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Welcome to the
City of Florence
Message Center  

Alabama's Renaissance City


In This Issue
Message from Mayor Holt
The Florence City Council meeting is set for
4:00 p.m. Work Session / 5:00 p.m. Council Meeting
City Auditorium, 103 South Pine Street










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.



We celebrate America's birthday in style and pay tribute to the father of blues with the W.C. Handy Festival. Quite simply, music is a part of everything we do, which is why it makes sense that the theme for this month's Bicentennial festivities is MUSIC!

  • Tuesday, July 17, 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM - FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, open archives and church tour
    • Sunday, July 22, 6:30-8:30 PM - OPENING BICENTENNIAL CEREMONIES 'N HARMONY WITH NATURE LITTER-FREE EVENT - held on the W. C. Handy Home & Museum Front Lawn, West College Street (Rain Location: Mt. Moriah PB Christian Life Center, West Irvine Avenue) 
    • Thursday, July 26, 6:30-8:30 PM - BICENTENNIAL BEALE STREET BLUES 'N HARMONY WITH NATURE LITTER-FREE EVENT - held at Lewis Field, Florence (Rain Location: Burrell-Slater Gymnasium) 
    • Friday, July 27, 5:00-10:00 PM - RIVERSIDE BICENTENNIAL JAZZ 'N HARMONY WITH NATURE LITTER-FREE EVENT - held at McFarland Park (Rain Location: Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum)
A full events calendar and list of performers of the Handy Festival
  • Monday, June 18, through August 9 - HOUSE & HOME EXHIBIT on loan from Washington, DC, featuring the housing evolution of the United States.  Stop by to see this grand exhibit at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, open Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. (See information under the Arts & Museums Section below.)
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 22, 2018)

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

Memorabilia is for sale in 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 December.  

Bicentennial Office - 256-760-6689
Mayor's Office - 256-760-6400
Mayor's Office
Florence-Lauderdale Government Building
102 South Court Street - Second Floor




Florence Beautification Board
2018 Awards


The Florence Beautification Board hosted its Annual Awards Luncheon on July 11, at the historic
Trinity Episcopal Church, and presented the 2018 Beautification Awards to the winners listed below.
These awards recognize the time and effort that has been invested in the upkeep of
the landscapes and buildings that help make Florence such an appealing place to live.
for your hard work and the many hours it took to coordinate the event!!
These First Place winners were also named to the Honor Roll
Honor Roll status  is attained once a business has won First Place for five consecutive years.

Alliance Title and Escrow, LLC
Bank Independent, Cox Creek Parkway 
Chili's Grill and Bar B First
First Metro Bank, Cloverdale Road
Florence Eye Center, Cox Creek Parkway
Lauderdale County Teachers Credit Union
LongHorn Steakhouse
Progress Bank
Schofield Medical

The other businesses awarded First Place Certificates are:
Arby's Roast Beef Restaurant - Florence Blvd.
Bank Independent - Florence Blvd.
BBVA Compass Bank
Bohannon Services, Inc.
Buffalo Wild Wings
Burger King - Florence Blvd.
CB&S Bank - Pine Street
First Metro Bank - Pine Street
Grogan Jewelers by Lon
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
Keystone Business Centre
Lambert Ezell Durham Architecture, LLC
Lauderdale Lanes
Lester R. Norvell III, DDS
Listerhill Credit Union - College Street
McDonald's Restaurant - Florence Blvd.
Olive Garden
Papa John's Pizza
Red Lobster Restaurant
Rick's BBQ - Cox Creek Parkway
Shoals Chamber of Commerce
Shoals Hearing Clinic, P.C.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park
TASUS Corporation
Teena Jeffreys McLaughlin, DMD
Teresa & Associates Day Spa/Salon, LLC
Texas Roadhouse Restaurant
The Agency on Pine
The "Mayor's Award" for 2018 went to:
John Coffee Cemetery



Friday, July 13, 2018
Shoals Area Banks and Credit Unions
Pay it Forward with Shoals Scholar
Dollars Initiative
Let's make a difference. Shoals citizens can make a difference by participating in the "Pay It Forward - Donate to Educate" campaign.  This is an effort to help students under the Shoals Scholar Dollars program attend college. Occurring the second Friday of each month, customers at every bank and credit union location will have an opportunity to donate to go toward educating our students for a more sustainable, brighter future in the Shoals. Small dollars from a lot of people equal a big difference in the lives of lots of students.
Click here for full details -  
Shoals Scholar Dollars Pay It Forward
Shoals Scholar Dollars Foundation, Inc.
Phone: 256-764-4661
Fax: 256-766-9017


