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

1-3-2015 2-09-04 PMHave you ever wondered what role the Tourism office and Visitor Center have in Limestone County? The primary purpose of the Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association is to invite people to Athens and Limestone County, so that they can become “temporary tax payers.” In other words, people who come to visit, stay in our hotels, buy gas, enjoy their meals in our restaurants and attend our events and attractions. In Limestone County’s five towns, the Tourism Industry brings historians, naturalists, hikers, bikers, equestrians, kayak enthusiasts, fishermen, Civil War historians, artisans, storytellers, artists, musicians, sporting events, horse shows, rodeos, seminars, meetings, conferences, class & family reunions and many, many jobs!

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We also develop tourism through the promotion of permanent attractions such as the Alabama Veterans’ Museum and Belle Chevre Creamery tours. This year, we had outstanding attendance at our many tours of our Historic Districts, Cemeteries and Antebellum homes. Our largest tour was from Samford University, where they brought 50 guests from Birmingham to stay overnight to visit and learn about our antiques as well as the architecture of our historical homes and buildings.

The Limestone County Archives brings all generations to Athens as they are looking into their family genealogy. As our families spread across the United States, discovering and preserving those precious times of yesteryear can take several days and many make it their primary goal of their vacation time.

Athens also can boast about its very own drive-in theater positioned alongside our walk-in theater. This drive-in is one of only nine in the state of Alabama still operating. Though many others have closed, we still enjoy reminiscing about our youth while attending our outdoor drive-in theater, which brings people to Limestone County for their opportunity to experience the family fun.
Athens State University is the site of Founders’ Hall, built in 1822. ASU is Alabama’s oldest institution of higher education. Their “Livingstone Series” offers an array of wonderful speakers, musicians, plays and other events for the public to attend. The Livingstone Series also brings in visitors from our neighboring communities.

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Tourists come into Limestone County communities such as Elkmont for the Songwriters’ Night, and to hear the performers at the Red Caboose. The free concert series we know as ‘Singing on the Square’ from April-August, hosted by the Tourism Office, is always well attended. Entertainment facilities such as Yesterday’s feature nationally recognized singers and impressionists like Kevin Adams and the music group, The Flashbacks. You see, music is in the fabric of Limestone County.

The Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention, known across the country, will soon be enjoying their 50th Anniversary. The two-day event brings 15,000 people to Limestone County. They come by car, RV, bus, and some even fly to get here. Our Athens Storytelling Festival, a week-long celebration of our tales, liars and lives bring people from over 25 states to hear the best of tellers. We also have our namesake Festival, the Athens Grease Festival, where we celebrate “all things fried” while attempting the world record for the most toga wearing attendees.

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We encourage educational historical activities such as our free guided historical walks held each Saturday in April, and programs like Earth Day, Spirit of Athens’ art camps, and strolls, as well as the Farmer’s Markets held throughout the summer. The Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association / Athens Visitors’ Center is located in the historic Athens Utilities Building, built in 1906. Big Spring Memorial Park sits just behind our location, with beautiful, relaxing fountains and various species of ducks. Athens-Limestone County is rich in history, culture and music, but our eye is very much fixed on the future and new growth opportunities for our town.

ALCTA is open Monday-Friday, 8:00AM – 4:30PM, and in the summer on Saturdays from 8:00AM – 12:00PM. Come by for a tour of our historic building. Look through the rack of brochures, information leaflets, and post cards. We will be pleased to tell you more about Limestone County. Remember, “We are what you love about the South!”
By: Teresa Todd Athens-Limestone County Tourism President

12-5-2014 9-47-09 AMRemember reading the Polar Express as a child and wanting to hear the ringing bells of Santa sleigh? Now through December 17th, you and your family can experience the Polar Express at Whistle Hollow Farms located at 701 Lofton Hall Road, Ardmore, TN. You can choose either 9:00AM or 12:00PM, Monday-Friday for an adventure on the farm. Enjoy the Polar Express on the big screen with hot chocolate and homemade cookies. Make a lasting family memory. Admission is $6 per person. Enjoy lunch for an additional $2 per person. Contact 931-638-3501 or whistlehollowfarm@att.net to make a reservation.

