Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Mayor Mickey Haddock's Email Newsletter
For Email Newsletters you can trust

July 17, 2014



W.C. Handy Festival

July 18 - 27


Since 1982, the Music Preservation Society (MPS) has been honoring and celebrating the "Father of the Blues" with an annual ten day series of events held in the Northwestern part of Alabama. This year we proudly recognize our 33rd festival; last year we were honored with recognition by the Alabama Department of Tourism as one of the Top 10 events.


Great Music & Events all across the Shoals!


For more information please visit their website




Enchanted Sleeping Beauty


Presented by:

The Gingerbread Players of The Shoals Theatre

7:30 p.m. - Friday & Saturday, July 17-19

2:00 p.m. - Sunday, June 20



For more information:

Call: 256-764-1700 or













This prestigious award is one of 10 that will be given out at the banquet to tourism leaders from throughout the state.  Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, which recently opened a new state-of-the-art 7,500-square-foot visitor's center in June, will be named "Tourism Organization of the Year" at the Alabama Governor's Conference on Tourism next week in Auburn.  Florence/Lauderdale Tourism has served as the destination marketing organization for the City and County since 1995.  We are proud of this recognition and commend our Tourism staff and board!




Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa was picked by ConventionSouth as a 2014 Southern Hospitality Hotel winner!


"It is with great honor to recognize these hotels," said ConventionSouth Editor/Associate Publisher Marlane Bundock. "For a hotel to offer Southern hospitality, it's location, aesthetics, amenities and staff must present an all-around welcoming spirit for groups and attendees from across the country and world."





Congratulations to Dr. Carolyn Barske on the publication of her new book, Images of America: Florence, which is now available at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts.  Dr. Barske is an Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at the University of North Alabama and the Director of the U.N.A. Public History Center.  The book includes stories and historic photographs documenting the history of Florence.





Florence All-Stars 8U Girls Softball


The Florence 8-and-under Girls Softball All-stars won the ARPA State Championship in Athens on Sunday.  Players are:  Kneeling L TO R - Kamora Simpson, Laila King, Madie Sain, Caroline Lambert , Emma Moore, Olivia Stegall.  Standing L TO R - Emma Kate Wright, Marah Bowerman, Chloe Gargis, Natalie Nix, Lucy Kate McCoy, Jazmyn Pearson, not pictured MaLyric Scott.  Coaches back row - Brent McCoy, Dustin Wright, Terry Stegall , not pictured Rico Scott.




Florence All-Stars 10U Girls Softball


 The Florence 10-and-under Girls Softball Team went undefeated to win the ARPA State Championship this past weekend!  Team members are:  Front row, l-r:  Makayla Carter, Liviah Lash, Amirah Maddox, Kate Powell, Lindsey Price.  Middle row:  Bayley Langley, MaKenzie Edwards, Hailey Martin, Elizabeth Jennings, Dixie Broadfoot.  Back row:  Coaches Tyler Maddox, Dennis Price, Head Coach Bret Jennings, Ashley Jennings, and Bobby Langley.  Not pictured are:  Rylee Quick and Assistant Coach Brian Broadfoot.





(Florence Alabama Swim Team)


The Florence Alabama Parks and Recreation Swim Team had 78 swimmers for the summer session.  Under the leadership of Head Coach Chelsea Hughes and assistants Katie Rowe and Seth Taylor, the team took 56 swimmers to represent Florence at the District One swim meet.  We are proud to announce that 51 of our swimmers qualified to compete and represent our City at the Alabama Recreation and Park Association State swim meet in Birmingham on July 26-28, 2014.  We are very proud of all our swimmers that participated in our program for the summer, and would like to especially congratulate swimmer Megan Rhoads on winning 6 gold medals at the Alabama State Games.  We would like t o also recognize one of our swimmers that excels in the pool, as well as, most importantly, away from the pool academically-Kevin Broadway from Florence High School was part of a team that won the National (champion) gold medal in Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation occupational development.


Good Luck at State


Top of page 




UNPACK THE PRIDE is the kick-off event to Pride Week at the University of North Alabama.  We invite faculty, staff, students, alumni, individuals, and organizations from UNA and the Shoals to help us welcome the Class of 2018 and our returning students as they arrive on-campus and move into the residence halls.  Volunteers are encouraged to bring smiles, muscles, and PURPLE PRIDE to ensure this event serves as a great beginning to the year! Volunteers may register at and will be provided with a free t-shirt!





