Tourism Tuesdays June 30, 2015

  • Alabama Barbecue Hall of Fame: Meet the folks who’ve kept the fires burning
  • Men’s Journal – Why 2015 is the Year of Alabama Barbecue
  • Field & Stream – Hawg Heaven
  • Regions Field named “Best of the Ballparks
  • Majestic 3 campaign offers chance to Brave the Cave, Stake the Lake & Like the Hike
  • Barbasol Championship could bring $25 million to Opelika-Auburn area
  • 3 Alabama farmers markets among 101 best in America
  • Two Bham eateries ranked among best fried chicken spots in America
  • Diving reefs growing in Alabama as nonprofit sinks second ship
  • Today is the last day for AGCT group and early bird rates
  • Alabama Tourism Department Workshop
  • Search is on for Alabama Barbecue Restaurants
  • Alabama artists and craftspeople
  • 2016 Vacation Guide & Calendar of Event deadlines
  • Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events


Alabama Barbecue Hall of Fame: Meet the folks who’ve kept the fires burning
By Bob Carlton,, June 29

Pitmasters and restaurateurs who’ve kept the fires burning across Alabama for a half-century or more got together in Irondale today for a barbecue lunch  honoring the inaugural inductees into the new Alabama Barbecue Hall of Fame.
They came from small towns such as Gurley and Hollywood, Eutaw and Union Springs — as well as such barbecue hotbeds as Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Decatur.

The Alabama Tourism Department created the hall of fame to recognize  barbecue establishments that have been in business for 50 years or more. Twenty-nine restaurants make up the first class of inductees, and about 20 of those were represented today.

The hall of fame is part of the state tourism department’s Year of Alabama Barbecue promotional campaign.
Among those honored today was Decatur’s Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, where they have been smoking meat since 1925.

“To me, Alabama is one of the major barbecue regions in the United States,” Big Bob Gibson’s Chris Lilly said.  “It’s great to be recognized among your peers and among restaurants that have been open for decades and decades in the great state of Alabama.”

Today’s ceremony was held at Golden Rule Bar-B-Q in Irondale because it is Alabama’s oldest barbecue business, dating back to 1891. The restaurant has been in its current building on U.S. 78 for 40 years or so.

“This is the fourth building,” Golden Rule’s Sammy Derzis said. “The last one was across the street; the second one was down the street; and the first one, we just don’t know. Nobody is alive to tell us where it was.”

To find out more about the Year of Alabama Barbecue, go here.

To read this article online and view pictures from the event, go to:

Men’s Journal – Why 2015 is the Year of Alabama Barbecue
By Margaret Eby,

If, in your barbecue quests, you’ve been focused on Texas brisket or Memphis’ dry pork rubs, or rhapsodizing over Kansas City’s signature burnt ends, you may have overlooked a style of barbecue that’s less ballyhooed but every bit as tasty: Alabama barbecue.

If Alabama isn’t the first place that pops to mind when you think of the meaty delights of a perfect pulled pork sandwich or a rack of ribs with the kind of succulent, sticky sauce that stains your fingers for the rest of the day, it’s understandable. But it’s easily a contender for the highest concentration of great barbecue joints in the country, partially because Alabama doesn’t have as defined a regional style as Memphis or Kansas City. To the purebred styles of elsewhere in the South, Alabama is kind of a mutt. You can something from just about every style in the state: whole hog or just the shoulder, dry or wet ribs, sliced or pulled pork, and both the vinegar and mustard based sauce favored in the Carolinas and the sweeter tomato and molasses strain more popular in Tennessee.

Though the styles of barbecue may be mixed, the importance of the dish is integral to the culinary identity of Alabama. If you bring up ribs or sauce with an Alabamian, you’ll quickly be pulled into an argument about where the best offerings are—Archibald’s BBQ in Tuscaloosa, where the proprietors sell their vinegary sauce in gallon milk jugs, is a serious contender, as is the regional chain Dreamland BBQ, which serves ribs, no-nonsense style, with a side of white bread and a roll of paper towels. (The pit once had signs that read “no coleslaw, no potato salad, don’t ask,” but has since loosened up on the sides front.) In Birmingham, there’s newcomer Saw’s BBQ duking it out with Full Moon Bar-B-Q and Jim ‘N Nick’s. There are so many prized barbecue locations, in fact, that it’s become a state-wide tourist attraction. This February, the Alabama Department of Tourism declared 2015 to be the “Year of Alabama Barbecue.”