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The Mooresville Mercantile Holiday Open House will be held on Dec 5th & 6th located at 5081 Mooresville Road, Mooresville, AL. You will be impressed by the all American-made wares and goods available to fill your stockings or heap under the Christmas tree. Go to www.mooresvillemercantile.com/special-events for more information.

The Elkmont Lions Club Christmas Parade on December 6th begins at 1PM with the theme “A Disney Christmas” in Elkmont, AL. After the Elkmont Parade, continue the celebration of Christmas with the Ardmore Christmas Tour of Homes starting from 3PM till 7PM. Sponsored by the Friends of the Ardmore Public Library, enjoy the tour of local homes decked in their holiday finest. Homes to be toured include Alisha Schrimsher, Cecelia and Andy Hargrove, Ronny Cornelison, Elayne Shannon, Ginger and Kevin Dunn, and Mattie and Jerry Lipham. Purchase your $10 tickets from the Ardmore Public Library located on 25836 Main Street, Ardmore TN, Ardmore City Hall 25844 Main Street, Ardmore, TN, Ardmore Town Hall 26704 Main Street, Ardmore, AL, or First National Bank 26591 Main Street, Ardmore, TN.

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The Belle Mina Station Christmas Open House will be held December 6th at 6855 Mooresville Road, Belle Mina, AL. Bring your list and enjoy the Belle Mina Station for a little holiday shopping, cheer, and light refreshments from 10AM to 5M. Call 256-355-7059 for more information.

Hand-bell Artist, Danny Lyons, with Bellissimo Hand-bell Quartet will be performing December 7th at McCandless Hall, Athens State University 300 North Beaty Street, Athens, AL. Sponsored by the Livingston Concert & Lecture Series and the Center for Lifelong Learning, enjoy this special concert featuring Danny Lyons as he rings an entire 3 octave set of hand bells – 37 in all. He will be joined by the Bellissimo Hand-bell Quartet. Concert starts at 3PM. Limited seating available for this free event. For ticket information, contact the Center for Lifelong Learning at 256-233-8262.

The Athens Ladies Civitan Holiday Tour of Homes will be held on December 7th in Athens, AL. Five prominent Athens homes will be dressed up for the holidays and open for touring from 1PM to 5PM. Each home will have delicious sweet treats provided by local caterers for your enjoyment. This is a self-guided tour with hostesses at each home. Advanced tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Nestle Toll House U.S. 72-Athens, Shea Leigh’s on Hwy 72-Athens, Pimentos downtown Athens, 1st National Bank U.S. 72-Athens, Hallie Marie’s next to 306BBQ on U.S. 72-Athens, and Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful East Street-Athens. Tickets at the door will be $20. For more information contact Carolyn Stair, 256-233-0258.

Join First Christian Church on December 8th as they celebrate the season with “The Light of Christmas Concert” with The Heritage Children’s Chorale with Mary Stephenson, Founder-Director. First Christian Church is located on 400 West Market Street in Athens, AL. Concert begins at 7:30PM with free admission.
The Ardmore Christmas Parade will be held on December 9th in Ardmore AL/TN. Santa is coming to Ardmore with floats, marching bands, and more. This year’s theme will be “Melodies of Christmas.” Line up starts at Ardmore High School at 5PM, parade starts at 6:30PM, and marches down AL-251 to AL-53. To register your float, marching band, group, or individual participants, please call 256-423-3011 or 931-427-2421.