For additional information, please contact Jennifer Ballard at




Top of page 







The Florence Historical Board and others have planned a CEMETERY CLEAN-UP DAY at the John Coffee Cemetery on Saturday, July 19.  Pick your two-hour work time from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. or from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  The cemetery is adjacent to the new Wal-Mart Store on Cloverdale Road and Cox Creek Parkway.  Volunteers are needed to help in the task of removing fallen limbs, trash, etc., cutting the small growth, and moving it to the street.  Please come dressed in work clothing and bring work gloves.









Florence/Lauderdale Tourism will host an orientation and educational program about the Natchez Trace Parkway for front line employees in the tourism industry and interested locals on Friday, July 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the new Florence/Lauderdale Visitor Center located in McFarland Park.


Topics covered will be National Park Service history, Natchez Trace Parkway history and regulations, and site specific history for some of the most popular locations on the Parkway including Tom's Wall, Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield, and Tupelo National Battlefield.  The current Parkway film, which features photography from Mark Meunch, will also be shown.


Participants are asked to make reservations since space is limited. Call the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Office at 256-760-4141.  

 Top of page




CALEA Assessment Visit Scheduled



Florence Police Department Seeks CALEA Accreditation


The Florence Police Department is scheduled for an on-site assessment as part of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) international program to achieve accreditation.  As part of the on-site assessment program, administered by CALEA, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments as a public information forum.


The accreditation process is designed for agencies to meet the requirements of the professional standards established by CALEA in four basic areas:  Policy and Procedures; Administration; Operations; and Support Services.


A public forum is scheduled for Tuesday, July 29, 2014, from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., and will be held in the Florence City Council Chambers located inside Florence City Hall.  Members of the community are invited to attend to better understand the CALEA program and to offer comments about your police department.


Individuals unable to attend the public information forum are invited to offer comments by calling 256-768-2738, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., on Tuesday, July 29, 2014.


Written comments about the Florence Police Department's ability to comply with the standards for accreditation may be sent to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., at 13575 Heathcote Boulevard - Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia 20155.


Media Contact:  Captain Shannon Olive, 256-760-6576 or

Top of page



"Failure Is Not An Option!"


The Florence Police SWAT Challenge is an event like no other.  Your mission starts as you enter the gates and begin your mental preparation for your SWAT Operation.  After you receive your SWAT Operator assignment and mission brief, you ready yourself for the first challenge-moving through a series of obstacles to get to your target location.


The obstacle course includes dressing out for your operation and moving yourself and your gear to your target.  Once you negotiate the obstacle course, then it's time to take on the bad guys in your simulated assault course.  This challenge increases your adrenaline and tests your physical and mental ability to identify your targets and neutralize your threats.  But it doesn't end there...your final challenge takes you on a 1-mile fun run through mud, over walls, and through fire as you earn the right to call yourself elite!  Along the way, real-life SWAT Operators will be by your side encouraging you to complete the task at hand and support you as you take the challenge!  This event is about FUN; it is designed for all types of participants from novice runner to extreme mudder, but will allow you push yourself while having a great time!


Will you accept the Challenge?



Go to

Scroll down to

August 30 - Florence Police SWAT Challenge


You will be assigned a specific time to run your event.  Events will begin at 7:00 a.m.  When you arrive, go directly to the registration area and have a picture ID ready.  Once you sign your waiver and receive your bag, you'll be taken to the mission brief and receive instructions before beginning your events.  Parking is somewhat limited, so carpooling is encouraged.


You WILL get dirty.  Long pants are encouraged, but not mandatory.  Athletic shoes or boots (no open-toe shoes).  There will be SWAT operators and safety officers on site and assigned to each group to ensure a safe and fun environment.  There is an area to change clothes afterwards if you wish.  An entry fee of $35 entitles you to a participant t-shirt and the experience of a lifetime.  Be one of the 100!!



The public is invited to attend a

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Hosted by Florence City Schools

Saturday, July 19, 2014

10:30 a.m.


