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Welcome to the
City of Florence
Message Center 

Alabama's Renaissance City


In This Issue
Message from Mayor Holt

Florence City Council Meeting - Tuesday, June 5
4:00 p.m. Work Session / 5:00 p.m. Council Meeting
City Auditorium, 103 South Pine Street





Saturday & Sunday
May 19 & 20
Wilson Park, Downtown Florence

Shoals Storytelling Festival
brings the power of story to life!

Thursday, Friday, & Saturday - May 17-19
ShoalsStorytelling Festival is back for three days of story in the Shoals! Thursday, May 17 is loaded with pre-festival events all over town. Some of the nation's top storytellers will be in Florence to entertain, teach, and tell on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 at the historic Shoals Theatre.
This year's festival lineup includes Donald Davis, Dolores Hydock, Tim Lowry, Bil Lepp, Kate Campbell, and Josh Goforth. Two day passes are $45. A one day pass is $25. Both passes include the evening events. Evening events are $15 separately. Holocaust survivor and author, Inge Auerbacher will perform the night before at a pre-festival performance Thursday night, May 17 at the Shoals Theatre. Tickets to her performance are $10. See the complete schedule at and the press release here.
This festival is sponsored by the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, City of Florence, Colbert Co. Commission, the St. Francis Project, Florence-Lauderdale Tourism, On Stage, and Storytelling Patrons of the Shoals.  Call 256-760-6381 for more information or visit




On March 12, 2018, the City of Florence was officially 200 years old - making it one full year older than the State of Alabama!
It was a GRAND Bicentennial Celebration on Monday, March 12, in Wilson Park, and now we have an entire year of exciting events planned to highlight the different sectors that helped form our wonderful City.



As we move forward into May...May is all about the ARTS!
  Along with First Fridays, Arts Alive, and the Shoals Storytelling Festival,
a series of hands-on WORKSHOPS (fabric/wood/clay) are planned.
The public is invited to participate in all of these great events!
  • Friday & Saturday, May 18-19 - SHOALS STORYTELLING FESTIVAL, Shoals Theater
  • Saturday & Sunday, May 19-20 - ARTS ALIVE FESTIVAL - Wilson Park
  • Saturday, May 26, 1:00-4:00 PM - CLAY WORKSHOP - Event will highlight our history of clay as an art form, conducted by Aaron Benson at UNA
  • Monday, May 28, 11:00 a.m. - Memorial Day Ceremony - Veterans Memorial Site, Veterans Park
(Seating is limited at the workshops so get your name in early.)
For a full list of Florence Bicentennial events, visit

(Including an online store - Click on "Shop" from the menu)
(Here are a few of the items for sale...)









(Updated Schedule as of May 10, 2018)

We are indebted to our wonderful Sponsors who
helped to make the celebration possible!

Memorabilia is for sale in the Bicentennial Office and the Mayor's Office and includes:  Christmas ornaments, canvas tote bags, coasters, ball caps, coffee mugs, insulated tumblers, throws, coins, tee-shirts, polo shirts, golf balls, fans, window decals, lapel pins, screen wipes, and koozies, and the beautiful 2018 Bicentennial Calendar published by The Design Committee of Florence Main Street and features interesting information about Florence's fascinating history, along with details of the commemorations that will take place monthly from March through November.  

Bicentennial Office - 256-760-6689
Mayor's Office - 256-760-6400
The BC Office (4th Floor) and the Mayor's Office (2nd Floor)
are located in the
Florence-Lauderdale Government Building
102 South Court Street

The calendar is also available at these locations:

1. Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 East Tuscaloosa Street 
2. Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Bureau/Visitors Center in McFarland Park
3. The Shoals Chamber of Commerce office on Hightower Place
4. Mayor's Office, 102 South Court Street, Second Floor


Ribbon Cutting
2708 W. Mall Drive
Midgard Self Storage, located at 2708 W. Mall Drive, celebrated their newly renovated storage facility with a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, May 9.  Midgard Self Storage units have 24/7 access, and climate controlled and non-AC units are for available for rent.  U-Haul® truck rentals are also available onsite.  Whether you are looking for office storage or boat and RV storage,
you will find all you need at Midgard.   