The idea, explained state tourism representative Brian Jones, came from a tournament-style barbecue bracket in 2012, in which the department asked Alabamians to vote for their favorite barbecue restaurant. The competition got attention worldwide and attracted more than 81,000 voters. (Jim ‘N Nicks in Birmingham won the top honor.) “What really impressed us was how passionate voters got about their favorite barbecue places,” Jones said. “They would send us all kinds of comments about why their place was the best and other places didn’t know real barbecue and on and on. In turns out that barbecue is second only to college football in Alabama for heated debate. It was so popular that we decided we needed to devote a year just to barbecue.”

The most distinctive element about Alabama barbecue, aside from its eclecticism, is its white sauce—a mixture of vinegar, mayonnaise, apple juice, and cayenne pepper—that some local pits offer as a tangy accompaniment to ribs or chicken. It was originally developed at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, a small town in the north of the state, and quickly became popular. Big Bob’s dips the whole chicken in the sauce, though other pits are more conservative, providing it as more of an accompaniment. “Once you taste the white sauce and the smoked flavor you will never be the same,” Jones said. “I grew up in Decatur and it’s the only way I will eat barbecue chicken.”

Jonathan Tucker, who owns Rusty’s BBQ in Leeds Alabama, agrees. “It pairs really well with turkey, also, but it actually goes great on just about anything you want to put it on,” he said. “My favorite use is as a condiment on a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast, and it also makes a great salad dressing for coleslaw or tomato cucumber salad.”

The red sauce versus white sauce debate is one of many hotly contested topics in the Alabama barbecue world.

There’s also wet versus dry ribs, and cooking the meat in a pit versus in a smoker. “Old school places like Bob Sykes Barbecue have been cooking their barbecue in a brick pit since 1957 and wouldn’t dream about doing it any other way,” Jones said. “Other restaurants cook all of their meat in barrel smokers and swear by that. Then you have the whole debate over which is even the best type of barbecue to begin with—pulled pork, a rack of ribs or chicken.”

For those on the hunt for the best places, there’s now a barbecue-themed road trip that the state tourism board has laid out, as well as an Alabama BBQ Trail iPhone app featuring 75 restaurants in 52 cities. (The app will also alert you when you’re within 20 miles of a barbecue joint.) According to Tucker, it’s easy to spot a good place in Alabama, even without the help of technology.

“A good Bar-B-Q spot will have smoke coming from the chimney early in the morning,” Tucker said. “They should also make their own sauce. If it tastes like Kraft, it probably is, and that’s a shame. And if you look in the parking lot, there should be luxury cars parked right next to beat up work trucks.”

The tourism board is also instituting an “Alabama Barbecue Hall of Fame” that will distribute plaques to the best examples of the style in the state. But for those who would rather try some of the delights of white sauce at home, here’s a recipe to bring a little bit of Decatur into your kitchen.

Chris Lilly’s White Sauce [Printed with permission from Alabama Barbecue: Delicious Road Trip]
Four-time world barbecue champion Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson dunks chicken portions in his sauce before serving. You can too. This is one of his favorite versions.

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

 Combine all ingredients and blend well. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 weeks

To read this article online, go to:

Field & Stream – Hawg Heaven
A four-day road trip where possibly the only thing better than the bass fishing is the barbeque
By David Draper, Field & Stream

I’m hungry.

It’s now 4 p.m., and all I’ve eaten today is a granola bar for breakfast and a bologna sandwich I scarfed down between casts on Wesley Anderson’s boat. When we launched at 6:30 a.m., Pickwick Lake was glass-flat. Now the water pulses with a heavy chop, as a strong north wind stacks waves up against the Tennessee River, which flows down into the lake. Anderson, a part-time college student and aspiring pro angler, does his best to find calm water, nosing the boat into one of Pickwick’s many small coves.

“She’s angry,” Anderson says. “Someone done made her mad.”

I’m angry, too. I’m hungry and I’m angry.

I’m hangry.

