Monday, August 31, 2009

Decatur to take Stock

Decatur to take Stock in spring
Soulstock Christian music concert moving from Athens State to Decatur; addition of event to give city some 75,000 guests during month of May
By Catherine Godbey, Staff Writer, The Decatur Daily

Young people celebrate at the annual Soulstock festival at Athens State University in 2008. The free one-day Christian music concert, which draws about 20,000 youths annually, will move to Point Mallard Park in Decatur next May.

What do softball players, Christian music fans and hot air balloon pilots have in common?
All will arrive en masse next May and all represent revenue sources.
From May 20 to 30, Decatur parks will host more than 75,000 people at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics softball championship, the Alabama Jubilee and Soulstock, the newest addition to the city’s roster.
Soulstock organizers announced the relocation after 11 years at Athens State University’s Beasley Field.
“We were thoroughly pleased with Athens and the university but we had a problem,” said Philip Presley, organizer of the free one-day Christian music festival. “The ministry has been so blessed we have just run out of space.”
The solution — move to Point Mallard Park. And Decatur Parks and Recreation officials rejoiced.
“There will be a lot of youth groups coming in by bus loads, literally, to participate,” said Julianne Lowman, marketing director for Parks and Recreation.
“Bus loads,” translates to approximately 20,000 people. Traveling from South Alabama and surrounding states, some will frequent the city’s hotels, restaurants and gas stations.
In 2008, Soulstock’s popularity gained the attention of the Alabama Mountain Lakes and Tourism Association, which bestowed upon the event the Lasting Impression Award. The award recognizes an attraction, event, person or organization that improves the overall image of North Alabama tourism.
But when Presley decided in 1997 to create the event, awards, recognition and money did not motivate him.
“It started behind the church I was pastor at,” Presley said. “We wanted to do a youth rally, invite other local churches and show unity between the different churches and denominations.”
The original Soulstock, held at Valley Church in Athens, attracted 175 participants, 19,800 fewer than the 2008 event. Presley attributed the event’s success to God and the support of Soulstock’s 12- to 15-member core team.
Relying on donations from local churches, individuals and businesses, the event recruits high-profile artists, attracting thousands of teenagers and young adults. Operating with a budget of $50,000, organizers expect the 2010 Soulstock to outpace previous events, due partially to the additional space at Point Mallard.
“The Spirit of America fields offer us the possibility of crowds of 20,000, 30,000 and 40,000 people and the possibility for more success and growth,” Presley said.
Lowman said the park fits the festival’s current and future needs.
“The great thing is our infrastructure for our big events, Jubilee and Spirit of America, is already in place,” Lowman said.
Organizers scheduled the music festival for May 22, the same time the echo of aluminum bats will fill Wilson Morgan Park, transforming Decatur into a tourist Mecca.
The NAIA softball championship will begin the onslaught of visitors May 20, as the city hosts the athletic association’s 32 elite teams. The 2009 six-day tournament generated an economic impact of $1.1 million and filled 1,965 hotel rooms, said Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau President Tami Reist.
After the softball teams and Christian music fans depart, hot air balloon enthusiasts will stream into the city for the 33rd annual Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic on May 29 and 30.
The last four years, the two-day event averaged an economic impact of $258,300 and filled 900 hotel rooms.
While more congested roads and longer waits at restaurants will face local residents during these 11 days in May, city businesses will benefit.
“We’re making sure the hotels remain full,” Lowman said.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jack Allen getting its press box, but not men's tourney

By Catherine Godbey, Staff Writer, The Decatur Daily

On the verge of securing a major soccer tournament, a city department and hospitality organization played their trump card.
If Decatur built a press box at the Jack Allen Complex, the city could host the 2010 and 2011 NAIA men’s soccer championships, officials from Parks and Recreation and the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau informed the City Council in July.
Jack Allen received the funding for the press box, but not the tournament.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics eliminated Decatur as a potential host of the 2010 and 2011 men’s championships, said Convention and Visitors Bureau President Tami Reist.
Although the NAIA did not tap Jack Allen, the addition of a press box allows the city to pursue other tournaments by providing an area for television, radio and Internet coverage typically required by high-profile competitions, Reist said.
The hosting opportunities span from lacrosse and Alabama High School Athletic Association soccer to future NAIA championships.
“We want to show our teams and student athletes that we want first-class facilities, and based on what I’ve seen, Jack Allen is first class, except it doesn’t have a press box,” said Scott McClure, NAIA’s manager for championship sports.
“Internally we were thrilled when we heard a press box was going up at the complex.”
When representatives visited the soccer complex three years ago, McClure said, the NAIA immediately ruled out Jack Allen as a host site for soccer tournaments due to the lack of a press box.
But in January, the athletic association awarded the 2009, 2010 and 2011 women’s championships to Jack Allen.
Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Dunlap said he anticipates contractors will complete construction of the press box before the NAIA women’s teams battle for the title in November.
“Hopefully, we can get it in before November, and if we do, that will save us that expense of having to pay for a temporary press box,” Dunlap said.
The city will finance the $150,000 press box through funds generated by the hotel room occupancy tax, a $2 rate charged per hotel room per night.
Since opening in 2006, Jack Allen has attracted international, collegiate and youth soccer tournaments to the city.
In the past three years, tournaments played at Jack Allen had a $4.3 million economic impact. The complex, featuring 11 soccer fields, cost $4.5 million to construct.
Reist expects the women’s tournament taking place Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 to generate an economic impact of more than $300,000. The possibility of Decatur hosting both the women’s and men’s championships exists, but the NAIA may require more improvements.
“There is potential of bringing both the men’s and women’s championships to the same site. Our hope is we’d have two equal facilities,” McClure said.
“Two equal facilities,” translates to two championship fields, both featuring press boxes.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Final days of Model Search

