Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shoals Ghost Walk 2011

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
October 20, 2011

Calling all ghost busters!
Starting Friday, October 21 Debra Johnston Glass will delight those brave enough to join her on the Haunted History of the Shoals Ghost Walk with local ghost stories. Glass is a local tour guide and has also written several books about the haunted past of the Shoals, including Skeletons in the Closet and Skeletons on Campus.
The walk, sponsored by Applebee's, will begin at the Handy Statue in Wilson Park at 7:30 p.m. and is $10/adults & $8/students; tours will run nightly through October 31st. For more information go to Shoals Ghost Walk or call 256-757-7506.
For you brave souls who come out, Applebee's will be rewarding each adult with a voucher for a free appetizer and each child with an A for Applebee's coupon good for a free kid's meal.

Happy chills....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Continuing Education at UNA

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
August 18, 2011

In yesterday's blog I wrote about language classes offered through UNA's Office of Continuing Studies and Outreach and wanted to briefly expand on that today.
This office is a great resource for not only those in the professional word, but to retiree's, empty nesters, and just about anyone within the community who has a desire to learn something new. Those currently in the workforce will be interested to know that they offer numerous certificate programs, such as Alabama Planning Institute, GIS, Public Safety & Leadership and Paralegal. There are also courses in MBA prerequisites, law enforcement training, and professional development. UNA is now an official testing center for the Microsoft Office Specialist exams and they offer courses that help to prepare for these exams.
Personal enrichment classes are also offered through this office and include Beginning Guitar, East Coast Swing, Basics of Interior Design & Decorating I, and Yoga I, among many others.
If you are interested in any of these or would like more information, I encourage you to call their office at 256-765-4862.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Language classes at UNA: Continuing Ed

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
August 17, 2011

Have you ever thought about learning a second, or even third, language? Well, now is the time and UNA is here to help, through their Continuing Studies and Outreach program. Beginning August 24 they will offer several language classes in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Languages, such as French, German, Spanish. They will also offer more critical languages, like Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese.
These courses will be held at various times on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or on Tuesday and Thursday, depending on the class. The cost is $249 per class and workbooks are required, which can be purchased from the UNA bookstore at an additional cost. The classes will conclude on December 16, 2011.
If you are interested, please call 256--765-4289 for more information or to register.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wild about art: Todd Reed

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
August 16, 2011

The Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts has a new exhibit starting Thursday, August 18 featuring wildlife artist Todd Reed, and it's one you won't want to miss. Reed grew up in Shelbyville, Tennessee where drawing and painting the various wildlife he encountered was his passion. The medium he uses include gouache, acrylic, graphite and watercolor.

Reed attended the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, graduating with a BA in graphic design and currently is the Art Director for an ad agency in Chattanooga, though at heart he considers himself a wildlife artist. He has won numerous awards at such events as the Arts Alive Festival, the Southern Wildlife Festival, and the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association Wildlife Art Expo.

Being an avid outdoorsman, Reed's inspiration for his art work comes from his own observations in the field. He keeps a camera and sketchpad at the ready, just in case an opportunity presents itself.

The exhibit runs through September 27th and can be seen Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and there is no charge. The Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts is located in Downtown Florence at 217 East Tuscaloosa Street and they may be reached at 256-760-6379.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Get to Know...Unraveled!

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
August 15, 2011

Calling all knitters!
There is a great new place for you to find your supplies in Downtown Florence and that place is Unraveled. The shop is owned and operated by Anna Carbine and is more than just a place to go and buy yarn and other supplies.
The moment I walked through the door I was taken in by the sense of warmth and liveliness that greeted me from this shop, a far different experience than walking into a chain craft store! I was able to talk briefly with Anna, who told me that her shop is not just a place to go and pick out supplies. It is one where you can go and seek not only guidance with a current project but also provides a place to sit and knit with fellow crafters. As a matter of fact, there was a group in there doing just that, and have a high time doing so! Unraveled provides classes, such as Beginning Knit and "Lunch & Learn Thursdays", where you can get help or ask questions about a current project.
I asked Anna what prompted her to open this type of business, which she said came from her love to knit and the need to fill a niche for fellow knitters. She would like customer's to know that hers is a friendly and warm environment and she enjoys hearing their stories about knitting and crocheting and who has taught them, such as their mother or grandmother.
So, if you're thinking of taking up knitting, or have done so for years and are looking for a place to connect to others in your craft, look no further! Unraveled is open Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Friday, August 12, 2011

What's in a weekend?

