Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fun in November in Northeastern Alabama

Fun in November in Northeastern Alabama

Fort Payne, Ala. (October 27, 2016) – November is an inviting time to visit northeastern Alabama. Autumn’s colorful foliage, cooler temperatures and two free festivals set the stage for an exciting getaway for families. The annual Canyon Fest, set for the first Saturday in November, celebrates one of the state’s most popular attractions, Little River Canyon, and the Collinsville Historic Turkey Trot, which follows on the second Saturday, features a variety of family-friendly activities and its wildly popular turkey toss.

Art, science, nature and music come together Saturday, November 5, 2016, in celebration of the natural wonder of the Little River Canyon. Now in its eighth year, Canyon Fest offers a day of live music, nature, art activities, and fun for the entire family. Dozens of artists and exhibitors will be on hand offering demonstrations and selling their work.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and all activities are held at the Little River Canyon Center located at 4322 Little River Trail NE (472 Alabama Highway 35) in Fort Payne. There is no admission fee, but donations supporting the Little River Canyon Center will be accepted. For more information on Little River Canyon, visit 

The Collinsville Historic Turkey Trot is set for Saturday, November 12, 2016. The family-friendly event features live music, arts and crafts, a chili cook-off, a Moon Pie eating contest, petting zoo, carnival games, inflatables, pony rides and other activities for kids, and what makes this event truly unique is the turkey toss from the roof of a building in downtown Collinsville. Live music gets underway at 9 a.m. and scheduled to perform are Still Kickin’, Logan Graves, Rattlesnake Rattlers, Marc Womack, and The Underwoods.

New for this year’s event is the Turkey Trot 5K Challenge and Fun Run using beautiful Halls Gap as the route. Prizes will be awarded to the overall top three finishers and top three finishers in each age group and gender and will be presented inside of the Historic Cricket Theatre on Main Street. On-site registration and check-in will begin at 7 a.m. outside of the Collinsville Public Library. The Turkey Trot 5K Challenge will start at 9 a.m. and the Fun Run follows shortly thereafter.

Turkey Trot began in 1912 as a promotional scheme for the Oliver Hall Company, a large general store located in Collinsville. The highly advertised event brought people from the surrounding area to Collinsville where turkeys, guineas and chickens were released from a scaffold built on top of the Hall’s store. The waiting crowd scrambled to catch a bird that would end up on their Thanksgiving dinner table. The Birmingham News reported as many as 10,000 crowded the streets for the exciting day that included bargains in all businesses as well as the Oliver Hall Company. Today, turkeys are still released from the roof of a building to a waiting crowd but the turkeys tossed are Beanie Baby turkeys that the lucky person can trade in for a frozen bird. In addition to attracting visitors to Collinsville for a day of fun, the event has become a major fundraising activity for the restoration of the Cricket Theatre.

Sponsored in part by the Collinsville Historic Association, the Collinsville Historic Turkey Trot’s hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free. All activities are held in and around historic downtown Collinsville.

For more information on Canyon Fest and Turkey Trot or on additional things to do in northeastern Alabama, contact DeKalb Tourism at 888.805.4740 or visit  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fall Tourism Season is here by John Dersham

Mentone Colorfest, Fort Payne Heil Harvest Festival and Third Saturday Sunset Cruise In
I love this time of year. The days are sparkling clear, the air is cooler and the look of the harvest with all those lovely warm fall colors of pumpkin orange and shades of brown, yellow and red appear in the landscape. Halloween is nearing as it leads into Thanksgiving. School is on, it is football season and the mowing and weed eating and the tremendous heat of summer are ending for the year and family and friends are gathering more to enjoy the fellowship of the fall season.
It is also a very big season for tourism. Our visitors flock here from points south throughout south Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana , Georgia and Florida to come to the mountains and see some stellar fall color that they do not see where they live. We have some of our most enjoyable events of the year during fall season starting with Fort Payne Boom Days Heritage festival, the DeKalb County VFW Agricultural Fair in September and now this weekend Mentone Colorfest and Fort Payne 3rd Saturday Sunset Cruise In and Main Street Block Party, which will celebrate Oktoberfest this Saturday evening from 5-8. Be prepared to have your picture taken in some German garb, it will be fun. In addition we will have classic cars, music, food and retail shopping for this gala closeout of our best ever season of 3rd Saturday Cruise In events.
Heil Environmental will be hosting the 4th annual Harvest Festival on the Heil Campus Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST. The event is open to the public and tickets can be purchased at the gate for $1.00 each. There will be a 5K Color run that begins at 9 a.m


Veterans, Police Officers, Firefighters, EMTs and Heil employees will receive double tickets with appropriate identification.

