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Friday, March 19, 2010

Year of Small Towns and Downtowns in Alabama

Alabama is hosting one big yearlong party, and everyone is invited to the the celebration. More than 200 towns and cities are staging “Great Alabama Homecoming” events and unveil historic markers this year as part of the Year of Small Towns & Downtowns.

The homecomings will continue through mid-December with a majority of the events taking place in the summer.

“Communities will welcome former residents to participate in food, crafts and music events that celebrate each town’s unique characteristics,” Governor Bob Riley says. Historic markers written by local historians and provided by the Alabama Tourism Department are being unveiled.

A total of 215 communities, ranging in size from Mooresville, population 54, to Birmingham, population 300,000, have scheduled events throughout the calendar.

The celebrations will be staged under a variety of names. Events such as Demopolis’ Christmas on the River, Hartselle’s Depot Days and Ozark’s Claybank Jamboree are well established, while Jacksonville, Ashland, Gulf Shores and York – among others – will host events organized specifically for this year’s homecoming theme. Natives of Ensley, long absorbed by Birmingham, will have a function at Tuxedo Junction.

Some towns have convenient anniversaries. Huntsville will recognize the 50th anniversary of the NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center, Talladega, its 175th birthday, and Lincoln’s centennial.

“Having grown up in a small town, I know that many people who moved away will enjoy coming back home to see neighbors and classmates they went to school with,” Governor Riley said.

For more information about top events in Alabama, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Alabama at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-alabama.html

For more information visit the “Great Alabama Homecoming” web site at http://www.alabamahomecoming.com