Experience the unique Bethlehem Walk at Mable Hill Baptist Church located on 3778 Ready Section Road, Ardmore, AL on December 5th-7th and December 12th-14th from 6:30PM-9PM as they reenact the birth of Jesus in this annual walk-through production. For more information visit www.mablehillbaptist.org/bethlehem.html
Visit Historic Mooresville, AL, for the Holiday Home Tour and Progressive Dinner. They are putting on their holiday finest, and invite you to enjoy the season with them on December 13th. Bright, fresh greenery and red bows decorate the street signs. Della Robbia wreaths colorfully deck the public buildings, and homes are decorated in the traditions of Christmas past. Reserve your space on this exclusive tour that will visit locations and homes from 2PM until 7PM. Cost is $65.00 per person. For more information, or to make reservations, go to www.mooresvilleal.com/progressive-dinner.

The Annual Spirit of Athens Sippin’ Cider will be held December 13th on the Downtown Square in Athens, AL from 5PM to 8PM. Enjoy samples of cider from participating merchants and vote by ballot for your favorite. The cider receiving the most votes wins bragging rights for the year. The ballots will also serve as an entry to one of many door prizes to be given away.

Make your plans now to attend Yesterday’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Variety Show at the Yesterday’s Event Center located on 15631 Brownsferry Road, Athens, AL. Don your partywear and come enjoy a night of your favorite music. RSVP to info@yesterdaysevents.com.

Visit us at the Athens-Limestone County Tourism Office located at 100 N. Beaty Street, Athens, AL. for information on upcoming events, attractions, hotels and restaurants. To learn more about Limestone County, please visit us online at www.VisitAthensAL.com or call 256-232-5411.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

HAPPY “ALL-THE-DAYS” FROM ATHENS-LIMESTONE COUNTY TOURISM!

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Now – Nov 8th — The Way We Worked Athens Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit-Limestone County Event Center, 114 West Pryor Street, Athens, AL. “The Way We Worked” reaches into the rich holdings of the National Archives as well into the hosting community to explore how work has changed in America over the last 100 years. Hear from workers today and from the past in engaging videos and audio recordings. See how work has changed through artifacts – including many on loan from local organizations and individuals. Admission is free. For more information Rebekah Davis at 256-233-6404, thewayathensworks@gmail.com, or www.thewayathensworks.com.

11-7-2014 2-10-58 PMNow – Nov 7th — How Have You Made Your Mark? A Study in Hands-Limestone County Archives, 102 West Washington Street, Athens, AL. Artist Lee Nabors explores hands at work in this series. Open Monday-Friday from 8:00AM-4:30PM.

Nov 8th — Veterans Day Parade-Athens, AL. Roxanne Haggermaker along with area veterans’ organizations invites the public to come recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of all veterans and active duty military personnel. Lineup at AHS, 10AM. Parade starts at 11AM.

Schools honoring our Veterans:
Nov 7th – Athens High School, 9:30AM @ AHS gymnasium
Nov 7th – West Limestone High School Veterans Day Program, 1:00PM @10945 West School House Road in the gymnasium.
Nov 7th – Brookhill Elementary, 8:00AM @ BES Auditorium
Nov 10th — Tanner High School Veterans’ Day Program @12060 Sommers Road, Tanner, AL, in their gymnasium. Veterans and their spouses are invited to breakfast in the Tanner High School Library at 8:15AM. The general public and all Veterans are invited to join the students at 9:00AM for a special Veterans’ Day Program.
Nov 10th – Julian Newman Elementary, 8:30AM @ JNES Auditorium
Nov 10th – Athens Middle School 8:45AM @ AMS Auditorium
Nov 10th – Athens Elementary 1:00PM @ AES Activity Building
Nov 11th — Athens State University Veterans Day Program, Sandridge Student Center, Athens State University, 300 North Beaty Street, Athens, AL. Join the faculty, staff and students for a salute to our nation’s Veterans at 11:00AM in the ballroom of the Sandridge Student Center.