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
August 12, 2011

Well, once again the start of a new weekend is upon us and looming right behind it is the start of another school year. Some of you are cheering, some of you are jeering and some are probably like me, a mixture of both. I want to encourage you to get downtown this weekend with your family and enjoy this last carefree time before the hustle and bustle of school and the activities that go with it set in.

On Friday night the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will be performing at the Shoals Theatre at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are $35/advance and $45/day of show.

On Saturday The Sticky Wickets will be playing games and providing improv at the Zodiac Theatre at 8:00 p.m., with tickets a mere $5/person. This is a great family event you won't want to miss! Before you head over to the Zodiac, grab some dinner at one of our downtown eating establishments, such as Rosie's, Ricatoni's, or perhaps Legends. Be sure to save room for frozen yogurt at Makadoo's!

Pope's Tavern is a great place for learning about the cultural history of the Shoals and is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., as well as the Indian Mound & Museum. There's also Wilson Park, which offers benches and a fountain for the kids to make a wish in; grab a picnic lunch and head on over! After lunch be sure to walk across the street and enjoy some quiet time at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, perhaps snuggling and reading with that little one you about to send off to kindergarten.

See you downtown...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Think local: Think downtown Florence!

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
August 10, 2011

Have you visited downtown lately? If not, then you're missing out on all it has to offer.
Downtown Florence does indeed provide a place for great food and shopping, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. I was speaking with a friend recently and was reminded that there is more to downtown than meets the eye. My friend experienced a plumbing issue and instead of going to one of the big box stores to tackle the issue, she stayed within her downtown community and gave her business to a local store. By doing this she was able to make a positive impact within her community. How, you might ask? Well, locally owned businesses generally make use of other local services, such as a bank; they provide more in the way of income and jobs to their local community and tend to be more accountable to the local area. According to the 3/50 Project for every $100 spent in a local business, $68 is returned to the community by way of taxes, payroll and various other expenditures. If that same amount is spent in a big box store the amount returned to the community is reduced to $43; and when items are purchased online none of that is returned to the local economy. The positive impact to the environment is another consideration when thinking of buying locally and this is due to reduced fuel consumption, as this reduces how far shoppers have to travel.

Locally owned businesses also tend to know their product a little bit more than a big box store and can generally guide you to what you need in a timely manner, rather than wandering all over a store that can be up to 250,000 square feet.
So, next time you need something, be it copy service, a toilet, a photographer, a new door or window, a wedding dress, or something as simple as an ice cream cone, think local: think downtown Florence!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Get to Know...Makadoo's!

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
August 8, 2011

Step 1: Grab bowl & fill with yogurt
Step 2: Add your favorite toppings
Step 3: Weigh & Pay
Step 4: Relax and enjoy

These are the steps to a successful experience at Makadoo's, a wonderful new yogurt shop that has made it's way into downtown Florence. As you step up to the yogurt machines to make your choice, you will see these words on the giant chalkboard above, guiding you through the process. And mind you, it's not an easy choice! Gone are the days of simple vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. No, Makadoo's tempts you with flavors such as Lemon Ice Box, Banana Pudding, Raspberry Tart, and Jolly Rancher Fruit Punch Sorbet. And then come the toppings, and the choices abound!
You might be asking yourself, "Where did they come up with the name Makadoo's?" When I sat down to talk with owner Michelle Winkle, she laughingly told me that is the nickname given to her daughter, Makadyn, by her brother-in-law. She said she and husband David had been trying desperately to come up with a name when he suddenly asked, " What does Steve call Makadyn?" So, Makadoo's it was!
The shop is something that David and Michelle have talked about for a couple of years, they just needed that perfect location. And boy did they get it! Located at 120 North Court Street, in what could be considered the "heart" of downtown, their shop definitely catches the eye. Painted with lively pastels that are at the same time easy on the eyes, the inside is quite roomy and engaging. There is a party room in the back with a giant chalkboard and a kids only table up front with a never ending supply of crayons!
Whether you're looking for a quick treat or a place to host your next birthday party, Makadoo's has got you covered! Hope to see you there soon...

