Friday, June 23, 2017

Playing Safely at Little River Canyon National Preserve

Playing Safely at
Little River Canyon National Preserve

Little River Canyon National Preserve has had 3 deaths and 2 near drownings so far this year, along with several rescues.  Natural areas can be dangerous.  We want our visitors to come have fun, and go home safely. 

Stay away from the edge of the cliffs.  Do not cross handrails.  The area around the top of Little River Falls is closed 50 feet back from the edge whether the water is up or not.  You can be ticketed for being in a closed area, with fines up to $280.  Rocks in the park are slippery and uneven.  The current above the falls can carry people over the cliff in seconds.  Hidden dangers can be in the water.  Drop-offs, rocks, swift currents, and underwater debris can interrupt your fun in a bad way. 

When playing in the river, never swim alone.  Wear your personal floatation devices when you are in or near the water.  Do not swim at high water levels.  Watch your children, in or near the water and keep them away from the edges of cliffs. 

You can make your visit much more enjoyable by staying hydrated – drink plenty of water.  Bring snacks.  Wear walking shoes, not flip-flops or dress shoes.  Use sunscreen to protect your skin.  Watch out for insect nests, snakes and bears.  Be aware of approaching storms.  Drugs and alcohol are illegal in the park. These greatly increase your likelihood of having an accident.

Superintendent Steve Black invites you to come explore the park and enjoy the park safely.  For more information, call Little River Canyon National Preserve (256)845-9605.  Check out our webpage at .  You can follow our updates and find park pictures on Facebook at “lirinps”.

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 Rainsville Freedom Fest

2017 Rainsville Freedom Fest

Saturday, June 24, 2017 at the Rainsville City Park
Enjoy big fun for the entire family including a big car show, big live music, and a big fireworks show!  Admission is free. Festivities in the city park start at 1 p.m. Activities include the following:

Freedom Fest Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show. Registration at 3 p.m. and awards at 6:45 p.m. The best time for spectators to enjoy a close up look at the vintage autos will be from about 3:30 to 6 p.m.
Live music. Enjoy over six hours of live entertainment starting at 1 p.m. concluding with a performance by featured entertainer Exile.

Stage schedule (subject to change, times are approximate):
    1:00 p.m. – Wayne Wilson
    1:30 p.m. – Jeff Martin
    2:00 p.m. – Stacey Piercey
    2:30 p.m. – Savanna Bobbitt
    3:00 p.m. – Shadow of the Cross
    4:00 p.m. – Hugh Jack Bell
    4:30 p.m. – The Sharps
    5:30 p.m. – Victoria Griffith
    6:30 p.m. – Brad Durham
    7:00 p.m. – EXILE

Festival food. Food choices are expected to include barbeque, hot dogs, burgers, funnel cakes, cotton candy, and more.

Arts & crafts. Shop for hand made items such as jewelry, baby clothes, t-shirts, artwork, candles, home furnishings, unique gifts and more.

Fun for the kids. There will be PONY RIDES starting at 1 p.m., and inflatables from 2 to 7 p.m. Free swimming and splash pad at the city pool from 1 to 5 p.m.

Inside the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center, a team from HOPE Puppet Ministries will perform at 3. p.m. and 5 p.m., and ventriloquist/balloon artist/comedy magician Cliff Patton will perform at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The FIREWORKS SHOW will take place at approximately 8:30-8:45 p.m. CST. Fireworks sponsored by the City of Rainsville and Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative.

All time are subject to change. Get Festival updates here. 256-638-7800

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Check out What is Happening around Lookout Mountain Alabama this weekend!

June 16 DeKalb County Farmers Market Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3pm to 6pm at the VFW Fairgrounds. 18th Street North, Fort Payne. Call the DeKalb County Cooperative Extension for more information at 256-845-8595

June 15 - 18 Alabama Band Fan Appreciation Weekend Fort Payne's own Country music group ALABAMA invite you to their Fan Club & Museum and weekend activities throughout DeKalb County. Tour the Fan Club, attend an autograph session, enjoy concerts, and much more. 800-557-8223. Get details about specific events on our latest blog.

June 15 Afternoon Rock Climb Come experience first-hand what rock climbing is all about in the afternoon with guides who are fun, safe and energetic. This trip includes all the gear plus basic instruction.  No prior climbing experience is needed. TAS   2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 256-997-9577

June 15 Forest & Field: Through the Loupe Join naturalists and artists for this creative nature observation hike, combining art & nature! Learn how to keep your own nature journal while strolling along trails in DeSoto State Park. On this hike, we will be using jeweler’s loupes to take a close look at the mosses, lichens and plants that call our forests home. DeSoto State Park-5 p.m. Free, but pre-registration is required. Hikes are open to ALL ages; minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. for more info.

June 15 Rainsville Farmers Market Every Thursday from 4pm to 7pm. Rainsville City Park.