Nov 15th — 5K Tiger Dash -Cedar Hill Elementary School, 27905 Cedar Hill Road, Ardmore, AL. This race benefits both the Ardmore High School Cross Country Team and Cedar Hill Elementary Physical Education Department. For more information, contact Brenda Morrow Brenda.Morrow@lcsk12.org or Chala Boyd Chala.Body@lcsk12.org.

Nov 15th — Ardmore Christmas Craft Fair-TN Annex Building Main Street, Ardmore, TN. Top off your shopping list with handmade crafts to give to friends, family, party hostess or surprise gift giver. For more information, call Wendi Brake at 256-278-5524.

Nov 15th — 1st Annual Cystic Fibrosis Walk-Golden Eagle Stadium, Athens High School, 100 U.S. Highway 31N, Athens, AL. Join the ALH Respiratory and Imaging Department for Great Strides and hot dogs, drinks, balloon release and more fun activities. This will not be a 5k walk. Each participant will walk around the field as many times as they want to and will pay so much per lap. To register to walk or volunteer, visit the Great Strides Athens website.

November 21-November 30– The Donnell House will be once again hosting its Festival of Trees celebration. The theme to this year’s event is “To Grandmother’s House We Go.” The Festival of Trees will run from 5:00PM until 7:00PM and will be open on Thanksgiving evening as well as during the Athens Christmas Open House. The cost for admission is $5 per person. To kick off the event, a Preview Party is scheduled on November 20 from 6:00PM until 8:00PM. The cost for the party is $25 per person and will include refreshments and entertainment, along with a sneak peak of the decorations. For reservations, call 256-679-7660. All money raised will go to the renovation efforts for the historic Donnell House.

Nov 22nd — Minor Hill Turkey Shoot-Minor Hill Park Ag-Grounds, Minor Hill Highway, Minor Hill, TN. Minor Hill, Tennessee invites you to join them for their annual Turkey Shoot the Saturday before Thanksgiving, as always. It will start at 9:00AM, and will go until about noon. It costs $3 to shoot for a turkey, and $5 to shoot for a ham. Plans are to shoot for a chance to win a ham about every 5 times or so. It’s not a country ham each time, most of them are regular hams. If anyone would like to donate a country ham, please contact our City Hall at 931-565-3113 before Nov. 17. Event provides the shells. For more information, call 931-565-3113 or email info@minorhilltn.com . 4.7 miles from Lester AL- MAP

November 22 — Cowart Elementary Rivalry Run 5K – James L. Cowart Elementary PTO will hold the 1st Annual Rivalry Run starting at 8:00AM. Walkers and strollers are welcome! We encourage ALL participants to dress in their favorite SEC school team. Don’t be shy, you won’t be alone. Race will start and end at Cowart 1701 West Hobbs Street, Athens AL 35611. For more information, visit www.rivalryrun5k.itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=3474.
Nov 22nd – 23rd — Christmas Open House-Downtown Athens, AL. Christmas comes early to downtown Athens with caroling, specials for shopping and Santa! 256-232-2600

Nov 30th — Minor Hill Christmas Parade-Minor Hill, TN. Giles County High School Band of Gold will be leading the parade. Parade starts at 2:00PM, LineUp at 1:00PM @ Minor Hill Community Bldg. No cost to enter! Categories are: vehicles, recreational vehicles, performing groups, floats, horses, and overall winner for best theme. No Santa allowed, because we have one that will be on our float near the end of the parade. We appreciate your support. Please come be a part of our parade this year and make it our biggest & best ever. For more information, call 931-565-3113 or email info@minorhilltn.com 4.7 miles from Lester AL- MAP
Teresa Todd – Athens-Limestone County Tourism President – 100 N. Beaty Street – Athens, Alabama

10-17-2014 2-45-01 PMThe Limestone County Archives & Athens-Limestone County Tourism is delighted to announce a very special art exhibit displayed in the Limestone County Archives in conjunction with The Way We Worked – Athens. “How Have You Made Your Mark? A Study of Hands” by Morgan County artist Lee Nabors is open now in the Archives office at 102 W. Washington St., Athens and will be available to view during Archives hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact Rebekah Davis at 256-233-6404.

