Sign Up Now


Welcome to the
City of Florence
Message Center  

Alabama's Renaissance City


In This Issue
Message from Mayor Holt


MAY 20 & 21, 2017
SAT 9 AM - 5 PM
SUN 10 AM - 5 PM
217 E Tuscaloosa Street & Wilson Park
Every third weekend in May, Wilson Park in historic downtown Florence comes to life with the Southeast's foremost fine, folk, and craft artists. Presented by the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts' Volunteers, Arts Alive is a juried arts festival and exhibition that will take place May 20 and 21. First held in 1986, Arts Alive features selected artists who sell, demonstrate, and exhibit their works.
The Arts Alive Juried Exhibition takes place at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts located directly across from Wilson Park. The selected works are on display for over a month and are judged for awards in technique, style, and expression. The exhibition opens May 10 and will hang until June 24.
Wilson Park transforms into one of the largest art markets in the Southeast on Arts Alive weekend. More than 110 chosen artists in various mediums and genres set up booths to sell their work. Art activities for children will be on the front lawn of the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library. A children's art exhibition will take place in the breezeway of Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts. Food vendors will set up along Tuscaloosa Street and the Shoals Master Gardeners' plant sale will be on the corner of Wood Ave. and Tombigbee Street.
Saturday night, May 21, Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts hosts a backyard garden party, Art Under the Stars, for artists and patrons to celebrate park and gallery winners with food and live music. Tickets are $25 each, and can be purchased at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts or at
This year, Arts Alive is a proud recipients of an Alabama State Council on the Arts grant of $4,000. This grant allowed the festival to open to a larger pool of national and regional applicants through an online application process. In 2017 Arts Alive will welcome more artists to the park than ever. 

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


Shoals Storytelling Festival Kicks Off
with Community Events

As part of the Storytelling Festival in Florence, AL this weekend, May 19 - 20, from 9 am - 9 pm, storytellers will go out into the community to speak to schools, libraries, businesses and churches Thursday, May 18, as part of the Pre-Festival events. They will have an opportunity to listen to a great form of art-the art of storytelling.
This is a great opportunity to witness technology, combining the past with the present, in a most unusual way.
National storyteller, Tim Lowry, from South Carolina, will be partnering with the Helen Keller, Ivy Green Home, in Tuscumbia, AL, and the Charlestown County School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing on Thursday afternoon
Using iPhones and iPads, Tim Lowry and Dean Walters will conduct a tour of Helen's birthplace. Partnering with the Institute of Deaf and Blind in Tuscumbia, Lillian Bonner will welcome students by sign language from Ivy Green to Charleston, SC. Their teacher, Dean Walters, who was born to deaf parents, is excited about this opportunity. According to Mr. Walters, "Many of these students would likely not have a chance to visit Helen Keller's home from Charleston to Tuscumbia. It is exciting to see and learn first hand more about her life."
The students see while they tour the home and outdoor surroundings while their teacher, Dean Walters, in Charleston, will serve as interpreter to the students. Tim Lowry will tell stories about Helen Keller with assistance from tour guide, Lynn Weaver. According to storyteller Tim Lowry, "It is amazing to think a young girl born in 1880, left blind and deaf after an illness, would learn to conquer her physical disabilities to become one of the world's greatest inspirational speakers. She will come alive for students 137 years later through the use of the technology. 
Serving as a role model for many deaf or hard of hearing students, the students in Charleston will have an opportunity to witness how Helen Keller's life story began before their eyes."

Detailed schedule:
To purchase tickets:

A BIG Thank You to the Junior League of The Shoals for being a sponsor of the 2017 FPD Leadership Academy. Every summer the Florence Police Department hosts a week-long leadership camp for at risk youth in our area. With this sponsorship of $2,500 dollars there is no doubt that this summer's session will be a huge success! 
(Pictured from left: Deputy Chief Tim Shaddix, Sgt. Dennis Patterson,
Junior League President Amanda Terry, Junior League Member Kyrel Buchanan,
and Junior League Member and FPD Dispatch Supervisor Amanda White)
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC, to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Florence Police Department Memorial and Awards Program
Memorial Grove
(Former National Guard Armory Site)
at 6:00 p.m.
Friday, May 19, 2017 
Refreshments following the program

Two Florence citizens received recognition for service to the Florence Police Department.
Elaine Augustine was recognized as being a driving force behind the Handgun Safety
classes taught by FPD and Dan Taylor was recognized for his countless hours
of volunteer work with the FPD Training Division and Training Center. 

Thank you to all who so graciously volunteer of themselves for the betterment of our community!





