Friday, August 16, 2013

Alabama Restaurant Week Takes Center Stage at Downtown Decatur's 3rd Friday

Alabama Restaurant Week kicks off today, August 16 taking center stage at Downtown Decatur’s 3rd Friday monthly celebration. Along with special offerings at local restaurants and diners, festival goers can take part in a variety of family-friendly activities including a ducky derby, free tours at the Old State Bank, dancing, and more.

For the second year, the Alabama Tourism Department is coordinating a statewide Restaurant Week, a marketing event designed to increase traffic by offering prix fixe lunch and dinner offering which typically include appetizer, entrée, and dessert at a set price. Twelve of Decatur and Hartselle’s best restaurants will offer special fixed price lunches and dinners during the 10-day promotion set for August 16-25, 2013. Participating restaurants include Albany Bistro, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q (both locations), C.F. Penn Hamburgers, Fite’s Waterfront Dining, Simp McGhee’s, Vittone’s, Back Alley Bistro, Timbuck2, and Wintzell’s Oyster House in Decatur, and Elizabeth G’s and Sedona Steakhouse in Hartselle.

Slated to kick-off in conjunction with Alabama Restaurant Week is a new local campaign to additionally help promote restaurants located in Decatur. The “EAT Local, EAT Well, EAT Together, EAT Decatur” campaign is a collection of local, independently owned restaurants and food-related businesses providing an innovative concept to discover new dining options in the city of Decatur. To date, 15 businesses are participating and include Back Alley Bistro, Casual Gourmet, Downtown Dawgs, Food-Fite, Mellow Mushroom, Albany Bistro, C.F. Penn Hamburgers, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que, The Magnolia Room, Bank Street Green, Petals for the Princess Market, Java Jaay Café, City Café, Morgan-Price Candy Company, and Daniel’s Seafood Market. For more information visit its Facebook page at EatDecatur.  

Beginning at 5 p.m., blocks of both Bank Street and Second Avenue will be closed for the 3rd Friday monthly celebration and festival goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and enjoy a relaxing evening. At 6:30 p.m., Farris, Work and Sledge Jazz Trio is slated for the Bank Street Main Stage located in the 800 block, with The Ben Parker Project on the Second Avenue Main Stage in the block of Second Avenue between Gordon Drive and Grant Street. Additional performers scheduled to perform include Gray Cauthen at Simp McGhee’s, Kim Stone at Downtown Dawgs, the Army Materiel Command Jazz Band at Bank Street Green, 80s and 90s DJ Night with Huntsville’s Freak Daddy and Danny C at The Magnolia Room, and AB Boys at Jones Park (sponsored by Goody 2 Shoes).

The Volunteer Center will kick off its Ducky Derby and the Amazing Duck Race at this month’s 3rd Friday at 6 p.m. on the Main Stage. Teams will be participating in the Amazing Duck Race, a footrace completing mental and light physical challenges at different locations throughout the downtown area. Volunteers from the Volunteer Center will be on hand selling duck adoptions until 7:15 p.m. Prizes include a chance to win $100,000, a new Camaro or one of 20 other prizes.  For more information, visit or call Jen McCoy at 256.566.3023.

All along Bank Street, classic cars and vintage beauties will be on display. The Old State Bank will offer free tours until 7 p.m. and free herbs (in limited quantities) from its Herb Gardens until 9 p.m.

On Second Avenue in Casa Grande Park, festival goers can find the Vendor Marketplace featuring handmade items and Wimberly’s on Second will host chair caning demonstrations. There will be a Kids Zone featuring demonstrations by Webster’s Karate Studio, a hula hoop performance by Circle Motion Hoops, and sidewalk chalk on Second Avenue between Moulton Street and Johnston Street, and the Carnegie Visual Arts Center is bringing its Art in the Street program to Second Avenue.  

Bank Street Green will be serving specialty Angus burgers, beef hot dogs, soft drinks, beer and liquor. The Arts and Entertainment District is now effect allowing visitors to walk around outdoors with open containers of beer, wine or alcoholic beverages from Gordon Drive to 4th Avenue. Store specials, giveaways, and discounts will be offered at selected retailers and restaurants and the Amberley Suite Hotel will offer its Catfish Friday Buffet. Bank Street Art and Antiques will celebrate its grand opening with an open house and complimentary refreshments, and there will be a St. Jude Children’s Hospital fundraiser at Goody 2 Shoes.

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. Platinum Sponsors are Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority and United Launch Alliance. Gold Sponsors include Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Decatur Morgan Hospital, Lamar, Morgan County Commission, and Supreme Beverage Company/Yuengling/Yuengling Light. Silver Sponsors are Bank Independent and Old Black Bear Brewing Company. Bronze Sponsors are Renasant Bank, Stovall-Marks Insurance, and Temple Inc.

Participating streets in 3rd Fridays include Second Avenue, Bank, Market, Moulton, Grant, and Johnston Streets. Admission is free. For more information, call Ashley Ashwander at 256.355.8993 or visit 3rd Friday’s Facebook page for the latest information.

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