A note from the artist recounting the exhibit:
This exhibit consists of approximately 50 oil paintings of the hands of amazing individuals. These people represent hundreds of others who go above and beyond in their professional and everyday life for the greater good. It is a cross-section of what it takes to be and build a community, any community.
Because each person’s hand and handprint are uniquely theirs, I believe the hands are the symbol and thus the story of an individual’s life and work. As the focus of this project, the subject’s hands will reflect the life, passions and influence that he/she has had or continues to have on the local and, in some cases, the global community. They continue to make their mark. It is my hope that when the paintings hang as a collection, we will each be inspired to ask ourselves …“The Question At Hand: How Have You Made Your Mark?”

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For more information, visit www.leenabors.com or call 256-353-4455. Come see this beautiful collection of paintings of hands at work, on display at the Limestone County Archives!
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association
100 Beaty Street, Athens, AL 35611

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10-3-2014 12-02-44 PMNothing says “Fall” like the Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention, and on October 3rd and 4th Athens will celebrate beautiful weather, colorful trees and great music at the ASU campus. Beginning almost 50 years ago in 1966, the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention has become 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.

The convention brings some 200 contestants to compete for top prize money. There are 18 different categories, including several fiddle and guitar categories, harmonica, mandolin, bluegrass as well as regular banjo, dulcimer, old time singing, and buck dancing. The Convention culminates in a “fiddle-off,” between the top two fiddlers. The winning fiddler is declared “Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddle Champion,” and takes home a trophy and $1000. A total of $11,850 will be awarded to contestants, and convention proceeds support student scholarships and University projects. To date more than $500,000 has been contributed to the University.

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The Annual Tourism Haunts Walks begin in October at the 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 with guides Shane Black and Billy Ward recounting tales, woes, and the unexplained.

Belle Chevre owner Tasia Malakasis will be hosting the 2nd Annual Southern Reinvention celebration with food, fashion, and fun on October 18th from 11:AM-4:PM. This is an opportunity for the community to visit and become familiar with grass roots businesses such as Billy Reid, Jim N. Nicks, High Road Craft, Alabama Seafood and more!

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Another event in October we all look forward to is the 8th Annual Athens Storytelling Festival on October 21st through the 25th. They will be bringing back their very popular Amateur night on Oct 21st. Donald Davis, Bill Lepp, Dill Pickers, John McCutchen, Kevin Kling, Andy Ouffitt Irwin and Carmen Deedy will all be at the Downtown Square large striped Carnival Tent to entertain you with their tall tales, singing and maybe an extra special delight!

10-3-2014 12-03-04 PM“Vietnam, More Than Just a Name,” A Jackie Greenhaw Production to benefit the Alabama Veterans Museum, and will be performed on Sunday, Oct 26th at 2 pm. This emotional and valiant portrayal of history will be held at the Limestone Co. Senior Center, 912 W. Pryor St. Athens, AL. Shuttle service will be available from the DHR parking lot, 1007 W. Market Street, Athens, and begins at 1pm. Tickets are on sale now for only $10.00, and available at the Alabama Veterans Museum. Call 256-771-7578 for more information; there are a limited number of tickets.