My mood is a product of both a rumbling stomach and the inability to hook a bass. Anytime I struggle to catch fish, my mind tends to wander, and when my mind wanders, my thoughts are often consumed with food—in this particular instance, barbecue. I think about the pulled-pork sandwich I ate yesterday at the Germantown Commissary in Memphis, and I look forward to the ribs we’re going to eat tonight at Anderson’s place. And I’m already dreaming about dessert. Banana pudding? No. Something coconut? Yes. Coconut cake. Then, my food fantasy is interrupted by something heavy on the end of my line.

Today marks the first day of a marathon bass-and-barbecue road trip that’ll go from northeast of Mississippi across northern Alabama, where the Tennessee River backs up behind four different dams—Pickwick, Wilson, Wheeler, and Guntersville. The resulting string of lakes is well known for phenomenal fishing. And it just so happens this shallow arc of a waterway also creates a corridor of ’cue, with roadside pits and smoky shacks cooking up pork, ribs, chicken, and more. Nowhere else in the U.S. do bass and barbecue parallel each other so closely, which is why I’ve picked this region to fish and feast my way upriver to the crown jewel of Southern bass fishing: Guntersville Lake.

How to find a great barbeque shack:

The hardest part of this road trip was driving by so many barbecue joints without stopping. You’d need a month to hit every one. So with the help of Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que in Decatur, I came up with an unscientific system for figuring out which shacks are worth a sample.

  1. “Stop by at lunchtime,” Lilly says. “If the parking lot’s full, it’s good barbecue.”
  2. Is it new? Barbecue has enjoyed a revival of late, leading to lots of newcomers. That might mean great barbecue, but when there’s a choice between a squeaky-clean restaurant and a smoke-stained shack, go with the latter. “There’s a reason they’ve been in business so long,” Lilly says.
  3. When asking locals where to eat, follow the Rule of Three: A pit must get mentioned three different times from three different people before it’s worth considering.
  4. Lilly always makes sure the place has a kitchen, as many chains ship their barbecue to locations from a central commissary. “And there dang sure better be a woodpile out back,” Lilly says.
  5. Yes, there’s an app for barbecue. Some of the best recommendations are at your fingertips. The Alabama BBQ Trail app send alerts when you’re in the vicinity of a barbecue joint and links to Yelp! reviews.

Carter (Michael Carter, bass fishing guide on Guntersville Lake) suggests a few barbecue spots, then settles on Mud Creek BBQ. It’s the third time someone has recommended the place in the past two days. That’s a good sign. By the time I slide into a booth, it’s 3 p.m. and the place is empty. The waitress sets a basket of hush puppies in front of me, hands me a menu, and tells me they’re out of ribs. I smile. “That’s okay.”

I’ve reached the end of my dream road trip, and it’s time to go big. I run down my order: “Pulled pork, half a chicken, two small fried catfish, beans, and slaw. Oh, and another order of hush puppies. Please.” When she tells me there’s homemade coconut cake in the icebox, I add that to the order, too.

As I pull out of the Mud Creek lot, I catch a glance of myself in the rearview mirror. My cheeks are flush and there’s a wide smile on my face.
I’m full.

Bass guides for hire:

Pickwick Lake: Wes Anderson (901-485-0570)
Wheeler Lake: Leon Brewington (256-309-9260;
Guntersville Lake: Michael Carter (423-802-1362;

To read the entire article, which gives an full accounting of each of the four days, online, go to:

Regions Field named “Best of the Ballparks
By Ryan Phillips, Birmingham Business Journal, June 25

Regions Field has become a major draw for downtown Birmingham, and the praise just keeps coming in for the new park.

Ballpark Digest – a publication devoted to America’s baseball parks – recently unveiled the winners for its “Best of the Ballparks” competition, and the home of the Birmingham Barons took the top spot for Double-A.

“We are extremely honored that Regions Field has been named’s AA ballpark of the year and thank all voters who participated in this contest,” said Barons General Manager Jonathan Nelson. “It is fantastic that both AA ballpark finalists are from the state of Alabama and congratulate Montgomery. This recognition reflects what a special place Regions Field is and we look forward to continuing to provide fun, memorable experiences for all fans in the future.”