Mayor Steve Holt is pleased to announce that the City of Florence will be developing a public access area on the corner of Cox Creek and Jackson Road. The photo shows the City clearing property so ALDOT can survey their right-of-way.



Tentative Schedule for 2018 Summer Golf
Closed - Monday, May 21 - Start Renovation
Course will be closed for three (3) weeks.
Range will be open during this time and Chipping Area.
Target date to Sprig is June 11. If this date is met, then the
course will reopen as a Par3 with temporary greens the following week.
(Schedule is tentative based on weather conditions.)
Updates will be posted in the Blackberry Golf Shop and in the paper as needed.
Also, follow us on Facebook: Blackberry Trail Golf Course
Twitter @BBTGC
Cost $5.00 per nine holes
Cart fee $7.00 per nine holes

Music in the Park 2018
Wilson Park
11:30 am -1:30 pm

May 23rd - Joseph Baldwin 
May 30th - Back on Track 
June 6th - Kids Fest Idol Winners/Unfamous with Rob Carnegie 
June 13th - Jeff Hornbuckle 
June 20th - The Browns 
June 27th - Tim & Amber Rhodes/Holly Horton
McFarland Park
Friday, June 29
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Featuring - Salt & Light
Don't Forget to Visit our Farmers' Markets!

College Street Farmers Market
will be open at the Singin' River LIVE
526 East College Street - Covered Facility
May thru November - Every Thursday - 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.,
with local vendors, live music, and food.
Contact:  Allison Mackey 256-762-1760
Florence-Lauderdale Farmers' Market
451 Fairground Road - Covered Facility
May - Saturdays - 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
June thru September - Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays - 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
October - Saturdays - 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We are open today, Thursday, May 17 at:
123 East Mobile Street
10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
We have some of our Honey,Strawberries, Cantaloupe, Peaches and Zucchini Bread today!
It's SPECIAL THURSDAY!!  Our special for today only (until sold out) is our Free Range Eggs.  They are $3.00 per dozen.


Ales for ALS Street Party
this Friday, May 18
from 5-8pm
Singin'River Brewery
526 East College Street
We will be brewing a beer to help raise money towards researching a cure for ALS.

Friday, May 18
2 - 4 p.m.
The Tennessee Valley Strummers will return to the Florence/Lauderdale Visitor Center in McFarland Park to play folk dulcimer music in the Gallery on Friday, May 18, from 2 to 4 p.m. The Tennessee Valley Strummers will be performing at the Visitor Center the 3rd Friday of every month.  Others that play the dulcimer or other folk instrument are always welcome to join the group.  "The Visitor Center has become a venue and gathering place for free cultural events and entertainment," Alison Stanfield, Director of Operations said. "Our visitors thoroughly enjoy the entertaining folk music we are delighted the strummers are performing here on a monthly basis.
The dulcimer, which means "sweet sound," is a four-stringed instrument developed in the 1700s in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The featured players use a tablature system of playing, based on fret numbers, which enables them to play with others - even if they have never met before.  Visitors are encouraged to join the Strummers in playing as well.  Under organizer, Jack Brewer the Tennessee Valley Strummers also play at the Wayne County Welcome Center in Collinwood, Tennessee; Tupelo, Mississippi and local nursing homes. Brewer stated that the group believes tourism and local community have a great impact on the economy. The strummers enjoy playing for locals and interacting with their listeners.  "We usually have more people in Florence from the local areas," Brewer said. "It's always good to have a big and lively audience and that is why we enjoy playing in Florence."
Visitors are encouraged to come out and listen to the music and tour the Center. Admission is free.
For more information call the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Office at 256-740-4141.



