Tourism Tuesdays August 19, 2014

  • 64 North Alabama attractions featured in food campaign
  • A behind-the-scenes look at the Harper’s Bazaar fashion shoot at Huntsville’s Space & Rocket Center
  • Billy Reid launches second tee line for Alabama Gulf Seafood
  • Southern Coaches – IMG’s 2014 Operator of the Year
  • Kenny Chesney explains why he chose the Flora-Bama for his only 2014 concert
  • Space Camp Hall of Fame honors astronaut, trainer and entrepreneur
  • Dothan Area Convention & Visitors Bureau to unveil new logo
  • The Unlikely Cool of Waverly, Alabama
  • Experience Decatur’s role in the Civil War
  • Brewton sells tickets to music celebration
  • Save the Date for the 2014 Alabama Welcome Center Educational Retreat
  • Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events


64 North Alabama attractions featured in food campaign

The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association and the 13-state Appalachian Regional Commission have launched a national tourism campaign. Sixty-four state culinary destinations were selected for the ARC’s Bon Appétit Appalachia, a tourism map guide, in Food Traveler Magazine. The program was unveiled at Belle Chevre Creamery in Elkmont in Limestone County.

Bon Appétit Appalachia showcases 283 of the Appalachian region’s most distinctive food destinations. Some 182,000 copies of the map guide are provided as an insert in the current issue. The oversized map showcases local foods behind each destination. It is designed to educate travelers and residents on farmers markets, farm-to-fork restaurants, chefs featuring local ingredients, wineries, craft breweries, and heritage food events.  The map-guide is also prominently featured and includes detailed information and searchable maps.

“North Alabama has become a culinary delight for travelers near and far. Today, people travel to a destination to not only visit an attraction or event, but to experience everything about a city or town including its local flavor and culinary heritage. Bon Appétit Appalachia will help drive more visitors to the region and provide a boost to local businesses, farms, attractions and events,” said AMLA president/ceo Tami Reist.

AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state, including Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston.

Additional information is available at 800-648-5381 and


A behind-the-scenes look at the Harper’s Bazaar fashion shoot at Huntsville’s Space & Rocket Center

By Anna Claire Vollers,, Aug. 15

If you’ve seen the newest issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine, maybe you noticed a few familiar rockets gracing its pages, alongside all the Gucci, Prada and Balenciaga.

A fashion shoot at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center this past spring resulted in a multi-page fashion spread in the current issue of the magazine, on stands now.

The feature, subtitled “Launch into Fall: Prepare for liftoff in the season’s most glamorous looks” was inspired, according to the magazine, by passenger space flights recently being cleared for takeoff. In the photos, a female model wears sharp, space-age couture surrounded by male models in NASA flight suits and, of course, rockets.

You can see the photos online here. Read on for the behind-the-scenes scoop on the Huntsville fashion shoot that featured some of the biggest names in the industry.

“A spread in a major magazine like this was certainly exciting and we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on it,” said Ammons.

“It really elevates the center on a national and international level, but it also raises awareness of the city of Huntsville as well. It’s a way to show what an advanced place to live this is, and that’s what the Center is about – celebrating the history but also the future of space travel.”

To read the entire article online, go to:

 Billy Reid launches second tee line for Alabama Gulf Seafood

By PR Newswire, Aug. 14

Billy Reid – renowned Alabama-based fashion designer and former Council of Fashion Designers of America “Menswear Designer of the Year” – has again partnered with Alabama Gulf Seafood to create a special, three-design t-shirt series featuring Alabama Gulf Seafood, currently on sale to the public at

The series includes three different tees, all designed by Reid, and featuring images and words associated with fresh seafood and the Gulf. Shirts will retail for $56, and a portion of proceeds will benefit the Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources Foundation.

Reid first aligned with Alabama Gulf Seafood in 2012 to launch a t-shirt and hat series, which proved one of the most popular Billy Reid has ever done.

“It was easy to find inspiration from the culture and scenes of coastal Alabama for our first collaboration,” Reid said. “I am more than happy to once again celebrate the coast’s Gulf seafood industry, as well as the people and natural resources that make Alabama’s seafood the best in the world.”

Reid has historically designed t-shirts to support various causes, such as Alabama tornado relief in 2011 and flood relief in the Nashville, Tenn. area in 2010.

