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Welcome to the
City of Florence
Message Center  

Alabama's Renaissance City


In This Issue
Message from Mayor Holt
"26 Reasons to Plan a Getaway to the Shoals."
Great publicity that highlights us in
glowing terms on this past Tuesday!





At the City Council meeting this week,  CERTIFICATES OF APPRECIATION  from Mayor Holt were presented to our  ANIMAL SHELTER VOLUNTEERS  who give of their time to help care for our animals.   Ms. Leah Fox, is the Animal Shelter Director.  Pictured are some of the volunteers who were able to attend the meeting along with Council President Dick Jordan and Ms. Fox. 
Animal Shelter Volunteers :
Debby Nelson - 5 years
Lorraine Lewis - 4 years
Dianne Michael - 3 years
Jennifer Lauder - 3 years
Diane Letson - 3 years
Ashley Stoddard - 3 years (and Petco Crew)
Bill Daniels - 3 years
Brenda Daniels - 3 years
Stephanie Gilliam - 2 years
Wendy Gurnis - 2 years
Adeline Gurnis - 2 years
Petco Crew Volunteers :
Joyce Mansell - 5 years
Jill Schneider - 5 years
Cecily Wall - 4 years
Katrina Helms 1.5 years
Megan White 1.5 years
Candy Howton 1 year
Quinn Raymond - 10 months
Jessica Hanson - 9 months

This past Saturday, 406 volunteers from 61 businesses and organizations
worked together to collect more than
11,660 lbs of TRASH from the roadway. 




District 1

Thursday, March 23
6:00 p.m.
Mt. Moriah PB Church Life Center
820 W. Irvine Ave.
Council Member Kaytrina Simmons invites you to the District 1
meeting to hear the West Florence UNA Housing Development Plan.
If you have questions, please feel free to send your questions
in advance so I can try to have you an answer.

I may be reached as follows:  256-760-6401, 256-349-3879, or





2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 25
In honor of Women's History Month, Florence/Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area will host  Songwriting Women of the Shoals. This free event will take place at 2:00 p.m., on Saturday, March 25, 2017, in the Visitors Center Gallery.

Click here for full details...  Songwriting Press Release
For more information, call the Florence/Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at 265-740-4141.

Florence Main Street has the opportunity to win $25,000 if they receive enough votes through this link. All it takes is one click to vote for #DowntownFlorence to win. You can vote once a day, now through April 23rd. Would you share this message and link on your Facebook page for them? Your vote counts! Click here to vote!!!




Saturday, April 8

Registration is now underway for
Florence Police Department's annual  Citizens Police Academy.
The one-day event will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 8.
The academy is a full day of hands-on activities and demonstrations,
which includes SWAT,  canine, criminal investigations, traffic enforcement,  and more aspects of the department.  Participants must be 18 or older.   Applications are available at the Florence Police Department, or  call Officer Ricky Sharp at 256-760-6585 or
send an email to





Monday, March 27
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
620 West College Street
Christian Brothers Band of Memphis will play a free concert on the lawn of the W.C. Handy Home and Museum at Noon on Monday, March 27.  The museum will be open free to the public from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. that day. 
Established in 1872, the Christian Brothers Band is the oldest high school band in America with an unbroken lineage of ten band directors. From its beginning the band has been a part of Memphis history, performing for two U.S. Presidents as well as the dedications of the Court Square fountain in downtown Memphis, the Great Mississippi River Bridge, and St. Jude Medical Research Hospital. The band has performed in twenty-one states from Hawaii to New York, performing at events such as the Chicago Mid-West Clinic and the Tennessee Bandmasters Conferences. In recent years the band performed at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Lincoln Memorial and Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., recorded at STAX records, and performed their 140th anniversary concert at the historic Orpheum Theatre in Memphis. The band has achieved superior ratings at concert festivals in the highest division and is nationally famous as a model band program in America. The Christian Brothers Band offers students the opportunity to realize their fullest potential in music. Individual instruction is offered daily and beginners are welcome to the program through its developmental band program. The band's challenge throughout its history has been to provide musical culture and entertainment to both school and community while maintaining high standards of music education.
W.C. Handy Home and Museum is located at 620 W. College St. and is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Call 256-760-6379 for more information. 

