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Welcome to the
City of Florence
Message Center 

Alabama's Renaissance City


In This Issue
Message from Mayor Holt

Florence City Council Meeting - Tuesday, February 20
4:00 p.m. Work Session / 5:00 p.m. Council Meeting
City Auditorium, 103 South Pine Street




On March 12, 2018, the City of Florence will officially be 200 years old - making it one full year older than the State of Alabama!
We are getting ready to kick off the Bicentennial Celebration and we hope everyone will join in this grand and momentous time in our history...starting with a soft celebration at First Fridays on March 2, followed by a big BIRTHDAY BASH at 3:30 p.m., on Monday, March 12, in Wilson Park.  Keep a watch for the exciting events as they are announced!

(including an online store - Click on Shop from the menu)



Bicentennial Office Number - 256-760-6689
Office is located on the 4th Floor of the
Florence-Lauderdale Government Building,
102 South Court Street, and open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.,
or see someone in the Mayor's Office on 2nd Floor

Among the many items that are available for purchase on the Bicentennial webpage is the beautiful 2018 Bicentennial Calendar published by The Design Committee of Florence Main Street and features interesting information about Florence's fascinating history, along with details of the commemorations that will take place monthly from March through November:

1. March - Florence's Birthday
2. April - Florence's Architectural History
3. May - The History of the Arts in Florence
4. June - Frontier Days in Florence
5. July - Music in Florence's History
6. August - Education as an integral Part of Florence's History
7. September - Florence's Native American Legacy
8. October - Homecoming & Reunion at the River
9. November - The Role of the Faith Community in Florence's Development

Each month's entry in the calendar, from January through December, is highlighted with vintage photographs and other images that add visual interest to every page.
The calendars are available for $5.00 each at the following locations:

1. Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 East Tuscaloosa Street 
2. Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Bureau/Visitors Center in McFarland Park
3. The Shoals Chamber of Commerce office on Hightower Place
4. Mayor's Office, 102 South Court Street, Second Floor
For further information, contact:
Billy Warren - Historian, City of Florence
256-718-5020 (





322 N. Walnut Street
On Wednesday we celebrated with Zach Blenkinsopp at Digital Roofing Innovations as he introduced his business to the Shoals area.  If the roof of your residential or commercial space has fading looks or structural damage, it may be time to consult the roofing experts at Digital Roofing Innovations. Their expert residential roofers and commercial roofers work hard to provide you with the roof of your dreams, allowing customers peace of mind knowing that they have a solid roof over their heads.  They offer a wide-variety of roofing solutions that includes metal roofing installations, shingle roofs, shingle replacements, tile installation, flat roofing, and much more. 




We wish to contact descendants, far and near, of early Florence families and invite them to join in a First Families of Florence Bicentennial Celebration the week of April 9-15, with events especially for them.
Below is a list of more than 300 names of people who were involved in the early years of Florence, but the list is incomplete and it probably has errors.  We need help finding their descendants.
Here is what you need to do:
If you see the name of your Florence ancestor(s) on the list, please get a contact form and fill it out.  These forms are available at the National Heritage office, 568 North Court Street.  If you do not live locally, call the National Heritage office to get one mailed to you at 256-765-5028.
For those who are not sure about your ancestry, the experts in the Genealogy Room, 2nd Floor, at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library may be able to help you.  It would be best to call and make an appointment for someone to help you in your search - Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, 350 North Wood Avenue, 256-764-6564 Ext. 30 (Local History Desk).
If you do not see your Florence ancestor's name on the list, but know they should be on it, call Curtis Flowers, 256-275-7087, to get information or a form emailed to you.

Florence Holds Arbor Day Celebration and
Announces "Tree City USA" Designation by the
Arbor Day Foundation

Florence Mayor Steve Holt received the announcement from the Arbor Day Foundation that Florence, Alabama, has been named a 2017 Tree City USA in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.
Florence achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program's four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Mayor Holt said, "This is the 31st year Florence has been named Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Earning this distinction was a City-wide effort by the City's Street, Electricity, Parks & Recreation, and Housing Departments, the Mayor and City Council, and especially the Florence Tree Commission and the Urban Forestry team which work tirelessly throughout the year. We appreciate each member of this committee for their commitment and leadership toward the environmental beauty we enjoy here. "
A celebration of this achievement will be held at
10:00 a.m. in the
Florence-Lauderdale Public Library Conference Room
Thursday, February 22, 2018
The public is welcome and invited to attend. 