Now through November 8th the Smithsonian Museum will present “The Way We Worked,” a traveling Museum on Main Street exhibit which is open and located downtown in the Limestone County Event Center. With their hands, their minds hard at work and sweat on their brows, American workers perform a diverse array of jobs to power our society. Whether we work for professional satisfaction and personal growth, or to ensure the well-being of ourselves and our families, work is and has been a part of nearly every American’s life. The Way We Worked – Athens embraces our agriculture roots with items such as cotton sacks & baskets n display. It has video of just how we are able to farm and harvest so quickly with today’s technology. A continuous video plays as several locals identify their favorite jobs, their worst job, and discrimination on their jobs. The exhibition draws from the Limestone County Archives’ rich collection of implements, photographs, clothing and other items. Local collectors’ artifacts help to tell this compelling Limestone County story from the past 150 years until the present day.
By: Teresa Todd
President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association
100 Beaty Street
Athens, Al 35611

9-5-2014 2-16-54 PMOur fall events start off with a BANG. On September 5th the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce has their Inaugural Sporting Clays Tournament. The event will be held at the Limestone Hunting Preserve, located 28755 Coggins Road, Ardmore AL. The morning flight begins at 8:00AM-11:00AM, with an afternoon flight fro 1:00PM to 4:00PM. For more information or to register a team, contact Terry at 256-232-2609 or email terry@tourathens.com.

Our Athens-Limestone Hospital Foundation invites you to join them for their annual fundraiser, the Crystal Cup Golf Tournament on September 11th held at Canebrake Golf Course, 23015 Founders Circle, Athens, AL. The tee times are 8:00AM and 1:00PM, with lunch 11:30AM to 1:00PM. To sign up, or for more information, contact the Foundation at 256-233-9136.

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Shake off your alter ego and let your inner Superhero shine through! Join us for Superhero Fun Day on September 13 and help raise money for childhood cancer research. Wear your favorite superhero costume or T-shirt and join us for a one-mile fun run. There will also be crafts, activities, a bounce house, balloons, and you may get an autograph and picture with your favorite superhero. Come out and meet the Hulk, Batman, Spiderman, Wolverine, Supergirl and Wonder Woman. The Proceeds will go to the Children’s Oncology Group, a non-profit research organization that a support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Children’s of Alabama at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. You can register for the fun run and order t-shirts online, or register for the fun run starting at 9 a.m. with the race to follow at 10 a.m. The festivities will be at Big Spring Memorial Park in Athens at 106 N Beaty St, Athens, Alabama 35611 and are scheduled from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.ourlittlesuperheroes.com or email vicandkristie@gmail.com

Keep Athens Limestone Beautiful is gearing up for their 11th Annual Duck and Run 5K and Fun Run on September 20th. This run will take you through the beautiful historic districts of Athens. Contact Eric Patterson at Duckandrun5K@yahoo.com for information or visit www.keepathenslimestonebeautiful.com/duck-run.html.
The Smithsonian exhibit “The Way We Worked” comes to Athens on September 20th. Athens will be home to this traveling “Museum on Main Street” exhibit located downtown at the Limestone County Event Center until November 8th with free admission. There will be a kick-off on September 20th from 10AM till 5PM with special vendors participating in various areas of how Americans work. American workers have always performed a diverse array of jobs that powered our society. Whether we work for professional satisfaction and personal growth or to ensure the well being of ourselves and our families, work is and has been a part of nearly every American’s life. The Way We Worked, adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, explores how work became such a significant element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years. The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich collections to tell this compelling story and Athens will now have her turn to tell our amazing story for the past 150 plus years. To volunteer, donate, schedule a group tour, or to just learn more about this remarkable event, visit the website at www.TheWayAthensWorks.com.

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The historic Athens City Cemetery will “come alive” with more than 35 period attired personalities to represent notables from the past 200 years during the Annual Athens City Cemetery Stroll on Sunday, September 21 from 2:00-5:00P.M. The history of Athens City Cemetery is also the history of the southeast during America’s southern and westward expansion. This event is free to the public, though donations are welcomed to assist in the efforts of preserving these historical landmarks.
Food has always been where Southerners celebrated all facets of life. And fried food . . . well it must have been invented in the South. We now have a day set aside to enjoy (without guilt) our favorite fried delights. Yes, we can batter and fry Twinkies, butter, ice cream and all things in between at the 3rd Annual Athens Grease Festival on September 27th in downtown Athens, AL. Oh! Don’t forget your TOGA! This year, the Grease Festival is attempting to break the Guinness Book World Record. We need 3700 people wearing WHITE togas to be in the count, so help us achieved this recognition we so humbly deserve. For more information contact Betsy Hyman at housepitalityinc@aol.com or follow all the fun on www.facebook.com/AthensGreaseFestival. Wear you toga, and bring your taste buds to the city that knows how to celebrate living Southern, being a classic, and having character the fun way!

