Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Downtown Decatur’s 3rd Friday Returns April 21

Decatur, Ala. (April 11, 2017) – Downtown Decatur’s monthly block party takes to the streets for the first time in 2017 on Friday, April 21. 3rd Friday kicks off the 2017 lineup with an Earth Day celebration, and each month through October, the monthly street party brings a different theme featuring art, entertainment, live music, a classic car cruise-in and other family-friendly activities.

Organized by the Downtown Merchants and Business Association, 3rd Friday gets underway at 5:30 p.m. and the theme for the kickoff event is Downtown Celebrates Earth Day by Giving Back. Patrons bringing canned and non-perishable food for the Neighborhood Christian Center will receive a coupon towards discounts at many participating downtown restaurants and boutiques. All donations will be collected in Jones Park. During 3rd Friday, everyone is encouraged to use the recycling bins provided by the City of Decatur.

While antique cars line 2nd Avenue, some of the area’s best musicians and entertainers will be performing at various locations. Performers slated for April 21 include the Decatur Youth Symphony at the Alabama Center for the Arts, Jack Ryan and Valerie Denny at Downtown Dawgs, Laura Alaina Key at Kathleen’s, The Chordsman at Jones Park and Dustin Allen at Gyro Uno.

A variety of activities just for children will be available including inflatables in the block of second Avenue between Moulton and Johnston; visits with Anna, Elsa, Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Jack Frost, Tinker Bell, Aurora, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, Spiderman, and Minnie Mouse from “Party Like a Princess”; and free fun provided by Decatur-Morgan Library in Jones Park.

Craft vendors selling handmade items and artists and artesian goods vendors will fill the area of 2nd Avenue from Moulton Street to Johnston Street. Additional store specials, giveaways, and discounts will be offered at select retailers, and many of the merchants will remain open until 8 p.m. or later.

3rd Friday is concentrated in the 2nd Avenue area only (including Holly Street, Moulton Street, Johnston Street and Grant Street). Beginning at 4:30 p.m. streets will begin to be blocked and will be closed to traffic from 5:30 until 9:00 p.m. Antique and classic cars are asked to be in place by 5:30 p.m. For more information on 3rd Friday, visit www.facebook.com/3rdfridaydowntown/.

Third Friday’s was first organized in 2009 by merchants as a way to attract locals and visitors to the downtown area. Presenting sponsor is Budweiser. Additional sponsors include Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Magnolia River, Bank Independent, Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, Cook’s Pest Control, Morgan County Commission, Nucor Steel, 3M, Peck-Glasgow Insurance, Renasant Bank, Stovall-Marks Insurance and King Insurance Agency. The Downtown Merchants and Business 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.

About The Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCCVB)

The Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau is a not-for-profit organization promoting tourism and economic growth in Morgan County. For information on special events and attractions in Decatur, contact the DMCCVB at 800.524.6181 or 256.350.2028; or visit its website at www.decaturcvb.org.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

What Decatur Means to Me Monday

With Monday comes a fresh start, a new beginning. This Monday, and every Monday, we get to leave a little piece of ourselves in the week. In the world. In Decatur and Morgan County. This Monday we asked David Breland what Decatur and Morgan County meant to him.

“I am David Breland and currently the Director of Historic Resources and Events for the City of Decatur. Additionally, I am a retired District Court Judge for Morgan County.  As a life-long resident (by choice!) of Decatur and Morgan County, I believe this to be one of the finest places in the world in which to live!  It is a wonderful place in which to raise a family as it has hard working, generous and caring residents.  We have a history that is unsurpassed in the nation.  There are many interesting, educational and fun things to do with many of them being absolutely free of charge.  We have good health care, nice and inexpensive housing and both tax rates and utility rates that are far below the national average.  The cost of living makes Decatur and Morgan County a very affordable place in which to live.  It is small city living that is great with the added benefit that our location near larger cities and the good transportation to get to those cities allows us have the benefits of both smaller city and larger city experiences.  The rural areas of our county are quite beautiful as well with beautiful farms, the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains throughout the county-- plus the mighty Tennessee River and its tributaries such as Flint Creek.  We don’t always appreciate it as we should, but this is a little piece of “paradise”!”   

Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful area with so much to see and do. Where else can you enjoy annual events like the Alabama Jubilee hot air balloon festival, weekly and monthly events like Third Friday Downtown, and area attractions like Point Mallard Park? Whether you are a visitor or resident, you are part of what makes Decatur and Morgan County such a special and unique destination. Start your new beginning this Monday. Visit Decatur and Morgan County, AL.

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