Tourism Tuesdays March 17, 2015

  • Learn how to work with the Alabama Tourism Department
  • Daughters of Martin Luther King Jr., George Wallace to share stage
  • Southern Living’s The Daily South features The Year of Alabama Barbecue
  • Alabama Featured in UK Daily Express
  • U.S. says international travel sets new records
  • American Songwriter Magazine has created a one of a kind music experience in the Shoals
  • Alabama brewers ready St. Stephens Stout collaboration for debut at Eat Drink Birmingham
  • Sloss Music & Arts Festival: new event in Birmingham
  • Rickwood Field ranks among best baseball destinations
  • High schoolers converge on the Space & Rocket Center
  • Dr. William E. Barrick to receive 2015 Liberty Hyde Bailey Award
  • 10-year-old BBQ prodigy proclaims Alabama’s Dreamland the best in the world
  • Welcome Centers gearing up for National Tourism Month
  • Search is on for Alabama Barbecue Restaurants
  • Alabama Makers
  • Attention CVBs and attractions: ATD needs pictures by May 29
  • Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events

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Learn how to work with the Alabama Tourism Department

The Alabama Tourism Department will host a Tourism Workshop on Tue., April 21 in Birmingham and Wed., April 22 in Montgomery.  These workshops are for new tourism industry members, event organizers and anyone interested in enhancing tourism in their area.

Many of ATD’s staff members will be in attendance at these workshops and you will have an opportunity for one-on-one time with each of them.  Among others Grey Brennan can explain how we work with international tourism and Jo Jo Terry will tell you all about social media and how we use it.

At a recent workshop someone was overheard saying, “Next time they have one of these workshops, my entire staff is going!”  Come and learn about the many programs and services the Alabama Tourism Department offers.

On Tue., April 21 the workshop will be held at the Vulcan Park and Museum, 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham and on Wed., April 22 the workshop will be at the Alabama Center for Commerce Building, 401 Adams Avenue.  Times for both days will be 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  There is no registration fee.

For additional information, please contact Rosemary Judkins at 334-242-4493 or via email at Rosemary.Judkins@Tourism.Alabama.Gov

Daughters of Martin Luther King Jr., George Wallace to share stage
By Erin Edgemon, AL.com, March 16

The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery march for voting rights will come to an end on March 25 with the reenactment of the march on the Alabama State Capitol.

Gov. Robert Bentley, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean will welcome marchers at the capitol steps at 12:30 p.m.  The Rev. Bernice King, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees and Alabama State University President Gwendolyn Boyd will join in the festivities.

Fifty years ago, government officials and police denied marchers access to the steps of the state capitol. Law enforcement and a flatbed truck stood in their way causing Martin Luther King Jr. to deliver his famous address from a distance.

This year, two flatbed trucks bearing images of the movement’s foot soldiers will serve as a gateway for marchers as they approach the steps of the capitol, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The trucks will part and allow all marchers access to the capitol.

Event organizers say the commemoration will show the progress Alabama has made in 50 years and the changed mindset of police and government leaders.

“This is a powerful moment in history. A time for our youth to take the baton from our legends, our leaders and those who believed in them and run toward their destiny of success, bearing in mind that the struggles, the prayers and the bloodshed were not in vain,” said program coordinator Dr. Tommie H. Stewart, dean of the Alabama State University College of Visual and Performing Arts. “The struggle continues.”

The Rev. Bernice King will deliver her father’s address from the march of 1965 using the same podium the former Gov. George Wallace’s daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, will recount her father’s apology while touching on her work surrounding reconciliation and unification within the state.

Montgomery-native and Broadway star Bonita Hamilton will perform The Circle of Life from the hit Broadway musical The Lion King.

Any person involved in the 1965 march who is physically unable to participate in the March 25 event and would like reserved seating for the program should contact the Civil Rights Memorial Center as soon as possible by calling 334-956-8372 or sending an email to kindred.motes@splcenter.org

To read this article online, go to: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/daughters_of_martin_luther_kin.html#incart_river

 

Southern Living’s The Daily South features The Year of Alabama Barbecue

By Paden Reich, thedailysouth.southernliving.com, March 13

The Alabama Tourism Department has claimed this year to be all about the Que.

