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Welcome to the
City of Florence
Message Center 

Alabama's Renaissance City


In This Issue
December 1, 2016
Message from Mayor Holt
Click here for more information on this exciting night...



Round 3 NCAA Division II Football Playoffs
UNA VS North Greenville
Saturday @ Noon
@ Braly Stadium

The City of Florence will be accepting nominations for the 2017 Walk of Honor Inductees
until Friday, December 2, 2016, in the Mayor's Office.
The Shoals Writers Guild
Presents their first-ever
Christmas in the Renaissance City
Authors and Artist Crawl
Friday & Saturday, December 2 & 3
The Crawl will take place in conjunction with the Old Fashioned Christmas on
First Fridays, December 2, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., and again on
Saturday, December 3, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The Crawl will feature authors, editors, and illustrators inside businesses and establishments in Downtown Florence.
Participants in the Crawl will purchase a wristband for $5, which includes both days.  The wristband wearer will be given a 10% discount by both the authority and the hosting business.
Participating businesses will have a poster announcing the author and the time.
There is no charge to the business owner for hosting the event, but sponsorship with a business card-size ad is appreciated.  The ads start at $25 for a business card-size, $50 for half page ads, and $100 for a full page.  The event is a fundraiser for the Guild as well as to promote authors and to boost purchases for the hosting businesses.
Sponsors and hosting businesses wishing to participate should complete the form and return it to the address below.  CLICK HERE FOR FORM

Thank you for your support and contributions.
For more information, please email:
Contributions & Business Sponsorships may be mailed to:
          The Shoals Writers Guild
          P. O. Box 2344
          Florence, AL  35631
United Way of Northwest Alabama is seeking donations of toys and bicycles to be given to children enrolled in the Toys for Tots Christmas assistance program.  Donations will remain in our community and will be distributed to children in Colbert, Lauderdale, Franklin and Marion Counties.  Collection sites are located throughout the community at various businesses and organizations.  To find a location near you, please visit our Like me on Facebook or go to to search by zip code.


City of Florence Planning and Community Development Office is an Official Collection Site for the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program!  We are now accepting new, unwrapped toys for newborn through age 12 children at our office located on the First Floor of City Hall in Downtown Florence! 

The last day to donate at our site is Friday, December 12, at 4:00 pm.
For more information visit: United Way of Northwest Alabama

Every Light a Prayer for Peace at Pope's Tavern
"Every Light a Prayer for Peace" ceremony will be at Pope's Tavern Friday, December 2, at 6:00 p.m. This peace ceremony that opens the holiday season has been observed at Pope's Tavern since 1961. "Every Light a Prayer for Peace," coordinated by the Florence Garden Council, was initiated to honor active military and veterans whose efforts strive to bring peace to our nation and to continue prayer for the spread of peace throughout the world. 
Members of the community will come together for this special event in coordination with First Friday as we light and dedicate the tree in front of the museum. The American Legion will present the colors. Stan Dean of Killen Church of Christ will lead prayer, and the children's chorus from Legacy Christian Academy of Center Star will sing. Guests are welcome to tour the museum decked in period decor and help themselves to a cup of cider and cookies. 
This program is supported by the City of Florence Arts and Museums. For more information contact Pope's Tavern Museum at 256-760-6439 or Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts at 256-760-6379. 



I See Myself
I See Myself

What Would Love Do?
What Would Love Do?

November 10 - January 10

December 2 - 4

Court Street Market will be hosting its very own Holiday Market! We are so excited to welcome shoppers and artisans alike from all over the south to participate in our holiday extravaganza. Drop by Court Street Market on December 2nd through the 4th and enjoy some mulled wine, holiday music, and all types of beautiful locally made products. If you are an artisan and you are interested in participating in this event, please reach out to us and we will send you an informational packet and help you set up. Happy Holidays!