This series will debut at Billy Reid’s annual Shindig in Florence.  In its sixth year, Shindig is a weekend of music, food, fashion and community drawing Reid’s friends, family and fans from all over the country.

“Billy Reid made such a huge impact on raising awareness for on our campaign in 2012, and we are confident 2014 will be no different,” said Chris Blankenship, program administrator for the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission and director of Alabama Marine Resources. “We are grateful that he is continuing to lend his talents once again to elevate Alabama Gulf Seafood among his friends and fans.”

For more information or to place an order for the 2014 line of Alabama Gulf Seafood Billy Reid tees, please visit

SOURCE Alabama Gulf Seafood

To read the entire article online, go to:

Southern Coaches – IMG’s 2014 Operator of the Year

At the final night of IMG’s Strategic Alliance Meeting in Branson, Missouri on Aug. 13, the prestigious Operator of the Year award was presented to John Adams, president of Southern Coaches, based in Dothan.

IMG each year recognizes one of their own, based on operational excellence, safety record, best practices, community and industry involvement and engagement within the International Motor Coach Group.

John Adams said, “It is such an honor to be selected by an elite group of operators and to know that your fellow members feel you excel in adhering to the high standards of IMG membership.  This award is achieved by having a support staff of great drivers, superb maintenance personnel and an excellent office staff.  It is definitely a team effort. I know my dad would have been so proud of this recognition.”

Founded in 1989 by John’s father, G. Milton Adams, Southern Coaches is a second-generation company that has grown to be one of Alabama’s leading motorcoach operators.  Bronwyn Wilson, President, IMG said, “Southern Coaches, John and all his team, represent the commitment to excellence, safety and maintenance that represent the core values of IMG – we are delighted to have Southern Coaches as our 2014 Operator of the Year.”

As IMG tradition dictates, Turbo Images created a unique design on one of Southern Coaches vehicles showcasing Alabama images, which was on full display in Branson.

To learn about North America, International Motorcoach Group, go to:

For More Information, Contact: Bronwyn Wilson, President, IMG, 913-906-0111

Kenny Chesney explains why he chose the Flora-Bama for his only 2014 concert

Singer Kenny Chesney sent the following email “to everyone who has been involved from the State of Alabama, State of Florida, Baldwin County, Alabama, Escambia County, Florida, Gulf Shores, Alabama, Orange Beach, Alabama, Peridido Key and Pensacola” in supporting the free concert last Saturday at the Flora-Bama:

I chose this area to do my only concert of 2014 and our CMT documentary because I truly love it.  It’s a part of my soul, the friendships I’ve made, the music I’ve made and I really believe the area represents a lot of my audience in No Shoes Nation.  I’ve been all over the world and you have one of the most special places anywhere.  Your area has some of the softest, whitest, sand in the world and also some of the best people who simply love life and music.  I also chose the Flora-Bama because the area and the bar has had a long history of supporting free spirits, musicians and songwriters for years both local and national.  It’s been a place for writers to play their music for people who really appreciate the songs and the craft of songwriting.  I love that about the Flora-Bama and I love that about the long history of people who have lived a lot of life with those songwriters and their songs.

We are going to produce a full 1-hour CMT special on the Flora-Bama, the event, and the area.  I want people to know how beautiful, soulful, creative, and fun this place is and what makes it special.  In the special I’m going to make sure I tell people why I chose this area of Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Perdido Key, and Pensacola to do this event.  We are also gonna do a big social media campaign about the event and thanking the area.

Also, we just released the song Flora-Bama that is gonna live in the culture of this bar and in the area for generations to come, we are going to shoot a great music video for the song also. We are going to work really hard to make the video and the CMT special represent the bar, the people, and the area in the best way possible.  I can’t wait to dive into all this, cause the song, the special, and the video is truly coming from the heart and from a place that really makes me happy because I believe it’s going to make a lot of people happy and smile.  Cheers to that.

Space Camp Hall of Fame honors astronaut, trainer and entrepreneur
By Robert Z. Pearlman,, Aug. 11

A European astronaut, a former NASA trainer and an entrepreneur who encouraged a new generation of international space travelers have been hailed for their success by the institution that helped to inspire each of them: Space Camp.