416 North Court Street

Registration has started for the 24 Hour Play Festival in May. We need actors, directors, writers, and techies. Minimal time, maximum benefit!! In 24 hours, groups will be formed, plays written (10 min. limit), scripts memorized, plays rehearsed, and finally public performances. Scan the qr code on the flyer to join the group and register to participate!


Handy Recreation Center
Open House
Tuesday, May 22
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Get information on
Summer programs/activities/Summer Food Program for Youths
Meet the Staff
Get a tour of the Recreation Center
1105 Beale Street- Florence
For more information call- (256) 760-6435

Merchandising: The Future of Retail
Wednesday, May 23
8:30am-9:30am - FREE ADMISSION!
University of North Alabama,
Connie D. McKinney, Department of Human Sciences, Hospitality & Design Facility
205 South Seminary Street, Florence, AL
It's important that retailers are embracing the innovation of new technology in an ever-changing industry that now offers so much online. Knowing what's happening in this fast paced industry and where it's going is critical to the life of your business. Reserve your seat for this seminar presented by Ms. Laura McKee from the University of North Alabama - Merchandising Department, as she discusses the Future of Retail - Online Sales versus In Store Sales, the growth of retail, Omni-channel and Multi-channel.
TO REGISTER: Call or email Micah Cox at 256-740-4141 or!
Ask about our Social Media workshop too!





Local Music & Makers Day Features
Artists, Arthur Alexander Tribute and Muscle Shoals Music

Saturday, May 26
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Florence is celebrating it's Bicentennial throughout 2018 with events being held each month to commemorate 200 years of being a city.  Each month has a specific theme with May celebrating the arts. As a way to feature our many talented artisans, Florence/Lauderdale Tourism and the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area are hosting the Local Makers and Music Day around the grounds of the Visitor Center in McFarland Park.  The event is free to the public and will be held May 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The various vendors will include handmade bow ties, pen and ink drawings, paintings, local authors, jewelry, clothing, t-shirts and producers.  According to Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Director of Operations Alison Stanfield, "The Shoals has a large community of unique arts and craft makers, artists, authors and musicians.  As a way to showcase them, we have invited a wide variety of vendors to set up booths at the Visitor Center.  We will have a tribute to Arthur Alexander and other performances throughout the day for attendees to enjoy.  People are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets."
The Arthur Alexander Tribute featuring Donnie Fritts, Andreas Werner of Crazy Chester Music and others will begin at 11:00 a.m.  The Florence native's song "You Better Move On" was the first hit for FAME and Rick Hall.  The song was later recorded by the Rolling Stones while the Beatles recorded Alexander's "Anna (Go To Him)".  Alexander wrote and recorded with many Muscle Shoals legends such as Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Donnie Fritts, Peanut Montgomery, Norbert Putnam and more.  There will be a question and answer session, followed by a performance by Donnie Fritts including some of Alexander's songs.
Other music entertainment will include Mitch Mann and the Mojo Mixers.  They will perform a rare acoustic set from 2:00 to 3:30.  The group is made up of Mitch Mann, Andreas Werner and David McKay. The performance will feature songs from the Muscle Shoals songbook as well as original songs. 
For additional information on the event or becoming a vendor,
please email or call 256-740-4141.



Knights of Columbus
Florence Council 3989


Memorial Day Chicken Stew and BBQ
Monday, May 28, 2018
At Langer (Knights of Columbus) Hall
4051 Co. Rd. 30 in St. Florian
Selling 6:00 a.m. until we run out - Come early!
Menu and Prices
BBQ Pork        $9  per pound
                        $40  per whole Boston butt
Chicken Stew       $5 per quart
                                     $10  per half gallon
                                     $20  per gallon
   Katie's Slaw      $4  per jar (mild or jalapeño)
Don't want to stand in line or have to get up early?
We are proud to offer PRE-SALES!
Smoked Boston Butts complete with a
container of St. Florian BBQ sauce - $40.00 each
Chicken Stew by the gallon - $20.00 each
Friday, May 25, with payment, and  
picked up between 6:00 and 9:00 a.m. on Monday, May 28.
Call Chad Sidley at (256) 335-9650
This family-friendly event is entertaining as well as educational. Walk the premises of the tavern, visit historical displays, and watch engaging demonstrations by artisans in period costumes. Listen to heirloom dulcimer music from the Shoals Dulcimer and Folk Music Association. Watch demonstrations by the Poplar Creek Longrifles, a bladesmith, potter, soap maker, wood carver, weaver, and many more! Purchase your favorite piece of handiwork from a skilled craftsperson. Taste the carbonated limeade first served  in Florence at Milner Drug Store or one of Momma's fried pies. Complete the frontier experience with a tour through Pope's Tavern Museum free of charge. 