To learn more about what is coming up the rest to the year go to www.VisitAthensAL.com or call 256-232-5411. Stop by and visit us at 100 N. Beaty Street at the Big Springs Memorial Park. We hope to see you soon!
By: Teresa Todd
President of Athens-Limestone County Tourism
www.VisitAthensAL.com
Teresa@VisitAthensAL.com
256-232-5411

8-1-2014 2-04-36 PMAugust is the time for preparing to go back to school. Wait, what? School? We still have great events to enjoy, like the Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days on August 1st & 2nd. This great 2-day event has been taking place for 22 years. If you haven’t gone, you are missing out on a load of fun. You’ll know you are there when you see thousands of tractors in all colors and sizes on 20147 Elkton Road before you reach Piney Chapel Elementary School headed north. This event celebrates life on the farm and the preservation of antique engines, tractors and other equipment. They have events like the Parade of Power, Fast Crank Competition, Slow Races, and the Ladies’ Skillet Throw. The kids can take a chance with the Pedal Pull. On Friday Aug 1st, you can take a tractor ride to Elkmont on the Richard Martin Rails to Trails and enjoy a hotdog when you get there.

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The event opens at 7AM on Friday, with the tractor ride at 10AM. Live entertainment will begin at 5:30PM. Come out to have great pinto beans & cornbread, along with other tasty concessions. On Saturday morning, you can have biscuits for breakfast! Admission is only $5, with children 10 and under admitted free of charge.

With agriculture being big in Limestone County, as well as having a large equine population, many will be supporting Ardmore in their 22nd Annual Police & Reserves Rodeo. The rodeo is also being held August 1st & 2nd. Ardmore presents their event at John Barnes Park, 30510 Ardmore Ridge Road, Ardmore, TN. You are invited to come and support the Ardmore Police Department and Reserves while enjoying this excellent family activity.

The Col. Sam Gibbons Walking Horse show will give it one more try to finally hold their event at the Limestone County Sheriff’s Arena. This free event will take place on Friday, August 1st at 6PM. Bring the whole family or your church or scout groups.

On August 9th, the Ardmore Quarterback Club Car Show will be held at John Barnes Park, located at 30510 Ardmore Ridge Road, Ardmore, TN. Join the Ardmore Quarterback Club for the largest car show in North Alabama and Southern Tennessee.

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Are you looking for some beautiful trees to plant? On Aug 23rd you can find every color of Crape Myrtle at the Ardmore Crape Myrtle Festival located at John Barnes Park. Come and enjoy the all day live entertainment, along with arts and crafts, and the Miss Crape Myrtle Festival Beauty Pageants.

Here is a tip on pruning your Crape Myrtles: prune as little as needed. When you prune the branches back to the trunk every season it’s called “Crape Murder.” You will weaken the tree and stunt its growth. It eventually will quit putting out sturdy growth that won’t even support the blooms. Then the tree will become susceptible to many kinds of fungus and rot. Only trim what really has to be trimmed for shape and thinning so sunlight can get to the inside of the tree. If you trim the tips after they bloom out, this will promote growth and new blooms, giving you a healthy pretty, bloom-filled tree. Remember, a little fertilizer or compost won’t hurt.

Have a great August, and be looking forward to some enjoyable events to come in September, too! For more information on these events and others go to VisitAthensAL.com or call us 256-232-5411.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association
100 Beaty Street, Athens, AL 35611