Tourism Tuesdays August 26, 2014

  • 20 years of Smokin’ It Up in Decatur
  • Tweets about Little River Canyon
  • Blountsville’s Spring Valley beach on Travel Channel’s ‘Extreme Waterparks’
  • Vulcan Park and Museum celebrates 75 years atop Red Mountain
  • Eva celebrates 25 years of old-fashioned fun
  • Wilson named Manager of Tourism Development for Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports
  • Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events



20 years of Smokin’ It Up in Decatur

Along the Tennessee River in Decatur, the aroma of barbeque fills the air the in September. Celebrating its 20th year in 2014, Riverfest brings together pitmasters from across the country who smoke it out as festivalgoers enjoy live music, friendly barbeque competition, and fun and games. Headliners for this year’s event set for September 19-20, 2014, are country music star Craig Campbell and Southern rock band Blackberry Smoke.

Hosted by the Decatur Jaycees, Riverfest is recognized by the State of Alabama as an official State Barbeque Championship competition and is sanctioned by, and conducted under, the rules of the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Competing for prize money and trophies totaling $20,000, the BBQ cook-off is open to professional and amateur teams, and children between the ages of 8 and 18 years old are invited to test their ribeye steak barbequing skills in the Kids Q.

Live music fires up Friday evening. Headliner Craig Campbell ( is scheduled to take the stage at 9:30 p.m. Nominated for two American Country Awards, Campbell reached the top of the country music charts with several of his songs, including “Outta My Head,” “Family Man,” and “Keep Them Kisses Comin.” The music continues Saturday afternoon and includes performances by The Wheelers (, Drake White ( and rising stars Blackberry Smoke ( Playing up to 250 dates each year, this Southern Rock quintet band has toured with the Marshall Tucker Band, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynryd and George Jones. The band was asked to play for Jones on his 80th birthday, not long after the country legend turned in a guest appearance on the band’s sophomore album.

Along with the BBQ cook-off and music, there are food vendors offering barbeque and other traditional festival food and a free children’s area. Weekend passes are $30 per person and includes admission for both days. Weekend passes must be purchased in advance at, Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce or Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau. One-day tickets at the gate are $20 per person. Children younger than 10 years old are admitted free.

Festivalgoers who want to avoid the long lines and enjoy discounted beer, free food, front row seating and other VIP benefits can also purchase a VIP Area/Sports Zone ticket for an additional $35 per night or $50 for the weekend.

For more information, visit:

Tweets about Little River Canyon
Outdoors to be a Brand USA theme

The Brand USA Twitter account DiscoverAmerica featured one of Alabama’s natural wonders twice in less than a week.  Displaying a photograph of a scenic waterfalls in Fort Payne the tweet to 14,000 followers stated, “Visit Little River Canyon National Preserve to admire this amazing view.”  The August 20th tweet was retweeted to the Alabama Tourism Department’s TweetHomeAla account’s 11,000 followers a few days later.

Then on Monday (Aug 25) DiscoverAmerica’s twitter account and the twitter account of the U.S. Counselor’s Office in India retweeted Alabama Tourism Department’s TweetHomeAla’s message and photo “Explore the Little River Canyon National Preserve’s unique swimming holes.”

The Brand USA tweets comes as America’s tourism marketing organization said at The U.S. Travel Association’s annual education conference, ESTO, that outdoors is an upcoming theme they are developing.

For more information on Alabama Tourism’s involvement with Brand USA, contact Grey Brennan, 334-252-4459.

For information on Alabama Tourism’s social media efforts, contact

Blountsville’s Spring Valley beach on Travel Channel’s ‘Extreme Waterparks’
By William Thornton,, July 1

Blountsville’s Spring Valley Beach waterpark recently appeared in an episode of “Extreme Waterparks” on The Travel Channel.  The episode featured the park’s 360 Rush, its 58-foot slide.

A 25-acre water park, Spring Valley Beach has several water slides, a two-acre pool, and picnic areas.

To read the entire article online and see the video, go to:

Vulcan Park and Museum celebrates 75 years atop Red Mountain

Vulcan is celebrating 75 years atop Red Mountain, a celebration made possible by the Birmingham Kiwanis Club who, in 1935, developed the plan to move Vulcan from its former location at the Alabama State Fair Grounds to a position of greater prominence, where it is located today. Through the efforts of the Kiwanis Club, the Vulcan project earned a WPA grant which covered the cost of the statue’s move as well as the park’s development, and Vulcan was moved to its current location in 1939.  In honor of Vulcan’s new home, the city celebrated with nine days of festivities, including a play with a cast of 1,200.  The dedication festivities culminated with the crowning of Vulcan’s Queen.

To honor the 75th year of Vulcan Park and Museum, the Red Mountain Theatre Company joins Vulcan Park Foundation in presenting Miss Vulcan 1939, an original musical comedy based loosely on the actual crowning of Vulcan’s queen.  Presented Sept. 5 and 6, on park grounds, in the shadow of Vulcan himself, Miss Vulcan 1939 will transport audiences back in time to attend the first (and only) Miss Vulcan pageant.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 205-324-2424 or visit

Eva celebrates 25 years of old-fashioned fun

For the past 24 years, thousands of visitors have made their way to the tiny hamlet of Eva, located off of Interstate 65, for eight days of old-fashioned fun and games.  Now in its 25th year, Eva Frontier Days offer wholesome entertainment where festival goers enjoy a greased pig chase, pig calling and frog jumping contests, a parade, hayride, and much more. An antique tractor show and Bluegrass Festival are part of the activities at the beginning of the week.  The festival also includes a craft show and old time crafts.

This year’s event is set for Sept. 20-27.  Proceeds from Eva Frontier Days benefit the Eva Art Guild.

For more information, call 256-796-7023 or 256-318-6735.

Wilson named Manager of Tourism Development for Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports

Jennifer Wilson


The Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports (TTS) is pleased to announce the addition of Jennifer Wilson as the new Manager of Tourism Development beginning September 2. In her new role, Mrs. Wilson will be promoting the Tuscaloosa area as a premiere travel destination and managing relationships with tourism-related constituencies in the Tuscaloosa market. As a life-long resident of Tuscaloosa, Mrs. Wilson spent a large portion of her career promoting the City’s top tourism destinations.

“Wilson’s 12 years of experience in the tourism industry within our market is exactly what we were looking for in a candidate,” said Gina Simpson, TTS CEO. “Her previous work at both the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureaus ties directly into her responsibilities and allows her to hit the ground running. I am excited to see how Tuscaloosa’s tourism industry changes and grows under her guidance.”

As Tourism Development Manager, Mrs. Wilson will be stepping into a newly created position for TTS. The new role places an emphasis on community development with the goal of enhancing the area’s tourism assets.  In the past, TTS placed large efforts on marketing. However, research reveals successful downtowns and visitor destinations are built on product not marketing. The new role is a fundamental piece in TTS’s strategy to further develop the City of Tuscaloosa into a premier location for residents and visitors alike.

Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events

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.

The newsletter can also be accessed online by going to:

To subscribe to the weekly Alabama Tourism News, please contact Peggy Collins at:

Alabama Tourism Department