Regions Field narrowly edged out Riverwalk Stadium, home of the Montgomery Biscuits. The results were announced at Wednesday’s Southern League All-Star game at Riverwalk Stadium.

“Over a million fans have visited Regions Field since its opening, and it has spurred needed economic development in Birmingham,” said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. “It’s a great place to take in a game, and no wonder Barons fans voted it the winner.”

The $64 million stadium in the Parkside district also ranked in the nation’s top 5 for another magazine’s top 25 minor league ballparks.

Baseball America in May ranked Birmingham’s Regions Field as the No. 3 minor league ballpark in America, after polling over 100 minor league GMs, radio announcers and league observers.

To read this article online, go to:

Majestic 3 campaign offers chance to Brave the Cave, Stake the Lake & Like the Hike

In an effort to promote their three state parks as tourist attractions, Marshall County Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched a Majestic 3 campaign.  Marshall County is the only county in the state of Alabama boasting three state parks: Bucks Pocket State Park, Cathedral Caverns State Park, and Lake Guntersville State Park.

Visitors are encouraged to Brave the cave, Stake the lake or Like the hike while spending a weekend at the Lake Guntersville State Park lodge or campground.  Weekend getaway packages include meals, nature activities and lodging and promote the different outdoor adventures available in Marshall County. Visitors are rewarded with special giveaways and opportunities to win free vacations when they utilize social media, special hashtags and selfies to document their visits to all three parks.

“Cathedral Caverns has the largest cave opening in the world and boasts 50,000 visitors annually, Bucks Pocket is known for some of the best kayaking water in the world, and Lake Guntersville State Park is a one stop destination for a variety of recreational activities such as horseback riding, golfing, mountain biking, hiking, fishing and camping.  It’s clear that our natural resources are our premier attractions,” said Katy Norton, President of the Marshall County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

For more information about the Majestic 3 or details on the weekend packages, go to:

Barbasol Championship could bring $25 million to Opelika-Auburn area, June 26

The upcoming Barbasol Championship, set for July 13-19 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National in Opelika, is expected to draw more than 50,000 spectators from across the nation to the state’s first permanent PGA event, officials say, which could bring some $25 million to the area.

At a press event Friday, local leaders and PGA Tour staff discussed tourism and economic impacts the golf tournament has already had on the Opelika-Auburn area, and what they anticipate as July 13 draws nearer.

“Tourism is something that goes on in the background unless you’ve got an event as big as this,” said John Wild, president of the Auburn and Opelika Tourism Bureau. “It’s already started, from our perspective.”

Wild said business has already begun picking up for local hotels, as some tournament personnel have committed to long-term stays preparing for the event.

Jonathan Romeo, tournament director for the championship, said some have been in the area for as long as eight months preparing for the tournament, and many recent arrivals plan to stay through the end of July, not to mention incoming spectators, golfers and staff who will arrive as the event begins.

“You’re going to have 132 golfers, 132 caddies, PGA tour staff and you’re going to have the Golf Channel that all become residents of Lee County for a seven- to 14-day window,” he said. “They are going to stay in hotels, they are going to eat and they are going to shop. And those things all equate to an economic impact of more than $25 million for an event like this.”

Romeo said the tournament will be PGA’s first permanent stop in Alabama, and more than 50,000 spectators and 70 media personnel are expected to attend the event, where 132 athletes are set to compete for a $4 million purse.
He said his vision is to show the world what Alabama has to offer.

“If we can just grab one business or one family that says, ‘Oh, hey, wow, I’m going to go to Alabama and check it out,’ that’s how business grows. That’s how we develop things in this state,” Romeo said.

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said, “It’s a very important event for Opelika and Auburn and it gives us an opportunity.”
Bill Ham, mayor of Auburn, said in addition to economic impact, the recognition that will come to the area as a result of the golf tournament will be extensive.

“On behalf of Gary and myself, and Lee County, we are ready for folks to come, and we look forward to hosting them.”

The Barbasol Championship is open to the public. Tickets are $20, while children 14 and younger and retired and active members of the military receive free tickets.

For more information, visit .