Only days remain in the Point Mallard Model Search where nearly 1,500 children between the ages of 6 months and 13 years old have been entered hoping to be selected for the park’s 2010 advertising campaign.
The 2010 calendar year marks the 40th Anniversary of Point Mallard Park in Decatur, Alabama. In celebration of this event, the marketing department launched an online contest to find new faces for the billboards, television commercials, newspaper ads and a commemorative 2010 Point Mallard calendar planned for the advertising campaign.
There is no charge for parents to enter their child’s photograph in the contest. Family and friends may then vote online as often as they wish to select their favorite face. As a fundraiser for the park, each vote costs one dollar and will benefit Point Mallard Park. Fifty kids with the highest votes plus another twenty five regardless of votes received (based on photogenic ability) will be selected for an onsite interview. All seventy-five semi-finalists receive a 2010 season pass to the waterpark, a $75 value. Following the on-site interview, the seventy-five will be narrowed to twelve finalists and will be photographed and featured in the 2010 Point Mallard calendar. One grand prize winner will be filmed in a television commercial and be featured on billboards across north Alabama. All finalists names will be announced on television and on the parks website and will receive a professional photo session and keep all photos taken, a $250 value.
The 2010 television commercials, print ads, billboards and calendar will feature one or more of the winning kids enjoying all venues within the park including the waterpark, ice rink, campground, golf course, batting cages, walking trails and more.
The contest began June 1st and ends at 12:01 a.m. September 1, 2009. Semi-finalists will be contacted shortly thereafter for an audition with the marketing director, Julianne Lowman. Finalists announced to the public in November with the unveiling of the 2010 Point Mallard Calendar, 40th Anniversary Edition. Former winners are not eligible to enter.
For complete rules and other information, visit or call (256) 341-4903.

ArtWalk Festival Schedule, Rain Contingency

The Carnegie Visual Arts Center will host a super day of art, music and fun on Saturday, August 29th from 8 AM - 4 PM. Following is the planned schedule of events. In the event of rain many of the activities will be moved inside the Carnegie Visual Arts Center including the 2 PM performance by The Westbound Rangers and children's art activities. The decision regarding Rain Schedule will be made Friday, August 28 by 5 PM.
6:30 - 7:45 AM - Race Day registration
8 AM - 5K Brooke Hill Run for Awareness
9 AM - 1 Mile Fun Run
8 AM - 4 PM• Artists’ displays, sales, & demonstrations• Children’s art activities, Spin-Art, Creation Station, Balloon Snakes, Colossal Bubbles• Food, drinks, and fun
9 AM - 12 PM - Open-mike performances, first come basis, 10 minute sets, family friendly content
12 - 1 PM - Magic Show featuring Magic Zo
2 - 4 PM - The Westbound Rangers

Thursday, August 27, 2009

City improvements may mean more events

By Catherine Godbey, Staff Writer, The Decatur Daily

Promoters of parks, governors of green space and masters of maintenance — Parks and Recreation officials hold the upkeep and improvements of Decatur’s parks in their hands.
Current projects on tap, spanning from Northwest to Southeast Decatur, include a new playground, overhead lights, a press box and a concrete sidewalk.
Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Dunlap said a Community Development Block Grant will fund a playground at Jessie Lewis Smith Park.

Situated along Somerville Road Southeast, the new playground will feature slides, swings, a crawl tube and climbing equipment.
“In about two weeks, it will probably be completely installed, if the weather cooperates,” Dunlap said.
Monday, contractors took advantage of the dry weather, surveying the ground and delivering the playground equipment.
Block grant
The block grant, which targets low-income neighborhoods, also provided funding for overhead lights at Butch Matthews baseball field in Northeast Decatur, said Grant Administrator Allen Stover.
Combined, officials estimated the projects will cost $235,000.
While federal funds financed the playground and lights, the city’s hospitality tax funded the press box at Jack Allen Soccer Complex and sidewalks at Ingalls Harbor.
“No promises whatsoever, but we’ve got an NAIA women’s national soccer championship this November, and hopefully we can have the press box in,” Dunlap said. “If we do, that will save us the expense of having to pay for a temporary press box.”
In January, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics granted Decatur hosting rights from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 women’s soccer tournaments.
With the press box, Jack Allen can bid for the 2012 men’s soccer national championship, said Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau President Tami Reist.
Without the press box, Reist said, NAIA would eliminate the soccer complex as a potential host.
Funds generated through the men’s tournament would cover the initial $150,000 cost of the press box, officials said.
Previously, the tournament generated an average of 900 room nights and an economic impact of $500,000.
Parks and Recreation will also make improvements to another major tournament draw. At Ingalls Harbor, the department will install a $100,000 sidewalk system connecting the parking lot to the gangplanks.
“Right now the gangplanks come up to mud,” Dunlap said. “We want to at least get the sidewalk down to the gangplank so you can get on the sidewalk and stay on the concrete without walking through mud.”
Along with high-profile additions, Parks and Recreation is scheduled to repair the basketball goal at A.C. Banks Park, replace the roof on a building outside Old State Bank and resurface the wave pool at Point Mallard Park.
Parks and Recreation oversees operation of 23 parks, five recreation centers and four sports complexes.


During the World Racking Horse Celebration there will be a FUN SHOW. The FUN SHOW will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, September 19th at the Celebration Arena in Priceville, Alabama. Awards will be given to 1st thru 5th places. Entries will be taken at 9:30 am in the arena and there is NO ENTRY FEE. All horse are welcome and each entry will receive free tickets to the Fall Celebration. The FUN SHOW will consist of the following classes: Broom Polo, Magazine Race, Ribbon Race, Egg & Spoon, and Timed Obstacle. Horseshoe of Roses will be awarded during an evening performance to the highest point adult and youth.

