Monday, March 20, 2017

April Walking Tours

Decatur has a rich and colorful history dating back to the early 1800s. To learn more about the city’s heritage, residents and visitors are invited to take part in a casual stroll through the historic Old Decatur area. Organized by the Decatur-Morgan County CVB, the free guided walking tours are held each Saturday in the month of April and each one features a different route, theme, and tour guide.

Scheduled for April 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, the walking tour begins at 10 a.m. All tours last one hour and begin at the Old State Bank except for the April 22nd tour, which begins at the Morgan County Courthouse and will last over one hour. Knowledgeable guides will escort participants through historic neighborhoods and landmarks where they will share the history of the city and entertaining accounts of the city’s storied past. Several of the tours will also include mini tours to various museums or historic sites such as the Old State Bank, the Lafayette Street Cemetery, the Train Depot and the Morgan County Archives.

April 1 – General history tour led by Squee Bailey.

April 8 – Old State Bank, Lafayette Street Cemetery and the Train Depot tour led by David Breland.

April 15 – Historic church tour led by Phil Wirey.

April 22 – Scottsboro Boys tour led by Peggy Towns. (Tour begins at Morgan County Courthouse.)

April 29 – Historic Bank Street and Morgan County Archives tour led by John Allison.

Reservations are not required and tours are held rain or shine.

Decatur’s guided walking tours are part of the April Walking Tours coordinated by the Alabama Tourism Department. Decatur is one of 28 towns across the state participating in the annual event.

For more information, call the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 256.350.2028 or 800.524.6181.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

West Park 3D Archery Tournament and Fun Shoot

The Morgan County Parks and Recreation will host a 3D archery tournament and fun shoot April 1, 2017, at West Park located in Danville, Ala. The one-day tournament is open to the public and is expected to draw up to 200 archers from across northern Alabama.
Situated along West Park’s nature trail, the tournament course layout features 20 targets, all of which will be official 2017 ASA (Archery Shooters Association) 3D targets. Each target will have a scoring area that will simulate the typical kill zone area. Each participate will have one arrow shot at each target from their designated maximum range (stake). According to ASA, ASA 3-D archery features competitive rounds of lifelike, three-dimensional animal targets made of foam. The scoring rings are not always visible from the shooting stake and binoculars are allowed. Advanced archers must determine the distance to the target, pick a good aiming point, and execute the shot.
Shooters of all ages from across northern Alabama are expected to take part in the tournament. “The West Park 3D Archery Tournament and Fun Shoot is an opportunity for local archers to participate in an event close to home and for serious competitors to get in a practice round or two a week before the next ASA Pro/Am,” said Morgan County Parks and Recreation Director Sean Dailey. Classes include Men’s Open, Men’s Hunter, Bow Novice, Women’s Open, Women’s Hunter, Traditional and Youth/NASP. First place prizes, provided by Van’s Sporting Goods, will be awarded at the conclusion of the tournament.
The cost to participate is $10 per person for tournament round and $7 per person for the fun shoot (non-tournament entry). All additional rounds are $5. Advance registration is not required. Admission is free for spectators. The shoot begins at 7 a.m. with the last scorecard going out at 2:30 p.m. A warm-up range/bags and concessions will be available.
West Park is located at 74 W Park Road in Danville, Ala. For more information on the West Park 3D Archery Tournament and Fun Shoot, call Sean Dailey at 256.560.6070.

Monday, March 6, 2017

“What Decatur Means to Me”

It’s Monday again. Suddenly, you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings. With every new beginning, there is something to be said about a place that welcomes you with open arms— a place where you can find history, arts, beauty, amazing food, great shopping, and new opportunities. Some go their whole lives without ever finding that place, the place that reminds you upon arrival that you have found your home away from home. For many others and me, that place is Decatur, Alabama.

New places can be overwhelming when you come from a small town, even frightening. But that’s what makes life beautiful isn’t it? A new adventure, a new opportunity, a new chance to become the person you’re meant to be. When you find that place, it’s a feeling like no other.