Please join us in welcoming three new Officers to the Florence Police Department.  Recruit Officer Ella Swan, Recruit Officer Justin Adams and Recruit Officer Jordan Risener were sworn in at the Florence City Council meeting this week.  They will undergo a 14-week Field Training Program before being released to solo officer status.  Welcome to our new Officers!

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 19, from 2 to 4 p.m.
The Tennessee Valley Strummers will  be performing at the
Visitor Center the 3 rd Friday of every month.
"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.

Armed Forces Day Celebration
Saturday, May 20, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. (Doors open 8:30)
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
2001 Cloyd Boulevard (at Darby Drive), Florence, AL
ALL Current & Past Veterans & Families are invited.
This is a "Thank You!" - not a fund-raiser.
Free Continental Breakfast
Support Information for Veterans and Families
Featured Speaker
Numerous Door Prizes

or call 256-766-6952


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.





New Business:  Registration Taking Place
2628 Hough Road

The technology is changing quicker than your children are growing, that is why the new Hi5 Creative Club is providing an interactive learning center, dedicated to providing children with the technological tools they need in today's fast-paced, competitive world.  Our state-of-the-art gaming and computer learning center gives children from age 9-14 a behind the scenes look at how technology works, and an opportunity to experience out-of-this world gaming expeditions.


New Business:  Coming Soon
250A Seville Street
RTD'S Market & More carries discount groceries and will have lots of deals.  Extensive supply of merchandise to choose from including, home décor, automotive, electronics, toys, baby supplies, and much more.


New Business:  Now Taking Appointments
1954 Jackson Road
Serenity Counseling is located in Florence, Alabama and provides individual and group counseling services to children (as young as 3), adolescents, and adults.  Serenity Counseling offers a unique, confidential, and peaceful counseling experience. Counseling sessions can occur in the office, or we can step outside and have a session under a willow tree, beside the creek, or in the arena.  We look forward to meeting you and being a part of your journey!


Grass is Growing & Residents are Mowing...


Just a friendly reminder that in April, 1990, the Florence City Council adopted a resolution requiring residents to bag their grass clippings in order to have them collected by the Street Department.
"That it shall be the policy of the Street Department of the City of Florence to pick up grass clippings only when they are bagged."  Adopted April 17, 1990
Please bag all grass clippings and place the bags at the curbside right-of-way.  (Keep bags out of the curb/gutter so they
do not stop the flow of water or wash into the storm drains.)
If you have any question, you may call the Street Department office between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.,
at 256-760-6460.
Thank you for your cooperation!

Academy Sports + Outdoors celebrates Florence opening with
donation to local youth and weekend of family fun starting
May 25th

WHO: Academy Sports + Outdoors, 30 youth from the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Shoals, and members of the Florence community

WHAT: The new Florence Academy Sports + Outdoors location is celebrating its opening with the donation of $100 Academy gift cards to 30 local youth the day before the store's grand opening celebration. The children will shop for anything they want including equipment for team sports, all-new footwear, bikes, apparel, fishing and camping gear, and more with an Academy team member.

Prior to all the fun, media are invited to get an exclusive tour of the 62,000 square-foot store and speak with store director Brandon Day about the opening. The new store brings approximately 100 new jobs to the community.

Beginning Friday, May 26, the store is hosting a two-day celebration full of giveaways, interactive product demonstrations, games for all, opportunities to interact with pros who represent top brands sold at the store, and more.

Visit for a full schedule of events.

WHERE: Academy Sports + Outdoors - Florence, AL
105 Cox Creek Parkway S.
Florence, AL 35630

DETAILS: Thursday, May 25
  •  Media tours from 1 - 3 p.m.
  • Youth shopping spree from 6 - 7 p.m.

Friday, May 26 - Grand Opening
  •  Ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:45 a.m.
  •  Beginning at 8:00 a.m., the first 250 customers will receive a free Academy t-shirt
  •  The first 100 customers with a wristband will receive a free YETI Rambler
  •  There will be hourly $50 gift card giveaway from 1 - 3 p.m.

Saturday, May 27 - Grand Opening
  •  The first 150 customers (18 years or older) in line outside the store who show that they're a fan of Academy on social media at 8:00 a.m. will receive a free Academy mystery gift card, valued between $20 and $500
  •  Kids can fish for free in our Shakespeare catch tank from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  •  Giveaways, games, and product demonstrations throughout the day

WHY: Academy is dedicated to making it easier for everyone to enjoy more sports and outdoors and values its commitment to local communities.

PHOTO OP: Capture local youth receiving a $100 shopping spree and members of the Florence community inside and outside the store playing games, shopping the store and interacting with the vast number of games and exhibits set up throughout the weekend.