The yearlong campaign includes a web site, www.alabamabbq.com that will feature restaurants and events happening all over the state, as well as a smart phone app based on the book Alabama Barbecue: Delicious Road Trips. The app, which you can download for free to your phone, has information on more than 75 barbecue restaurants including days and times the restaurants are open. The app is so smart it even lets you know if you are within 20 miles of one of your beloved barbecue joints!

The campaign will also include a photo exhibit of renowned pitmasters, a documentary film on the state’s barbecue history, and the first induction of barbecue legends into the Alabama Barbecue Hall of Fame.

To read this article online, go to: http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2015/03/13/the-year-of-alabama-barbecue/

Alabama Featured in UK Daily Express

A trip to Alabama last summer by writer David Roberts has resulted in an article in the United Kingdom based daily national market tabloid paper, Daily Express.  Robert’s story “Alabama’s heartbeat: Take a trip down south” starts with the paper’s editorial comment “our writer takes a tour of the creative melting pot that led to some of the world’s most famous music.”

Robert visited Muscle Shoals, Birmingham and Montgomery on his August 2014 trip.  His story highlights sites in each city and appeared in print on Saturday March 14 and online one week earlier.

The Daily Express has a circulation of 488,246.

In The Shoals, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, history recording studios, and Sam Phillips are featured as well as a color photograph taken in the area titled “The cool streets of Alabama.”

Montgomery’s section is titled “Hank to Hot Dogs” and centers on Hank William and the restaurant Hank often visited, Chris’ Hot Dogs.  Robert describes Montgomery’s architecture and riverfront as spectacular

In a third section on Civil Rights, Roberts highlights the Rosa Parks Museum and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

To read the complete article online, go to: http://www.express.co.uk/travel/articles/562505/Alabama-trip-south-history

For more information on Alabama Tourism Department’s efforts in the United Kingdom, contact grey.brennan@tourism.alabama.gov or Della@globalgtravelmarketing.org.

U.S. says international travel sets new records

U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig announced in a news release on March 10, 2015 that a record 75 million international visitors traveled to the United States in 2014, a seven percent increase over 2013. Tourism is America’s largest services export and these exports support 1.1 million U.S. jobs.

“Today’s data show that the United States continues to be the premier destination for international visitors,” Selig said. “It also highlights that we remain on track toward achieving President Obama’s goal of attracting 100 million international visitors to the United States by 2021.”

The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security recently sent a report to President Obama on expanding the U.S. travel and tourism industry with a strategy to increase the number of international visitors to the U.S. It provides a way forward to deliver a best-in-class arrivals experience, ensuring that international visitors continue to select the United States as their destination of choice.

Highlights: 2014 International Visitation to the United States

Annual overseas resident visitation (excluding Canada and Mexico) set a new record in 2014, reaching 34.4 million visitors, up eight percent from 2013. Travel from overseas markets accounted for 46 percent of total international arrivals to the United States in 2014. All top inbound overseas regional markets surpassed 2013 levels, all registering record level visits in 2014.

American Songwriter Magazine has created a one of a kind music experience in the Shoals

Even if you haven’t seen the excellent 2012 documentary “Muscle Shoals” you’re no doubt familiar with the musical history of this small community in Northwest Alabama. The Native Americans who first settled the area noticed a melodious sound emanating from the waters of the Tennessee River that sounded like a woman singing. They called it “The Singing River” and it is said that there really is something “in the water” that is responsible for what it known as the “Muscle Shoals Sound.”  March 27 – 29, is your chance to join American Songwriter for an intimate boutique event and get a taste of the magic yourself as you soak up the sounds of the Shoals’ native sons.

For more, go to: www.asmliveandinperson.com OR liveandinperson@americansongwriter.com OR #LiveandInPerson OR www.americansongwriter.com OR call: 615-321-6096 ext. 100 – Live & In Person Customer Service Rep

 

Alabama brewers ready St. Stephens Stout collaboration for debut at Eat Drink Birmingham
By Mia Watkins, AL.com, March 11

Alabama brewers gathered in Birmingham Tuesday to make beer history.