There is always something to learn and do in Decatur-Morgan County. Where else can you find annual events like The Alabama Jubilee Hot-Air Balloon Classic, Racking Horse Spring & World Celebrations, Hartselle Depot Days, the Daikin Japanese Festival, and other one of a kind festivals and celebrations? This unique area has something to offer everyone, from families and children, history buffs, arts and culture lovers, as well as outdoor enthusiasts. With attractions like Point Mallard Park, Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, Delano Park, and many others, there is always a new adventure waiting to be had. There are even museums like the Blue and Gray Museum that focus on the Civil War to the Cook Museum of Natural Science that will soon be open. For those seeking arts and culture, Decatur has the Princess Theatre for the Performing Arts and the Carnegie Visual Arts Center, among other attractions. Not to mention, you can find endless options to satisfy your dinner cravings. If you visit Decatur-Morgan County, be assured you will not leave hungry. It’s also the perfect place to spend a Saturday shopping. From the antique and specialty boutiques along the Historic Shopping Districts in Decatur and Hartselle, Decatur-Morgan County has a broad spectrum of shopping choices.

With every Monday comes a new beginning and a fresh start to make this week the best one yet. This Monday, take a look around. Take in the beauty around you. Sometimes we get so caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of the work week that we forget something: the area that we are privileged enough to be a part of is absolutely breathtaking. There is only one Decatur, and it’s my home away from home. What does Decatur mean to you?

Maryanne Floyd-Communications Director, Decatur CVB

Monday, February 27, 2017

What Decatur Morgan County Means to Me Monday

“What Decatur and Morgan County  means to me”

Decatur, Alabama is not my hometown,   but having lived and raised two children here in the past 30 years,  it is now my home.  As the celebration of the Alabama Bicentennial begins in March 2017, the Decatur Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau will be inviting guests from throughout our city and county to share their thoughts on what Decatur and Morgan County, Alabama means to them.

At the Decatur Morgan CVB, we are the privileged host of visitors who come seeking a taste of the authentic, a chance to explore and play and a welcome that is genuine.  Our visitors  embrace our rich history and culture at places like the Old Bank, the Archives, the Carnegie and the Princess;  they compete fiercely  at Jack Allen, Wilson Morgan,  Ingalls Harbor and the Celebration Arena; they marvel at God’s creation and nature’s wonders at the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, Delano Park and the Cook Museum of Natural Science; they savor the flavor and charm of our unique restaurants , retail establishments and historic districts; they enjoy family-friendly fun  at events throughout the county such as  the Alabama Jubilee,  3rd Fridays Downtown,  Hartselle Depot Days, the Falkville Fall Festival, Music on the Square in Somerville and Eva Frontier Day and our guests splash, golf, hit the ice, camp and play ball at Point Mallard Park,  one of Alabama’s Top 10 Tourist Attractions!

The weekend of February 25th symbolized the spirit that makes our city and county wonderful.  There was ground-breaking for a new Farmer’s Market in Hartselle, the Alabama Bass Trail kicked off its Northern Division Tournament Series on Wheeler Lake, the city’s first-ever half marathon tested the endurance of runners participating in the Carnival Frolic, the Point Mallard Duck’s hosted a “Try Hockey for Free” event, a 9 ball pool tournament took place, the streets of downtown Decatur were filled with people enjoying the color and festivity of a magical Carnegie Carnival celebration of Mardi Grass and to top it all off, it was PANCAKE DAY!   To my now grown children, Pancake Day is one of the best and most memorable days of the year!  For today’s children, I can only imagine how awesome it must have been to have pancakes, beads, moon pies and parades combined into one joyous day!  These events brought people of all ages and backgrounds together in celebration of life’s simple joys that are all part of the fiber of who we are and the special place we call home.  In today’s world, it is easy to focus on what we don’t have and take for granted the bounty with which we have been blessed.  This weekend was a reminder to take delight in our story, the beauty of our surroundings and the creativity of our citizens!  Throughout the year, there are a multitude of events that celebrate the history and unique flavor of our city and county. These events, held at special places throughout Decatur and Morgan County, are part of that treasure-trove of memories come to mind when I think about Decatur and Morgan County, Alabama.  As we head into spring, I invite you to take part in these activities as they truly define and put the “home” in “hometown.”   Like the mountains of pancakes that were cooked last Saturday, our plate is full and we are blessed beyond abundance! 