The Downtown Florence Unlimited 
is again sponsoring
its Movie in the Park series.
Come, sit, and enjoy a wonderful evening!
Wilson Park
Saturday, June 2
8:00 p.m.

KENNEDY-DOUGLASS CENTER FOR THE ARTS is located at 217 East Tuscaloosa Street,
Florence, and is open, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  
Call 256-760-6379 for information on City museums and art events or Click here.

Young Masters Art School
For Children in Grades 1st through 6th
Your child will learn the basics of art in fun and innovative ways:
Printing, drawing, collage, free-hand drawing, cutting, and much more!
Hosted by the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts
Two Sessions:
June 4 - 8, 2018
June 11 - 15, 2018
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Students entering Grades 1st through 3rd
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Students entering Grades 4th through 6th
Tuition is $50 for first child/second child in a family is $45.00.
Classes are limited.
For applications call 256-760-6379 or come to
the K/D Center for the Arts, 217 East Tuscaloosa Street, Florence.


Arts Alive's 2018 Exhibition comes to life May 14 and runs through June 8, 2018, at Kennedy-Douglass 
Center for the Arts. The Arts Alive Exhibit displays artworks in various mediums and disciplines from artists and craftspeople from all over the country. This year's exhibition judge Parker Seward, assistant professor of art at University of North Alabama, will select the winners of nearly $5,000 in artistic awards. 
The Arts Alive exhibition is one of two fund raisers for the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts Volunteers. Arts Alive supports Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts Volunteers Endowments to school art programs in Lauderdale and Colbert counties. Last year's Arts Alive Festival endowed nearly $5,000 to local schools for art programs and projects. Children's artwork created by local elementary schools will also be on display in the art center breezeway during the exhibition.
Don't miss this opportunity to see this impressive collection of fine, folk, and craft works!
This exhibition is sponsored by the City of Florence Department of Arts and Museums. The children's exhibition is made possible by the Alabama State Council on the Arts.  Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts  is located at 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence and is open, Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and the weekend of the Arts Alive Festival, May 19 &20. Festival is open from 9:00 AM - 5PM on Saturday and 10:00 AM - 5:00PM on Sunday.  Call 256-760-6379 for more information or visit





The City of Florence has numerous boards and commissions through which our citizenry can get involved.  We depend upon you to help us make wise decisions and we solicit your advice and ideas.  Your service is invaluable in helping us continue to build and prosper as a progressive City. 



If you are interested and willing to serve on one of these boards,
you may: 

Pick up an application from the Mayor/Council Office or
download a simple application that is available on the City's website at

A description of each board, along with the resolution
detailing the guidelines for serving, is also posted on the same website.  Applications stay on file for one year.  After one year, you will need to reapply or let us know to update your application that is on file.  






The Florence/Lauderdale Animal Shelter has

DOGS AND CATS available for



Click here for the Quarterly Newsletter...





NEW SHELTER HOURS - The Shelter is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.  


Friday Evenings the Shelter is open for Pet Adoption - 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Weekend hours are:

 Saturday, open to the public and volunteers,

from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and


Sunday, closed to the public,

but open to volunteers from 9:00 a.m. to 12 Noon.


Volunteers are always welcome!




The City Council adopted a  pet license ordinance for certain dogs and cats. 

The ordinance became effective May 1, 2014.



