Tourism Tuesdays July 31, 2018

Governor Ivey will present awards at tourism conference in Montgomery

Golf Channel features Dr. Bronner on Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

Ivey speaks at announcement of Talladega Superspeedway infield transformation project

Restaurants, sign up now for Alabama Restaurant Week 2018

Historic Florence building turned hotel, bar, breakfast haven

An Alabama bucket list: 30 things you absolutely, positively need to do in Alabama

A couple searched the Southeast for the perfect place to open a B&B – and found it in Mobile

Ozzy Osbourne visits Alabama landmark for travel show

“Partner Pointer” for the tourism industry website



Gov. Ivey will present awards at tourism conference in Montgomery

Gov. Kay Ivey will present awards at the governor’s tourism conference on Aug. 6 at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa in downtown Montgomery, officials announced. The conference is from Aug. 5 through Aug. 7.


“More than 250 tourism professionals from across the state will be attending this three-day educational conference,” said state tourism director Lee Sentell. “This is our opportunity to bring in experts to present the latest trends in tourism marketing. The Alabama travel industry grew by $1 billion last year to a record $14.3 billion in expenditures, and is responsible for 187,000 jobs,” he said.


Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange and Montgomery Convention & Visitors Bureau President Dawn Hathcock will welcome attendees to the city during the general session on Sunday. The staff of the Alabama Tourism Department will present an annual update on their marketing campaigns. Alabama Bicentennial Commission Executive Director Jay Lamar will discuss plans to celebrate the state’s upcoming bicentennial. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship will share plans for the opening of The Lodge at Gulf State Park.


The conference will feature sessions on using tourism as an economic development tool, working with sponsors, branding strategies, working with the media, marketing to the solo traveler, meeting planning and social media campaigns.


16 award winners announced

Sixteen tourism awards will be presented at the awards banquet Monday evening. The awards presentation will be live streamed at 7 p.m. at


Dr. William E. Barrick will be inducted into the Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame.


Barrick, of Mobile, has spent the last 18 years as Executive Director of Bellingrath Gardens and Home. Under his direction, the Gardens and Home have become major tourist destinations on the Gulf Coast, attracting 110,000 visitors each year.


Patti Culp and Judy Ryals will receive Alabama Tourism Lifetime Achievement Awards.


Culp, of Montgomery, has served as executive director of the Alabama Travel Council since 1977. The Travel Council serves as the official private sector representative of Alabama’s hospitality and tourism industry.


Ryals, of Huntsville, has served as President & CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau.  She joined the Bureau in 1978 and is the longest serving director of a tourism agency in the state.


Dr. David Bronner, of Montgomery, will receive the Alabama Tourism Leadership Award. Bronner is the Chief Executive Officer of the Retirement Systems of Alabama and led the development of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and its associated collection of resort hotels.


Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell will be presented with the Director’s Award. Isbell has won four Grammy Awards and is a native of Green Hill, Alabama. He is a former member of the Driver-by Truckers and has been praised as one of the country’s best songwriters while leading his own band (the 400 unit).


Gulf State Park will be named as 2019 Attraction of the Year. The newly renovated Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores features restored sand dunes, expanded walking and biking trails, new interpretive centers, a learning campus and a new lodge and conference center that will open in November.


Congressman Robert Aderholt, of Haleyville, will be presented with the Government Advocate Award for his continued support of the tourism industry in north and central Alabama and his leadership in securing grants to improve communication access in rural areas.


Dr. Deborah Barnhart, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, will be recognized as the Executive of the Year for her dedication and service to the Alabama tourism industry. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center was the state’s top tourism attraction last year attracting more than 786,000 visitors.


The Alabama Bass Trail will be presented with the Organization of the Year Award for its success in creating the Tournament Series to promote premier bass fishing lakes throughout Alabama. In the past five years, the Tournament Series has produced an economic impact of more than $10 million to the state.


The Montgomery Chamber/Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Equal Justice Initiative will be presented with the Tourism Partnership of the Year award. The EJI Legacy Museum & National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened earlier this year and has worked in partnership with the Montgomery CVB to attract thousands of new visitors to the city.


The Alabama Department of Transportation will receive the State Partnership Award for the development of the I-10 Welcome Center that accommodates millions of travelers in Coastal Alabama.