Tentative Schedule of Events- BATTLE FOR DECATUR

Friday September 4, 2009
School Days Event – Morgan County Schools and Public Welcome 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Registration for Re-enactors 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Camps open to Spectators 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday September 5, 2009
Camps open to public 9:00 am – 12:00 Noon
Mock Executions/Soldiers Drilling/Sutler Camps
Ladies Tea at the Chapel 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Camps Closed to public 12:00 Noon Battle of Decatur 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Camps re-open to Public 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Ball /Dance with period band and dress at the Chapel 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
(5th Alabama Band)

Sunday September 6, 2009
Camps open to Public 9:00 am – 12:00 Noon
Mock Executions/Soldiers Drilling/Sutler Camps
Church services at the Chapel 9:30 am – 10:00 am
Battle of Decatur 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Camps re-open to Public 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Step Back in Time with Annual Civil War Reenactment

Held annually over the Labor Day weekend, the Battle for Decatur reenactment commemorates the 4 day battle which took place in October 1864, telling the story of Decatur’s small, but significant role in the War Between the States. Scheduled for September 4-6, 2009, the event features more than 200 reenactors representing both northern and southern forces engaging in mock battles and is hosted by the 13th Alabama Partisan Rangers, the 6th Alabama Cavalry, 4th Alabama Cavalry Co. F, and Camp 580 Sons of Confederate Veterans. The two-day event is held at Point Mallard Park and admission is free.

On Friday, school groups are invited to bring their classrooms outdoors and experience Decatur’s Civil War heritage. On Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m., the Civil War camp is open to the public with displays of authentic equipment, dress, and drills with maneuvers and battles taking place at 2 p.m. The Union troops will win the day during one battle reenactment while the Confederates will capture the contested ground during the next day’s skirmish.

Other activities include a living history of daily camp life, Civil War relics displays, drill and firing of mid-19th century muskets mounted cavalry patrols and Civil War related items for sale by sutlers along with performances by the 5th Alabama Military Band throughout the day. Everyone is invited to a ladies’ tea at 9:30 a.m. and to the Military Ball at 7 p.m. Both events are held on Saturday at The Chapel in Point Mallard Park. A free, guided tour along Decatur’s Civil War Walking Tour through the Old Decatur Historic District will also be offered on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

The historical reenactment is held in honor of General Joe Wheeler and Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan, who both resided in North Alabama at some point during their military careers. The City of Decatur was an important transportation site for the Confederate States of America during the Civil War due to the Memphis and Charleston’s railroad bridge crossing the Tennessee River. For more information on the Battle for Decatur reenactment, call the Decatur-Morgan County CVB at 800.524.6181 or 256.350.2028.

Located along the Tennessee River, Point Mallard Park is a 500-acre family park and includes one of the South‘s best golf courses, a 25-acre, wooded campground, a waterpark, and a year round indoor ice skating rink. Point Mallard's additional facilities include tennis courts, batting cages, hiking/jogging/biking trails, and a driving range.

New World Grand Champion Racking Horse to be Selected

The largest Racking Horse Show in the United States is set for September 18 through 26 at the Celebration Arena located at 67 Horse Center Road (off Highway 67 East) in Decatur. Horses compete in more than 140 classes for children and adults, amateur and professional categories. The celebration ends with the announcement of the new World Grand Champion.

Shows are held nightly at 6:30 p.m. Show organizers extend an invitation to everyone to come and experience the excitement of selecting a new World Grand Champion. The World Celebration is also full of other activities, which include horse sales, a barn decorating contest, golf tournament, and activities for young riders such as skating parties and scavenger hunts. There is an admission charge for each night of the competition.

With the formation of the Racking Horse Breeders Association of America (RHBAA) in 1971, the Racking Horse has grown in popularity. Today, there are over 80,000 racking horses registered with the RHBAA, a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Decatur, Alabama. The Alabama Legislature proclaimed the racking horse as the “Official State Horse for the State of Alabama” on October 5, 1975.

The purpose of RHBAA is to collect, record and preserve the pedigrees of Racking Horses, to publish a register or studbook, and other such matters pertaining to the breeding, exhibiting and sales of Racking Horses. For additional information on the racking horse breed and current show schedules, contact the RHBAA at 256.353.7225 or visit its website at

Tentative Entertainment Schedule for Riverfest 2009

FRIDAY, September 18

4-5 pm- Dusty & Dusty
5-6 pm- Mike Roberts
6-7:15pm- Rearview Ghost
7:45-9 pm- Blackeyed Susan
9:30- 10:45 pm- Lynum

SATURDAY, September 19

3-4 pm- Trinity Mountain Boys
4-5 pm- BBQ Awards Ceremony
5-6 pm- Kosmic Mama
6:30-7:30 pm- Black Label
8:00-9:15 pm- Eyes Around
9:45-11 pm- Bishop Black

Riverfest Tickets

The Decatur Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau are now selling Riverfest Tickets for September 18th & 19th. There are weekend Passes for $15 per person. Day passes will be sold at the gate of Friday and Saturday beginning at 4:00 pm.

Riverfest hours are from 10:00 am to midnight on Friday and Saturday. From 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on both days, admission is free; however, donations are suggested. From 4:00 pm to midnight, admission is $10 per person and $5 for 10 years and younger on both days.

Boats, BBQ, & Music Fire Up 2009 Riverfest

The 15th annual Riverfest offers fun for the entire family, southern music and lip-smacking barbeque with a new raft race kicking the fun up a notch for 2009. Sponsored by the Decatur Jaycees, this year’s event is set for September 18-19 at Ingalls Harbor.