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, former astronaut trainer Michelle Ham and the late Kaya Tuncer were inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame during a ceremony held Aug. 8, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.  As members of the 2014 class, they now join the 28 alumni, former staff members and friends of Space Camp who have been enshrined in the hall since 2007.

“Inspiration is incredibly important to our next generation,” said former NASA astronaut Charles Precourt, vice president and general manager of space launch systems for ATK, which sponsored the Hall of Fame ceremony. “This is a powerful force to get folks to do more than they would have thought they were capable of doing without that inspiration, and they achieve great things. That is what you will see in the inductees.” [Shuttle Astronauts: 7 Space Travelers to Know]

To read the article online, go to:

Dothan Area Convention & Visitors Bureau to unveil new logo

The Dothan Area Convention & Visitors Bureau will launch a new logo and branding campaign on Aug. 22.  The unveiling event will be held at the Dothan Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, 3311 Ross Clark Circle, and the public and media are encouraged to attend.

Dothan City Mayor Mike Schmitz will serve as the emcee for the event. The program also includes remarks from Jo Jo Terry, digital marketing director and Gulf Coast regional director for the Alabama Tourism Department, and Bob Woodall, chairman for the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce. Among attendees is also Danny Sharp, Dothan Convention & Visitors Bureau chairman of the board.

The Dothan CVB will also announce the winner of its Instagram contest during the event. The contest encourages participants to take a photo of what best describes Dothan and upload it to Instagram using the hashtag #visitdothan. The winner will receive a custom print of downtown Dothan. Area hoteliers will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

“We are very excited to reveal the new look and brand of the Dothan CVB,” says Bob Hendrix, executive director for the Dothan CVB. “Our goal is to continue to make Dothan a fun place to
visit and we feel confident our new branding campaign will do just that.”

For more information, visit or

The Unlikely Cool of Waverly, Alabama

By Chuck Reece,

The population of Waverly in east Alabama is not much over 100, and the whole town isn’t even three square miles. It’s about 15 minutes northwest of Auburn and about 15 minutes east of Lake Martin. And if you open up Google Maps and input “Waverly, AL,” there is a lone red dot, just one business on the main drag of Patrick Street.

It’s called Standard Deluxe.

That business is there because of one man, Scott Peek, a 50-year-old graphic designer and screen printer. If you are — or become — an Inaugural Member of The Bitter Southerner Family, many of the items we send you will be printed by Standard Deluxe, right there in downtown Waverly.

Peek wound up in Waverly 24 years ago. He moved there from his boyhood home of Ozark, a couple of hours south.

“I was looking for a cheap place to rent,” Peek says. “I came down here and found an old building with an old cotton warehouse behind it.”

He and a couple of partners renovated the place and opened a graphic design and screen-printing operation — not exactly the obvious business choice to make in another dying Southern town. But despite its location, the quality of Standard Deluxe’s design and printing work has attracted clients from all over the world, including the likes of Levi Strauss & Co., Caribbean tourism vendors, and countless record labels and bands. That Alabama Shakes T-shirt in your chest of drawers, the one with the snake on it? It came from Waverly.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, whose most recent album “Dereconstructed” we’re rather fond of, are longtime customers of Standard Deluxe.

“Even when he’s working with other designers, Scott has managed to cultivate in Standard Deluxe a strong aesthetic voice, one that is clearly rooted in his own sense of place and righteousness,” Bains told us from the road right after a gig in Halden, Norway, a town we have to admit we’d never even heard of before. “So that’s why I love having him print shirts — and because it gives me an excuse to call up Scott and talk for a while every few weeks.”

A Luckenbach vibe comes full circle every fall and spring when the Standard Deluxe grounds become the site of a semiannual happening called the Waverly Boogie, which Peek and some town folks threw for the first time back in 2001 to celebrate the State of Alabama’s decision to reroute an expanded U.S. Highway 280 south of the town — instead of right through it. The original plan assumed that Waverly was just so damned small they might as well tear it down and run the highway through. The 2001 decision saved Waverly.