Tuba Christmas

Did you know there's an international event called Tuba Christmas? This year marks its 43rd year, and it's coming to the Shoals! Low brass professor Jason Sulliman is bringing this exciting event to downtown Florence at the December First Fridays on December 2. If you play tuba, euphonium, baritone, etc., and would like to participate, registration takes place Friday, December 2, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in UNA Music Building 146 (Choral Room) with a rehearsal to follow at 3 p.m. The performance begins at approximately 5 p.m. in the closed off street near the intersection of Court Street and Tuscaloosa Street. For more information, visit or call (256)765-5122. 











The UNA Composition Studio will present Prism, a recital featuring original works by UNA students, on Saturday, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall. The recital will feature world premieres by Jeremy Smith, Lizzie Cole, Michael Thaxton, Rachel Copeland, Ben Edwards, Zebulun Worlund, Richard Crowder, Jim Euley, Chase Hampton, Jayson Tucker, and Kristina Villarino. Admission is free.





Shoals Symphony at UNA
presents "Home for the Holidays"
 The Shoals Symphony at UNA will present "Home for the Holidays" on Sunday, December 11, at 3 p.m. in Norton Auditorium. Underwritten by Wells Fargo Advisors LLC and David L. Black, Colbert County Commissioner, the program includes Silvestri and Ballard's Concert Suite from The Polar Express, Reed's Russian Christmas Music, and Adam's O Holy Night. The Symphony will be joined by UNA Choruses, Dr. Ian Loeppky, director.
Tickets are available at

Sugarplum Marketplace is moving back to Florence - specifically The Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa Conference Center!  This fun, 3-day shopping opportunity will kick-off with our new event Jingle Belle Mingle.  Our market attracts well over 5,200 shoppers from throughout the northwest Alabama area.  Shoppers enjoy diverse merchants from around Alabama and the Southeast, primarily.  We are excited for our 10th year and are thrilled to be partnering with The Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa.  
Jingle Belle Mingle is our new kick-off event.  Ticket holders will have the opportunity to be the first shoppers at Sugarplum Marketplace and enjoy delightful refreshments provided by the Marriott and maybe even win some great door prizes.  What a great way to kick off the Holidays!  This fun and festive event will allow us to give more back to our community!
Our fundraisers, including Sugarplum Marketplace, Apple Annie and, this year, Jingle Belle Mingle, enable The Junior League of the Shoals to offer support through our grant program to numerous local charities and organizations, including, but certainly not limited to:  Special Olympics, One Place, Save-A-Life, Safe Place, and Shoals Scholar Dollars.  In 2015, we gave over $50,000 back to the community.  We were able to do this with the help of our sponsors.

Tickets available at Trinity Episcopal Church office, 256.764.6149
 and also at the door that evening.
Holly and Ivy Luncheons
December 5 - 9, 2016
Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts
217 East Tuscaloosa Street
It's time for the annual Holly and Ivy Luncheons at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts!  The Holly and The Ivy started years ago as a fundraising event for the K/D Volunteers, and has grown to become one of the most anticipated ways to start the holiday season.
Join us for a "Cup of Cheer" each day starting at 11:30 a.m., December 5 - 9.  Lunch is served at 12 Noon.  Tickets are $25 per person.  For ticket information/reservations, call the K/D Center at 256-760-6379.  Better hurry - seating is limited!



206 South Pine Street



Upcoming Events
Lauderdale Lanes, Florence Blvd.
(Must be registered & paid by December 2)
COATS FOR KIDS DRIVE - December 1 - 20
(Drop off unwanted or new coats
@ Nu Look Barbershop, College Street, Florence and
Reg & Rays Barbershop, Avalon Avenue, Sheffield)
Call or text 256-810-8427 for questions

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Season # 11
"Christmas in the Shoals"
Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
2001 Cloyd Boulevard
Florence, Alabama
Ticket Prices: 
 Adults:  $15.00          Students:  $5.00
Season Tickets: 
Tickets may be purchased at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts,
at the door, or online at:
For more information, call 256-765-4515.




The Gingerbread Players Patron Ticket prices give you tickets to all 3 shows and the opportunity to choose your seats now!