The Decatur Jaycees have partnered with the Morgan County Rescue Squad to offer a Raft Race for canoes and kayaks with winners receiving $500 in cash and prizes. The race is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Riverwalk Marina and ending at Ingalls Harbor. For an entry form or more information, call 256.341.0301.

Live music kicks off on Friday at 4 p.m. with performances by Dusty & Dusty, Mike Roberts, Blackeyed Susan, Rearview Ghost, and Lynum. Music returns to the stage on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. with Trinity Mountain Boys, Kosmic Mama, Black Label, Eyes Around, and Bishop Black scheduled to perform.

All former Decatur Jaycees are invited to an evening of fellowship with current members. The “Roosters and Hens” reunion party is scheduled for Thursday, September 17 at approximately 6 p.m. at Ingalls Harbor. Catering will be provided by Swamp John’s.

Competing for prize money and trophies totaling $20,000, the BBQ cook-off is open to professional and amateur teams. To download an entry form, visit Registration deadline is September 16. Riverfest is recognized by the State of Alabama as an official State Barbeque Championship competition and is sanctioned by, and conducted under, the rules of the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

Along with the live music, raft race, and BBQ cook-off, there will be food vendors and a children's area with inflatables.

Ingalls Harbor is located on the banks of the Tennessee River at 701 Market Street Northwest in Decatur. Gates open on Friday at noon and Saturday at 10 a.m. Admission is free on Friday to 4p.m. and Saturday to 3 p.m. After 4 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday, admission is $10 per person and free for children under 10 years old. Weekend passes may be purchased for $15 per person. All proceeds benefit local charities in Decatur and Morgan County.

For more information on Riverfest, visit

Depot Days Scheule of Events

Sunday, September 13- Community Worship Service, 6:30p.m.-First Baptist Church ??- Hartselle Ministerial Association

Monday, September 14- Down Memory Lane, 7:00p.m.- First United Methodist Church- An old fashioned Hymn Sing

Thursday, September 17- Music in the Park, 6:30p.m.- E.A.R.T.H.-HHS Choral Department will perform

Saturday, September 19- Depot Days Festival, Historic downtown Hartselle- Vendors open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.- Feature Entertainer- Alabama Blues Brothers- 12:00 under the big tent

Contests- Karaoke and Guitar Hero

Art show, Crafts, 5K Certified Run, Entertainment, Food, Rides, Trains, Antique Tractos & Gasoline Engines, Games, Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show, two stage of entertainment, and so much, much more.

For More information call 256-773-4370 or 800-294-0692

Annual Depot Days Festival Commemorates the History of the Railroad

The streets of downtown Hartselle come alive on September 19 when it celebrates the history of the railroad and its contribution to the area. Celebrating its 28th year, Hartselle Depot Days is a tribute to the importance of the growth and development of Hartselle and North Alabama over the years as a result of the railroad industry.
A Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show, 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run, Craft Show, Art Show & Children’s Art Show, Children’s Rides & Games, live entertainment on two stages, Antique Tractor & Gasoline Engine Show, food and vendors covering four blocks in the downtown area are just a few of the fun festivities set for this year’s event.

Hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there is no admission charge. In addition to the festivities, specialty and antique shops located in the historic buildings downtown will be open for business. Several of these buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For information on the Depot Days Festival, call the Hartselle Chamber of Commerce at 256.773.4370.

12th Annual SoulStock Finds New Location in Decatur

SoulStock, a FREE contemporary Christian music worship festival, has announced it will relocate from its home site on Beasley Field on the Campus of Athens State University to the Spirit of America Field in Point Mallard Park. The Festival is scheduled for May 22, 2010.

According to organizers, the new location will allow the festival to continue to grow. The FREE event typically draws over 15,000 spectators and entertains them with an afternoon and evening of uplifting Christian artists culminating with a chart-topping Christian band (TBA). Hosted by more than 400 local churches across all denominational lines, SoulStock’s mission is “To plant the seed of Jesus Christ in the hearts of our youth and to promote a spirit of unity among all who put their trust in Him.”

For more information on SoulStock, visit its web site at

Located along the Tennessee River, Point Mallard Park is a 500-acre family park and includes one of the South‘s best golf courses, a 25-acre, wooded campground, a waterpark, and a year round indoor ice skating rink. Point Mallard's additional facilities include tennis courts, batting cages, hiking/jogging/biking trails, and a driving range. For more information, visit

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Performing Arts Festival & Open House

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

The Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts invites the public to a free Performing Arts
Festival and Open House on September 10 from noon until 10 p.m. to learn about upcoming
events during the 2009-2010 Season and sample the performing arts. A variety of arts performances featuring area artists will be showcased for entertainment. More than 16 acts are scheduled throughout the day and evening for audiences to experience talented artists from the community on stage, in the lobby and Deco Lounge.
The Princess Theatre will provide information on the upcoming Professional Series and assist with season ticket sales. The six-event series features the National Tour of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, 100 Years of Broadway, Marty Stuart, rising jazz star Sophie Milman and southern comedian James Gregory.


Directed by Betty RochaBased on the novel “Tales of the South Pacific” by James Michener, few Broadway musicals can match the songs of “South Pacific.” Set in an island paradise during World War II, two parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. The music of South Pacific presents the finest kind of balance between story and song, hilarity and heartbreak.
Musical highlights include, “There is Nothing Like a Dame” and “Younger Than Springtime.”


