Tourism Tuesdays December 16, 2014

  • Vacation Guide & Calendar will soon be available
  • ‘Selma’ movie receives four award nominations
  • Selma history organization unveils third in series of historic markers
  • Rocket City Marathon winner loved new course
  • Baumhower’s Restaurants launch new menu featuring Alabama products
  • Wesley True to leave popular Cloverdale restaurant
  • Alabama State Council on the Arts awards grants to Mobile non-profits
  • Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events


Vacation Guide & Calendar will soon be available

State tourism’s 2015 Alabama Vacation Guide and Calendar of Events will be available at state welcome centers and local tourism offices next week.  The 208-page magazine-size publication contains colorful photos and covers the state by geographic regions with an introduction section, a city-by-city listing of attractions and accommodations and profiles of the state’s major cities.  The calendar section lists more than more than 700 annual and special events from across the state.

Feature articles include Alabama Barbecue, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Alabama Road Trips and Outdoor Recreation.  A special section on the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March highlights the new film “Selma” with a photo of co-producer Oprah Winfrey, director Ava DuVernay and star David Oyelowo walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge last spring during production.

‘Selma’ movie receives four award nominations

The Oprah Winfrey-produced movie “Selma,” which opens nationwide on Jan. 9, received four Golden Globe nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The film about the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march received a nomination for Best Film while David Oyelowo received a Best Actor nod for his role at Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ava DuVernay became the first African-American woman to be nominated for the Best Director Award. The song “Glory” is a finalist for Best Song.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will release nominations for the Oscars on Jan. 15.

Paramount Studios held a private screening at the AMC theaters in Montgomery last Saturday. Kathy Faulk, director of the Alabama Film Office, and tourism director Lee Sentell attended, along with Cheryl Fondon, who is on Governor Bentley’s staff at the State Capitol. Faulk convinced the director to film the pivotal scenes of the march at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma and in front of the Capitol in Montgomery.

Time and Rolling Stone magazines named “Selma” one of the top 10 films of the year.

Selma history organization unveils third in series of historic markers

To commemorate the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Battle of Selma, the event’s official sponsor, the April 1865 Society, Inc. a [501(c) 3] charitable organization, will unveil the third in a series of Battle of Selma Historic Markers on Thurs., Dec. 18, at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Washington St. and Alabama Ave. in downtown Selma.

This third marker also incorporates QR codes, video, local narration and map technology which makes this one of the most advanced historic marker designs in the state. The first marker in the series, unveiled in July, is located at the entrance of the annual Battle of Selma Re-enactment site at #1 Satterfield Street in Selma. The second is located in front of the St. James Hotel one block south of the third marker.

The third marker intertwines the stories of the University of Alabama’s Shockley’s Cadets, one of its members Robert W. Patton and his father Robert M. Patton who in November of 1865 was elected Governor of Alabama. Governor Patton’s young son was killed at the corner of Washington Street and Alabama Avenue in the Battle of Selma the night of April 2, 1865.

Rocket City Marathon winner loved new course
By Brian Lawson,, Dec. 13

With a new course that featured real rockets and a new finish line inside Propst Arena, it was fitting that a new marathoner recently won the Nike Rocket City Marathon in just over 2 hours and 25 minutes.

Chris Lemon of Springfield, Ohio, a high school track coach, shook loose from his closest rival with about six miles to go and won the first marathon he’d ever competed in.

“It was pretty cool running through the rocket space center, I’ve been there to visit before as a tourist and going through the botanical garden, that was cool,” Lemon said. “We did get to see a fair amount of the city, nice views all the way.”

The marathon’s new course, which included running next to the Saturn V and under the Space Shuttle at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, allowed race organizers to expand the field from the usual 1,500 and more than 1,900 runners took part, bracing near-freezing temperatures at the start.

“Almost there big man, way to finish strong.”

To read the entire article, go to:

Baumhower’s Restaurants launch new menu featuring Alabama products

Aloha Hospitality, parent company of Baumhower’s Restaurants, recently launched a new menu featuring several local Alabama products.  Alabama Gulf Coast Seafood, Conecuh Sausage, Wickles Pickles and Gabby’s Tortillas are all included on the new menu.

Gabby’s Tortillas were added to the menu when company owner Bob Baumhower met young Gabby Griffin at the Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermen’s Market in Foley and was immediately impressed with her locally made tortillas.  Griffin is a 16 year old student who started her tortilla making business as a school project at the Young Entrepreneur’s Academy at Foley High School. The project took off and grew into a family business in Foley. Gabby’s Tortilla’s donates to local food banks and also gives a portion of their sales to charities that fight against child abuse and neglect.

For more information see

Wesley True to leave popular Cloverdale restaurant
By Rebecca Burylo with Teri Greene, Montgomery Advertiser, Dec. 13

Award-winning chef Wesley True has announced he is leaving his highly regarded Cloverdale restaurant around year’s end.

After the birth of his son in November, True said he and his wife are looking for a change and are excited for what the future holds for them.

“My wife and I are looking to get our own place. Where we are now, I don’t actually own it, so I just think it’s time to get investors and move forward with getting my own restaurant,” True said. ” … When it comes to change, there’s no better time than the present.”

“In the meantime, the restaurant, at 503 Cloverdale Road, will remain open,” True said.  “I am fully committed to helping the owners of the restaurant have a smooth transition so it can remain a staple of the Montgomery community,” he said in a Facebook post.

True has been at the Cloverdale restaurant for 2 years and said he has grown to love the tight-knit community.

“I’m glad to have been at the forefront of the Montgomery restaurant scene,” True said.
“What we at True have done is grown into more of a neighborhood restaurant than just a restaurant for special occasions, and I’m really proud of that.”

True is a two-time James Beard Award semi-finalist for “Best Chef in the South” and has been profiled in Southern Living and Garden & Gun and other publications for his culinary work at his restaurants and participation in national food events. After participating in Montgomery’s annual Farm-to-Fork Food Invasion and Alabama All-Star Food Festival, in 2012 he seized the opportunity to move True from his native Mobile to Montgomery with his wife, Bobbi Heirtoff, certified sommelier and True’s front-of-house manager.

True is an avid supporter of Alabama Gulf seafood and the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission and has participated in the Alabama Tourism Department’s “100 Dishes to Eat Before You Die,” Alabama Restaurant Week, Alabama All-Star Food Festival, “Sunday Supper” James Beard Benefit Dinner in Atlanta, Taste of Alabama Dinner in Birmingham and Auburn’s “Real Food.

To read the entire article, go to:

Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events

Jan 10 – 13                  American Bus Association Annual Meeting – St. Louis, MO
(America’s Center Convention Complex)

Jan 16 – 18                  Cincinnati Golf Show – Cincinnati,OH

Jan 16 – 18 & 21 – 25 Cincinnati Travel, Sport & Boat Show – Cincinnati, OH

Jan 18 – 22                  National Tour Association (NTA) – New Orleans, LA

Jan 22 – 25                  Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow – Louisville, KY

Jan 27 – 28                  Snowbird Extravaganza Show – Lakeland, FL  


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