Florence Freshman Center

1203 Bradshaw Drive



Please enjoy a tour of the new facility

Immediately following the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

 Top of page


VFW Post 5140 Shoals Thrift Sale

Saturday, July 26

8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Located at the post home at

127 South Royal Avenue



Tools, books, clothing, fishing rods,

bikes, and much, much more.


All proceeds go to support the

local VFW Post.






Do you or someone you know have a young child or teenager with singing talent? Florence Mall is looking for talented singers ages 6-16 for the KIX96 & Q107 10th Annual Florence Mall Jr. Idol Competition.  The winner will receive four hours of free recording studio time and demo CDs from FAME Recording Studios to help further their music career, as well as a professional photography session from Kaptions by Keeta.  Auditions will be held in Sears Court, Florence Mall, on July 12, for ages 6-11, and July 19, for ages 12-16; both audition days begin at 4:00 p.m.  Six finalists (the top 3 from each age category) will have a VIP experience on July 24 riding in a limousine to FAME Recording Studios and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame for private tours of both. Finals will take place Friday, July 25, at 6:00 p.m., in the Mall, as part of the W.C. Handy Music Festival activities.


Interested individuals can pick up a registration form at The Shoe Dept. inside Florence Mall anytime during mall hours or check out the Florence Mall Facebook page for further instructions on where to download applications.  There is no fee to enter!  Contestants may only register for the day in which their age group is listed, and registration paperwork must be turned in no later than 5:00 p.m. the Thursday before their appropriate age audition (July 10 for ages 6-11 or July 17 for ages 12-16).  Registration will not be permitted the days of the auditions.  Three contestants will be chosen to advance from each age bracket.  The auditions and the finals will be judged by both the audience and professional judges.  The audience will cast dollar votes for their favorite performers with all proceeds benefiting the Attention Homes of Northwest Alabama, Inc.  The event is presented by KIX96 and Q107, and sponsored by FAME Recording Studios, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Quad Cities Taxi & Limousine Service, Kaptions by Keeta Photography, The Shoe Dept. and Florence Mall.

Top of page 


Various Downtown Florence merchants will have sales going on throughout the week. Check in with Main Street to see which stores will participate and what they will be offering.







  • Ribbon Cutting, Wednesday, July 23 - MISS PRISS - 879 Florence Boulevard
  • Target Opening Date in August - DAIRY QUEEN, 570 South Court Street (formerly Backyard Burgers location)
  • Opening Soon - ASHLEY FURNITURE HOMESTORE, 1604 Florence Blvd at the former Belle Foods location
  • Opening Soon- COURT STREET MARKET, INDOOR FARMERS MARKET, 218 N. Court Street.  They will be bringing local and organic farmers, ranchers, bakers, cheese shop, and variety of food artisans to Downtown Florence.  Owners:  Carmen and Kai-Uwe Erdmann
  • Opening in August - SPECS DOWNTOWN, 109 North Court Street.  They are an eye care facility.
  • Target Opening Date in September - CHICK-FIL-A, 341 Cox Creek Parkway



KENNEDY-DOUGLASS CENTER FOR THE ARTS is located at 217 East Tuscaloosa Street, Florence, and is open, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Call 256-760-6379 for information on City museums and art events.




Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts in Florence presents MOSTLY BLUES, an exhibition of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and mixed media pieces by area artists.  The works are in many styles, media, and techniques, but have a common thread - all have a musical theme or depict scenes from the W.C. Handy Music Festival.  The exhibit includes works by artists from Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale counties and will be open July 8 through August 8.  The exhibit will be open special hours on Saturday, July 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Well-known and established artists are included as well as new, up-and-coming artists. The exhibit was started in 1994 to honor W.C. Handy, the "Father of the Blues," and to celebrate the strong ties our area has to the music world.   Shown here is "NOLA Noise," an acrylic painting by Sarah B. Murray.






Entries and Winner in the Official 2014 W.C. Handy Music Festival Design Competition will be on display at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts in Florence from July 8 through July 25. This year there were 30 entries in a variety of styles and media.


Three University of North Alabama students have created the design that will be used to market the 2014 W. C. Handy Music Festival. Although there was an array of compelling entries, it was art students Caroline Thomas, Jordan Gowan, and Zach Swiatocha who teamed up under the direction of UNA Professor Ron Davis to win this year's W. C. Handy Music Festival Design Competition.