Also, February 22 has been designated ARBOR DAY in the City. A Proclamation from the Mayor will be read by Councilwoman Kaytrina Simmons, a flag ceremony presented by Boy Scout Troop 285, the invocation by Rev. Brandon Miles of First Presbyterian Church, and the singing of the National Anthem by Dr. Jennifer Gray.
Immediately after the celebration is concluded, a Memorial Tree will be planted on  Walnut Street, in memory of Patsy Joyce Dahl, Matt Wright and Elba P. "Judy" Willis. This Memorial Tree Planting was made possible from donations received in 2017 by the Florence Tree Commission and designated to the Memorial Tree Fund.



Project of the 
Beautification Board
City of Florence
P. O. Box 98
Florence, AL  35631
The Florence Beautification Board has worked with the City to effect an upgrade of the landscaping in Wilson Park; including the removal of the old wooden benches to be replaced by metal ones.
Benches "In Honor Of" or "In Memory Of" or "Donated By" may be purchased from the City for placement in Wilson Park.  The tax deductible cost is $875.00 and includes the bench, an engraved plaque, and installation.  The benches are six feet long with an armrest in the center.  They are constructed of powder coated metal, green in color, and have a curved back. 






Presented in conjunction with the
Albert S. Johnston Endowment

Aquila Theatre
Thursday, February 15, 7:00 p.m.
UNA - Norton Auditorium
General Admission $10 - Students $5

Tickets are available:
Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts,
Coldwater Books, and UNA Bookstore
For Information - 256-765-4658
Sinking of the USS Maine
and the
Spanish American War Exhibit at Pope's Tavern
February 15, 16, and 17
Pope's Tavern Museum will host an exhibit February 15, 16, and 17, to mark the 120th anniversary of the sinking of USS Maine in Cuba that launched the U.S. into a war with Spain. Even though the war lasted for only four months, it established the U.S. as a world power. The exhibit will display artifacts from this war that has specific local connections. Admiral John Hood from Florence was a lieutenant on the USS Maine when it exploded on February 15, 1898. The Wheeler Rifles militia from Florence was the first unit from Alabama to volunteer for the war. General Joe Wheeler was in charge of the "Rough Riders," Theodore Roosevelt's volunteer cavalry unit. 

Pope's Tavern Museum is located at 203 Hermitage Drive, Florence. The museum is open from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday.  Call 256-760-6439 for more information.
 Florence Academy of Fine Arts and FAFA Dance Company
is excited about the upcoming North Alabama Dance Festival
at Florence High School on Saturday, February 17th!
The community of Florence and our Florence City Schools Family are invited to attend.

From 8:30-4:30 Master classes for students ages 7-18.
Five amazing master teachers are coming to Florence from all over the US!
The fee for the festival for students is $85.00 for the 5 classes, lunch, and 2 evening shows.

The University of Alabama will be performing IRL at 6:00pm!
This show is free and open to the public
The North Alabama Dance Festival Showcase will be at 7:15pm.
This will showcase studios and students that attended the festival during the day.
This show is also free and open to the public.
Donations will be accepted at the door and all proceeds will go toward the FAFA Dance program.
You can find out all of the information about the festival on our
webpage or FAFA Dance on Facebook.
All proceeds from the festival go to the FAFA Dance Department.
If you would like more information, please contact Matthew Kiel at

Join us for the 4th Annual Shoals Chili Festival at Singin' River Brewing Co. with your favorite local restaurants battling to cook the best chili in town to raise money for a charity of their choice! Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door!