Alabama Living magazine will be presented with the Media Advocate Award. Tourism attractions across the state have been featured as cover stories and special features in Alabama Living over the last several years. It is the most widely circulated magazine in the state reaching more than a million people each month.


The U.S. Civil Rights Trail will receive the award for best Themed Campaign. The trail was launched in January and features more than 100 museums, churches, courthouses and other landmarks in 14 different states that were essential to the advancement of social equality during the volatile 1950s and 1960s.


Rosemary Judkins of the Alabama Tourism Department will receive the Employee of the Year Award for her commitment to excellence in the group travel market and her success in recruiting new tour groups into the state.


Melinda Edwards of the Lannett Welcome Center will be recognized as the Welcome Center Employee of the Year for her dedication and assistance to the traveling public. Edwards welcomes hundreds of visitors to Alabama every day by helping with information requests, providing directions, taking family photos by the Sweet Home Alabama sign and even singing Christmas carols during the holidays.


Michelle Browder will accept the Rising Star Award. Browder is the owner and operator of the More Than Tours company, leading tours to cultural and historic sites in downtown Montgomery. She has been featured in The New York Times and on the “PBS NewsHour.”


Golf Channel features Dr. Bronner on Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

Dr. David Bronner was interviewed Saturday on the Golf Channel about the impact of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail on Alabama. Bronner described the golf trail as being like “Disney World combined with the Eiffel Tower.” Bronner led the development of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and its collection of resort hotels. With 26 golf courses in 11 locations, the Trail hosts more than 1,100 events each year. Some 12 million rounds of golf have been played on these courses in the past 26 years.


To view the interview please see


Gov. Ivey speaks at announcement of Talladega Superspeedway infield transformation project

From the article by Brandon Moseley on


Thursday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) was in Talladega at the Motor Sports Hall of Fame to announce that the Talladega Superspeedway is going to spend $50 million to transform the infield at the iconic NASCAR track. The Talladega Speedway Corporation is promising that the changes will transform the infield and will offer a new, modern, one-of-a-kind experience that will enhance their current fans’ visit to this historic track and be more than ever a showcase tourist destination for new fans and entertainment seekers in the future.


“Alabama has been proud to be the home of the biggest and baddest race track in NASCAR,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “Both the track and this facility is world class and world renowned. In 2017 Talladega had a $437 million economic impact supporting over 8000 jobs.”


“Almost 50 years ago, Alabama became home to the Talladega Superspeedway,” Gov. Ivey said. “Today, I am thrilled to kick off the development of the Talladega Transformation Infield Project. This project will take this track into the next 50 years and give its loyal fans an even better experience.”


“Twenty-six million visitors came to Alabama last year and many of them were drawn by Talladega and the Motor Sports Hall of Fame,” Ivey said. “I am proud to lead a state that has this much to offer visitors.”


Alabama will celebrate its bicentennial as a state in 2019. The Talladega Super Speedway will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019 too. The new infield transformation will be complete by the time of the October race that year.


The Super Speedway’s management team says that the new interactive Garage Fan Zone Experience: will allow grandstand ticket holders and infield guests who purchase the Garage Fan Zone Experience admission close access to the teams, cars and inspection stations during race preparation via fan viewing walkways in the new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage; A new, modern 35,000-square-foot open air club (covered) with a 41-foot video board, 740-square-foot bar and views into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage; Wi-Fi in all areas of the Garage Fan Zone; Social and engagement areas with concessions/souvenirs/restroom facilities, along with a guest services center and first aid station; New opportunities for driver/personality appearances and entertainment programming; New tram routes to deliver fans to the Garage Fan Zone; New garage suites with views into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage stalls; 44 stalls in the new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage; A new Paddock Club to enhance the experience for fans and corporate guests; And a new Gatorade Victory Lane with up-close fan view as part of the Garage Fan Zone Experience.


The transformation will have new expanded, premium RV camping and amenities: Approximately 300 total new spots near the Alabama Gang Superstretch and front stretch by the start-finish line; The new spaces will all be equipped with power and water hookups; and new infield mobile shower options in Turns 1 and 2. There will also be a new Turn 3 infield vehicle tunnel that will be large enough for convenient RV, tram and team hauler access and will be open 24 hours a day beginning Wednesday of race week. The track will also build: new infield road infrastructure, premium parking and utilities; A new NASCAR race operations building and broadcast booths high above the tri-oval; And renovation of drivers meeting area and expansion/upgrades to the current media center.