About Academy Sports + Outdoors:
At Academy Sports + Outdoors, we make it easier for everyone to enjoy more sports and outdoor activities. At each of our 230+ locations, we carry a wide range of hunting, fishing and camping equipment, patio sets and barbecue grills, along with sports and recreation products, at everyday low prices. For all. For less. For more information about Academy Sports + Outdoors visit

For More Information Call 256-760-6400


The Youth Chapter of the Tri-County Branch of the NAACP is focusing their efforts to spread literacy around Colbert, Lauderdale, And Franklin Counties.  The Youth Chapter is currently made up of students  grades 1-7 from the three counties.
Here's how you can get involved
Collect your new or gently used books, and take them to one of the
participating business listed on our growing list.
We will sort and organize the books, and have a book giveaway in each county.
Hopefully, by the end of our book drive, we will be able to provide each child (ages k-grade 4) from Colbert,
 Lauderdale, and Franklin counties with at least 5 books to take home for the summer to build their library.

Two more drop-off locations are:
Florence City Hall Lobby
Florence-Lauderdale Government Building Lobby

Literacy is the greatest gift that anyone can receive.



Florence's historic Pope's Tavern Museum presents the 29 th Annual Frontier Day Celebration on Saturday, June 3,
and  Sunday, June 4. Relive the frontier heritage of Florence with crafts, music, period costumes, and food.
Celebration hours are 10:00 a.m.  to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Admission is free. 
This family-friendly event is entertaining as well as educational. Walk the premises of the tavern and watch engaging demonstrations by artisans in period costumes. Taste one of Momma's fried pies. Listen to heirloom dulcimer music from the Shoals Dulcimer and Folk Music Association. Watch members of the David Crockett Association present a living history reenactment in their improvised campsite. Purchase your favorite piece of pottery, basket weaving, quilting, weaving, wood carving, chair caning, or broom making from a skilled crafts person. Acclaimed potter, Rick Adams, will be joining us for the first time with live demonstrations. C&C Eats and Treats is ready to serve up an authentic frontier-style lunch. 
Complete the frontier experience with a tour through Pope's Tavern Museum free of charge. 
Pope's Tavern Museum is located at the corner of Hermitage Drive and Seminary Street. For more information call 256-760-6379. This event is sponsored by the Florence Department of Arts and Museums.








Edsel Holden presents "What a Wonderful World"


Edsel Holden will present "What a Wonderful World," a benefit concert for the UNA Bands program, on Sunday, June 11, at 2 p.m., in Norton Auditorium. Edsel, along with the Edd Jones Orchestra and special guests, will treat his audience to an afternoon of musical favorites.

Tickets are $15 and are available at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts,
Tennessee Valley Art Center, and the UNA Box Office (lobby of the
George S. Lindsey Theatre, MWF, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.).

For more information, contact the UNA Department of Music at 
(256)765-5122 or visit

Need Help With Your Financing Skills...There is HOPE



Operation HOPE, a national financial literacy nonprofit, has opened a HOPE Inside office in SunTrust Bank's downtown Florence location at 201 South Court Street.  This service is free and no strings attached.

"We are offering HOPE to individuals that it is possible to decrease debt, increase savings and increase credit scores.  It's possible to move beyond living paycheck to paycheck.  It's possible to start and sustain your own small business.  Planning for your future can be overwhelming and looking at your credit report can be intimidating.  We're here to break it down and help people take positive steps toward their future."  Andy Wallace, Financial Wellbeing Coach, Operation HOPE.


For more information call 256-702-9840 or email



Like us on Facebook

Like us on Facebook

For Children in Grades 1 st through 6 th
Your child will learn the basics of art in fun and innovative ways.
Hosted by the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts
Two Sessions:
June 12 - 16, 2017
June 19 - 23, 2017
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.

The University of North Alabama Summer Theatre
will present
The Mountaintop
by Katori Hall
Performances are:
Thursday, June 29 - 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 30 - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 1 - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 2 at 2:00 p.m.
All performances will take place in the George S. Lindsey Theatre.
The Mountaintop is a fictional depiction of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. 's last night on
earth set entirely in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel on the eve of his assassination in 1968
after delivering his legendary "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech.
General admission is $5 for UNA students/faculty/staff/alumni and $15 for adults.
Tickets can be purchased at the Department of Entertainment Industry Office
Monday - Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12 Noon;

For more information: Wanda Dixon, Events Coordinator, at 256-765-4342.






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.

Like us on Facebook
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 City Council adopted a  pet license ordinance for certain dogs and cats. 

The ordinance became effective May 1, 2014.

(See Ordinance Here)


Click here for the Quarterly Newsletter... 






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


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

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.


"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. 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

Confirm that you like this.

Click the "Like" button.