Although farming is mentioned in the title and the business example will be a farming operation,
the individual provisions apply to everyone just as the business provisions apply to almost all businesses.
Continuing education should be available for accountants, attorneys, foresters and
Professional logging managers



Monday, February 19, 2018
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Lauderdale County Extension Office
802 Veterans Drive
Florence, AL  35630
Workshop Agenda
6:00 p.m.
6:15 p.m.
Estate tax changes in the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act"
6:25 p.m.
Individual tax changes in the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act"
7:30 p.m.
7:45 p.m.
Business tax changes in the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act"
8:15 p.m.
Comparison of "pass-through" entity taxes to C-corporations taxes using two case studies showing the effect on small- and medium-sized operations
9:00 p.m.

Registration Fee:  There is a registration fee of $15 per individual or $50 for any person requesting continuing education credit. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Programs with fewer than 10 individuals pre-registered will be canceled.

To Register:  (1) online and pay via credit card, click the Register link for your preferred workshop below; or (2) mail a check to 301 O. D. Smith Hall, Auburn University 36849-5608 made payable to Auburn University specifying the location and workshop; or (3) call 334-844-5100 to register by phone.

Registration and workshop locations:


S.P.A.N of Lauderdale County
(Special Programming for Achievement Network)
Serving local at-risk students
610 West College Street
Florence, Alabama 35630
(256) 246-2060


Whole Hog Express Fundraiser
Thursday, February 22, 2018
11:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Price: $10
Half of Chicken Plate with
Potato Salad
Baked Beans
Roll/white sauce
Take-out or Eat-in
Delivery Available for 10 or more orders


"SPAN of Lauderdale County is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that strives to prevent youth from continued involvement with the justice system by developing  social, behavioral, academic, and family skills needed to become productive members of our community. SPAN of Lauderdale County is a non-residential, co-ed, comprehensive strategy for meeting the needs of at risk-youth and their families. "

For further production and event information, please call 256-765-4342.

"The Mountaintop" by Katori Hall
Friday & Saturday, February 23 and 24 @ 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 25 @ 2 pm
The Mountaintop is a fictional depiction of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s last night on earth.  The entire play is set in room 306 of the Lorraine Motel on the eve of his assassination in 1968 after delivering his legendary "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech.   
Lindsey Box Office Hours
11:00 am - 5:30 pm

The Florence Knights of Columbus Council 3989
is sponsoring its annual
Friday, February 23, 2018
St. Joseph Catholic Regional School Cafeteria
115 Plum Street - Florence
Served from 4:15 PM to 6:45 PM
Featuring catfish filets, hush puppies,
Cole slaw, French fries or baked potato,
drink and dessert are included.
Tickets are available at the door:
Adults, $10.00
Children 4 - 6 years: $4.00
Children under 4 years eat FREE
Carry - outs are available.
Cheese pizza will be available for
those who do not want fish.
Proceeds from this fellowship will be used
for the Council 3989 Charity Fund.
For Information call Don Rohling at 256-710-7059


6:00 P.M.

_________________  *  _________________


_________________  *  ________________



This concert, Joyful Virtue, will feature a 200-voice choir as the symphony orchestra
performs Beethoven's final complete composition, the 9th Symphony - WOW!
Purchase tickets here -



Florence Wine Fest is headed back to Downtown Florence, AL for its third year on March 9-10, 2018 and is bigger and better than ever. This will be a sell-out event. So, make plans to buy your tickets early so that no one in your squad gets left in the dust!
Florence Wine Fest is a rain or shine annual celebration of wine, food, and community in downtown Florence, AL. Each March, attendees can explore 100+ fantastic wines from around the globe and local food pairings from some of the Shoals' best chefs all while soaking in the electric atmosphere of historic downtown Florence, AL. Plus, ticket holders will enjoy special events and discounts all weekend long at many participating downtown businesses!


*Attendees must be 21+ years of age and present valid identification upon entry to the event. All ticket sales are final.