Economic Developer Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter, “Since 1969, Talladega Superspeedway has been a part of Alabama societal and cultural history. The superspeedway generates an economic impact of approximately $400+ million per year for our state, and the venue boosts Alabama tourism and is part of the quality of life that locals expect,” Nicole Jones added, “The infield amenities aimed to enhance the fan experience will open in 2019, just in time for the Alabama Bicentennial and 50 years of Talladega Superspeedway.”


Richard Childress is the all-time winningest car owner in Talladega Super Speedway history.


“A lot of times when I speak, I say: Only in America. Only in America can a kid with a $20 race car and a dream be here today,” Childress said. “I raced here in 1969. Big Bill France gave me $400 to race in the Grand American. The Professional Drivers pulled out, so France gave us another $1000 to come race at Talladega. I towed my car here on the back of a big 1953 flatbed truck. I had to keep adding water because my car was losing fluids all day. When I left here, I had that $400 plus that $1000 in my pocket plus some winnings that I made that day. Afterwards Bill sent me a letter and said if you ever need anything from him and NASCAR show that letter. I still have that letter today. For RCR this will be our 50th anniversary as well.”


“The Talladega Superspeedway is where my career began and it holds a special place in my heart,” Childress said.


“Talladega creates millions of dollars in tax revenue from the thousands that attend events and the track provides employment for hundreds of Alabamians.” State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) said. “We are fortunate to have them in Alabama.”


Mike Helton is the Vice Chairman of NASCAR and was President of the Talladega Superspeedway from 1988 to 1993.  The Talladega Speedway Company is owned by the International Speedway Corporation (ISC).


“When it comes to Talladega I love coming back to Talladega,” Helton said. “It is just not because of the race track, but also the people some of the best friends I have ever had in my life.


“What a great step by the ISC and the France family,” Helton said. “It not only helps this facility it helps our entire industry and is reflective of ISC’s commitment to deliver a NASCAR project in a modern consumers way.”


Birmingham based HOAR construction is the primary contractor on the project. The project’s architectural and engineering work is being done by the employee-owned DLR Group based in Omaha, Nebraska.


For the complete article please see




Restaurants, sign up now for Alabama Restaurant Week 2018

Restaurants, sign up and be a part of the locally owned and operated restaurants that participate in Alabama Restaurant Week 2018. The more-than-weeklong event is Aug. 10-19. Last year almost 100 restaurants were a part of the event showcasing local food, fun and flavor.


Participating restaurants will receive in-store promotional items and be listed on the website along with their meal offerings. Participating restaurants set meal prices at $10, $20, $30 and $40 for dinner and $10 and $15 for lunch. In all cases, the price is per person and does not include tax, tip and drink. Restaurants have the choice of offering one or more meals at the preset price.


There is no cost for restaurants to participate in this statewide promotion. For more details and sign-up information, please contact Courtney Austin at or 334-242-4674.




Historic Florence building turned hotel, bar, breakfast haven

From the article by Anna Beahm on


The historic Stricklin Building in downtown Florence has been transformed into a bar, bowling alley, two full-service restaurants and a hotel.


The Stricklin Hotel and Event Center opened last week just in time for W.C. Handy Festival — a highlight for many music lovers in the Shoals area.


“Our deadline was to open by Handy Week, and we nailed it,” said General Manager Thisa Smith. “We’re excited to be part of downtown and located in the heart of downtown Florence.”


The building that once was the Belk Hudson Department Store now houses the Stricklin Hotel, a breakfast joint not for the faint of heart called Big Bad Breakfast, and a bar and restaurant (with a bowling alley) called the Boiler Room.


Smith laughed that the last two weeks have been nothing short of “crazy,” but said the community interest in the space–especially with all the buzz around downtown for Handy Fest — has been encouraging.


“The interest from the community has been amazing. Most of them were astonished that a boutique hotel has sprung up in the historic building. We’ve had several people just walk in off the street.”


She said the hotel was at 50 percent capacity for the first week of operation.


The hotel has 24 rooms, all with King-size beds, and two event spaces. Three deluxe rooms, with windows overlooking Court Street, are also available.


The rooms and event space are on the second and third floors of the building.