Melinda M. Dunn-President, Decatur CVB

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Decatur’s Free Summer Concerts Kick Off June 1 at Rhodes Ferry Park

Decatur, Ala. (May 5, 2015) – Decatur’s popular summer concert series is set to return in 2015, bringing friends and families together for an evening of great music on the banks of the Tennessee River. Sponsored by the Decatur Parks and Recreation Department, Paul Stroud Concerts by the River offers a wide variety of musical entertainment as beautiful Rhodes Ferry Park provides a stunning setting for this free, weekly concert series. The concert series gets underway Monday, June 1 with concerts held each Monday through July 27.

The concert series features a broad range of musical styles including country, oldies, bluegrass, southern rock, jazz, Big Band, and more in the 2015 season. The opening concert on Monday, June 1 will feature crowd favorites Taylor McLain and the Sophisticated Swingers in a performance of classic Big Band melodies and soaring vocals.

Performances begin at 6 p.m. and usually conclude by 8 p.m. All concerts are free and guests are welcome to bring picnic baskets, lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy the abundance of musical talent found in the Tennessee Valley.
The 2015 series features the following performers:

June 1              Taylor McLain/Sophisticated Swingers          Crooner/Big Band

June 8              Papa Rox                                                         Oldies, Soft Rock

June 15            Bimini Road                                                    Southern Rock, Blues

June 22            Jeff Whitlow                                                   Country

June 29            Dorothy Cole and Friends                              Tribute

July 6               Dixie Bluegrass/Robert Montgomery             Bluegrass 

July 13             Decatur Youth Symphony/Replay                  Classical/Oldies and
                                                                                                Southern Country Harmony

July 20             Reginald Jackson and Friends                                    Smooth Jazz

July 27             Ben Parker Project                                          Southern Rock

Complete schedule information can be found at or can be obtained by contacting 256-341-4818 or Information on concerts will also be posted on the Facebook pages of the Decatur Parks and Recreation Department and the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Funding for the 2015 concert series is provided in part by a donation from Ms. Edna Smith in memory of her daughter, Frances Smith.

The concert series originated in 1991 and now bears the name of the late Paul Stroud, a founding member of the Sophisticated Swingers who encouraged local musical talent and served as the series Coordinator for many years. His legacy lives on through this cherished summer tradition. Special thanks to the many wonderful musical artists who make this evening of family-friendly fun possible.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Friday Fun in Downtown Decatur

Decatur, Ala. (May 12, 2015) – The merchants of downtown Decatur will host its 3rd Friday this week, May 15th, filling the historic downtown area with music, food, art, and more. As attendees enjoy the downtown ambiance, a variety of special activities are planned offering everything from fun and fashion to music and motorcycles.

Downtown Decatur 3rd Friday gets underway at 5 p.m. and festivalgoers are invited to spend the evening looking at a wide variety of antique cars along 2nd Avenue while enjoying some of the area’s best musicians throughout the downtown area and inside many restaurants. Performers include Chris Simmons at Simp McGhee’s, Derek Blagburn on the patio at The Brick, Chandler Brown and The Liberty Boys on Moulton Street by Downtown Dawgs, Of Kith and Kin on Second Avenue by the Princess Theatre, Christian Herring Band on Second Avenue by The Antique Basket, The Chordsman in the 800 block of Bank Street, Ally Burgess in the 700 block of Bank Street, Decatur Youth Symphony Small Ensemble in the 600 block of Band Street, and the Morgan County Dulcimer Association by the Old State Bank.

For children, the Carnegie Visual Arts Center will have activities and art on Bank Street, along with a demonstration by Webster’s Karate Studio, and in the 500 block, CASA on the Green will host children’s local favorite band, Tangerine Tambourine. A caricature artist and face painting will also provide entertainment during the evening.

For the fashionistas, there will be a fashion show at 7 p.m. in front of Casa Grande Park on Second Avenue. Presented by Beautiful Edge, transformations by Erin, and the Alabama Fashion Alliance, the runway-style show will feature selections from Indigo’s, Jar & Co., Jewelry by Lorelai Kolarik, and special guest designer and founder of AFA, LeJune.