St. Stephens Stout, the state’s first collaborative brew, was bottled for the first time at Good People Brewing Company on Tuesday, March 10. The beer is named after the first capital of the state.

According to Roberts, the stout is the first in a five beer “Capital Series,” that will see the debut a new brew celebrating each capital every year up until the bicentennial celebration of the founding of Alabama in 2019.

“We’ve had five state capitals and we have five years until the bicentennial, so it just kind of fit,” said. Roberts. “At first, we thought we’d just a local brewery from that area to do a beer, but we thought why not just all collaborate and get together and do it?”

The beer, which 26 Alabama breweries collaborated on, will be available for the first time during Eat Drink Birmingham on Saturday March 14. It will available in 22-ounce bottles across the state starting Tuesday, March 17.

Eat Drink Birmingham will pair offerings from Alabama craft breweries with meals from Birmingham Original restaurants such as The J. Clyde, 26 and The Silvertron Café at Homewood’s SoHo Square from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. General admission tickets are $49 for the 21 and up event.

The guild kept St. Stephens Stout truly Alabama by sourcing state-grown hops and wheat, according to Tripp Collins of Gadsden’s Back Forty Beer Company.

He describes the beer as a “big, hearty stout.”

“It’s pretty smooth,” he said. “It’s got a lot of chocolate, roasted caramel notes in there. When you think of a big wintertime stout, that’s what it is.”

Each collaborating brewery was required to provide something, whether it was ideas for the recipe or equipment, according to Roberts.  The beer was first brewed at Good People in January.

Good People co-founder Michael Sellers called the large-scale collaboration a good experience.

“I think it’s important in a sense that it brings the guild together and kind of adds cohesiveness to the organization, which is a relatively young organization.” he said. “It’s going to help us become a better guild.”

The Alabama Brewers Guild may be young, but Roberts said the history of beer in the state extends far into the past.

According to Roberts, Alabama saw its highest level of beer production in 1907 with around 115,000 barrels being produced.

Several major cities in the state had breweries before state prohibition began in 1909 and again in 1915, lasting until 1937.  The recent resurgence of state breweries serves as a throwback to that time, according to Roberts.

St. Stephens Stout bottling Members of the Alabama Brewers Guild came together Tuesday, March 10 to bottle St. Stephens Stout, the first collaborative beer that commemorates Alabama’s upcoming bicentennial. It will be available at this weekend’s Eat Drink Birmingham event and statewide on March 17.

Sellers said that local breweries revel in both beer culture and its place in state history.

“It’s very much represented by the names of breweries, the names of beers, everybody’s very proud of Alabama,” he said. “I think for us it was kind of a no-brainer to celebrate our state. We are local businesses. Most of our products are manufactured in the state. Our biggest ingredient is water and it comes from Alabama. For us, we are Alabama small business.”

St. Stephens Stout will also pay tribute to its historical namesake. A portion of the proceeds collected from sales will go to the Old St. Stephens Historical Commission for signage on the Old St. Stephens Historical Park’s archeological trails.

St. Stephens Executive Director Jean Parnell said the funding couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We have been zeroed out of the state budget 100 percent,” she said.

She said the park now relies on funds it generates itself and donations such as proceeds from the stout.

Parnell said the beer sales are a wonderful idea and couldn’t have come at a better time.

“For them to earmark the funds for archeology is something that we couldn’t have done otherwise,” she said.

To read this article online, go to: http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/03/alabama_brewers_ready_collabor.html#incart_river

 

Sloss Music & Arts Festival: in Birmingham
By Mary Colurso, AL.com, March 11

What can we expect from the Sloss Music & Arts Festval on July 18-19 in Birmingham?

Three stages of music — the Steam Stage, the Blast Stage and the Shed Stage — on the grounds of Sloss Furnaces, 30 22nd St. North.

A lineup of more than 30 acts that emphasizes indie and alternative rock, Americana and folk, hip-hop and electronica.

Craft brews aplenty, including a specialty beer created for the festival by Birmingham’s Trim Tab Brewing Co. and Starr Hill Brewery of Charlottesville, Va.