The larger event space, the “Stricklin Social,” can accommodate up to 125 guests. The second and smaller space, the “Belk Hudson” was built for business or company meetings, and will accommodate up to 20 guests.


“We hope it can become a destination for Florence,” Smith said.


Night life and breakfast too

While the rooms in the Stricklin Hotel and Event Center are only for guests, Big Bad Breakfast and the Boiler Room are open to anyone — even if you don’t stay the night at the hotel.


“That’s one thing we really want to get out there,” Smith said. “Some people have this idea it’s guest only, but it’s for the public too.”


The Boiler Room, located in the basement, has a full-service bar and restaurant—and most importantly—four bowling alley lanes.


Come bowl, have a drink and a meal between 4 p.m. and midnight at the Boiler Room.


You can come back the next morning for a heaping helping of chicken and waffles from Big Bad Breakfast.


The menu features both breakfast staples and a few Florence specialties like the huevos rancheros grit bowl, fried oyster scramble and breakfast “crumble.”


The Florence location is one of five across Mississippi, Florida and Alabama. Both breakfast and lunch are served between 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily.


Preserving history

Smith said she wanted to preserve as much of the original character and design of the building as possible, but with a modern touch.


“The whole hotel is a modern industrial design,” she said.


The hotel features the Belk Hudson Department Store’s original hardwood, staircase and exposed brick. Some of the rooms feature exposed brick on the walls as well.


“It still has the columns from when the building was built in 1947,” she said. “I think we really preserved the historic part of it.”


A standard room in the hotel will cost around $129 per night during the week and around $169 on a weekend. Deluxe rooms cost around $159 during the week and around $179 on a weekend.


For the complete article please see




An Alabama bucket list: 30 things you absolutely, positively need to do in Alabama

From the article by Michelle Matthews on


Editor’s note: This article will have two parts. Part two will run in a future newsletter.


This list is really just a sampling and is in no order of importance, of some of the things you simply must do in the great state of Alabama.


Catch a Moon Pie at Mardi Gras.

Moon Pies, made by Chattanooga Baking Co., are a staple at every Mobile Mardi Gras parade, and come in flavors like banana and chocolate, with a few varieties “thrown” in like vanilla, coconut, strawberry and others.


Attend the Iron Bowl.

The annual matchup between the state’s biggest football rivals, Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers, will take place Nov. 26 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa (as if you didn’t know). By the way, for those keeping score, Alabama and Auburn have split the last two Iron Bowl games.


Walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

Every year in March, Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery March are commemorated at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. The next Bridge Crossing Jubilee weekend in Selma is scheduled for March 2-5, 2017, but you don’t have to wait for a big event to pay a visit.


Tour the iconic FAME recording studios.

Established in 1959, Rick Hall’s FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals helped create the Muscle Shoals sound. Among the artists who recorded tracks at FAME are Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Paul Anka, Etta James and more. It remains a working studio today.


Visit the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro.

Search for fun, funky stuff as well as real treasures at the country’s only lost luggage store. It covers more than a city block and hosts more than a million visitors a year from every state and 40 foreign countries.


Take a night hike at Dismals Canyon Conservatory in northwest Alabama.

After dark, the canyon lights up with tiny “glow worms,” the bioluminescent creatures known as Dismalites. Vistitors can see these unique insects on guided night tours. Tour times change throughout the year, but during the summer are offered on Friday and Saturday nights at 8:30 p.m.


Have a bushwacker at the Flora-Bama.

The sprawling waterfront bar that straddles the Alabama-Florida line is something of a legend on the Gulf Coast. Its signature drink, a bushwacker, is a tasty blended concoction that tastes like a milkshake – but watch out. This milkshake packs a punch.


Visit the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.

The “Rocket City” is the place where the rockets were developed that sent Apollo astronauts to the moon, and where the Space Launch System is being designed. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is the largest spaceflight museum in the world.


Feed nectar to lorikeets at the Birmingham Zoo.

When you hold a cup of sugar water, the colorful birds come to perch on your hands, arms or head. If you like feathered friends, you’ll love this experience, which is offered twice a day, seven days a week, in the Schaeffer Eye Center Lorikeet Aviary. Cost: $1.50 plus tax.


Visit the Moundville Archeological Park.