Friday, July 22, 2011

W.C. Handy: The man behind the festival

By: Laura Ivie Staff Writer July 22, 2011

With all the festivities surrounding the Handy Festival, I thought it important to take a step back and remember the man the festival celebrates…William Christopher Handy.

W.C., as he was know, was born in a simple cabin in Florence on November 16, 1873, not more than a mile from the Tennessee River. Born just eight years after the end of the American Civil War, he entered the world in a time that was turbulent and experiencing hardship in the form of the Long Depression. Perhaps he was destined from birth to be the "Father of the Blues", a musical genre that roots itself in adversity, yet also draws from African chants, hymns, spirituals, work songs and rural life in general.

W.C. grew up a pastor's son and grandson, where an interest in music was not looked on favorably by his family or his church. He had the ability to visualize notes when he heard a bird song and could identify the individual whistles from the many riverboats that went up and down the Tennessee River. We call people with amazing musical talents prodigies and thank goodness for the music world he had a bit of a rebellious streak and went against his fathers wishes to pursue a musical career.

To be continued...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oopma-Loompa Doompadee Doo...

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
July 21, 2011

That's right, the oompa-loompa's are in town, along with Willy Wonka, of course, and Charlie, too!

Starting tonight through Sunday afternoon, The Gingerbread Players will be presenting "Willy Wonka", under the direction of Patty Hughes. This promises to be a wonderful family event that will delight not only the young, yet the young at heart as well.

Shows on Thursday through Saturday will begin at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee at 2:00 p.m. Advanced tickets may be purchased by going to The Gingerbread Players website; tickets may also be purchased at the door.

"...Cause I've got a golden ticket. I've got a golden chance to make my way. And with a golden ticket, it's a golden day..."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Court 'N the Blues

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
June 20, 2011

Well, we've got the blues over here at Main Street! It's time for the fourth annual Court 'N the Blues, which is the kick off parade for the W.C. Handy Music Festival. This year's parade is sponsored by the great folks at Big River Broadcasting, as well as by Jim Bishop Toyota/Chevrolet/GMC/Buick.

We are handling the coordination of the parade and are currently seeking entries to help make this another banner year! The participation of our local community helps to make this a successful event. We are in need of groups, businesses, and bands to help kick off this year's festival and carry on W.C. Handy's love of music.

The entry forms, as well as the regulations, are available by contacting our office at 256-760-9648.

What are you waiting for...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Novel Destinations...

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
June 1, 2011

Well, it's begun....summer vacation and you're wondering what to do with the kid's.

The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library will be kicking off their summer reading program on Tuesday, May 31 and this is for all ages. There will be programs for children 10 and under, 11-15 and the adult program will be for those 16 and older. "One World....Many Stories" is the program for those 10 and under and will be a daily program, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Youth Services Department. There will be a different country explored each week, starting June 5 and ending with the week of July 17. "Crave" is the program for those 11-15 and features computer classes every Monday at 11:00 a.m. as well as different activities on Thursday evenings at 5:00 p.m. The adult program, known as "Novel Destinations", offers a prize entry for every 5 books read. For more information on any of these programs, please contact the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library at 256-764-6564

On Wednesday's in June between 11:30 and 1:30 head downtown early, have lunch in Wilson Park and listen to some tunes with the kids during the city's "Music in the Park". The schedule of musicians can be found on the city's website, so be sure to check it out!

And don't overlook your local university! UNA offers various classes to kids throughout the summer, such as "Stones & Bones", where kids will learn about archeology to "Creating with Clay" and "Lego-Vehicle Engineering". The classes are for kids that range in age from 5 to 16. For more information contact the Office of Continuing Studies at 256-765-4862.

Have a great summer!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Talk a walk!

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
May 24, 2011

Over the course of the next month, the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism office will be hosting the Annual Walking Tours of Historic Florence. This is an excellent way for residents and visitors alike to learn more about the history of our wonderful town! The tours will be each Saturday, starting May 28, with the last tour of the season on June 25; they last approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours and are free to the public. Each week a local historian will guide attendees through a particular district and point out the historic sites, neighborhoods, and unique architecture.

The first of the tours will be Saturday, May 28 in the North Court and Seminary Street area, beginning at 10 a.m. Those who wish to participate should meet at Rogers Hall, otherwise known as Courtview, on the UNA campus. Billy Warren will be your host for the morning.