For More Information call 256-810-3752



THEME:  "Spruce Up Your Spring"
Friday, March 16, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Cross Point Church of Christ, 1350 Cox Creek Parkway, Florence, AL
The public is invited
Cost:  $45 (includes lunch) - Registration:
   Information:  Mayor's Office    256-760-6400
Two specialty tracks will be offered
Horticulture and Urban Forestry with ISA points available

Outstanding speakers will present current information on horticulture and
creating and preserving the urban green environment.
Keynote speaker is Tom Underwood, Director of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.  Also speaking are: Bill Finch, former Director of the Mobile Botanical Gardens; Troy Marden, award-winning garden and floral designer and frequent contributor to Alabama Gardener and Southern Living magazines;  Will Jangaard, Insurance Agent and Financial Representative with COUNTRY Financial; Dale Dickens, Urban Forestry Coordinator, Alabama Forestry Commission; and Tom Powers, Powers Treeology.
Recertification Classes for Green Industry Professionals
 Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 12:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
  Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Office, McFarland Park, Florence, AL
  Cost:  $45 (includes attending the Conference on March 16 at no additional cost)
Landscape & Urban Forestry Update:
 Pesticide, Herbicide, ROW (OTPC/OTPS/FOR)

Class Agenda:    12:00 p.m. - Pollinators and Pesticides
                          1:00 p.m. - Top 15 Landscape Pests ID and IPM
                          2:00 p.m. - Turfgrass IPM
                          3:00 p.m. - Pest Resistant Urban Trees
                          4:30 p.m. - Sign for Points and Adjourn



Conference is sponsored by the City of Florence Mayor and City Council,
 the Florence Beautification Board, the Florence Tree Commission, and
the City's Urban Forestry/Horticulture Department. 
Come Visit!
A weekly kids' calendar to help parents find events, camps, and sports in the Shoals area. Please contact us at to add children's events to our calendar for free. 
Like us on Facebook
Nicole Sneed





The loose leaf collection program is in progress and will operate on a route system like it has done in previous years. This is the most efficient and equitable way for leaf collection. The route will be posted on the City's website and Facebook page; it will be updated weekly showing the most recently worked areas.

  • Rake leaves to the edge of your yard near the curb, but away from any obstacles such as trees, fences or mailboxes.
  • Keep these piles free of limbs and other trash which can damage the vacuum hoses and slow progress. 
  • Please avoid piling raked leaves on top of your water meter because this prevents meter reader from getting an accurate reading.
  • Please avoid placing raked leaves in the road gutters as this can cause flooding.


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 or Click here.

Abstraction in Realism: Watercolors by Yuri Ozaki


Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts presents Abstraction in Realism: Watercolors by Yuri Ozaki, an exhibit by Huntsville watercolor artist, Yuri Ozaki February 15 - March 30.  Ozaki's soft, complex watercolors have such intimate detail they dive into the depths of abstraction. Join us for her gallery talk, Monday night, February 19 at 6:00 p.m.
Yuri Ozaki grew up in a small town in Mie Prefecture on the Kii Peninsula of Japan. The area is known for its unique wet climate and mystical history. This area also features UNESCO World Heritage registered sacred sites and pilgrimage routes. The beauty and mystery of her home region has been a strong influence on Ozaki's work.
Her favorite subjects have been woodland scenes in the Tennessee Valley as well as her coastal hometown in Japan. Most recently, she has been experimenting with her own imaginary world based on scenes of decay and renewal in nature. She feels connected to her subjects through the texture of watercolor on paper.
Ozaki has been accepted to several national juried shows since 2010 where she has garnered several awards. She is a signature member of the Watercolor Society of Alabama and North East Watercolor Society. (

The City of Florence has numerous boards and commissions through which our citizenry can get involved.  We depend upon you to help us make wise decisions and we solicit your advice and ideas.  Your service is invaluable in helping us continue to build and prosper as a progressive City. 



If you are interested and willing to serve on one of these boards,
you may: 

Pick up an application from the Mayor/Council Office or
download a simple application that is available on the City's website at

A description of each board, along with the resolution
detailing the guidelines for serving, is also posted on the same website.  Applications stay on file for one year.  After one year, you will need to reapply or let us know to update your application that is on file.  






The Florence/Lauderdale Animal Shelter has

DOGS AND CATS available for



Click here for the Quarterly Newsletter...





NEW SHELTER HOURS - The Shelter is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.  


Friday Evenings the Shelter is open for Pet Adoption - 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Weekend hours are:

 Saturday, open to the public and volunteers,

from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and


Sunday, closed to the public,

but open to volunteers from 9:00 a.m. to 12 Noon.


Volunteers are always welcome!




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

The ordinance became effective May 1, 2014.