Take advantage of the new program, Shoals Shift, a grant project funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission.  This is a partnership of the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center, the University of North Alabama, and the Shoals Chamber of Commerce and includes business assistance and workforce development programs developed by Strategic Networks Group (SNG). 
Businesses can take an assessment/survey that will analyze its broadband potential and benefits.
Beginning March 7, you can take a survey to help gauge internet utilization for your business. The survey will go live at on the 7th and be available through the end of the month.  The survey will tell you how much and how well your business uses and leverages the power of the internet. The survey is open to businesses of all sizes, but is geared toward small operations with 20-50 employees, home-bound, and micro-businesses.
Take the analysis at familiarize yourself with the process.
See more information at Grow Your Business Flyer ( click here) or at SNG's webpage -  







UNA Choirs: Voices Unplugged

The UNA Vocal Jazz Ensemble will present Voices Unplugged, a celebration of music tailor-made for the unamplified-and often unaccompanied-voice, on Thursday, March 23, 7:30 p.m., at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church. The program runs the gamut from pop to rock to jazz to the classics-often arranged by the members themselves-plus solos and duets. This concert is presented "in the round" in the intimate setting of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church's sanctuary. Tickets are $10 adults and $5 students, and are available at, at the Lindsey Theatre Box Office (MWF, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.), and at the door. 


UNA Bands: Connections

The UNA Bands will present the Wind Ensemble Concert on Friday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Norton Auditorium. The concert, titled "Connections," features this premier concert ensemble as they connect old and new traditions of wind band literature. The concert will also feature the UNA Middle School Honor Bands. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and military personnel (with ID) and children 10 and under admitted free (at door). Tickets are available at, at the Lindsey Theatre Box Office (MWF, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.), and at the door




UNA Opera: Puccini's La Bohème

UNA Opera will present Giacomo Puccini's timeless classic La Bohème on Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, at 2 p.m., in Norton Auditorium.  Set in four acts, the story, sung in Italian with English supertitles, features a well-crafted cast. The production will be fully staged with sets, costumes, a children's chorus, and orchestra. Alan Flowers will present a pre-performance talk on Friday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the Music Building Choral Room. Admission: adults $12 in advance, $15 at the door; students $5. Tickets are available at, at the Lindsey Theatre Box Office (MWF, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.), and at the door.


Shoals Symphony at UNA: Disney LIVE 
The Jungle Book

The Shoals Symphony at UNA once again brings Disney LIVE to the Shoals! The full-length G-rated animated Disney classic The Jungle Book will be presented on a giant screen on the Norton stage with the Shoals Symphony at UNA providing the musical underscore live! The concert is licensed by Disney Concerts, a division of ABC, Inc., Walt Disney Music Company and Wonderland Music Company Inc.  Tickets are available at or at the Lindsey Box Office, MWF, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.




The Florence Knights of Columbus Council 3989
is sponsoring its annual
Friday, March 24, 2017
St. Joseph Catholic Regional School Cafeteria
115 Plum Street - Florence
Served from 4:15 PM to 6:45 PM
Featuring catfish filets, hush puppies,
Cole slaw, French fries or baked potato,
drink and dessert are included.
Tickets are available at the door:
Adults, $10.00
Children 4 - 6 years: $4.00
Children under 4 years eat FREE
Carry - outs are available.
Cheese pizza will be available for
those who do not want fish.
Proceeds from this fellowship will be used
for the Council 3989 Charity Fund.
For Information call Don Rohling at 256-710-7059


Other Contacts:
Peggy O'Steen:  email or phone 766-6858
Vance Persall:  phone 366-8342

Take a Walk on the Historic Side of Florence

Local residents will have an opportunity to "Take a Walk on the Historic Side" by participating in the annual Walking Tours of Historic Florence April 1 - 29.  Florence/Lauderdale Tourism hosts the walking tours as a way to promote our historic sites, neighborhoods and unique architecture.   A Tour of a different historic location will be featured each Saturday and will be guided by local historians. This year, a new tour of the iconic Larimore Home has been added to the list of previous favorite tour destinations. The tours begin at 10:00 a.m., are free to the public and will last approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

