Thursday, June 22, 2017

Out With The Old and In With The New

Tourists to the popular Ardmore Welcome Center now have a new way to discover Decatur and Morgan County.
Each year, over one million visitors stop at the Ardmore Alabama Welcome Center. “It is important that the DMCCVB offer an inviting and welcoming presence to prospective guests as they enter into Alabama at this extremely busy welcome center,” said DMCCVB President and CEO Melinda Dunn.
Working with Joel McWhorter and the McComm Group, a new design was developed to replace the dated visitor kiosk that had stood in the Ardmore Welcome Center for many years. The new design is rich in images that showcase the unique flavor of Decatur and Morgan County. McWhorter and the McComm group worked with Expo Displays on the kiosk’s fabrication. The new kiosk also features a video panel that continuously plays a video on Morgan County produced by Juergen Beck of Freedom Light Productions and funded through the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association. The video component is interchangeable and the DMCCVB can provide videos specific to upcoming events in the area.
Additionally, a new visitor panel located above a key entry that visually connects to the display invites guests to come and play and further strengthen the presence of Decatur and Morgan County at the Ardmore Welcome Center. The display panel is made possible through funding from Senator Arthur Orr. The production of the new kiosk was funded by the DMCCVB.
County Commissioner Don Stisher and his crew assisted with the removal of the former display. Since the new display’s installation, interest from the traveling public has sharply increased, resulting in a higher percentage of brochure pickup at the center. Dunn noted, “Within minutes of the kiosk’s installation, families had gathered around to watch the video and absorb the images that depict our story and flavor.”

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

CONTACT: Melinda Dunn, President & CEO
Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Decatur to Host 26 Lacrosse Teams this Weekend
River City Rivalry returns to Jack Allen Recreation Complex June 17-18.

Decatur, Ala. (June 13, 2017) – Twenty-six teams from across the Southeast will make their way to Decatur this weekend for an exciting two days of lacrosse action when the Jack Allen Recreation Complex (JARC) hosts the River City Rivalry. Returning for the fifth year, the River City Rivalry is set for June 17-18, 2017, and admission is free to the public.

The River City Rivalry features full field format with a guaranteed four game minimum play (weather permitting). Each game consists of two 22-minute halves. Day one features “round robin” pool play and day two is championship bracket play.

Twenty-six teams are registered to compete and this year’s tournament offers two girls divisions:  high school with graduation years 2018-2021 and middle school with graduation years 2021-2023. Teams registered to compete will be traveling from within Alabama and from across the southeastern United States including Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. This year’s tournament also includes a team traveling from Indiana.

“While lacrosse guests are visiting Decatur, Alabama, they are invited to experience our local flavor by participating in events such as 3rd Friday in downtown Decatur. On Saturday evening, a team barbecue will be held at Ingalls Pavilion to provide fun and entertainment. The Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s hot air balloon will welcome guests to the evening of local barbecue and field games,” said Decatur-Morgan County CVB President and CEO Melinda Dunn.

All games will be played at the JARC located at 2616 Modaus Road SW in Decatur. The tournament is open to the public and admission is free. Parking is $10 per day or $15 for both days. For more information on the facility, visit

For the past twelve years, the Jack Allen Recreation Complex has hosted local, regional, and national soccer tournaments attracting thousands of amateur and professional players and earning a reputation as a world-class facility nationally and internationally. In 2013, the complex welcomed the first River City Rivalry tournament attracting hundreds of lacrosse players plus coaches, family members and fans from across the southeastern United States. The event impacted all areas of Decatur including hotels, local restaurants, retail merchants and entertainment venues. According to Dunn, the event in 2016 had an economic impact of $250,000 for the city of Decatur.

For more information on the River City Rivalry tournament, contact Tournament Directors Pam McNabb at 404.423.8177 or Melanie Johnson at 770.317.3476 or visit

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  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Water Wonderland Awaits in Decatur, Alabama

While the first day of summer isn’t officially until June 21st, those among us living, working, and playing in the Deep South know good and well that it’s felt like the summertime solstice for well over a month. In fact, we tend to skip right over spring and onto the steamiest part of the year. But before you plan to keep you and your family cooped up to avoid the sweltering temps, consider combating those summertime blues with the refreshing water recreation available exclusively in Decatur, Alabama.
Situated along the breathtaking Tennessee River, Decatur offers a host of cooling, water-centric spots to check out. From man made water parks to natural estuaries and plenty of unique offerings in between, your best summertime memories are waiting to be made in this North Alabama water wonderland!