Barnstormers is the long-time collaboration between singer/songwriter Ronald Moore with multi-instrumentalist Chris Wilson featuring a revolving cast of musicians and producers.Based out of the suburbs of North Alabama, Barnstormers was started in 2002 as the brainchild of singer/songwriter and then actor Ronald Moore to explore new styles of folk music through a long-time solo project. During that time he met Chris Wilson who was a music student at the same community college.In 2007, the band released their first independent release entitled “Switchblade Serenades”The band is currently in the studio finishing their sophomore project “Graveyard Town”.

Alabama native Tiffany Woodard is a 2! year old country music Singer/Songwriter. She has been singing and performing ever since she was 3years old. Music has always been a huge part of her life and this modern day country girl is committed to pursing it full time.. She has traveled all around the South East for many years singing gospel with her family, but now she has spread her wings and is flying solo to pursue her country dreams!! Tiffany has been playing guitar for almost 1year and it is an integral part of her music. She picked it right up and hasnt put it down since.At the age of 4 she won her very first talent competition and she has been entering any competition she can ever since. Recently Tiffany placed 2nd in the Billy Lawson Songwriting Contest held at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Tiffany has appeared on many tv and internet based shows such as ZTV11 Cooper and Company, and her most recent ,Nashville Spotlight in Music City Usa.


Jerry Chenault from Chenault Pro-Defense Karate will be performing karate moves and talking the importance of teaching children the importance of how karate helps mold children on respect, goal setting, self disciple. Prizes will be given in this interactive lecture and demonstration.


Children's music that won't make you want to drive your car off of a cliff! The Decatur, Alabama-based band started in 2008 and the core members are Jeff Sharp (guitar/vocals), Joshua Lovvorn (bass), Bobby Blount (guitar, keys, vocals), James Pressnell (drums) and Whitney Inscho (vocals/percussion). Influences include everything from The Beatles and Stevie Wonder to Parliament-Funkadelic and Weird Al Yankovich......and EVERYTHING in-between. Enjoy!

"Dorothy Meets Alice or the Wizard of Wonderland" 4:30-5 pm

Austin High School Drama will be performing scenes from this magical play on the Princess Theatre Stage from 4:30-5 pm.
Judson Watson has put his book report off until the last minute, and suddenly finds himself in a strange place somewhere between Oz and Wonderland. With a host of familiar characters, including Dorothy, Alice, the Cowardly Lion, the Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, and the White Rabbit, among others, Judson must unscramble the two familiar stories and steer the characters to their ultimate destinations. All along, he and the others must avoid the Wicked Witch and Red Queen. This hilarious, adventuresome romp is filled with laughter and surprises at every turn. And a couple of lessons emerge along the way as well.
AUSTIN HIGH SCHOOL Ticket information: 552-3060 extention 251
Sunday, September 27th, 2009 2 pm
Monday, September 28th, 2009 7 pm


Boochie Shepherd comes rippin’ out of the gate with rapid-fire lyrics and heavy guitar riffs on opener “Vertical,” but it’s the rock beats that first turn your head. The melodic chaser, “Perfect Little World,” grabs you with its bounce, but it’s the slow-burning “All is Forgiven” that seals the deal, as frontman Brandon McCaghren’s warm tones soar over the old school rock chord changes in recognition of the cross and its hard-won gifts. McCaghren’s vocals are easy to listen to, clear and warm, moving easily from fun (electrified opener “Vertical”), to fierce (“Brighten Your Eyes”), to quietly worshipful (with the sparkling Jennifer Hubbard on “I Am Safe”). The strong melody line of standout track “All the King’s Horses” is putty in his hands, the well-crafted song packing a poignant punch both lyrically and vocally.


North Alabama's premiere World Fusion Performance Ensemble - group of musicians and dancers specializing in Middle Eastern dance and rhythms. We are a caravan of dancers and musicians dedicated to preserving the ancient art of Belly Dance and its musical accompaniment. Not only classical Egyptian and Turkish Cabaret, but Middle Eastern/Balkan/Romani Folkloric styles as well as different evolving forms of American Belly Dance, such as American Tribal Style (ATS) and Tribal Fusion.


LANCE music is filled with melodic energy and flows with rhythm and intensity. Each song is original, written by Lance, and is inspired by life’s day-to-day experiences, people and dreams. His music is a blend of numerous styles such as pop, rock, alternative and indie and covers diverse topics. Lance is pushing the envelope in creative sound, expanding the boundaries of music. A part of that creativity is pushing beyond your limits, stumbling along the way, and discovering something beautiful. His songs speak and relate to people in a genuine way, revealing imperfections, but offering hope to overcome.


Classical guitarist Phil Weaver has been performing for over 30 years, in the United States and abroad. He was the first guitarist to be awarded an individual artist's fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and is one of the few classical musicians on the Music Achievers roster at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. He performed his European debut with solo concerts for the Nonsuch Guitar Society in London and the Old Malthouse Music Society in Sawbridgeworth. His collaborations with pianist Ingrid von Spakovsky include a CD on ACA Digital that received rave reviews in Fanfare and 20th Century Guitar magazines, interviews on BBC York and Temple Public Radio, a tour of England, a New York City recital debut, and performances throughout the U.S. including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Hofstra University's prestigious International Concert Series. Their CD Consonare has been broadcast on New York City's NPR affiliate WNYC, WABE Atlanta, and WLRH Huntsville.
With the goal of making classical music accessible to an ever-widening audience, Phil has created a series of acoustic, cabaret-style concerts in collaboration with a variety of artists from dancers to visual artists to fellow musicians steeped in different musical genres. These concerts pack the house at Huntsville’s Flying Monkey Arts Center. The Alabama Film Co-op produced a DVD of one of these concerts, a classical/blues cabaret performed with critically acclaimed blues guitarist Microwave Dave Gallaher. Recently Phil Weaver and Microwave Dave have performed the Classical-Blues Cabaret at the W.C. Handy Festival, Gorham's Bluff Institute, and at Birmingham City Stages.