A Christmas Story - December 8 - 11, 2016
A Little Princess:  The Musical - March 16 - 19, 2017
The Surprising Story of the Three Little Pigs and the Princess King - June 15-18, 2017


Adult Patrons $32
Student Patron $25
Child Patron $18
Group Discounts at Individual Shows

Bring an organizational group of 10 or more
(Girl Scouts, Sunday School class, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, etc.)
and receive the Group Discount of $2 off the price of each ticket.



The Shoals Theatre
123 S. Seminary Street
Florence, AL 35630
'Have a Holly Jolly Christmas'
with the 
Florence Christmas Parade

Court Street, Downtown Florence 
Friday, December 9, 2016
 7:00 p.m.

There's no better way to celebrate the holidays and to 'Have a Holly Jolly Christmas' (this year's theme) than to attend the  Florence Christmas parade!  You are encouraged to theme your float, performance or musical group in costume, decoration or musical selection. Get creative & have some fun!



Florence Main Street is once again responsible for coordinating the Florence Christmas Parade and as always, there are rules to be followed. These rules and regulations are to improve safety (following state laws and city ordinances) and provide increased enjoyment for participants and spectators. 
VERY IMPORTANT...The Parade route will follow Court Street from the north end at Rogers Hall on the UNA campus to the southern end at Alabama Street.  Parade line up will begin at 6 pm on Pine Street between Irvine and Cumberland Streets.  Your exact time for line up will be determined by your placement in the parade.  That information will be sent to you the week before the parade.  

Please remember with the Parade line up being on Pine Street and ending on South Court Street at Alabama Street to arrange your drop off and pick up locations to match those areas.    

The following are the guidelines set forth for the 2016 Florence Christmas Parade:

There will be awards for Best Decorated Float (Commercial & Non-Profit), Best Band and Best Performance Group.
  • Each entry is limited to four (4) units. For example, the XYZ club will be allowed four cars in their entry. 
  • Entries MUST be decorated or dressed to reflect the theme of the parade: 
'Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!'; 
No un-decorated vehicles will be allowed!  There's nothing more boring than watching a bunch of cars driving down the road!
  • Santa is a special guest and has his own float.  No Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus impersonators allowed in or on any parade entry.  
  • Motorcyclists are required by Alabama state law to wear helmets at all times. Motorcycles which are not designed and licensed for public streets will not be allowed to participate in the parade.  
  • Alabama state law prohibits ATVs from public streets; therefore, ATVs are not permitted in the parade.  
  • Vehicles not allowed on public streets, according to Alabama state law or City of Florence ordinance will not be allowed to participate in the parade.  
  • Participation is contingent on Police Department approval.
  • Horse units will not be allowed. Other animals allowed only with permission from Florence Main Street.  All animals must be cleaned up after by the group bringing them.  
  • Wednesday, November 30 is the deadline for return of entry forms and fees.
    This is stated on the entry form and will be strictly enforced. Any late entry will be at the sole discretion of FMS, and may result in an additional $50 late fee being charged.

More information is available from the Florence Main Street office by calling 256-760-9648 or email us at

We thank you for your participation and look forward to seeing you at the 2016 Florence Christmas Parade!


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Florence Exchange Club
Annual Pecan Sales - $9.00 Per Bag
Halves, Roasted, Milk Chocolate, or
White Chocolate
Contact any Florence Exchange Club member and get your
order in today or email Howard Tinsley at
The Exchange Club of Florence sponsors Youth-In-Government Day, the Field of Flags
in Deibert Park, American Flags Downtown, and Child Abuse Prevention programs!

The City provides a seasonal loose leaf collection for leaves raked into a windrow or piled at the curb in residential areas. Trucks vacuum leaves from the curbside Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 
3:30 p.m.
Leaves should be raked in piles curbside, but not into the street or gutter. The piles need to be away from obstructions so the vacuum trucks can easily reach them. Putting leaves in the gutter can cause drainage and/or traffic problems. Please make sure the piles contain only leaves and no sticks, pine cones, limbs, rocks or trash. These types of debris can stop up the vacuum trucks and delay collection.
Please do not park cars too close to leaf piles, this prevents collection.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.   Click here for current schedule of routes.