Top of page 





The City Council adopted a new pet license ordinance for certain dogs and cats. 

The ordinance became effective May 1, 2014.

(See Ordinance Here)



The Florence/Lauderdale Animal Shelter has DOGS AND CATS available for ADOPTION OR FOSTER.  The Shelter is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.  Weekend hours are Saturday, open to the public and volunteers,

from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.,

and Sunday, closed to the public, but open to volunteers

from 9:00 a.m. to 12 Noon.

Volunteers are always welcome!

Top of page 

City of Florence Seal NOTICE

All Florence Gas & Water Customers


On May 15, 2014, contractors for the City of Florence began a project to install an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system for gas and water customers.  The project duration is approximately 24 months.  There will be minimal or no disruptions of your service during this process.


It is our desire to provide you as accurate meter readings and measurement as possible.  If you have any questions, please contact 256-760-6490 or visit for more information about this important project. 





450 Country Club Drive

(Savannah Highway/Hwy. 20)

Florence - 256-760-6420

***The Club is a drug free, alcohol free facility***


MASTERS GAMES PRACTICE will be each Monday and Friday mornings, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m., at The Club.  On Thursday, 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., Shuffleboard and Baseball Free Throw practice will be at Broadway Recreation Center. 


THE NUTRITION PROGRAM is a NACOLG/State program which serves lunch each Monday-Friday, at 11:00 a.m., at The Club.  Suggested donation $1.  This program is based on age and not need.  Limited seating (40) available on first come basis.  Must be seated by 10:30 a.m.  Feel free to come check it out.  The only requirements are:  1) must be 60 years of age 2) must sign in and be seated by 10:30 a.m.


BOOMER'S & SENIOR'S SATURDAY NIGHT DANCE & GAMES at The Club, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., each week except holiday weekends.  The doors will open at 6:00 p.m.  $5 per person.  Singles & couples are welcome.  18+ years old.  Music spanning the decades will be performed by The Browns.  For those who may not be dancers but like to play games and enjoy music, here is your opportunity to come listen to some great music while playing your favorite games:  Rook, Rummy, Dominoes, Checkers or the games you bring with you.  Feel free to bring light refreshments.  For more information please call The Club at 256-760-6420, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


BOOMER'S & SENIOR'S DANCE, each TUESDAY NIGHT, continues to bring great people together to dance the night away.  Hours 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.  Singles and couples are welcome.  18+ years old.  $5 per person.  Please join us for a great night of dancing fun with The Browns.


BEGINNING SQUARE DANCE LESSONS (10 weeks) started Friday, March 28, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.  Singles, Couples, Families welcome.  All ages.  $5 each week.  Our international Caller is Chuck Bermele.  There are no dancing skills required.  You will enhance your health and longevity with this well sought after dance opportunity.  Two left feet, OK.  NO partner, OK.  Dance with your friends, parents, co-workers.  For more information call Fran at The Club, 256-760-6420.


JOINTS IN MOTION CHAIR EXERCISE CLASS for your activities of daily living.  Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8:45 to 9:30 a.m.  No age limit-men, women, friends and family are welcome to join us at The Club.  No fee.  Class Leader:  Fran "fish" Davis.


BINGO follows the Joints in Motion Class on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.


BOARD GAMES, ROOK, CARD GAMES, DOMINOES and fun with friends each afternoon at The Club.  12:30 -5:00 p.m.  No fee.  We bring light snacks to share.


FANTASTIC FRIDAY AT THE CLUB will be from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., each THIRD FRIDAY of the month until October.  Our meals will be catered from three different restaurant facilities.  Pop's BBQ (St. Florian) will have fish or chicken.  Dick Howell's (Florence) serving BBQ or quartered chicken.  The Bonnet Café Elegant Country Cooking (Lexington) with Sunday type meals, menu will vary each time.  Please try to purchase tickets ahead of time.  You will enjoy the great food, music, games, dance opportunities, horseshoes, and have a fun time at the "FUN Raiser!"  All proceeds will go towards the local and state Master Games for persons 50 year and older.  Regularly scheduled square dancing will follow Fantastic Friday each time.


On FRIDAYS, the Seniors wear RED to show support for our service men and women. 

Top of page