Together We Can
All Parents/Guardians Can Use Help With This Journey
Create Healthy Relationships for our Family
WHO:  *Married or Non-married parents raising a child together
*Single parents and other support persons raising a child
*Pregnant and expecting a child
*Anyone wanting to learn healthy relationship skills
Certificate good for parenting, foster/house parents or child care
Providers or anyone needing general education hours
WHEN:          3 Classes on Fridays from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
WHERE:        Lauderdale County Extension Office
                                    802 Veterans Drive, Florence - next to Coliseum
REGISTER:   By calling your County Extension Office
                                                            Lauderdale County      256-766-6223
                                                                      Colbert County               256-386-8571
                                                                      Franklin County             256-332-8880

SESSIONS in 2018:
July 13, Friday      =    Positive Discipline & Communication Skills
July 27, Friday     =    Healthy Relationships & Step Families & Co-Parenting
August 3, Friday  =    Stress & Conflict Management
  • Community Resources
  • Worksheets = Goal Setting & Time Mgt. & Parent with a Purpose
  • Reading = Ages & Stages of Development
Instructor:   256-200-2996 - Melanie Allen, Human Sciences Extension Agent, Family & Child Development
Serving:       NW Alabama (Lamar, Fayette, Marion, Winston, Franklin, Lawrence, Colbert, Lauderdale)


Special Presentation & Book Signing
by Local Author Sonya Skipworth
Featuring the "Layla Diaries"
Saturday, July 14, 1:00 p.m.
Florence/Lauderdale Tourism will host a special presentation and book signing featuring "The Layla Diaries" by local author Sonya Skipworth.  The free event will be held on July 14 at 1:00 p.m. inside the Visitor Center located in McFarland Park.  The series of three books are about an Australian Shepard named Layla.  They are written from Layla's perspective as diary entries as well as through letters of advice to other fur babies.
Author Sonya Skipworth is a Special Education Art teacher in Lauderdale County Schools.  The author grew up writing letters to her mother who was fond of letter writing.  This inspired Skipworth to write her books in the form of diary entries. The tone of the entries and letters clearly indicates Layla's cheerful and light-hearted nature as she interacts with her family. The letters capture the essence of Layla as she navigates the daily challenges of life as an Australian Shepard.
Layla is Sonya's real life adventurous Grand Dog who spends time at Grammy and G's house where she sometimes gets into mischief. According to Sonya, "Layla's unique personality and interaction with other humans and pets were the inspiration behind the books.  I write from Layla's perspective which enables readers to relate to her characters. The goal is to encourage readers through her humorous and enjoyable stories."
More information please contact Florence/Lauderdale Tourism at 256-740-4141 or
 The Z
 416 N. Court Street
Friday/Saturday, July 13-14 at 7pm 
 Sunday, July 15 at 2pm

Over the course of 30 years, the lives of Kayleen and Doug intersect at the most bizarre intervals, leading the two childhood friends to compare scars and the physical calamities that keep drawing them together.

The production stars Amari Gamble as Doug and Alexandra Perez as Kayleen.

WARNING: This play contains strong language and adult themes. 

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and will be available at the door beginning 30 minutes prior to curtain or in advance online at  www.TheZTickets.Store.    For more information, please call 256-768-5586. 


Media Release
Dixie Griffin




Come join the Alabama Music Hall of Fame
in honoring area rock pioneers
with a bronze star unveiling that
opens to the public at
4:45 p.m. on 
Saturday, July 14

THE FIVE JETS is one of the original Shoals area rock bands, getting their start back in 1955  and playing together until 1971, and then rejoining in 2006. Consisting of friends and family, with  some personnel changes over the years, the band's career has spanned decades and includes  chance encounters with rock and roll legends, an early national TV appearance, a recording of  the next big dance track, and other tales that helped define early Shoals area rock and roll  history.

Members of THE FIVE JETS include Ken Lovelace, Jimmy Lovelace, Raymond Lovelace, Bob C ox, and Don Moore, with members Ed Goodwin, and Marty Morrison rotating into the group  later on.

For more information, contact the Alabama Music Hall of Fame at (256) 381-4417.