April 1 - North Court & Seminary
North Court & Seminary Streets tour will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Roger's Hall or Courtview on the UNA campus. It features Rogers Hall, Coby Hall, the Governor O'Neal Home, Connor Place, Wakefield, the Robert Dean Martin Home, the Medical Arts Building, Pope's Tavern, two Sears & Roebuck houses and many other homes.  The tour begins at Roger's Hall, the North end of Court Street at 10 a.m. Parking will be available on Court Street and at the UNA parking lot located at One Harrison Plaza. Tour Guide: Billy Warren


April 8 - Walnut Street Historic District 
The Walnut Street Historic District boasts tree lined sidewalks, diverse architecture and elegant homes. The tour will begin in the UNA Tennis Courts parking lot on Hermitage Drive.   Walk by 29 beautifully restored houses that originally comprised the Walnut Street Historic District and were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.  The tour begins at the corner of Walnut St. & Hermitage Drive at 10 a.m. Parking is available at the UNA Tennis Courts on Hermitage Drive. Tour Guide: Billy Warren 
April 15 - Florence City Cemetery
The tour of the Florence City Cemetery, established in 1818, features unique headstones and monuments adorned with burial and religious symbolism.  The cemetery contains graves belonging to early settlers, two former governors in the O'Neal family, along with other prominent community leaders and families. The tour begins at Florence City Cemetery entrance at 10 a.m. 705 E. College Street next to the Animal Shelter or entrances on Tennessee Street. Tour Guide: Harry Wallace

April 22 -  Larimore Home
The Larimore home was built in 1870 by Theophilus Brown (T.B.) Larimore. Following his marriage in 1868 to Miss Esther Gresham, they established a school on 27 acres of land she had inherited from her mother's estate. Using the home and approximately 20 other buildings on the same site, Mars Hill Academy operated from 1871 to 1887 to train ministers and Christian workers of the Church of Christ.  In 1947 the home became the Mars Hill Bible School.  The 12-room home is now surrounded by the expanded school campus and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Presently the home is open for special tours and available to rent as a venue for meetings, receptions, weddings and other special events.  Tours guides will be Florence City Historian Billy Ray Warren and Ryan A. Moore, Vice President of Advancement for Mars Hill Bible School.
The tour of the home and grounds will begin at 10:00 a.m. and is free to the public.  A special lunch prepared by the Associated Women's Organization of Mars Hill will be available with advanced reservations. Seating will be at 11:45 with the meal served at 12 noon.  The cost is $12 cash or check. The menu will be smoked marinated pork tenderloin with broccoli salad, sweet potato casserole, homemade rolls and dessert.  Call Florence/Lauderdale Tourism at 256-740-4141 for lunch reservations. 




April 29- Forks of Cypress Plantation Site & Cemetery
The Forks of Cypress Plantation was one of the oldest antebellum mansions in Alabama.  It was built in 1822 by James Jackson, one of the first settlers in Lauderdale County and a friend of Andrew Jackson.  Bring your lawn chairs for the beginning portion of the tour.  The second part of the tour will be at the historic Jackson Cemetery. The tour begins at Forks of Cypress at 10 a.m.  Directions to the site are as follows: take Cox Creek Pkwy to Jackson Rd. and turn right (no traffic signal at intersection). Turn right at the dead end.  Park along the road or enter the gate to park in the field leading to the columns. Tour Guide: Harry Wallace.

For more information, call the Tourism Office at 256-740-4141.

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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.

Isabelle Gautier: Life is a Long Flowing River
Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts is pleased to present Life is a Long Flowing River,
an exhibition  of travel and season influenced paintings, by Isabelle Gautier. The exhibition will
run from  March 2 through April 7.   Isabelle's work intersects abstract, minimal, and
impressionist styles. The exploration of  color and space in her compositions
reflect her love for travel and light. 
Born and raised in Normandy near The Landing Beaches in north-western France, Isabelle Gautier
developed a love for color and design from nature. Initially influenced by the French impressionist
painters of the 19th century, she has cultivated a passion for 20th century expressionist
painters as well.   Her travels across all continents have left a lasting impression on her prolific
work. Her artwork  has been featured on HGTV, by Neiman Marcus, in various galleries, and is
part of the  Atlanta Fine Home Sotheby's International Realty art collection. Isabelle is the
selected artist  for the Public Art Project of Milton, GA City Hall and is active in community arts. 
"These paintings at the 'Life is a Long Flowing River' exhibit have been executed over several
years and retrace not only the influence of my travels but also of my surroundings in the beautiful
southeast US. My quest is not to create the illusion of reality but to suggest with colors and
composition the inherent nature of the aesthetic object, flora and fauna," Isabelle Gautier stated.


