebuild and where he couldn’t go, he sent supplies.

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When weather threatens the Tennessee Valley, Storm Hunter 19 heads into the heart of the communities impacted. This rolling observation station and live coverage vehicle keeps WHNT 19 meteorologist and viewers up-to-date on the latest conditions often as the storms and conditions are at their worse. Attendees can come take a close up look at Storm Hunter 19 at the Outdoor EXPO 2015 and learn more about how it’s taking action to keep you safe and weather aware.

Relay for Life of Limestone County will be hosting a booth to raise awareness about sun safety, skin cancer and their goal to have more birthdays by fueling the search for a cure to cancer. This volunteer driven movement has many stories behind each person involved. Want to know what Relay for Life is and why it’s important? Stop by their booth at the Outdoor EXPO and ask them, “What is Relay and why do you Relay?”

Imagine being in a rural part of Limestone County or anywhere in North Alabama and Southern Tennessee and needing to get to the hospital immediately. Now imagine a fully equipped helicopter with a medical team landing and then taking off to whisk you away to a life-saving facility within minutes rather than hours. This service is a reality with Air Evac Lifeteam and they will be at the Outdoor EXPO to share how you can benefit from their membership program. Emergency response vehicles from Ardmore Alabama/Tennessee Police and Fire Department will be on hand for attendees to see, ask questions about and take photos with. The Alabama State Highway Patrol will also have a vehicle and officer as well in attendance for the public to meet, speak with and snap photos with too.

For more information on the Athens-Limestone County Tourism Outdoor EXPO 2015, please call 256-232-5411 or visit the Outdoor EXPO page at www.VisitAthensAL.com. For information about the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful Earth Day, please call 256-233-8000 or visit www.KALBCares.com.
By: Cayce Lee
Social Media Specialist for the Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

4-3-2015 11-41-17 AMAthens-Limestone County Tourism Association proudly announces the return of free, guided walking tours beginning each Saturday in the month of April. Residents and visitors are invited to take part in a casual stroll through historic Athens and/or Mooresville and learn about their history and heritage.

The one-hour walking tours are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on April 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th at the Athens’ Visitor Center meeting room. In Mooresville, the walks will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will meet at the Post Office each Saturday.

Knowledgeable guides escort participants through historic neighborhoods and landmarks where they will share the history of the city and amusing accounts of the city’s storied past. They will share the history of the local businesses, architectural styles of the homes, and acrimonious accounts of the Sacking of Athens by Col. Turchin during the Civil War. The Athens tours features four different routes each week, each with a different theme.

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Mooresville is the oldest town in the State of Alabama with the oldest continuous working post office. You can tour the six streets of homes and the famous 1818 Farm during your tour. The entire town of Mooresville is on the historical registry.

The four areas of tours in Athens are:
• Historic Beaty District
• Historic Houston District
• Old Athens Cemetery
• Historic Downtown Square
Reservations are not required and tours are held rain or shine.

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Athens and Mooresville’s guided walking tours are part of the April Walking Tours coordinated by the Alabama Tourism Department. Athens and Mooresville are two of 26 towns across the state participating in the annual event.

April also starts our summer concert series. However this year, the Athens-Limestone County Singing on the Square has found a new temporary venue while the County Courthouse in under renovation. The new venue will be Big Springs Memorial Park.

4-3-2015 11-41-52 AMSinging on the Square has been a popular event for the past several years for the Limestone County Tourism Association. With the lack of electricity at the Courthouse, we did not want to eliminate the event. The concert series is a way for new talent to perform and get their name before the public and allows the established talent to stay in touch with their fans. The park is a great venue for the concerts this year; it is very family friendly and there is great parking.

Starting at 6 p.m. on April 17th, we will kick off our concert series with a community favorite “Southern Splendor,” a barbershop quartet from 6-7 p.m. and Miss Lillian Glanton, a newcomer to the concert series but not new to singing. Lillian performs regularly at the Red Caboose in Elkmont and has been singing in Nashville at the famous Bluebird Café. The concerts series will continue through August, and as always you are encouraged to bring your lawn chair and enjoy the beautiful evenings listening to our entertainers with the sparkling water fountains as a relaxing backdrop. You will enjoy this year’s entertainers; we have some new faces and several familiar hometown favorites.

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This year’s sponsor is Champion Chevrolet and Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association. On April 25th, make plans to attend the KALB and Athens-Limestone County Tourism Earth Day and Outdoor EXPO starting at 10 a.m. This combination event is even bigger this year! See more info on our websites and Facebook pages.

The Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization promoting tourism and quality of life in Limestone County. For information on special events and attractions in Limestone County, contacts the Visitor Center located at 100 N. Beaty Street, at 256-232-5411 or visit our website at www.VisitAthensAL.com.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

3-5-2015 2-17-44 PMMarch begins with one of my favorite events: the annual Council on Aging’s Poke Sallet Follies show. You have dinner and a show, plus a ton of laughs for only $35.

Our senior centers in Athens and Limestone County provide critical services such as Meals on Wheels, tax services, medical insurance counseling and many other programs to the elderly. The Athens-Limestone Foundation on Aging was established by Limestone County citizens to raise money to help support the centers and the services they offer.