June 16 Rock Climbing / Rappelling Adventure Combo Come experience first-hand what rock climbing and rappelling is all about with guides who are fun, safe and energetic. This trip includes all the gear plus basic instruction.  No prior climbing experience is needed.  10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 256-997-9577

June 16 Windy Hill Farmers Market on Fridays from 3pm – 6pm. Fresh produce, eggs and meat from the Farm. Located at 445 County Rd 942 in Mentone (Just off Hwy 117).

June 16 Forest Field: Journal Journey Join naturalists and artists for this creative nature observation hike, combining art & nature! DeSoto State Park Meet at the Nature Center next to the Country Store on Co. Rd. 89. Free, but pre-registration is required. Space is limited for each event. Hikes are open to all ages; minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Email for more info. 5 p.m.

June 16 Friday Night Seafood Buffet at the Mountain Inn Restaurant in DeSoto State Popcorn Shrimp, Grilled Tilapia, Fried Catfish Filets, Stuffed Crab, Oysters, Whole Catfish, Seafood Gumbo, Baked Potatoes & More! Includes Full Salad Bar, Tea & Coffee, & Dessert. $18.95 for Adults $8.95 for Children.  Side order of Crab Legs, Extra Charge of $9.95 per 1 lb.order 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 256-845-5380

June 16 Watter/Felts Project Kamama will host an evening of jazz featuring the Watters/Felts Trio. Admission is $15 per person. All proceeds will go to the Mentone Arts & Culture Center. Reservations are recommended. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 256-674-3366 or email us at

June 16Night Zip Line Adventure All our zip lines are set up just before the adventure to ford a gorge or cross from one high point to another.   Pre-registration required at True Adventure Sports by 6 pm the day before the adventure. 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  256-997-9577

June 17 Yoga on the Mountain Start your morning off right with Dee Brown. Classes are held from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at DeSoto State Park. Cost is $5. To register contact 256-634-8370

June 17 9th Annual Freedom Fest 5K & 10K Don't miss the area's largest fun run/walk. Registration and starting of race is at Broadway Baptist Church in Rainsville. For online registration, contact info and more, visit the website Race begins at 8 a.m.

June 17 Fort Payne Main Street Farmers Market every Saturday from 8:30am to 1:30pm at Fort Payne City Park (Gault Ave. N. & 4th St. N.) 256-996-2131

June 17 Mentone Farmers Market every Saturday from 10am to 1pm with fresh produce, eggs & baked goods. 6139 AL Hwy 117 in Mentone. 256-638-1842

June 17 Forest & Field: Flat-water Kayaking Trip on Little River Take a guided kayaking trip on beautiful Little River to enjoy the early Summer season. Meet at DeSoto Falls Picnic Area. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free & open to the public. Pre-registration is required; limited to 10 people. Ages 8 and up. for info

June 17 Rappelling Certification Class This class covers rappelling basics indoor and basics outdoor.   The basics outdoor class reviews safety procedures, knots, gear, and rigging points; then you learn how to safely rappel and do several rappels before returning to the office for the rappelling test and knot exam. Meet at T.A.S. Training Center $165/person  10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 256-997-9577

June 17 Third Saturday Downtown Cruise-In. You can come out and enjoy an afternoon of family fun activities in downtown Fort Payne. This public event will include food, live music, a car show, and more from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 256-996-3857

June 17 First State Bank Celebrating 35 Years First State Bank 35th Anniversary Celebration. Stop by to enjoy inflatables for the kids, register for giveaway items & more! Please join us at Third Saturday in the Fort Payne City Park We hope to see you there! 256-845-6101

June 17 Addicts 4 Christ Fundraiser Banquet Proceeds will go to The Father's House, a proposed long-term, Christ-centered, in-patient recovery program to open in Rainsville. 5:30 p.m. at the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center in Rainsville. 256-638-7800

June 17 Extreme Night Hike This end-of-day adventure does not slow down just because it's dark.  Intended for a large group team-building exercise, this hike has a bit of bouldering, some scrambling, some spelunking, and a whole lot of required working together.  True Adventure Sports. 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. 256-997-9577

June 17 Campfire Talk: White Tailed Deer Management and other Alabama State Park Projects
White-tailed Deer are some of the most familiar and recognizable animals in Alabama. They are common sights along roadsides, in fields, and even in some backyards throughout the state. Deer are common residents of most rural parts of Alabama, as well as many of the urban and suburban areas of the state. In several of Alabama State Parks, studies are conducted to learn about the health of the herd and other factors that help in maintaining healthy deer and other wildlife. Join Forrest Bailey from DCNR’s Natural Resources division for a campfire talk on the management of White-tailed Deer, Canadian Geese, the use of prescribed fire, and more ongoing projects in Alabama State Parks. DeSoto State Park in Fort Payne, Alabama-Campfire Ring in the Improved Campground 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free and open to everyone. Campground gate will open 30 minutes before program. For more details, call
256-997-5025 or email

June 17 Headwires, Men and Mountains, West Means Home, Backpacks  Concert at The Dekalb Theatre in Fort Payne, AL. This will be right after Third Saturday!  Doors at 8 p.m. and Show at  9 p.m. $5 admission