Barbecue and more barbecue, in a food area curated by Nick Pihakis of Jim N’ Nick’s Bar-B-Que and some culinary colleagues, including James Beard Award winners.

Custom prints and designers from the American Poster Institute, iron pouring demonstrations from the Sloss Metal Arts Program and works by local artists and crafters.

Organizers are announcing this framework for Sloss Fest today during a press conference on the festival site. Several important details for the new event — the names of music acts, for example, and the nitty-gritty on ticket prices — are set to be announced March 24 via the festival website.

Sloss Fest is the brainchild of Red Mountain Entertainment, a longtime concert promoter in Birmingham, and two partners: AC Entertainment (the folks behind the Bonnaroo and Forecastle festivals) and Venue Management (producer of Sloss Fright Furnace and a key player for Magic City Brewfest).

Tickets for the Sloss Music & Arts Festival go on sale March 27 at 10 a.m. CST via Ticketmaster and the festival website. Price levels will range from general admission to VIP to a medium-perks ticket that includes access to air conditioning. (July tends to be a hot and sweaty month in Birmingham.)

A presale starts March 24 for those who sign up for the festival’s email list, on the landing page of the industrial-looking website. Sloss Fest also has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed and an Instagram account.

Sloss Furnaces, a national historic landmark, has been the location of several festivals over the years. They include the Preserve Jazz Festival, Birmingham Jam, Stokin’ the Fire BBQ Festival, Magic City Blues Fest, the Birmingham Heritage Festival, Gumbo Gala, Hot Strings and the Sloss Birthday Blast.

The shed at Sloss, a covered area that holds about 2,400 people, is a popular concert venue with a long history of stage performances. Among the acts who’ve played there: Wilco, the White Stripes, Marilyn Manson, the Alabama Shakes, She & Him, Pretty Lights, O.A.R., My Chemical Romance, Ministry, Slipknot, Eric Church, LL Cool J, Needtobreathe, My Morning Jacket, Counting Crows, Jason Mraz and the Strokes.

To read this article online, go to: http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/03/sloss_music_arts_festival_3_st.html


Rickwood Field ranks among best baseball destinations
By Ryan Phillips, Birmingham Business Journal, March 10

Birmingham has been a baseball city since the birth of the game, and one of the city’s most storied venues, Rickwood Field, has facilitated that since 1910.

In a recently released book titled “101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out,” author Josh Pahigian mentions the historic ballpark, ranking it the No. 4 overall destination. The only sites that edged out Rickwood in the rankings were The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY., The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, MO., and the Field of Dreams Movie Site in Dyersville, Iowa.

Pahigian told the Birmingham Business Journal the purpose of the book was to list the places most interesting to fans, which was determined by venues as they relate to the game’s history, pop culture and architecture. Rickwood is unique in that it features all of these, Pahigian said. This will be the second edition of the book, updated for 2015 with 25 new sites and a complete re-ranking of America’s best baseball attractions.

Rickwood has played host to the game’s many changes over the years, including serving as the home of the Birmingham Barons and Negro Leagues. Today, it is used for various events, including the Rickwood Classic, but has also served as a movie set for films such as “Cobb,” and “42.”

Some of the history may be immortalized on the silver screen, but Pahigian said there is much more to the park than meets the eye.

“It was built in 1910, whereas we think of Fenway Park as ancient, and Rickwood was standing and being used before that,” he said. “It’s older than Wrigley Field as well. It’s kind of like a time machine you can visit as a fan and take a self-guided tour. It’s a real treat for baseball fans.”

The venue itself may interest many, but the faces who passed through it have been a subject of fascination for Pahigian, who has visited and written about ballparks all over the country.

“I think it is interesting to think of being those players coming up through the system there, like Willie Mays played for the Black Barons before getting to the big leagues,” he said. ” To think, it is a ballpark where Ty Cobb, Dizzy Dean, Christy Matthewson, and Satchel Paige played.”

Pahigian also said Rickwood was innovative among contemporaries, with a steel and concrete design, which signaled a departure from the traditional wooden construction of ballparks during the early years of the game.

“I also think the light stanchions are neat and how they extend over the field partially,” he said. “I’ve never seen lights like that, and the press box. There are a couple on the roof and that was certainly unique at one point.”