Florence Parks & Recreation Department
For an updated listing of the monthly activities at the
Royal Avenue Center
421 North Royal Avenue

"Where Boomers and Seniors Come Together As ONE"
450 Country Club Drive
(Savannah Highway/Hwy. 20)
Florence - 256-760-6420
***The Club is a drug free, alcohol free facility***




2018 Weekly Schedule of Events


On FRIDAYS, the Boomers and Seniors wear RED to show support for our service men and women.  Get your "CLUB" shirt the next time you visit.
"JOINTS IN MOTION" CHAIR EXERCISE CLASS will help you with your activities of daily living.  Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  No age limit. Men, women, friends and family are welcome to join us at The CLUB.  No fee.  Class Leader:  Fran "fish" Davis.
Also, the Joints in Motion Class offers the opportunity for you to join them in prayer around the flagpole each Monday morning after class at 9:50 a.m. to pray for our community, city, nation, first responders, troops, and families and friends of The CLUB.
THE NUTRITION PROGRAM is a NACOLG/State program which serves lunch each Monday-Friday, at 11:00 a.m., at The CLUB.  Suggested donation $1.  This program is based on age and not financial need.  Limited seating (35) available on first come basis.  You must be seated by 10:30 a.m.  Feel free to come check it out.
The only requirements are:
1) Must be 60 years of age, and
2) Must sign in and be seated by 10:30 a.m.
BOOMER'S & SENIOR'S TUESDAY NIGHT DANCE at The CLUB, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., each week.  The doors will open at 6:00 p.m.  $6 per person.  Singles & couples are welcome.  21+ years old.  Music spanning the decades is performed by The Browns.  For more information please call The CLUB at 256-760-6420, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Alabama's state dance is Folk and Square Dancing.  It's a healthy challenge that will have you stepping to the music and enjoying your new dance family.  The Singing River Squares will happily be your square dance angels during your BEGINNING SQUARE DANCE CLASSES that begins approximately every 12 weeks. The Singing River Squares WELCOMES you to give it a try.  Singles, couples, families...anyone with the desire to learn is welcomed.  For more information call Fran at The CLUB, 256-760-6642.  The seasoned dancers will dance PLUS TIPS in between the beginners tips.
BINGO is offered at 9:30 am on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  No fee for BINGO.  Expendable type prizes are appreciated such as paper products, toothpaste, mouthwash, lotion, soap, puzzle books, unopened snack foods. If you'd like to make a donation our guys & gals they would greatly appreciate it.
BOARD GAMES, ROOK, CARD GAMES, DOMINOES and fun with friends each morning & afternoon at The CLUB.  9 am to 4 pm.  No fee.


We attend
Senior Citizens Appreciation Day (SCAD)
each spring!

We have picnics at The Club throughout the year. Feel free to give us a call for the schedule. Due to thunderstorms that roll through our area we have to postpone our outdoor events occasionally.
The DULCIMERS play each fourth Thursday at The CLUB, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Come and enjoy their music!
We enjoy MYSTERY TRIPS and overnight trips with our friends from The CLUB.  The Dam Fall Color Tour and Touring for Christmas Lights are two of our favorite annual tours along with Reelfoot Lake, the Earthquake Lake, Tiptonville, TN during bald eagle season.

Our vegetable garden at The Club

Have a great weekend!

Mayor Steve Holt

How to Submit Your Event, News, or Announcement:

  • Public and community events or announcements can be in an email, Word document, PDF, or JPG file suitable for viewing on the web.  Include graphics in JPG or PNG if possible.
  • Along with your information, include your name, phone number, event name, location, date and time, and a brief description.
  • IMPORTANT:  Please submit your information no later than Tuesday of each week (preferably sooner).  Submissions after the deadline will be added to the next week's publication.  The newsletter is posted on Thursday afternoon.
  • Send your information to: or call Sandra Morgan with questions at 256-760-6408.


City of Florence | 256-760-6300 | |
110 West College Street
P.O. Box 98
Florence, AL 35630