Occupied from about A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1450, Moundville was a large settlement of Mississippian culture on the Black Warrior River. To get the full impact on your visit, watch the movie beforehand, hike around the grounds, visit the museum and see the outdoor exhibits at the park, which is owned by the University of Alabama.


See a play at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Though some might snicker at the idea of a regional theater named for William Shakespeare in Montgomery. Alabama Shakespeare Festival stages some 10 productions annually, centered on plays by the Bard. Winton Blount’s gift of a 250-acre park and the $21.5 million Carolyn Blount Theatre was the largest single donation in American theater history.


Visit Cathedral Caverns in northeast Alabama.

It’s always a cool 60 degrees inside this cave, originally known as Bat Cave but renamed because of its resemblance to a cathedral. Its massive entrance measures 126 feet wide and 25 feet high, and inside are beautiful formations including “Goliath,” one of the world’s largest stalagmites.


Spend a night at the Battle House Hotel.

Built in 1908 on the site of a previous hotel that burned down, the Battle House closed in 1974 and was boarded up for decades until it was purchased by Retirement Systems of Alabama, restored to its previous glory and reopened in 2007. And it is gorgeous. Don’t miss the “whispering arch” and the spa and rooftop pool.


Visit the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery.

Designed by Maya Lin, who created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, this round black granite table is engraved with the names of civil rights martyrs, with water flowing across the top. On a wall behind the memorial are the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”


Around the corner is the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where King served as pastor. It’s open for tours, by appointment.


Walk the Tinglewood Trail at Orr Park in Montevallo.

Folk artist Tim Tingle has carved more than 30 faces into the trunks of dead or dying cedar trees in Orr Park to preserve them. See how many faces, animals and fantasy critters you can find on the walking path.


For the complete list and article please see




A couple searched the Southeast for the perfect place to open a B&B – and found it in Mobile

From the article by Michelle Matthews on


When Wendy and Bill James first saw the Queen Anne Victorian mansion in Mobile’s Old Dauphin Way Historic District, they were smitten. “How can you not fall in love with it?” Wendy asks. Nearly sixteen years later, she’s still under its spell.


At the time, the couple were looking at houses all over the Southeast. Originally from Lafayette, La., they were living in Honolulu, Hawaii, but they wanted to move closer to their family and open a bed-and-breakfast inn.


Once they saw inside the 5,000-square-foot Victorian house that was built in 1897, with many original features, from the light fixtures to the stained-glass windows to the ornate mantels on the nine fireplaces, they were sold on it – and on Mobile.


“The house got us to Mobile,” Wendy says.


Having such a spacious house also gave them room for Bill’s mother’s 1888 Steinway concert grand piano, which occupies a prominent spot in the bay window of the front parlor.


The Kate Shepard House Bed and Breakfast welcomes guests from all over the world with its three bedrooms, each with a private bath, and a delightful breakfast Wendy prepares every morning and serves at her large dining room table.


“The biggest surprise of doing this,” she says, “is that 99.9 percent of the people who walk in the front door are lovely, friendly, generous, appreciative visitors who love history, the house, the neighborhood, the dog, Mobile.”


The dog is Beaux Bear, a fluffy, lovable Chow who “rules Monterey Place” from a cushioned window seat overlooking the porch. “We’re a dog-friendly inn,” says Wendy.


A historical marker in the front yard tells part of the story of the Jameses’ home, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by architect George Franklin Barber, it was built from a catalog – and three just like it exist around Mobile. The home’s major components were assembled in Knoxville, Tenn., and shipped to Mobile aboard 13 rail cars.


They knew it had belonged to the Shepard family, who had five children. One of their daughters, Kate Shepard, ran a private school from the home starting in 1910. (An elementary school in Mobile is named after the longtime educator.)

Not only was the home perfect for their B&B, it has historical significance beyond anything they could have imagined. The sellers had many of Kate Shepard’s items on display – textbooks, her wire-rimmed glasses, her gloves. “There’s even more in the attic,” they told the Jameses.


About nine months after they moved in, Wendy and Bill started exploring the attic, where the discovered treasures including thousands of pieces of paper documenting a century of life in the McRae family – Kate’s maternal ancestors who lived in Gautier, Miss. Many of the papers belonged to Colin J. McRae, who was the chief financial agent for the Confederate government in Europe from 1863 until the end of the Civil War.


“We knew we had something really historic,” says Wendy.