To read this article online, go to:


3 Alabama farmers markets among 101 best in America
By Bob Carlton,, June 26

Three Alabama farmers markets — two in Birmingham and one in Huntsville — are on the food and dining website The Daily Meal’s list of the 101 Best Farmers Markets in America for 2015.

The Daily Meal has been rolling out its second annual list on its Twitter account this week.

The Alabama Farmers Market on Finley Avenue in Birmingham is No. 76 on the list, the Greene Street Market in Huntsville is No. 67, and The Market at Pepper Place in Birmingham is No. 23.

Here’s what The Daily Meal had to say about each of them:

Alabama Farmers Market:
 “The Alabama Farmers Market’s 49 acres is an outpost for 207 Alabama growers who sell both wholesale and to ordinary consumers. The market is open seven days a week, year-round.”

Greene Street Market:
 “The Greene Street Market has become an essential part of every Huntsvillian’s Thursday afternoon routine. Patrons come to purchase fresh–cut flowers and artisanal spreads and jams, grass-fed beef, and locally grown produce. There’s even an indoor market store that’s open six days a week.”

The Market at Pepper Place:
 “The Market at Pepper Place was founded in 2000 to connect Alabama farmers to the community. With more than 100 vendors, including both farmers and craftspeople, the market is a lively place to visit every Saturday from May until December.”

To read this article online, go to:


Two Bham eateries ranked among best fried chicken spots in America
By Ryan Phillips, Birmingham Business Journal, June 25

Fried chicken occupies a special place in Birmingham’s culinary scene, and two local eateries were recently ranked among the Daily Meal’s list of America’s 75 Best Fried Chicken Spots 2015.

Downtown Birmingham’s Café Dupont ranked the highest for the city, coming in at No. 43.

Café Dupont offers a ‘fresh perspective on regional ingredients’ to create a menu bursting with traditional flavors and contemporary flair,” the Daily Meal said. “This is most evident in their signature buttermilk-fried chicken with a lemon basil sauce, served atop warm creamed potatoes. You can thank the strong relationships chef Chris Dupont fosters with local farmers for the top-quality produce and meats that you’ll taste in every bite of their specialties.”

Mexican eatery Little Donkey, based in Homewood and owned by Fresh Hospitality, finished at No. 45 on the list.

The Daily Meal commented: “Little Donkey , a Mexican restaurant, serves their fried chicken with a twist: it is brined overnight with a mixture of three chiles, and splashed with a house-made vinegar made from morita and habanero peppers to impart some added heat. It comes with two sides, and with options like elotes (corn-on-the-cob) and chipotle slaw, you’re set for a truly delicious meal. Southern Living calls Little Donkey one of the 100 best restaurants in the South.”

To read this article online, go to:

Diving reefs growing in Alabama as nonprofit sinks second ship
By Marc D. Anderson,, June 26

Two ships, mythical statues and a wedding chapel are all at the bottom of the Gulf and there’s more to come thanks to a nonprofit focused on making Alabama a diving destination.

Since forming in 2012, the Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation has made good on a three-year goal of creating three new reefs for recreational diving and fishing off the state’s coast. And momentum keeps building as local businesses, civic groups, city governments and a state agency pitch in.

The latest sinking, in early June, dropped a 128-foot-long former dinner and party barge in waters about 13 nautical miles south of Perdido Pass in Orange Beach.

Now, the new diving spot honors Capt. Shirley Brown, who was instrumental in development of the artificial reef program in northwest Florida, and whose family made the donation.

The sinking on June 3 was low-key affair compared to the offshore party on Memorial Day weekend in 2013, when Orange Beach-based Walter Marine sank “The Lulu,” a retired coastal freighter 17 nautical miles south of Perdido Pass.

In remarkable fashion, the foundation raised $500,000 in just five months to establish that first diving reef.
Next, in December 2014, the foundation created “Poseidon’s Playground” three miles off of Orange Beach. There, divers find statues of three Greek mythological figures – Poseidon, Apollo and Venus – and other aquarium-like sights.

Each reef plays a role in diversifying diving options. The wheelhouse of The LuLu starts at 60 feet and has a bottom depth of about 115 feet, making it accessible to novice and advanced divers.

The Capt. Shirley Brown sits at a depth of 85 feet with the top deck is about 75 feet from the surface.