Art on the Inside: Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project Exhibition
The Alabama Prison Arts & Education Project will show a selection of student artwork at The Kennedy- Douglass Center for the Arts in Florence, AL from April 3 through May 3 as part of the exhibition called Art on the Inside. A gallery talk with the Alabama Prison Arts & Education Project is scheduled for Thursday, April 13, at  6:00 p.m. 
APAEP, housed in University College at Auburn University, offers arts and education programming in 10 of the state's prisons, as well as an interdisciplinary studies degree-granting program. APAEP also works with 12 prisons to build general reading libraries.
"APAEP provides access to sustained and quality educational experiences in the arts, humanities, hard sciences, and human sciences.  We believe that education provides a fertile field for transformation and growth and that these learning experiences contribute to the positive development of every person."
Art on the Inside has shown at the Alabama State Council on the Arts in Montgomery, AL, the Gulf ArtSpace Gallery in Fairhope, AL, the Joan Collins Smith Museum of Art in Auburn, AL, Space OneEleven in Birmingham, AL, Salt Space NYC and New York State University in New York, and St. Louis University in Missouri, among other places.
APAEP art classes have been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Joan Mitchell foundation.

Florence Camerata Fundraiser
just in time for Mother's Day!
See attached flyer and order sheet
All orders must be completed by Monday, May 8
Contact:  Barbara P. Johnson at  910-309-2177

May 18 - 20
A wonderful experience for the whole family!


Detailed schedule:
To purchase tickets:

Please join us and enjoy the MYSTERY TRIPS and OVERNIGHT trips with your new friends at The CLUB.
The Dam Fall Color Tour and Searching for Christmas Lights are two of our favorite annual tours along
with Reelfoot Lake, the Earthquake Lake, Tiptonville, TN during bald eagle season.
Upcoming Tours for 2017
Taking Reservations Now.
Monday-Friday 10 am-4 pm @ The Club .
Your choice of seats on the motor coach will be in the order that your register.
Limited seating. Please call for additional information:  256.760.6642
Jack Daniels Distillery/Miss Mary Bobo's:  May 11, 2017 - $99

The Ark Encounter & Creation Museum:
Cincinnati/September 11-15, 2017, 5 days 4 nights. $535.
This is a life-sized Noah's Ark Experience, The Creation Museum,
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens,
Newport Aquarium, 8 meals.
 $75 deposit upon signing - Remainder amount by June 30, 2017

Branson Holiday Show Extravaganza:
November 5-11, 2017, 7 days 6 nights. $625.
7 Branson Shows, Showboat Branson Belle, 10 meals.
$75 deposit upon signing.
Remainder payment amount by August 25, 2017.


The Healing Place is looking for Teams and Sponsors for their annual 
Hosted by

If you would like to participate, please contact them at:
 or call 256-383-7133.
The City provides a seasonal loose leaf collection for leaves raked into a windrow or piled at the curb in residential areas. Trucks vacuum leaves from the curbside Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and  3:30 p.m.
Leaves should be raked in piles curbside, but not into the street or gutter. The piles need to be away from obstructions so the vacuum trucks can easily reach them. Putting leaves in the gutter can cause drainage and/or traffic problems. Please make sure the piles contain only leaves and no sticks, pine cones, limbs, rocks or trash. These types of debris can stop up the vacuum trucks and delay collection.
Please do not park cars too close to leaf piles, this prevents collection.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.    Click here for current schedule of routes. 



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

The ordinance became effective May 1, 2014.

(See Ordinance Here)




The Florence/Lauderdale Animal Shelter has



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!

Top of page

"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***




2017 Weekly Schedule of Events


O n 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. New Hours...The beginner class meets from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m every Friday.   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

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