Rickwood is also similar in design to the now-demolished Forbes field, which was built in 1909, Pahigian said. His hopes are that Rickwood can one day occupy the same place within the community and game’s culture like Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, NY., which regularly welcomes little leaguers and community events to take the field.

“I would love to see the Classic continue and the ballpark to serve as a living museum,” he said. “I recognize it must be a challenge to maintain it. Community teams basically come (to Doubeday Field) all year round and older players get to play on that field while they get to visit the Hall of Fame, so it would be cool if Birmingham could create that sort of situation. I don’t know how financially feasible that is, but it is definitely a monument of the game worth preserving.”

The only sites that edged out Rickwood in the rankings were The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY., The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, MO., and the Field of Dreams Movie Site in Dyersville, Iowa.

To read this article online, go to: http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/news/2015/03/10/rickwood-field-ranked-as-one-of-the-best-baseball.html?ana=e_du_pub&s=article_du&ed=2015-03-10&u=yR6EzMegYo3HiugBPpPOQfL+by3&t=1426018505

 

High schoolers converge on the Space & Rocket Center
By Anna Claire Vollers, AL.com, March 5

It’s the first trip to the United States for Utkarsh Maheshwari, an outgoing 16-year-old from Dubai. He’s sitting in the cockpit of an F-18 flight simulator, dressed in a blue flight suit, learning the basics of flying a fighter jet.

In the dimly lit room inside the Aviation Challenge headquarters at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, his 16 teammates – from places as far-flung as Romania, China, California and Minnesota – are sitting in their own simulators.

“I’ve loved everything,” he said, “making new friends and meeting new people.”

The students are part of a group of more than 300 high schoolers from around the world who are spending the week at the Space & Rocket Center as part of the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy.

They represent 39 countries and 26 states and territories. The leadership program, open to children of Honeywell employees, sends the 16-18 year olds through a modified version of the USSRC’s Space Camp and Aviation Challenge programs, where they take part in simulated astronaut training, shuttle missions, team-building activities and meet with scientists, engineers and astronauts.

Across the room from Maheshwari, teammate Neha Godbole is learning to land her plane in the F-18 simulator.

The 17-year-old applied to the competitive program because she’s interested in math and science and wanted to get a better idea of the kind of field she might want to study in college.

Earlier in the week, Godbole took part in a shuttle mission.

“Everyone on the team had a different role,” she said. “I was one of the mission specialists and I got to do a spacewalk in the big white suit.”

We allow (students) to see a vision of themselves in the future without any filters, families and friends.

She’s made a lot of friends, she said. “I think it’s really been interesting, meeting people from all over the world.”

Students in the leadership academy have to use scientific and mathematical principles to solve real-world problems. Teams had to design a heat shield using thermodynamic principles, for example. In an Aviation Challenge mission, they had to work as a group to take over an airport after purchasing the airplanes and materials needed and developing a plan of attack.

“We teach about effective communication and working in a team environment on challenges that are aeronautically relevant,” said Chris Hatfield, corporate programs manager at the USSRC.

“It gets them outside their comfort zone. We want to inspire them with STEM ideas and leadership skills so they can become a voice in their communities.”

The Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy (HLCA) is now in its sixth year. The goal has been to promote exploration of  STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – related careers.

“We want to encourage the next generation of engineers, scientists and teachers,” said Pratibha Poswal, Honeywell’s program manager for HLCA. “High school is the time when they’re trying to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives. This could be a turning point for a lot of students.”

HLCA participants also got to meet five-time shuttle astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson. Representatives from HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology taught them how to extract DNA. Students learned to build and launch rockets.

“With this opportunity, we allow (students) to see a vision of themselves in the future without any filters, families and friends,” said Deborah Barnhart, CEO and executive director of the USSRC. “They judge themselves against their global peer group and consider a course of action for their own future.”

Maheshwari, the 16-year-old from Dubai, said one of his favorite parts of the week was the teambuilding exercise at Aviation Challenge called the “pamper pole,” a 32-foot-tall pole that team members had to climb (while harnessed and belayed by teammates), stand on the platform at the top and then jump to a trapeze nearby.