Shopping in downtown Decatur is plentiful and many of the merchants will remain open late during the 3rd Friday celebration. Craft vendors selling handmade items will fill Casa Grande Park and Jones Park on 2nd Avenue. The Cupboard, located on Bank Street, will host Fox Point Farms who will be offering free samples of their amazing goat milk caramels and caramel sauce and there will be baby goats on hand to add to the fun. The Paper Chase will give a gift with any Vera Bradley purchase and Glee Interiors will have a sidewalk sale with 75% off discounts. Downtown Dawgs will have free kids nachos with the purchase of a combo meal.

Throughout the evening, the 700 block of Bank Street will be filled with a variety of motorcycles provided by the North Alabama Vintage Motorcycle Club and festivalgoers can shop among the many antique vendors set up in the 800 block. Non-profit organizations will be featured in the 500 block where festivalgoers can drop by and learn more about what is offered in Decatur and Morgan County.

Participating streets in 3rd Fridays include 2nd Avenue, Bank, Market, Moulton, Grant, and Johnston streets. MCATS will provide transportation between Bank Street and Second Avenue for $1 per person, per ride. Pickup locations are at the Alabama Center for the Arts parking lot on Second Avenue and beside Tammy Eddy Antiques and Interiors on Bank Street.

Third Friday’s was first organized in 2009 by merchants as a way to attract locals and visitors to the downtown area. The Downtown Merchants Association wishes to thank the City of Decatur Parks and Recreation Department for the tremendous support they provide to the event as an in-kind sponsor. Presenting sponsor is Budweiser. Additional sponsors include Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Bank Independent, Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, Morgan County Commission, Nucor Steel, 3M, Renasant Bank, Stovall-Marks Insurance, Beautiful Edge-A Paul Mitchell Focus Salon, and King Insurance Agency.

For more information, call Ashley Ashwander at 256.355.8993 or visit 3rd Friday’s Facebook page for the latest information.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Celebrate Memorial Day with Balloons, Water, Music, and More

Decatur, Ala. – The Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic has been flying for 37 years in Decatur, Ala. offering plenty of free family fun during Memorial Day weekend. A two-day celebration filled with hot air balloons, live music, tractors, a military tribute, arts and crafts and other activities, this year’s Alabama Jubilee is set for May 23-24, 2015, and in between Jubilee activities, festivalgoers are encouraged to take a dip and cool off at the Point Mallard Waterpark.

The Memorial Day celebration begins bright and early on Saturday, May 23 at 6:30 a.m. with the Hare and Hound Balloon Race. Saturday’s activities include an antique car show, arts and crafts show, and the Southland Flywheelers will host a tractor show featuring some of the best restored and maintained tractors in the Southeast, engine demonstrations, a tractor parade, pedal tractor pull, and tractor games. At dusk, the Balloon Glow is a must see as towering balloons of all colors light up Point Mallard Park.

Another round of friendly competition between the hot air balloon pilots is scheduled for Sunday, May 24 beginning at 6:30 a.m. with the Lynn Layton Chevrolet Hot-Air Balloon Key Grab Race. Sunday’s activities include an arts and crafts show and a military tribute for fallen soldiers. For those who want to experience the magic of a balloon ride, free tethered rides are offered from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and a spectacular fireworks show is set to launch at 9:30 p.m.

Live music fills the air during the two-day event featuring JED Eye ( and Four on the Floor ( on Saturday and the Ben Parker Project ( and Natchez Trace ( on Sunday. There will be a military tribute featuring a presentation by the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a ceremony for Wounded Warriors in honor of Memorial Day. The Decatur Art Guild arts and crafts show offering only original works will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday in the Pavilion.

Free parking will be available at GE with shuttle service to Point Mallard Park from 4 to 10 p.m. for a nominal fee each way. Admission to the Alabama Jubilee is free. Please note all balloon activities are weather permitting.

Picnic blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged. All activities take place in Point Mallard Park, a 750-acre municipal park providing year round recreation facilities in Decatur, Ala. For more information and a schedule of events, visit

Opening day for the Point Mallard Waterpark is Saturday, May 23. With plenty of water action, the waterpark offers a welcoming reprieve from the warm temperatures summer brings. The Waterpark is open daily beginning May 23 to August 10 with hours 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. all other days. General admission is $20 for adults (ages 12-61 years old), $15 for youth (ages 5 to 11 years old), $15 for seniors (62+) and military, with half price days offered Monday through Thursday (excluding holidays). For more information, visit or call 256.341.4900.