"PAWS on the Lawn"
Saturday, July 14
Bluewater Creek Polo Club





UNA Summer Theatre presents
July 20 & 21, 7:30 p.m., Norton Auditorium
For tickets visit
or visit the Lindsey Theatre Box Office (T, W, Th 12pm to 3 pm)

We will be giving away 1500 bags of basic school supplies on 7/28. No documentation is necessary. We do limit to 3 bags per family unless all the children are present. Please feel free to share with any and everyone that could benefit.


More Information and applications are available at
For further questions, please contact Bob Garfrerick at 256-765-4369.

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.


House and Home: The NEH on the Road Exhibition
Comes to Florence for the City's Bicentennial
June 18 - August 9
The National Endowment for Humanities On the Road Exhibition, House and Home, will fill the galleries of the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts from June 18 - August 9. Sponsored by the City of Florence Department of Arts and Museums and the City of Florence Bicentennial Committee, House and Home comes to Florence from the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., in partnerships with the Mid-America Art Alliance to tell the story of American housing and neighborhoods. 
The NEH on the Road version of  House & Home draws on themes originated by the National Building Museum to encourage visitors to explore how our ideal of the perfect house and our experience of what it means to "be at home" have changed over time. The exhibition includes domestic furnishings and home construction materials, photographs, "please touch" interactive components, and films. Together, the objects and images illustrate how transformations in technology, government policy, and consumer culture have impacted American domestic life.
The City of Florence has received a National Endowment for the
Humanities grant for special public programming that will accompany the exhibition.

The first program Our Neighborhood will take place at the
Florence Indian Mound Museum  on Thursday, July  12, at 6 PM.
This program will be a panel question and answer session with experts on community planning. Alabama Historic Commission preservation planner, Mary Shell; Florence's own City Pl ann er, Melissa Bailey; planning consultant from KPS Group in Birmingham, Jason Fondren; will give insights into long-term neighborhood planning and relationships.
Our House is a free book-making session at the
Florence-Lauderdale Public Library on Saturday, July 14, at 1 PM.
Preregistration opens June 14 at the library for homeowners and families who would like to make a book and share stories about their homes. Each registrant will receive a worksheet to help lead them through the story of their house and make a beautiful memory book. Space is limited so please sign up quickly! 
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. Admission is free. For more information call 256-760-6379.


The 2nd Annual Chillin' with the Cramer Children FREE BLOCK PARTY will be taking place on West Tennessee Street between Locust and Cedar in front of the Cramer Children's Center and the Florence Housing Authority's Magnolia Gardens here in Florence, AL!!!! All are welcome for this FREE Handy Music Festival Event! There will be games, FREE SHAVED ICE, FREE LIVE MUSIC and Food Vendors! Hope to see you all there!

Kids Idol Winners @ 4:00 pm
Mary Mason Band @ 4:30 pm
Midnighters @ 6:00 pm


Nonprofit Agencies Invited to
Submit Projects for Day of Caring
United Way of Northwest Alabama is seeking volunteer projects from local nonprofit and human service agencies for the 2018 Day of Caring, which is scheduled for September 20, 2018.
The Day of Caring is an opportunity for nonprofit agencies to utilize volunteer resources to benefit their organizations and have projects completed that they might not otherwise have the ability to fulfill.

The deadline for project request submission is Wednesday, August 1, 2018.
For more information or to receive an Agency Planning Guide and Planning Form, please contact Kerry Del Pizzo at or by calling (256) 764 - 5892.


There is a brief description available on the flyer, and our website link
for registering is:





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.



123 East Mobile Street
(256) 712-2383
Monday - Friday: 10:00am to 7:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am to 4:00pm
The CLUB   is coordinating a trip to Nashville...
The Public is invited to join them...
Nashville Show Trip
  • 3 Days - 2 Nights
  • July 30 - August 1, 2018
  • $365 pp/Double Occupancy
This Tour Includes:
  • Motor coach transportation
  • 2 nights lodging
  • 4 meals: 2 breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • Guided Tour of NASHVILLE
  • Visit to Opry Mills
  • Ride on the DELTA FLATBOATS inside the OPRYLAND HOTEL

For Information & Reservations Contact:

Fran Davis @ (256)760-6642
The Club @ (256) 760-6420
You can also email me at



The Club, 450 Country Club Dr, Florence, AL @ 8 am


Additional Payment Information:

$75 Due Upon Signing. *Price per person, based on double occupancy. Add $89 for single occupancy.   
Click here for Itinerary and Full Details:



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


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

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