Heralded by George Clinton as “The Long Lost Queen of Funk”, Shawna P is blazing a funky trail with her unique and powerful sound. Recently she and her tribe have been making waves in the music world and appear to be bringing back a bonafide FUNK revolution. She is the real deal.
To witness Shawna P’s EarthFunk is an experience that can be intensely spiritual and fun all at the same time. Whether singing to 50 people or 5,000 people, her stage presence is consistently filled with raw emotion and heart wrenching soul as her powerful voice commands the attention of any audience, of any age, race or background. She is gifted with the ability to reach anyone as her talent is undeniable.
Shawna’s current work is deep and thought provoking, yet catchy and rhythmic enough for the masses. She describes her original material as EarthFunk Muzik. The EarthFunk sound incorporates digital tracks with live instrumentation to create an ethereal blend of all of her influences, yet having one main element- an undeniable FUNKY vibe. It is, without question, a sound of it’s own, refreshingly unique, leaving no one to compare her to-which is a good thing.


Alaina Wiley 3-3:30 PM
Alaina sings country, bluegrass & gospel. She plays the mandolin and is learning the guitar. Often times in her act she will incorporate a little buck dance and comedy. There is only one thing Alaina loves more than performing and that is helping others. Alaina has performed at many Charity events and Benefits. Her most recent event was a special Huntsville Stars Baseball Game held to benefit the ST. Jude's Children's where she sang the National Anthem.


Anna Brooke loves theatre and music, and in her lifetime, so far, she has been a dancer, an actor, a drama student, a piano & guitar player, community volunteer, and a People to People ambassador to China. Anna Brooke's main ambition is to be a singer, mostly of the country genre. Her repertoire includes songs by various artists such as Adele, Sara Evans, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Natalie Maines, Shania Twain, Alison Krauss, LeAnn Rhimes, Jennifer Nettles, Sara Barielles, and Christina Aguilera. Anna Brooke also performs Italian opera and Broadway-style music. She prefers performing arts, but is also interested in writing and traveling, and aspires to become a country music or Broadway performer. Anna Brooke is close to her family and friends, and loves meeting new people. She has always been optimistic and friendly, enjoying life to a maximum with the gratification and pleasure of music. She is a enjoys French, world history, astronomy, political science, and international relations. Anna Brooke has always lived in Alabama, but travels often, and has been to France, China, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, and the UK. She is a student of La Bella Voce, Red Mountain Theatre Company, and Brett Manning.


Muscle Shoals area musician Dave Nelson will be performing in the Sexton Lobby from 5-7 pm. Acoustic guitar of jazz, blues, & r&b will makes it way through the lobby as people are entering the newly renovated lobby space.


Decatur City School Community Education will be teaching country line dancing lessons by instructors Dottie White & Jimmy Speegle. Lessons are for all levels of experience of dancing and great fun for all ages.
The Decatur City Schools' Community Education program provides learning opportunities for people of all ages. By extending school services around the clock and throughout the year, the school system makes maximum use of school facilities, thereby providing to the community maximum benefit from every tax dollar. The community and the school are inseparable.
Community Education offers a variety of classes in its Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer brochures. The classes are on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday evenings, with a limited number of classes offered during the day. information on taking classes or call Rebecca Hoover 552-3067 email
Backstage Theatre Company one of Decatur's finest resident arts groups will be providing story telling in the Deco Lounge from 4-5pm.
The stories read that hour is "The Masterpiece" from a novel and several short stories.
To check out Backstage Theatre Company 20th 2009-2010 season go to the website at


Madison Ballroom Dance Studio will be with the Princess offering Ballroom Dance Lessons for the evening in the Deco Lounge from 5-7 pm. Lessons of difference dance such as the Waltz, Foxtrot, and Mererengue will be demostrated and taught by the most skilled instructors in North Alabama.

Madison Ballroom Dance Studio
9076 Madison Blvd Suites C/D
Madison, AL 35758 Group and private lessons will be offered for future lessons

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pine Needle Basketry Classes

Classes Starting September 14, 2009

Basic Pine Needle Basketry classes – Join local Basket Maker - Artist Michelle Drake to learn the basic steps to making a coiled basket from longleaf pine needles. Each participant will learn the basic skills of pine needle basketry and take home their very own creation.
Class seating is limited, pre-registration is required.
A new class will start every Monday & Friday @ 9:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.
Call 341-4940 to register.
Where: Fort Decatur / (Decatur Parks & Recreation) 341-4940

Dates: Starting Sept. 14 - ongoing - every Monday and Friday
Time: 9:30a.m.–12:30p.m / per class - (3hrs. instruction)
Cost: $35.00 class fee / per class - due at registration
$10.00 supply fee / per class - payable to instructor

Pre-registration required for each class

Monday, August 24, 2009

ArtWalk Festival and Event Details

Decatur, AL – August 20, 2009 – The Carnegie Visual Arts Center will host a super day of art, music and fun on Saturday, August 29th from 8 AM - 4 PM.