June 18 Rappelling Adventure with One World Adventure Explore scenic rock outcroppings along Lookout Mountain-Alabama! No previous experience is necessary to go deeper into nature in this exciting activity! 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Meet at DeSoto Falls  $40 per person Ages 10 and up To register contact Angie Shugart
June 19 – 23 Overnight Adventure Camp Kids ages 9 – 12 will trek and camp all week in amazing locations along Lookout Mountain and the surrounding areas, learning how to live among a group and take on a range of adventure sports—rock climbing, bouldering, rappelling, canoeing, and kayaking! $375 per camper.  Additional Siblings $350 each 256-634-8370

June 19 Tiny Tots: Adventures in Nature Join the JSU Field School for fun filled classes just for little kids. Your kids (ages 3-5 years) will learn about animals, plants, bugs, and more all while having fun! 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.  JSU’s Little River Canyon Center: $5 per child (Limit 10 children) Parents remain with children for this program. Pre-registration required by the Friday before the program is scheduled.  256-845-3548

June 19 Poisonous Plants of Alabama Class This class is a brief overview of many poisonous plants in Alabama. There are many types of poisonous plants, learn how to spot them and what to do if you are affected by them. True Adventure Sports Training Center. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 256-997-9577

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fan Appreciation Weekend begins this week, June 15-18, 2017 in Fort Payne, Alabama!
Below you will find a list of events with details.

Teddy Gentry's Singing With the Stars Talent Contest
benefiting The Children's Advocacy Center
Doors open at 5:30pm and Show begins at 7pm
Northeast Alabama Community College Lyceum
138 Old Hwy 35 East
Rainsville, AL 35986
Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for students

FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 2017
Fort Payne Main Street Walk of Fame
Alabama Bronze Star Unveiling Ceremony
 DeKalb Theatre
806 Gault Ave. N
Fort Payne, AL 35967

FRIDAY JUNE 16, 2017
Jeff Cook & The AGB Fan Daze Concert
Doors open at 5pm and Show begins at 7pm
DeKalb Theatre
806 Gault Ave N
Fort Payne, AL 35967
  All tickets sold through via paypal. $20 each
256.845.2286 ext 7

 Show at 7pm
 ALABAMA Fan Club & Museum
101 Glenn Boulevard SW
Fort Payne, AL 35967
Limited number of tickets available. Must have current Membership number to purchase, or you can purchase a membership to the ALABAMA Fan Club and then buy tickets to the show.
Call 256-845-1646 to buy tickets! $25 each

SUNDAY JUNE 18, 2017 
1st ever ALABAMA Gospel Show featuring various friends
Show at 2pm
ALABAMA Fan Club & Museum
101 Glenn Boulevard SW
Fort Payne, AL 35967
Call 256-845-1646 to buy tickets! $25 each

For More Information visit the ALABAMA website.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Travel Marketing Professionals by John Dersham

Once a year, for the last 26 years, tourism professionals, young and old, new to the business or seasoned veterans, meet at North Georgia University in Dahlonega to spend one week a year for three years to become certified with a recognized higher education diploma in the travel and tourism industry. The certification makes them a “Travel Marketing Professional”. Southeast Tourism Society (STS) is the largest regional tourism organization in the United States. They cover the 12 southeastern states that include Virginia and West Virginia, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. They, along with a host of tourism career professionals and college professors, volunteer a week of their time each year to teach at Tourism Marketing College. This year more than 300 people attended this intensive program for six days of nonstop classroom education and some industry sponsored events each night. Over the 26 years, thousands have attended the program. In addition, those who have already graduated from the program, like me (class of 2011), can attend an alumni school that is held in conjunction with marketing college, but in a different building. The industry is changing very rapidly and the annual education is necessary in order to stay current. In 2009 when I began the three year program, social media was just beginning and only played a small role in promoting tourism. Now, social media is a must; Face Book, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and others play a critical role in the daily marketing of our destination. In addition, the generations are changing and travel interests are changing as the WWII and Baby Boomers generation begin to travel less and they have less expendable income for travel. Now Generation X and the Millennials’ have the jobs, the money and they do the travelling, oh but they do not travel the same way nor do they do the same things that the Boomers’ did. Marketing College teaches us the differences. If we don’t know how to market each age group, it will hurt our business potential.
We are very fortunate in the tourism industry to have an education program of this caliber. Many of the professors at Marketing College teach travel and tourism (hospitality) at universities around the southeast. Two weeks ago I attended alumni school at Marketing College. Every May, after regular classes at the University of North Georgia end, we come to town with 300 plus people to fill the dorms and the lodging facilities, restaurants and stores in Dahlonega.
Southeast Tourism Society is a member based educator and marketer for tourism throughout the southeast region. In addition to marketing college, STS hosts the annual Legislative Summit in Washington D.C. where tourism professionals can come to call on their federally elected official to discuss with and seek support for national and state tourism projects and business opportunities important to the success of tourism nationally and at local levels.