The Boogies assemble great Southern musical acts and put them on a stage that Peek built under a shed out in the yard. When you’re in Waverly and someone tells you it’s time to “go out in the yard and boogie,” they mean it. The Boogies have brought great Southern musicians like soul singer Charles Bradley, the tremendous Alabama Shakes, New Orleans string band Hurray for the Riff Raff, Texas guitar slinger Junior Brown and up-and-coming songwriter Lydia Loveless to the same kind of oddball audience of country folks, rednecks and hippies that you would see at the Luckenbach Dancehall. But unlike Luckenbach, the musical vibe isn’t singularly countrified — or anything-fied, for that matter. It just accurately reflects the musical diversity of the modern South.

Folks bring their kids, listen to music, eat barbecue and pickles from the local pickle maker, Wickles Pickles, and shop for T-shirts and posters. They hang out and just generally have a high old time.

Peek’s work has earned recognition from the national design community, including a story last year in How Magazine, a prominent design chronicle. There was no grand publicity push to win such recognition. Like most things in the long life of Standard Deluxe, it happened as word about his high-quality design and printing work spread slowly over time.

The tiny rural “scene” that has emerged around Standard Deluxe may wind up being a model for how small rural towns can use the creative spirit to survive. Last winter, the National Trust for Historic Preservation visited Standard Deluxe on its PreservationNation Blog. In it, the National Trust’s Katherine Malone-France, its senior director of outreach, education, and support, wrote, “There is still much to be done in Waverly and in so many places like it around the country to preserve them for the longer term. But events like the Boogie are reminders of how positive and expansive preservation can be. At its best and most transformative, preservation is about all kinds of people using and enjoying and gaining inspiration from historic places.”

Since 1991, Standard Deluxe has evolved slowly as Peek tried to bring to life his different ideas. Originally, Peek had partners, but in the first few years they gradually fell away, leaving him the sole owner and operator of Standard Deluxe, which he has remained for the last 16 years. The national credibility for his design work hasn’t changed the way he operates. Peek still mostly just creates things he loves and then hopes other people will love them enough to buy them.

The increasingly frequent music events on the Standard Deluxe grounds have built another layer of creativity into the scene. I talked to Jay Cooper, a partner in the Southern independent record label This Is American Music, whose artists are frequently on the Standard Deluxe stage, about why he likes his bands to play a tiny place like Waverly.

“People are surprised when I say — and I say it frequently — that Waverly, Ala., is one of my very favorite places,” Cooper says. “But I say that because every time I am there, on the grounds of Standard Deluxe with friends and friends I haven’t met yet, enjoying music and food and drink, I am overcome with a profound sense of well-being. How could a place that makes me feel this way not be one of my favorites?

“Sometimes we are able to work it out for an artist who doesn’t really know anything about Standard Deluxe to play an event there,” Cooper continues. “I’m always curious to ask them, after they experience it, what they thought about the place and the vibe. So far, Scott is batting .1000. They all, always, say it is one of their favorite places they have played.

“It seems like an oddball idea,” he concludes. “Assemble a property in a tiny rural Alabama town and set it up to hold events big enough to exceed the size of the whole town by fivefold or more. It doesn’t seem to work at all on paper. But Waverly is more about magic, sincere hugs and easy, welcoming smiles than it is about business plans, and that’s what keeps people coming. I don’t know if that was Scott’s plan behind that Cheshire grin, but it sure does work.”

Peek’s assessment of his business squares up with Cooper’s.

“It’s not like anybody’s getting rich out here, doing what we’re doing,” Peek says. “I was over at my neighbor’s place, one of the guys that owns Wickles Pickles, last night, talking about all the possibilities. I think more than maybe any time since I’ve been out here, there’s more of a group of like-minded people around. It’s a strange mix of ages and stuff.  It’s good. We’re just poking along. I’ve got grand plans for all my stuff, but we’re paying for it as we go along.”

The Fall Boogie is set for Sept. 13, and its headliner will be Nikki Lane, a no-bull young country singer whose debut album, “All or Nothin’,” was produced by Black Keys leader Dan Auerbach. Hundreds will gather, and between bands, they’ll wander through the old cemetery nearby or browse through the Standard Deluxe store and buy some of Peek and company’s designs.

“We screen-print pretty much anything for anybody on paper or garments,” he says. “And we do music events. It’s sort of our thing.”