ArtWalk Festival
Formally called the Artist Sidewalk Sale, this street festival, over the past 6 years, has progressed to so much more. The event includes the 5K Brook Hill Run for Ovarian Cancer Awareness and 1 mile Fun Run, live music, featuring The Westbound Rangers from Nashville, food and drink vendors and children’s art activities. And, of course, an amazing variety of artists will be displaying, demonstrating, and selling their art.
The Westbound Rangers
The Westbound Rangers will perform free to the public from 2 PM - 4 PM on Saturday August 29th. The varied musical talents of Wes Burkhart on bass, Read Davis on guitar and vocals, Graham Sherrill on banjo and vocals and Mike Walker on mandolin and vocals, are what gives the group its unique sound. Mike Walker is origially from Hartselle, Alabama. All four of the members are students at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The group was in the top five of the annual Belmont Country Showcase in February 2009 and are currently doing performances all over the Southeast. They are technically bluegrass but with a blues-y and rock infl uence, and have great audience rapport and interaction. For more info on the Westbound Rangers see
Brook Hill Run for Ovarian Cancer Awareness
In 2001 Brook Hill was a civic-minded wife, mother of two, a business woman, and the president of the Decatur Arts Council raising funds for the planned Carnegie Visual Arts Center. Tragedy struck when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She fought a brave battle with the disease, and prior to her passing in 2004, she asked her family and friends to bring awareness to and raise funds for ovarian cancer research. Participation in the annual Brook Hill Run for Awareness helps this cause and keeps Brook’s vibrant spirit alive. The 5K and 1 mile courses are both certified. The 5K start time is 8 AM followed by the 1 mile at 9 AM. Race day registration is from 6:30 AM -7:45 AM for the 5K and until 8:45 AM for the 1 mile. Registration form is available for download at www. and online registration is available at Cost for the events are $12 for the 5K and $10 for the 1 mile if you register before August 27th.
Both the 5K and the 1 mile are $15 each on race day. Pre-registration packets will be available at the Carnegie on Friday , August 28 from 5:30 PM - 7 PM. Contact Jon Elmore at 351-7426 or for more race information.

Faith Rising and The Terry McNeal Band

August 31, 2009 Concerts by the River in Decatur

Let the spirit move you with music from two amazing bands who will redefine your view of contemporary Christian rock. The City of Decatur Parks and Recreation Department proudly welcomes Faith Rising and The Terry McNeal Band in their debut performances at Concerts by the River on Monday, August 31, 2009. Bridging generations, this is a concert for the entire family that is designed to reconnect family members to each other and their faith through a shared love and experience of great rock music! Concerts are free and are held at Rhodes Ferry Park with music beginning at 6:00 PM and usually concluding by 8:15 PM. For updated schedule information, please call 341-4818 or visit In case of inclement weather, cancellation decisions will be made after 4:00 PM.

Faith Rising was established as a power-focused rock band to spread its inspirational message through a hard-charging and dynamic sound that drives a positive path. Based in Huntsville, Alabama, this band features the talents of compelling frontsman Jamie Cooper, the earth-shattering drums of Gregg Taylor, the crunching guitar of George Buffington and the thundering bass of Norman Duffell. For more information on Faith Rising or to listen to a sound sample, please visit or From power chords to powerful lyrics, Faith Rising rocks!

More than “another 3 chord praise band,” The Terry McNeal Band is composed of talented musicians whose musical gifts allow them to change lives with their fresh sound and thought-provoking message. Their unique sound and original Christian music is focused not only on youth, but also is directed to the “forgotten generation” who grew up listening to music from Pearl Jam, The Who and The Police. The musically-accomplished line-up of The Terry McNeal Band includes Terry McNeal (singer, songwriter, guitar), Bobby Hendricks (bass, vocals), Scott Owens (guitar, vocals) and Bryan Williams (drums, percussion and vocals.) To learn more about The Terry McNeal Band and to enjoy a music sample, please visit or The power of their music and message will lift you!

Concert-goers are invited to bring their picnic baskets, lawn chairs or a blanket and enjoy an evening of free entertainment on the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River. For more information, please call 341-4818.

Monday, August 17, 2009

SlipJig and Judge and Jury

SlipJig and Judge and Jury to perform at the
August 24, 2009 Concerts by the River in Decatur

Come out to Concerts by the River on Monday, August 24, 2009 and you will return a verdict of guilty…of a good time had by all! The City of Decatur Parks and Recreation Department invites everyone to enjoy music from SlipJig and Judge and Jury in this free concert to be held at Rhodes Ferry Park. Concerts begin at 6:00 PM and usually conclude by 8:00 PM. For updated schedule information, please call 341-4818 or visit In case of inclement weather, cancellation decisions will be made after 4:00 PM.

Experience St. Patrick’s Day in August as North Alabama’s own Celtic band, SlipJig, make their Concerts by the River debut! The name “SlipJig” comes from a traditional Irish dance with the band offering a wild ride through the best of traditional and Celtic music. The five talented multi-instrumentalists combine tight melodies and rhythms with rich vocal harmonies to make the music of Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton come alive. The group is composed of seasoned musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds including Classical, Folk, Rock, Blues and Jazz who have found their true passion in the Celtic music tradition that tells the stories of the joys and sorrows of a simpler life. Though the members have been performing together since 2004, they have a combined 150 years of performance experience! Band members include: Mike Clem (mandolin, tenor banjo, whistles, guitar, bodhran), Stephenie Holtkamp (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Mike Lyon (whistles, bagpipes, vocals), Garrett Smith (mandolin, fiddle, guitar) and Phil Williamson (fiddle, bones, vocals.) Stomp your feet to high-energy jigs and reels, sing along with pub songs, or just close your eyes and listen to ancient airs and ballads. For more information on SlipJig, please visit

Local favorites Judge and Jury will sentence the concert crowd to an evening of great music and entertainment, performing a fun blend of classic oldies and folk rock from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. The group’s acoustic blend of mandolin, guitar, harmonica and bass and appealing mix of music from artists such as the Drifters, CCR, Van Morrison, Otis Redding and others will take you back in time, and is the perfect accompaniment to a southern summer evening on the river. Judge and Jury performs at area festivals and special events, and band members include retired Lawrence County Circuit Judge Philip Reich, “the Judge, ” and “Jury” members Mitch Mardis, Don Shelton and Richard Thompson.