“With the motivation of our team,” he said, “every one of us was able to climb it.”

To read this article online, go to: http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2015/03/high_schoolers_from_across_glo.html

 

Dr. William E. Barrick to receive 2015 Liberty Hyde Bailey Award
March 16

Dr. William E. Barrick, Executive Director of Bellingrath Gardens and Home, has been selected to receive the American Horticultural Society’s 2015 Liberty Hyde Bailey Award.

The prestigious Liberty Hyde Bailey Award is part of the Society’s annual national awards program, initiated in 1953. The honor is given to an individual who has made significant lifetime contributions to at least three of the following horticultural fields: teaching, research, communications, plant exploration, administration, art, business and leadership.

At Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Dr. Barrick manages the 65-acre historic estate and serves as a trustee for the Bellingrath Morse Foundation, the estate of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath. Under his direction, the Gardens and Home have become a major tourist destination on the Gulf Coast, attracting 125,000 visitors each year.

His initiatives include the redesign of the annual Magic Christmas in Lights attraction, which will mark its 20th anniversary this year. In December 2014, USA Today included Bellingrath Gardens and Home’s Magic Christmas in Lights in its list of the “10 Best Public Light Displays in America.”

Dr. Barrick has been Bellingrath’s Executive Director since 1999. Before that, he was Executive Vice President and Director of Gardens at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga., for nearly twenty years.

“Bill brought an exquisite sense of design that is unparalleled in our experience,” Edward C. Callaway, chairman and CEO of Callaway Gardens, wrote in his nomination letter to the awards committee. “He is an artist who uses plants as his paint and the living world as his canvas. He is remarkably gifted in his ability to imagine and create guest experience in gardens.”

Dr. Barrick will receive the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award at the Great American Gardeners Awards ceremony on June 4 at River Farm, the American Horticultural Society’s National Headquarters in Alexandria, Va. All of the 2015 Great American Gardeners Award recipients have been officially announced in the March/April 2015 issue of The American Gardener magazine.

To read the entire article, go to: http://bellingrath.org/dr-william-e-barrick-to-receive-the-american-horticultural-societys-2015-liberty-hyde-bailey-award/?utm_source=Media+and+Area+Contacts&utm_campaign=71a875ccdd-February_2015_Newsletter_2_2_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_57bf42303e-71a875ccdd-286758753

 

10-year-old BBQ prodigy proclaims Alabama’s Dreamland the best in the world
By Cliff Sims, Yellowhammer News, March 10

Sloan Finger, a 4th grader at Hawks Rise Elementary in Tallahassee, Fla., knows pretty much everything there is to know about barbecue. In fact, he knows so much he won an award at Florida’s Tropicana Public Speaking Contest for a brilliant speech titled, “Real Barbecue: An Elusive Meat.”

“If I asked, ‘Want some barbecue?’ Would you say, ‘sure, or ‘no thanks’?” Finger asked his audience rhetorically. “If the answer is ‘no,’ I would speculate that you have not had real barbecue. Why? Because if you have had it you couldn’t say no. The problem is, real barbecue is elusive. Some people believe that if you take a piece of meat or a certain vegetable and put it on the grill, it’s barbecue. Other people believe that by simply adding barbecue sauce to top of a meat it makes it barbecue. Even at my old school they made Sloppy Joe’s and called them ‘barbecue sandwiches.’ Unfortunately, some kids believed them.”

So what constitutes “real” barbecue?

“Real barbecue is slowly cooked by the smoke rising from a bed of smoldering coals in the bottom of a pit,” Finger explained, “or it can be cooked by the smoke of a wood fire box being circulated into an enclosed smoking chamber, which is often mistaken for a grill. As the saying goes, smoke it low and slow.”

But the best part of Finger’s remarks from our perspective actually took place during a brief Q&A time after his speech. When asked where one could find this elusive “real” barbecue, he didn’t hesitate.

“I’d say it’s at a restaurant called Dreamland. They started out with just ribs, sweet tea and white bread.”

Dreamland, of course, is the iconic Alabama rib joint started by John “Big Daddy” Bishop in 1958. The first restaurant opened in Tuscaloosa, but Dreamland can now be found in Huntsville, Northport, Roswell, Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery as well.