Belly Dance Classes for Beginners

This is an all level, ongoing class that welcomes beginners
from 6:30-7:30 pm, January thru May on the first two Tuesday's of each month.
New session will begin Jan. 9-30/Feb. 6-27/Mar. 6-27/
Apr. 3-24/May 1-29 (5 week session)
Classes are $30.00 a month and will be taught by
 Noelle Smith with help from other teachers for different months.
Classes are taught at:
Royal Avenue Recreation Center
420 North Royal Avenue - 256-760-6425
For information call:
Noelle Smith @ 256-702-1360 or email
Florence Parks & Recreation Department
For an updated listing of the monthly activities at the
Royal Avenue Center
421 North Royal Avenue

"Where Boomers and Seniors Come Together As ONE"
450 Country Club Drive
(Savannah Highway/Hwy. 20)
Florence - 256-760-6420
***The Club is a drug free, alcohol free facility***




2018 Weekly Schedule of Events


On FRIDAYS, the Boomers and Seniors wear RED to show support for our service men and women.  Get your "CLUB" shirt the next time you visit.
"JOINTS IN MOTION" CHAIR EXERCISE CLASS will help you with your activities of daily living.  Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8:45 a.m. 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.
Also, the Joints in Motion Class offers the opportunity for you to join them in prayer around the flagpole each Monday morning after class at 9:50 a.m. to pray for our community, city, nation, first responders, troops, and families and friends of The CLUB.
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 financial need.  Limited seating (35) available on first come basis.  You 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, and
2) Must sign in and be seated by 10:30 a.m.
BOOMER'S & SENIOR'S TUESDAY NIGHT DANCE at The CLUB, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., each week.  The doors will open at 6:00 p.m.  $6 per person.  Singles & couples are welcome.  21+ years old.  Music spanning the decades is performed by The Browns.  For more information please call The CLUB at 256-760-6420, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Alabama's state dance is Folk and Square Dancing.  It's a healthy challenge that will have you stepping to the music and enjoying your new dance family.  The Singing River Squares will happily be your square dance angels during your BEGINNING SQUARE DANCE CLASSES that begins approximately every 12 weeks. The Singing River Squares WELCOMES you to give it a try.  Singles, couples, families...anyone with the desire to learn is welcomed.  For more information call Fran at The CLUB, 256-760-6642.  The seasoned dancers will dance PLUS TIPS in between the beginners tips.
BINGO is offered at 9:30 am on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  No fee for BINGO.  Expendable type prizes are appreciated such as paper products, toothpaste, mouthwash, lotion, soap, puzzle books, unopened snack foods. If you'd like to make a donation our guys & gals they would greatly appreciate it.
BOARD GAMES, ROOK, CARD GAMES, DOMINOES and fun with friends each morning & afternoon at The CLUB.  9 am to 4 pm.  No fee.


We attend
Senior Citizens Appreciation Day (SCAD)
each spring!

We have picnics at The Club throughout the year. Feel free to give us a call for the schedule. Due to thunderstorms that roll through our area we have to postpone our outdoor events occasionally.
The DULCIMERS play each fourth Thursday at The CLUB, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Come and enjoy their music!
We enjoy MYSTERY TRIPS and overnight trips with our friends from The CLUB.  The Dam Fall Color Tour and Touring for Christmas Lights are two of our favorite annual tours along with Reelfoot Lake, the Earthquake Lake, Tiptonville, TN during bald eagle season.

Our vegetable garden at The Club

Have a great weekend!

Mayor Steve Holt

How to Submit Your Event, News, or Announcement:

  • Public and community events or announcements can be in an email, Word document, PDF, or JPG file suitable for viewing on the web.  Include graphics in JPG or PNG if possible.
  • Along with your information, include your name, phone number, event name, location, date and time, and a brief description.
  • IMPORTANT:  Please submit your information no later than Tuesday of each week (preferably sooner).  Submissions after the deadline will be added to the next week's publication.  The newsletter is posted on Thursday afternoon.
  • Send your information to: or call Sandra Morgan with questions at 256-760-6408.


City of Florence | 256-760-6300 | |
110 West College Street
P.O. Box 98
Florence, AL 35630