1225 Florence Boulevard
Cricket Wireless offers a variety of cell phone plans to fit any lifestyle,
so you can choose a cell phone plan that's just right.




992 Cox Creek Parkway
(256) 369-9628
 Workout Anytime offers the newest equipment, unlimited tanning,
state-of-the-art Hydro-Massage units, convenient 24/7 access
to all Workout Anytime locations, and much more for only $25/month
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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.


"Creatures Were Stirring"
Mixed Media Exhibit with Caleb Groh and Kathy Hight Fitzgerald
November 7 through December 20

Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts is pleased to present Creatures Were Stirring, a mixed media
exhibit by Caleb Groh and Kathy Hight Fitzgerald November 7 through December 20.
This playful, animal-themed art exhibition is in perfect time for the holidays. 

Caleb Groh specializes in "wool biology." His soft sculptures resonate with adults and children alike. Caleb turns polyester and wool fibers into lively, expressive animals with his special needle felting technique. Caleb lives and works in Nashville, TN as both a visual artist and musician.
Kathy Hight Fitzgerald specializes in mixed media collage painting. Her paintings palette  usually consists of small torn pieces of hand painted papers, doilies, sheet music, and text torn from books. Often she will add hand-written poems or quotes. Her animal collages are whimsical and playful. Each animal comes to life with a million details to examine. Kathy resides in Goodspring, TN and is an absolute favorite in art festivals and shows throughout the Southeast. 
All artworks will be for sale. Call 256-760-6379 for more information. 


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Shoals Piecemakers Quilt Challenge 2016
Kicks Off with Quilt Appraisals
Lecture by Pamela Conklin
The Shoals Piecemakers Guild Quilt Challenge '16 will launch with a lecture and appraisals by
American Quilt Society certified appraiser, Pamela Conklin. This year makes the 28th year 
of the Challenge. This year's challenge theme is "Spring." The Quilt Challenge will open to
the public on November 16 and display through December 16.



   The Shoals Piecemakers Quilt Guild meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at Saint Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Florence. New members are welcome. Quilters of every level of expertise including those interested in promoting the collection and preservation of quilts are part of the Guild. 

MARCH 5 - 11, 2017
7 Days - 6 Nights



*  Motor-coach Transportation
*  6 nights lodging including 4 consecutive nights in Florida
* 10 meals:  6 breakfasts and 4 dinners
*  Visit to the Fountain of Youth
*  Visit to historic Kingsley Plantation
* Narrated Cruise on the St. John's River
* Guided Tours of Amelia Island, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville
* Exclusive Diamond Tours Dinner Party with Entertainment
* For more pictures, video and information visit:

For information and reservations contact:
Fran Davis @ 256-760-6420
Coordinated by "The Club"

Florence Civitan's 
2016 Christmas Ornament
Attn: Coffee High School Graduates
Pictured Coffee High School
$15.00 each with proceeds benefiting
various local charities such as
United Cerebral Palsy Center,
Meals on Wheels & St. Jude Children's Hospital
Please support your Florence Civitan Club
Contact Julie Hamm 256-762-7555


For more information and registration:
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Belly Dance Classes

November 1 thru December 6, 2016
Join the Rainbow Dancers and Noelle Smith at the
Royal Avenue Parks and Recreation Center
420 North Royal Avenue, Florence, Alabama

For a beginning Belly Dance Class that will be offered
for 6 weeks every Tuesday night 6:30-8:00 pm
starting Tuesday, November 1 thru December 6.

The 6 week session will be $45.00.
Classes are taught by Noelle Smith,
Wiporwil, Queen of the Rainbow Dancers
For information call:
256-383-1094 or 256-762-8740 or

Sponsored by the
Florence Parks and Recreation Department



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.


NEW 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!

Top of page

The galvanized pipe replacement project continues to run smoothly.

A contractor for the Water Department will work on a number of streets in the City of Florence to
replace aging galvanized piping as the project enters its second phase.  


We apologize for any inconvenience.  More information will be available as the project progresses.





"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***
2016 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. New Hours...The beginner class meets from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m every Friday.  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 Friday at The CLUB, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 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