Among the papers in the attic were beautiful hand-written receipts originating from London, made out to the Confederate States of America for artillery, ammunition and other war-related items. The receipts help prove that England played a role in helping the Confederacy during the Civil War.


After looking at several museums that would be interested in the documents, Wendy and Bill finally settled on the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum in Columbia, S.C., where the Colin J. McRae Papers now reside.


In the library, three built-in bookcases with glass fronts showcase memorabilia relating to the home’s history – Kate’s glasses and gloves, handwritten books bound with ribbons, a Ouija board and postcards simply addressed to “Kate Shepard, Mobile, Ala.” – as well as bits of porcelain, marbles and coins found on the property.


When it was built, the home had only one bathroom. The cost to add others would have been $50 each, Wendy says incredulously. The home now has six bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths. Wendy and Bill have their own entrance to their living quarters upstairs.


Each of the three guest rooms – the Mobile Bay is downstairs, and the Isabel (named for Kate’s sister) and the Barber (named for the architect) rooms are upstairs – is furnished in period furniture. Each one has free WiFi and a tablet for watching Netflix, but there are no televisions in the bedrooms.


And, yes, the house has ghosts – well, maybe. Wendy admits that there have been “a lot of things I can’t explain,” such as a little girl who has appeared to a few people over the years, appliances turning on when someone walks in the room and, on two occasions, water dripping down the wall with no apparent source.


But it hasn’t stopped the influx of visitors who come from near and far to experience the gracious Southern hospitality offered at the Kate Shepard House. Wendy can’t wait to meet Charles Martin Shepard VI, who found the B&B online and is named for Kate’s father. He plans to visit next month.


Wendy does one seating each morning for breakfast. She serves her tried-and-true menu, including her pecan praline French toast. The recipe is featured in the Alabama Tourism Department’s “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.”


“It’s sweet and small,” she says of breakfast around her dining room table. “We have made so many friends from around the world.”


Right now, during their slow summer season, the Kate Shepard House Bed and Breakfast is offering one room free with a two-night stay, through Aug. 31.


“We really do love it,” Wendy says of running a B&B. “It’s been an amazing experience.”


For the complete article please see



Ozzy Osbourne visits Alabama landmark for travel show

From the article by Matt Wake on


The rock legend who sang Black Sabbath classics like “Supernaut” and “Planet Caravan” recently donned an astronaut suit at Space Camp in Huntsville.


Ozzy Osbourne and son Jack Osbourne visited the Alabama facility for an episode of their A&E Network travel show “Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour.” The Space Camp episode, titled “Lizard of Oz,” premieres 8 p.m. central Aug. 1.


A preview clip depicts Osbourne remarking, “I’m dressed up like a Thanksgiving turkey,” while suspended midair and wearing a spacesuit. Later, the singer seems to be imagining a news report if things had gone wrong there: “Ozzy Osbourne breaks neck. He fell off a make-believe rocket.”


According to a press release, the Space Camp visit fulfills a “childhood dream” of Jack Osbourne’s. The Osbournes filmed at the facility March 30. Jack’s young daughter and Ozzy’s granddaughter Pearl was also onsite.


In addition to his groundbreaking Black Sabbath music – the British band’s signature songs include “Paranoid” and “War Pigs” – Osbourne’s known for solo hits like “Crazy Train” and “Mama I’m Coming Home.” His haunting vocal tone, every-dude vibe, John Lennon-inspired melodic sense and gonzo live performances made the music magnetic. In the early 2000s, Ozzy became an unlikely reality TV star when his family was the subject of MTV’s hit show “The Osbournes.” This was a surreal development for any viewers who’d grown up during the ’80s, when Osbourne’s drug and alcohol fueled antics, including an infamous onstage incident in which he bit the head off a bat, made him parents’ public-enemy number-one.


A&E’s “Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour” is in its third season. In previous episodes Osbourne visited an Arizona biosphere, traveled back to Los Angeles for the birth of his new granddaughter, learned to make pistachios in New Mexico, attend “explosion school” in Missouri and visited a record-pressing plant and drag show brunch in Nashville.


For the complete article please see




“Partner Pointer” for the tourism industry website

Is there a new hotel, restaurant, or event happening in your area? Let us know. We will provide resources, so they too can become a Partner. Reach out to to support new business within the state.


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