Our 2012-2013 year has come to an end. What an unbelievable year for Tourism and for myself! This time last year, I had no idea I would be promoting all of Limestone County’s community tourism activities. I’m really looking forward to 2014…from Car Shows to Rodeos, Beauty Pageants to themed Festivals, and I’ll be telling you all about them!
As always, October is one of our busiest months. Not only is it beautiful with the many captivating fall colors, but Mother Nature generally allows us to enjoy the cooperation of the cooler, drier weather, too.
October began with an exceptional attendance to Fiddlers’, sold out Haunts Walks, Relay for Life Fit as a Fiddle 5K, and the last Cruise In for this year. The up-coming events are the Hispanic Heritage Festival, Ully Fest, Pink Elephant Luncheon, “KOREA: The Forgotten War REMEMBERED,” and the month will close out with the Storytelling Festival.
This past weekend we watched as a ‘Reinvention of the South’ took place. Goat Cheese has never made such an impression on a town as Belle Chevre and Tasia Malakasis has in Elkmont, AL. On Saturday, October 12th, 2013, it was as if the whole town of Elkmont had come out for the “Southern Reinvention” and Grand Opening of Belle Chevre’s new creamery. However, the majority of the guests were not from Elkmont, they had come from surrounding communities to welcome the award winning cheese maker and to enjoy the festivities.
A ‘hands on’ cheese making activity was very popular. I was delighted to be the first guest to make goat cheese in the new creamery! I produced a pure white 3 oz. tube of goat cheese made fresh in the new Belle Chevre 8000 sq. ft. creamery. The Creamery itself has been reinvented from a century year old cotton warehouse.
Now looking ahead, we are putting a new twist this year on the Storytelling Festival. We are blessed in Limestone County to have some really great speakers. Some may say we even have some fine orators, then others would just call them “Tall Tellers”. So, in honor or all those who like to stretch the truth, puff it up, embellish or just flat out lie, Tuesday night, October 22nd is just for you. This will be the first time for “Amateur Night” at Storytelling.
The line up or ‘lie up’ will be Athens finest.
We know this first teller as the person who started the Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo. He has been a State Trooper, served in the US Marine Reserves and has been our favorite sheriff for the past 30 years, Sheriff Mike Blakely.
This next person is the former Mayor of Athens and now a member of the Alabama House of Representatives, Dan Williams. I’m sure he has a few tall tales he can share!
This smooth talker is a triple threat. He is a local Polk Sallet actor, dancer, director and sometimes he impersonates Dr. Seuss. Yes, Mr. Frank Travis will be a competitor.
A man dear to my heart is known as “Coach” to many Athens High graduates. He is currently known for being a ‘player’ all over town. Our local Athens Dulcimer Group player, and Limestone County Hall of Fame member, Jerry Todd will be tough to beat.
Someone you don’t want to meet in the courtroom is Athens City Attorney, Shane Black. Shane is flawless when it comes to building suspense and drama. He is very accomplished as a Polk Sallet actor, a Cemetery Stroll character and as a Haunts Walks Tour Guide.
And last but not at all least is Charlie Hughes. Charlie has been the MC for Storytelling, Car Shows and our local Festivals. He really knows how to keep the show going, plus he works at UG White, where I’m sure Bob White has been coaching him for weeks.
So come out on Tuesday night, pay your $5 and have a ton of laughs. The 7th Annual Athens Storytelling Festival is October 22th – 26th. The school children will get to attend free on October 23rd & 24th thanks to our local legislators.
For information about the above events and other Athens-Limestone County events call 256-232-5411/256-867-1438 or visit our website www.VisitAthensAL.com.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association