All proceeds from the event will benefit local charities.

In addition, Heil has been selected to host the NAM Manufacturing Day event in conjunction with the Fall Festival. The goal is to bring publicity and community interest to the manufacturing industry. We hope that you will join us in celebrating this huge honor!
It is also Mentone Colorfest weekend. This annual event is a favorite among our visitors who pick this weekend to come enjoy fall in our beautiful mountain village of Mentone.

Colorfest Schedule of Events
Brow Park Hours:
Saturday, 9am-5pm
Sunday, 11am-4pm

Friday, October 14
5pm Food Trucks By Mentone Market, MAPA (til 8pm)
5pm Chris Hale
6pm Bonfire and Concert by Will Dooley and Friends (til 9pm)
Saturday, October 15
10am Karaoke (til 4pm)
5pm Food Trucks by Mentone Market, MAPA (til 8pm) 5pm Terry Hutcheson
6pm Bonfire & Concert - Permagroove
(til 9pm)
Sunday, October 16
12pm Storytime - Debbie Happy Cohen
1pm Singer - Cathy
2pm Storytime - Kylie Laine Peterson, Mini-Miss Rhododendron
2:30pm Abby Schrader
Brow Park Stage
Saturday, October 15
10am Jess Barker
11am Larry Joe Hall
12pm Curtis Strange & Dr. Rob
1pm Daniel Hughes
2pm Lisa Crowe
3pm Amy Snider
4pm Katrina Barclay
Sunday, October 16
11am Trey Headrick
12pm Scarecrow Holler & Pumpkin Patch
Jubilee Winners Announced
12pm Dana Owens
1pm Jared Cushen
2pm Marc Womack
3pm David Lusk
Special Events
Boat Rides from DeSoto Falls
Friday, 1 til dusk
Saturday, 9am til dusk
Sunday, 11am-4pm
Scarecrow Holler at the Mentone Springs Hotel Site
Scavenger Hunt will be held all over town during festival hours. Game forms will be available at the MAPA/Info tent at Brow Park and must be returned to the MAPA/Info tent by 3pm on Sunday.
Children’s Fair - pony rides, balloon animals, games and more
Farmers Market  at the Mentone Inn Square

Thursday, October 6, 2016

First Annual Fiesta Cultural Latina by John Dersham

This Saturday, October 8th, we have our first ever community wide Latina Festival at the Fort Payne Rotary Pavilion from 5-9 P.M. You will be delighted with music, food, drinks and dancing, all with a Latina cultural flavor. This event is hosted by Fort Payne Main Street and will be for everyone in our community to come to and enjoy sharing this beautiful and enjoyable kid friendly celebration that brings the rich Latina culture to all of us here in DeKalb no matter our race or nationality. This event will bring us all together to see, enjoy and learn more about our Hispanic communities in Fort Payne and DeKalb County. The schedule for the event is as follows.
5:00-5:15 - 1st Dance Group Performs

5:15 - 5:40 - Gio Perez Solo Performance

5:50 - 6:05 - 2nd Dance Group Performs

6:15 - 6:35 - Acoustic Instrument with Multiple Performers

6:45 - 7 - 3rd Dance Group Performs

7:15 - 9 - Main Act

Drawings, Food, Fun, Park Access for the Kids, Beer-Wine-Tequila Mixers (Signature Drink: Margarita).As the Director of Tourism and as a board member of Fort Payne Main Street I am especially happy about this event. It will be another contribution to our growing list of downtown Fort Payne events that we offer. Wow! It excites me to think how wonderful downtown Fort Payne will be when all of our storefronts are filled and the windows are dressed and we have growing choices to shop and eat, drink and have a great time. The thing is we are already having a good time, so just think about having even more.