Experience Decatur’s role in the Civil War

More than 200 Civil War reenactors will take over Point Mallard Park on Labor Day weekend, transforming the 500-acre municipal park into a weekend encampment complete with mock battles.  Hosted by the 1st Alabama Cavalry Company G “Wheelers Escort”, the Battle for Decatur Civil War Reenactment commemorates the four-day battle which took place in October 1864, telling the story of Decatur’s small, but significant role in the War Between the States. Set for Aug. 30 and 31, the annual event is sponsored by the City of Decatur, Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Morgan County Commission and Camp 580 Sons of Confederate Veterans Alabama Division.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle for Decatur and to honor the piece of history, the weekend event includes Civil War relic displays and a Civil War camp with displays of authentic equipment, dress, and drills. Camps open to the public beginning at 10 a.m. with maneuvers and battles taking place at 2 p.m. The Union troops will win the day during one battle reenactment while the Confederates will capture the contested ground during the next day’s skirmish.

The public is invited to a Ladies’ Tea at 10 a.m. and the Military Ball at 7 p.m. on Saturday and a church service at 10 a.m. on Sunday. All events are held at The Chapel in Point Mallard Park.

Other activities include drill and firing of mid-19th century muskets, mounted cavalry patrols and a living history of daily camp life where spectators can purchase Civil War related items and visit with soldiers.

The historical reenactment represents the historic battle event that took place 150 years ago on the east side of Decatur near the Old State Bank. The City of Decatur was an important transportation site for the Confederate States of America during the Civil War due to the Memphis and Charleston’s railroad bridge crossing the Tennessee River. During the 1864 battle at Decatur, Confederate General Hood attempted to break Union supply lines at the crucial railroad crossing at Decatur. He was not successful and had to cross the river at Florence. Decatur’s involvement in this campaign and the fierce four-day battle caused General Hood to refer to the city as “a hard nut to crack.”

The two-day event is held at Point Mallard Park, a 750-acre municipal park providing year round recreation facilities in Decatur. Admission is free. For more information on the Battle for Decatur reenactment, call Larry Thomson, SCV Camp 580 Adjutant, at 256.520.2906.

Brewton sells tickets to music celebration

Online ticket sales have started for Wash Hole Jam–an Americana music celebration set for Sept. 20 from 6 to 10 p.m. at O’Bannon Park in Brewton. The outdoor concert will highlight the musical heritage that brought voices like William Lee Golden and Hank Locklin into the musical landscape of the South.

“There is so much here to celebrate,” said Chris Fields, owner of the outfitter shop that offers trips on area waterways such as Burnt Corn Creek, Murder Creek and the Sepulga River. “We grow great artists here, great musicians and the beauty of our parks and rivers is dazzling. This concert will feature great artists, with local ties, who care about Brewton as much as we do. It’s all about recognizing who we are and sharing that treasure with the world.”

Save the Date for the 2014 Alabama Welcome Center Educational Retreat

The 2014 Alabama Welcome Center Educational Retreat is set for Nov. 9-11, at Lakepoint Resort State Park in Eufaula.

The Welcome Center Educational Retreat continues to be a unique opportunity to update the Welcome Center staff on your organization, attractions, accommodations and special events. The registration fee is $150, which includes your meals on Sunday afternoon and dinner Sunday night; breakfast, lunch and dinner on Monday and the Monday night event, along with your booth setup on Monday.

The host hotel is Lakepoint Resort State Park and they are offering a rate of $61.95 plus tax for each night to all participating partners.

For registration and additional information, please contact:

Ann Sparks @334-687-6664 or @ Email:,

Trisa Collier @ 256-423-3891or,

Jerry Hale @205-392-5443 or Email:

Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events

Aug. 15 – 24               Alabama Restaurant Week
Aug. 17 – 20               SCMA/GNOA/AMA Regional Meeting, Shreveport, LA
Aug. 22 – 26               SYTA – Toronto, Canada
Sept. 7 – 14                 World Leisure Congress, Mobile
Oct. 7                          Tourism Workshop, Montgomery
Oct. 9                          Tourism Workshop, Birmingham



Tourism Tuesdays is a free electronic newsletter produced by the Alabama Tourism Department. It contains news about the state tourism department and the Alabama tourism industry.

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Alabama Tourism Department