Poseidon’s Playground, meanwhile, with a depth of about 38 feet, is fine for diving newcomers and youngsters.

In March, the foundation added a shell-covered concrete cross to the nearshore reef that eventually will serve as an underwater wedding venue.

“Walter Marine is working on two structures that are based with columns that will kind of frame out the cross so it will look more like an altar,” Harris said. “And that was donated by the city of Orange Beach.”

Underwater weddings have been popular in the Florida Keys for decades and are common in tropical locales around the world.

But an underwater wedding altar would be unique to Gulf Coast, said Harris, a professional underwater photographer and a master member of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.

In coming months, the same reef will also feature a 5-foot seahorse mounted on a concrete base. Another memorial in the works will likely be in the shape of a rocket, a tribute by the donor to a loved one who worked for NASA.

A new campaign to raise money for monuments honoring first-responders, such as firemen, policemen and EMTs, will kick off in the next few weeks.

And the Reef Foundation – which enjoys out-of-the-box ideas – is also considering a “Reef of Fame.”
“It’s kind of like the Walk of Fame in Hollywood,” Harris said. “We’re going to have different celebrities put their handprints in concrete.”

Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon called Poseidon’s Playground “a big deal for our kids that we’re trying to get interested in diving.”

Kennon said the city has been so impressed with the foundation’s work that it’s putting together a proposal to use about $1.5 million in BP oil spill recovery money to fund the sinking of more ships.

The project will be submitted to the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council for consideration as part of the RESTORE Act, which was created by Congress to oversee 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines collected as a result of the Deepwater Horizon spill.

“What we would like to do is sink two more large ships out there to create a diving destination where you literally can dive three or maybe even four large structures in a single day,” Kennon said. “That would be a huge diving attraction.”

Kennon said the city would likely be willing to put up matching funds for the project as well.

“I’ve been a diver since 1975 and I know how interesting it would be to get on a boat and in the course of a 12- or even 16-hour day hit three to four really big structures or a combination of big and small,” the mayor said. “That’s what we’re shooting for and the Reef Foundation has done a wonderful job in leading the charge.”

To read this article online, go to:

Today is the last day for group and early bird rates

The 2015 Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism (AGCT) is being held at the Renaissance Battle House Hotel & Spa in Mobile, Aug. 1 – 4.  The group rate of $125 per night is good from July 28 through Aug. 6, 2015.  Today is the last day to be able to take advantage of the group rate.  After today the rates jump to a minimum of $177.

To reserve a room at the host hotel, go to: Book your group rate: Alabama Governors Conference on Tourism 2015 >> or call 866-316-5957.  When calling be sure to refer to the Alabama Governor’s Conference in order to get the group rate.

This is also the last day to take advantage of the AGCT Early Bird rate.  Tomorrow the registration fee goes to $450 per person.

To register for the conference and see an agenda, go to:

Alabama Tourism Department Workshop

The Alabama Tourism Department will host a Tourism Workshop on Thur., July 9 in Montgomery.  This workshop is 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 the workshop and you will have an opportunity for one-on-one time with each of them.

The workshop will be at the Alabama Center for Commerce Building, 401 Adams Avenue, 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

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 to sign in and join Alabama Tourism’s Year of Alabama Barbecue.

Alabama artists and craftspeople

Alabama is home to a vast number of talented and creative artists and craftspeople 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 these artists and crafters and their products.  We are interested in the home-grown cottage industries rather than the industrial giants.

Please send information about people and their products, including contact information, to Peggy Collins, or call 334-242-4545.

Deadlines are here for the 2016 Vacation Guide & Calendar of Event

Today is the last day to submit information in order to have your events listed in the printed version of the Calendar of Events.  July 10 is the last day to submit your attractions’ information for the Vacation Guide.

The web address is:

If you have any questions, call Pam Smith at 334-353-4541.

Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events

June 30                        Deadline for Calendar of Events
June 30                        Battlehouse Mobile group rate ends for AGCT
July 9                           Alabama Tourism Workshop in Montgomery
July 10                         Deadline for Vacation Guide
Aug 1 – 4                    Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism – Mobile
Aug 8 – 12                  Alabama Motorcoach/SCMA/GMOA Regional Meeting
Lake Lanier, GA


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