Point Mallard
Point Mallard’s official opening date is May 27th—and not a moment too soon as the temperature starts to rise and the humidity causes everyone’s hair to expand considerably. This Decatur staple is home to the world’s very first wave pool, a claim to fame that persists now even 47 years into its existence. Point Mallard Park is also home to some of Decatur’s best festivals with the Alabama Jubilee, Spirit of America, and Battle for Decatur all held on site each year. A veritable water park by the water, Point Mallard is uniquely situated along the Tennessee River and provides plenty of amusement for every single member of your brood. The Double Drop Speed Slides will appeal to the daredevils among you, while the Lazy River offers the leisurely drifting befitting of those who crave the full relaxation vacation vibe. In addition, a Towering Sky Pond, three Flume Slides, and idyllic Lagoon round out the full heat-busting quench served up in Decatur’s can’t-miss Point Mallard. You’ll even discover a spacious campground area for when you’re ready to call it a day and a golf course for those who crave some serious tee time. Check out more about the destination made for the pluckiest of travelers at

Riverwild Playground and Garden
For the ultimate place to make a splash this summer, round up the troops for a trip to Riverwild Playground and Garden. The kiddos are sure to love standing under the park’s towering fountains for a soak, while the adults will marvel at the site’s living history. Complete with a family-friendly Bathhouse and wheelchair-accessible splashpad, Riverwild offers H20 respite and revelry for all ages. Riverwild also features a playground of dreams for the youngest members of your family and plenty of places to enjoy a picnic lunch. Meander through the Trail of History, a path that winds through the park that beautifully interprets the park’s development as well as its significance as a historic site in a storied part of town. And for those who are looking to experience a bit of art and nature amid all the water play, Riverwild’s Sculpture Garden celebrates the Tennessee River wildlife with giant monuments of Decatur’s finest fauna with heron, bullfrog, dragonfly, turtle, and beaver statues. Be sure to check out the Delano Rose Garden on site for the perfect family photo op to commemorate your North Alabama Adventure!

Wheeler Wildlife Refuge
If you’re in search of pastoral elegance on your family vacation this summer, Wheeler Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place to celebrate a break from your daily grind. The Tennessee River runs right through the Refuge, which means ample opportunity to engage in aquatic action like canoeing or kayaking. Expend some of the kids’ energy, paddle in hand, as you make your way through Wheeler’s focal point. June is the optimal time to cast your line for bluegill and bass, too, as these angles are in abundance during this part of the summer. The sparkling waters you’ll witness will certainly leave you with a new appreciation for one of Decatur’s most precious natural resources.

Wheeler Lake
For fishing enthusiasts, Wheeler Lake offers up fresh catches and waterside bonding—hook, line, and sinker! Load up the family, and take your boat out on the serene waters of Decatur’s delightful lake. As an integral part of the Alabama Bass Trail, you’ll find plenty of angling opportunities for fun in the sun sure to provide everyone in your family with fish tales worth telling time and time again. For more lake recreation to include in your North Alabama vacation, check out fishalabama.or.

Big Bob Gibson’s 
All that splish-splashing and gallivanting gets the appetite going. When it comes to a delicious meal suited for every member of your water-lovin’ party, you can’t go wrong with Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ. Long heralded for their North Alabama white barbecue sauce, Big Bob Gibson’s has been feeding hungry families melt-in-your-mouth meals of pulled pork, ribs, smoked chicken, and “Heaven High” meringue pies since 1952. The proof is truly in the award-winning barbecue dishes as Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ just earned the highly sought-after Grand Championship title during the Memphis in May International Festival for the fifth year! Whether you’ve worked up an appetite after traipsing through fountains and wading through pools or you’re looking for the very best stuff to pack in your picnic basket, Big Bob Gibson’s serves up sumptuous barbecue, sides, and pies that’ll give you plenty of reasons to come on back to Decatur long after the summer heat has subsided.
For more about Decatur’s distinct offerings and for lodging to accommodate your family’s summertime getaway, visit today!