Since 1992, Poke Sallet Follies has been raising money to provide special programs and other needs for our senior citizens. Before Poke Sallet began, there was the occasional yard sale and chicken stew, which may have brought in a thousand dollars to support our senior programs. However, the supplies for the centers were more than the fundraisers could handle. It was during this time Athens resident, Harriette Rost, approached then COA Director, Helen Carter, with an idea of eliminating the small fundraisers and have a unique and large annual fundraiser.

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She proposed a fundraiser in the spring would benefit the centers all year long. Her plan was to invite the public to a local talent show and dinner with volunteer actors. So it began with local business leaders and Community Directors stepping up to perform hilarious takes on current television shows and movies as they ‘poked fun’ at themselves. The Poke Sallet primetime players raised approximately $5,000 during their first year. Each year more volunteers came to perform, in addition to those who helped to make sets and costumes. The show directors came up with different outrageous skits each year, and the crowds grew to where the 3 night show now raises close to $20,000. In the past 22 years, Poke Sallet Follies has raised approximately $300,000 for the Council on Aging. You can see this year’s production March 5th, 6th and 7th at our Athens Senior Center located at 912 W. Pryor Street. Visit their website for more information at www.pokesalletfollies.org

3-5-2015 2-18-04 PMAnother long running event is our Learn to Read Corporate Spelling Bee on March 7th at 10AM. This will be the 20th year for Learn to Read to hold this event at Athens High School. Come watch the fun as three-person teams from area businesses, clubs, and organizations come to compete in this annual fundraiser. The proceeds benefits Learn to Read programs for children ages 6-15 and adults of all ages. They also offer an After-School Tutoring Program (ASTP) for children ages 6-15 who are struggling with reading and math. Additionally, Learn-To-Read conducts classes on English as a Second Language (ESL). Come and support this great event, spectators are admitted at no charge.

March is National Women’s History Month at the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives. “This year they will be honoring women who served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield,” said Alabama Veterans’ Museum Director and Master Sergeant, Sandra Thompson. The Women in the Military History Program will be held at 12PM March 28th at the Alabama Veterans’ Museum located at 100 Pryor Street, Athens AL. Contact the museum Director Sandy Thompson @ 256-771-7578, to see how you can help sponsor this program.

For more information on the above events or other events and attractions in Athens-Limestone County, visit the Athens Visitors Center located at 100 North Beaty Street or call 256-232-5411. Information is also posted on our website – www.visitathensal.com.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

2-6-2015 9-59-27 AMValentine’s Day is a day to express your love and to celebrate the spirit of love – so do something special for your loved one.

Flowers, candy, jewelry, candle-light dinner, a night at the movies, a day of shopping or even a get away weekend at a nice hotel/motel is always a good idea. Athens and Limestone County businesses would enjoy the opportunity to help you celebrate and locate the perfect gift.

2-6-2015 9-59-39 AMLocal florists will deliver bouquets to your loved one; women love having flowers delivered to their office. Valentine cards and candy are also a nice touch to give, such as chocolate covered strawberries from Russell Stover’s. Here is something cute and different from Suzanne’s Bakery & Eatery for your man for Valentine’s Day: a basket of cookie tools or flags/hearts/eagles and stars, mustaches, or honeybees for your honey! You can call in and pre-order to make sure you get the perfect ‘cookie gift’ for your man.

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Make it a date night and dine at one of our locally owned restaurants such as LuVici’s, Casa Blanca, Wildwood Deli or Village Pizza downtown. Around town try Catfish Cabin, LawLer’s BBQ, Clark’s Family Restaurant, 306 BBQ, Picasso Grill, Las Trojas Cantina or have your Valentine dinner with Hickory Barn BBQ. In Ardmore visit Mildred’s, EL Olmeca, Fried Green Tomato Buffet or Libby’s Catfish & Diner for a nice cozy meal.

2-6-2015 9-59-45 AMAfter dinner go take in a movie at our CineMagic Theater. You can also enjoy the Chocolate Walk on the Square sponsored by Spirit of Athens on Saturday February 14th from 12-5PM. Our newest decadent delicacy is ‘Sweet Thymes bakery and Meals To Go’ on 407 N. Clinton Street. The owner, Kelli Minyard, has her daily menu on Facebook and a desert case full of sweets for your sweetie!

You can always make your loved one feel special with a get away from the kids or the hectic work days for a weekend at one of our local hotels/motels. Our local properties will treat you like royalty when you spend the weekend with them. Most offer hot breakfast and/or have indoor pools. Some hotels are offering special Valentine’s Day packages. For information check out our lodging page at www.visitathensal.com/3/lodging.htm

2-6-2015 9-59-52 AMGifts of all types are available throughout the county at our specialty shops and boutique stores. Stop by one of the jewelry stores (Hobbs Jewelers and Osborne’s Jewelers) and pick up a special surprise for your favorite person. If you are not sure what to get, the sales personnel at our downtown shops like Pablo’s, Pimentos, Trinity, Crawford’s, The Willow Cottage or in U G White will help you pick out something special. For a quiet evening, enjoy one of our many parks and take a walk watching the sunset. Just remember, it’s all about showing your special person how important they are to you.

If you need additional information about these or other events and attractions in Athens-Limestone, visit the Athens Visitors Center located at 100 North Beaty Street or call 256-232-5411. Information is also posted on our website at www.VisitAthensAL.com.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association