Alabama as a state is well known for its barbecue. And coincidentally, 2015 just happens to be The Alabama Tourism Department’s Year of Alabama Barbecue.

If they’re looking for a spokesman, 10-year-old Sloan Finger might just fit the bill.

To read this article online and watch the video, go to: http://yellowhammernews.com/faithandculture/video-10-year-old-bbq-prodigy-proclaims-alabamas-dreamland-the-best-in-the-world/

 

Welcome Centers gearing up for National Tourism Month

The Eight Welcome Centers around Alabama are finalizing plans for an annual favorite – Tourism Day.  Each center celebrates National Tourism Month in May each year with a day full of special activities. The Centers have delicious food, refreshing drinks and local tourism partners on site to greet travelers to celebrate the official start of the summer travel season.  A list of the 2015 dates for each Center can be found at http://tourism.alabama.gov/industry-calendar/.

May 6, Sumter Welcome Center, May 7, Cleburne Welcome Center; May 7, Grand Bay Welcome Center; May 14, Lanett Welcome Center; May 14, Baldwin Welcome Center; May 14, DeKalb Welcome Center; May 15, Houston Welcome Center; May 28, Ardmore Welcome Center

 

Search is on for Alabama Barbecue Restaurants

The Alabama Tourism Department is conducting a search for barbecue restaurants around the state that might not have made it into the Alabama Barbecue book.  If you are or know of any barbecue restaurants in your area, please go to http://partners.alabama.travel/ to sign in and join Alabama Tourism’s Year of Alabama Barbecue.

 

Alabama Makers

Alabama is home to a vast number of talented and creative people who produce a wide variety of items including, but not limited to, woodwork, paintings, ceramics, fabrics and a lot of food.

The Alabama Tourism Department is looking for information about all these people and their products.  We want the home-grown cottage industries as opposed to industrial giants.

Please send information about people and their products, including contact information, to Peggy Collins, peggy.collins@tourism.alabama.gov or call 334-242-4545.

 

Attention CVBs and attractions: ATD needs pictures by May 29

The Alabama Tourism Department will soon be working on a photo book.  We need really great high res images from you.  They need to be a minimum of 4” X 6” at 300 dpi, but bigger is better.  The deadline for getting these in is May 29.

The images we look for are those that are colorful, show people having a lot of fun and could only have been taken in one place.  The graphics team will be at the Tourism Workshops to give detailed information about the photography we need.

For information on the best way to send your images, please contact Peggy Collins, peggy.collins@tourism.alabama.gov  or 334-242-4545.

 

Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events

Mar 22 – 25                Travel South Showcase – Shreveport, LA
Apr 14                         Alabama Tourism Bash – Montgomery, AL
Apr 15                         Alabama Tourism Advisory Board Meeting & Update, Montgomery, AL
Apr 21 & 22                Alabama Tourism Department Workshop – Birmingham/Montgomery
Apr 22 – 24                 WTM Latin America (Trade) – Sao Paulo, Brazil
Apr 30 – May 3          Nashville Southern Women’s Show – Nashville, TN
May 6                          Sumter Welcome Center, Tourism Day Celebration
I-20/59 East of MS Line
May 7                          Cleburne Welcome Center, Tourism Day Celebration
I-20 West of GA Line
May 14                        Lanett Welcome Center Tourism Day Celebration
I-85 West of Georgia Line
May 15                        Houston Welcome Center Tourism Day Celebration
U.S. 231 North of FL Line
May 14                        Baldwin Welcome Center Tourism Day Celebration
I-10 West of FL Line
May 7              Grand Bay Welcome Center Tourism Day Celebration
I-10 East of MS Line
May 14            DeKalb Welcome Center Tourism Day Celebration
I-59 West of GA Line
May 28            Ardmore Welcome Center Tourism Celebration
I-65 South of TN Line

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 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.


The newsletter can also be accessed online by going to: www.tourism.alabama.gov

To subscribe to the weekly Alabama Tourism News, please contact Peggy Collins at: peggy.collins@tourism.alabama.gov

Alabama Tourism Department
www.alabama.travel