Concert-goers are invited to bring their picnic baskets, lawn chairs or a blanket and enjoy an evening of free entertainment on the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River. For more information, please call Melinda at 341-4818.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back-to-school block party for 3rd Friday on Bank

From: The Decatur Daily

A back-to-school block party is the theme for the 3rd Friday on Bank event this week in downtown Decatur.
Several Bank Street shops will offer discounts if you donate school supplies, which will be given to Decatur City Schools — for example, bring $15 worth of supplies, get 15 percent off your purchase.
At 5 p.m., members of the Decatur High School chorus will perform. At 6, Taylor McLain, the Kojaks and Lori Lanier with David Higginbotham will play at various spots on Bank Street.
Local cheerleaders and football players will helm food vendors Domino’s Pizza, Brain Freeze Shaved Ice, Chick-fil-A and Pepsi.
Got the back-to-school blues? Then bring a pair of new or gently used jeans to Bungalow Home to receive 15 percent off your purchase. Donated jeans will go to the Neighborhood Christian Center.
A coin appraiser will be avaliable at Bank Street Antique Mall. You can also receive 20 percent off at Memi’s Pottery.
Others participating include Bank Street Uniques, Glee Interiors: Leslie Adair Photography, Little Feet Boutique, Sam Frank & Moore, Simp McGhee’s and The Paper Chase.
On the Net

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ingalls Harbor a boon thanks largley to Parks

EDITORIAL from The Decatur Daily

City leaders made the right move when they unveiled a new plaque at Ingalls Harbor on Tuesday naming the boat launch for David Parks.

Tourism leaders credit Parks as the “driving force” to create a first-class boat launch capable of serving major fishing tournaments. It instantly earned an outstanding reputation.

Fishing tournament organizers say Ingalls is second to none, and they’ve backed their words by scheduling more tournaments here. The Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau reports Ingalls generated a $3.9 million economic impact in less than two years since it opened.

Parks humbly said a team effort made Ingalls possible, and that’s true. Local hotels in particular deserve thanks for imposing a $2-per-night fee on themselves. This spared local residents from the tax burden of generating revenue to pay for projects like Ingalls.

But history shows great endeavors often succeed because one individual shows dogged determination to carry a project from conception to completion. Parks was that man for Ingalls.

Parks did everything from carrying civic leaders in his boat to scout locations to helping architects design Ingalls. When the city rejected early site suggestions — including one at Point Mallard — Parks never lost heart and continued searching for a suitable site.

Today, Decatur can boast of a facility that gives local boaters free access to the Tennessee River, puts out-of-town dollars into the local economy and provides the annual Riverfest with an ideal location to grow.

Well done, Mr. Parks.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ingalls boat launch named for Parks

Marine police, rescue squad have new home
By Paul Huggins Staff Writer from The Decatur Daily

Morgan County Rescue Squad president Tony Weikert, second from right, with the squad’s newest boat following the dedication of a new building near Ingalls Harbor on Tuesday. With him is Decatur Mayor Don Stanford.
It was like catching two fish on one hook Tuesday at Ingalls Harbor.
The city unveiled a plaque naming the boat launch for David Parks, whom tourism officials credit with starting the Ingalls project that has drawn major fishing tournaments.
Immediately afterward, the city presented the floating dock, which will be home base for both the Morgan County Rescue Squad and the Alabama Marine Police.
Tami Reist, president of the Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the boat ramp and the floating dock go hand-in-hand with helping the city continue to attract lucrative fishing tournaments.
One of the first questions tournament organizers ask is proximity to marine police and rescue operations, she said, and now the city can tell them safety patrols are within a few hundred yards of where the boats launch.
The floating dock can hold three boats. It will have power lifts to keep the boats out of the water so both groups can spend less time keeping the hulls clean.
“For me, it’s just great to have a place where you can hang a sign,” said Alabama Marine Police officer Larry Adams.
Previously, the marine police kept its boat tied at Brickyard Landing, and three days of the week it was out of the water.
Adams said the marine police will have quicker response times and can make more patrols, but the greatest benefit is being connected with the Rescue Squad.
“Much of the time, we’re called out together,” he said. “It makes a huge difference to be able to coordinate everything face to face.”
The Rescue Squad had called Riverwalk Marina its home base. It will continue to keep a boat there.
Tony Weikert, Rescue Squad president, said that on past occasions, vehicle wrecks blocked traffic on Hudson Memorial Bridge and prevented the squad from deploying quickly. That will never be an issue again, he said.
The Decatur City Council, Morgan County Commission, state Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, and state Rep. Mickey Hammon, R-Decatur, provided the taxpayer-generated funds to build the $102,000 facility.
Decatur Utilities gave permission for the floating dock to locate on its property next to Ingalls.
It is a former DU general manager, Parks, whose name now adorns a plaque next to the boat launch.
Tourism officials said Parks was the individual with the initial determination to develop a world-class boat launching facility.
They said he did everything from scouting out locations for the harbor to helping architects design it to exceed tournament organizers’ expectations.
Wade Weaver, visitors bureau board treasurer, said Parks “stood above the crowd” and was the “driving force” for Ingalls.
He said fishing tournaments held at Ingalls have generated an economic impact of $3.9 million to date.
Parks said Ingalls was the result of many supporters, not just one person.
“I will accept this on behalf of everybody who likes this launch, who uses this launch and loves the river as much as I do,” he said. “Let’s go fishing.”