On June 4, Harry Wallace will guide you around the Florence City Cemetery, pointing out unique headstones, as well as the resting place of two governors. This tour begins at 10 a.m. and attendees should meet at the cemetery entrance.

June 11 is one tour that is sure to please, as Harry Wallace takes us to The Forks of Cypress Plantation and Cemetery. Those interested are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for the beginning portion, which will be followed with a walk to the Jackson Cemetery that is located on the property. Once again, 10 a.m. is the meeting time and directions are: take Cox Creek Parkway to Jackson Road and make a right; turn right at the dead end and park either along the road or enter the gate to park in the field that lead up to the columns. I'll definitely be attending this one, as I've been wanting to photograph the site for a couple of years now!

June 18 brings us back to downtown Florence for the Wood Avenue tour with Lee Freeman, beginning at 10 a.m. The Wood Avenue Church of Christ at 400 Wood Avenue will serve at the starting point.

Billy Warren will wrap up the tours on June 25 with a walk through the Walnut Street Historic District, starting at 10 a.m. The parking lot of the UNA Tennis Courts will serve as the starting point, as well as parking for those attending.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Once upon a time...

By: Laura Ivie
Staff Writer
May 18, 2011

This weekend The University of North Alabama will be hosting the Front Porch Storytelling Festival, and it promises to deliver family friendly fun!

The festival will take place on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21 and will run from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m., with breaks throughout the day. There will be be many renowned storytellers, such as Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, Bill Lepp, Dolores Hydock, Donald Davis, and many others. Many of the featured storytellers have numerous awards under their belt and have a long history at various storytelling festivals.

There will be ghost stories both evenings, starting at 8:45 p.m., however, are not recommended for small or impressionable children.

There will also be stories to be heard aboard the Pickwick Belle on Saturday evening from 6:30 until 8:00, featuring Sparky and Rhonda Rucker. The cost for cruise will be $25 per person.

The cost for each day will be $15 for adults; $5 for students (with ID) and children, with children under the age of 5 being free. Also, the ghost story portion of the event is something to be enjoyed at no charge.

So, be sure to get out and enjoy some tall tales this weekend! I know I will...

Friday, April 29, 2011

The South will rise again...

By: Laura Ivie
April 29, 2011

In the wake of such unimaginable tragedy that our state experienced just a couple of days ago, the response to help has been overwhelming and I wanted to highlight a few in Florence that have joined in the efforts.

I spoke to Brett at McDaniel Window & Door this morning and he let me know that they are accepting donations in the parking lot of what used to be Brinley Brothers, on the corner of Tennessee Street and Wood Avenue. According to Brett, the response has been overwhelming, with people dropping off carload after carload of bottled water, non-perishable food, clothing and various other items. They have several trucks, including one of their own, that are taking all donations to Franklin Pharmacy in Russellville, which is serving as a drop-off point. If you are interested in helping, the trucks will be there until about 5 p.m. Friday evening, and among the much needed items at this point are feminine hygiene products and tote bags to put stuff in.

Another drop-off point can be found at First Baptist Church in Florence, which is on North Wood Avenue, across from the Florence Library. I spoke with Debbie in the church office and she let me know that they are collecting mostly non-perishable food items, baby items, and socks. They will be available until 4 p.m. Friday evening to receive donations, or you may bring items to service on Sunday. Their trucks will take donations to the Phil Campbell area.

Lastly, I stopped in McGraw's Coffee House today and Melissa informed me that they are joining in the efforts to assist those that have been affected by this week's devastating tornadoes. If you go by their shop and donate $5 to the Red Cross, you can walk out with a free loaf of bread! Great deal, huh?! She said they will be doing this "as long as Richard can keep making bread", so don't wait.

As we become aware of more opportunities to help, I'll be sure to pass those on. I urge all of you to help, in whatever way you can. I know of several friends who are cleaning out closets of clothes and other items that they no longer need. A word of caution, though: please only donate gently used items; if it is something that you would throw out, go ahead and throw it out. This will be a trying time for many of our neighbors, however, this too shall pass and the South WILL rise again...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!"

By: Laura Ivie
April 20, 2011

Well, maybe not tigers and bears, but definitely lions!

Join Leo and Una at Rosie's Cantina on Thursday, April 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. for UNA Day.
There will be a giant slide and free shaved ice, courtesy of Southern Pride Pest Control. This will be a great event to take the family to and then duck into Rosie's for dinner after; 20% of sales that night will go to Leo and Una and the UNA Lion Habitat, just be sure to grab a flyer at the hostess stand!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Get to Know: The Coiffure at 108

By: Laura Ivie
April 18, 2011

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting John and Kris Walls, owners of The Coiffure at 108, a hair salon located at 108 East Tuscaloosa Street in Downtown Florence. John and Kris both hail from the Shoals, he from Muscle Shoals and she from Sheffield. Both have lived away in Birmingham, New Orleans, and Huntsville; and, have recently returned to their roots. John, a hairdresser since 1982, graduated from Ray's University of Beauty here in Florence before going on to study with some of the biggest names in the industry. In New York City, he trained with Kim Lapine of LaCoupe Salon and Michael Gordon of House of Bumble; in Toronto it was with George Koukoulus of Lacoupe Salon. He also trained at Cheynes of Scotland, a number 1 salon during the 1980's. John has also taught at some of the nation's top salons, such Essanelle, where he was a part of their design and education team. He has worked with Zig Ziglar, as a communication and stage presence liaison. The department store Pizitz also had John working on their print and television advertising team. Back here in the Shoals, John and Kris keep pretty active! They are members of Trinity Episcopal Church in Florence, where they sing with the choir; likewise, they sing with the Florence Camerata. Supporting the arts of the Shoals is something that is important to them both, with John sometimes doing hairstyles and wigs for different community theatre groups. They enjoy cooking, sometimes having impromptu gatherings by the pool of friends and family. Taking their vintage motor home to McFarland Park for a quick "stay-cation" is one their favorite pastimes. John expressed to me that he and his staff enjoy doing color and cut work and are excited to accommodate special occasions, such as weddings and proms;the salon features Rusk haircare products and Nuskin haircare, vitality and facial products. This is a place where he wants clients to feel that they have come into his home, and speaking from personal experience, it's a home worth visiting! The Coiffure at 108 works by appointment, Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. until, however will accept walk-ins; they can be reached by calling 256-577-8391.
Until next time, be sure to get to know John and Kris Walls at The Coiffure at 108!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Come out and play!

By: Laura Ivie
March 31, 2011

This is a great weekend to be in Downtown Florence, as there is much to do!

First Fridays will be back on Court Street from 5 to 8 p.m., so be sure to come down and support our local artists and businesses! Be on the lookout for neat things to put in your Easter baskets. Also, Tide Fans don't forget that McDaniel Window & Door will be hosting a "Meet a Greet With Eli Gold" on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., so bring your sports memorabilia to be signed.

While you're downtown this Friday, be sure to bring the whole family and grab a bite to eat! We have great places to choose from, such as Rosie's Cantina, Ricatoni's and The Chicago Cafe, which offer kid friendly fare. However, if it's a more "grown-up" night out you're looking for, give Dish Gourmet Cafe a try, as they have announced they will be open for dinner (for the 1st time), in honor of First Fridays! There's also On the Rocks and Smokehouse Billiards & Grill, both which offer live music starting at 9 p.m. In addition, The Wine Seller will be having a wine tasting on Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will feature 5 new wines from United-Johnson as well as some tasty treats by Tony from The Grilling Room. The charge for this event is $10 per person.

This weekend the Shoals Theatre promises to wisk the kids to far away places with the Gingerbread Players production of "Disney's Aladdin Jr". The show, which runs for approximately 70 minutes, starts at 7:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday nights, with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Sunday. The tickets may be purchased in advance at or at the door. Be sure to grab a bite to eat at Legends Steakhouse, which is right next door!

Since it's now officially Spring, why not take a cruise? The Pickwick Belle is offering two different cruises this weekend, both on Saturday, and they leave from the Florence Harbor Marina. The Spring Sightseeing Cruise runs from 1 until 2:30 p.m. and the Christian Comedy Dinner Cruise runs from 6 until 8 p.m., and they couldn't have picked a better weekend, as the weather is supposed to be beautiful! Need more info? Contact Tanya Irwin at 1-877-936-BELLE.

We'll be seeing you.....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Cleaning is in the air...

By: Laura Ivie
March 30, 2011

On Saturday, April 2 Florence will have its 3rd Annual Citywide cleanup from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. This event is an excellent way to "spruce up" where we live and show visitors and residents alike how much we value our community. Participants will be supplied with all necessary equipment, including vests, bags, and gloves, breakfast, and lunch. Yes, that's right, breakfast AND lunch! Great deal, isn't it? This event is open to individuals, organizations, businesses, and the like. If your scout troop, fraternity, sorority, church group, or school is looking for service hours, look no further. Also, if you have a property that is in need of cleanup, this is a great way to have that accomplished. If you are in need of help, or you want to volunteer to help, please call 256-760-6495.
Speaking of cleaning, there is a more long term project that the city has going and that is the Adopt-a-Street program. This is the promise by an individual or group to keep a street free from litter, and again, lets visitors and residents know how much our community is valued. The materials are provided by the City and even displays a personalized sign on the adopted street. Those interested may call 256-760-6460 or 256-760-6495.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guess who's coming to First Fridays!

By: Laura Ivie
March 21, 2011

Tide Fans: Take note!
Brett at McDaniel Window & Door let Florence Main Street in on a great event they are planning in conjunction with First Fridays in April and you won't want to miss it. Here's what he had to say:

First Fridays is a wonderful way for people of this area to get out and see friends, make new ones, and see what local vendors have to offer. McDaniel Window & Door Co. is a proud supporter of First Fridays and will be hosting an Open House with Eli Gold on the First Friday of April. We view this as a great opportunity for Eli Gold to meet the avid sports fans of our community, share memories, and sign autographs.

In the spirit of First Fridays, this is also an excellent opportunity for McDaniel Window & Door Co. to get to meet the people of our community and let them know about our doors, windows, and other products.

Thanks to McDaniel Window & Door for this wonderful opportunity! The time coincides with First Fridays hours of operation, which will be from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. See you there....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Much ado about.....

By: Laura Ivie
March 9, 2011

Our wonderful downtown community has much going on, from upcoming plays and weekly music at various venues to the new arrival of merchandise. To start off St. Patrick's Day, the Zodiac is featuring Ray Bradbury's Irish pub comedy Falling Upward, starting tonight at 8 p.m. and continuing through Saturday night, with a final 2:00 p.m. performance on Sunday. Tonight's performance is pay what you like, while Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be $10/adults and $5/students and advanced tickets may be purchased at Rivertown Coffee Company, which is located at 117 North Seminary Street. Be sure to grab a latte while getting your tickets!

If it's music you're interested in, you're in luck! On the Rocks has something going on practically every night; be sure to check out their "Wine Down Wednesday". Likewise, Smokehouse Billiards offers live music several nights throughout the week. If it's a lunch time jam you're looking for, look no further than McGraw's Coffee House, usually featuring live music Thursday through Saturday at noon.

Billy Reid has recently received their 2011 Spring Collection, which I'm sure will turn some heads! Also, Jewell's Accessories Boutique has been receiving much in the way of Spring clothes and accessories, as has Grassroots Market. Be sure to check them out (as if you haven't already!) and the rest that downtown has to offer in terms of shopping.

Finally, don't forget that there are wonderful opportunities that exist within our downtown community that offer more cultural and historical outings. The Kennedy Douglass Center for the Arts does an excellent job of offering citizens and guests alike exhibits that feature local and regional artists. Our own library, The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, also does and excellent job of offering classes, lectures and events. Right now they are featuring a weekly "Get Dirty" series, which focuses on gardening topics, as well as a weekly computer classes. Be sure to check out their website for all the updated information, as well as other offerings, such as kid's events. Don't forget that we have two beautiful parks located within downtown; Wilson Park is right across from the library and McFarland Park is right on the river. Both are great choices for a weekend picnic! After you've had that picnic, stop off at The Rosenbaum House, located at 601 Riverview Drive and check out the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Alabama.

I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day and look forward to seeing you around town!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Jos. A Bank is coming!

By: Laura Ivie
March 4, 2011

Mayor Bobby Irons announced yesterday that the national chain of Jos. A Bank, a men's clothing retailer, will be coming to Downtown Florence and will locate within the Rogers Building. Florence Main Street welcomes them to our wonderful downtown area and looks forward to working with them as a community partner. Be sure to read the whole story from the Times Daily here..