There are a variety of reasons local economies get a boost on any given weekend, but few are quiet like what happened in Wetumpka the first weekend of March. Ladies and men from all over the country converged on the town to dish… Literally.
A couple of years ago, Wetumpka resident May Eason created the Beautiful Table Settings Facebook group. She wanted a place that she could display her collections with others… Little did she know in two short years, the group would span the nation with more than 117,000 members.
“I have help moderating this group because it has gotten quite large,” Eason said. “Over time, we have gotten to be friends and we wanted to get together.”
Since Eason lives in Wetumpka it was an obvious choice as the destination, even though some tried to talk her out of it. “There were several that said, why don’t we do it in Atlanta or Birmingham… Why Wetumpka?” Eason said. “Well, I just told them, that I don’t live there. I live here.”
The two-day event attracted more than 400 people to spend the weekend in Wetumpka. The festivities were at the Wetumpka Civic Center and visitors were treated to lunches from local restaurants. “It was important to me to use, the businesses and people of Wetumpka,” Eason said. “I wanted this event here because I knew we could do it right in Wetumpka. If it were somewhere else, who knows what we would have gotten.
For the longest time, I have dreamed of a better future for my hometown. When I drive down Main Street in our historic downtown district, my heart goes pitter patter because I can envision the potential for community, beauty, and a thriving business district. It’s like that gorgeous old house that has layers of paint that are chipping, and bad linoleum covering up hardwood floors. Peel back the layers and you unearth the beauty that has been there all along. It can happen, it is just hard work.
A few years ago, we began seriously working toward revitalization. It can be a painfully slow process, nonetheless it is rewarding. Seeing new businesses open, events take place that bring a community together, and getting to witness long-time, jaded residents get excited again about where they live is worth the time, effort, work, and heart it takes to begin the work.
Just like my hometown, many small towns across Alabama have struggled to grow, have become stagnant, or have declined. Businesses have closed, buildings in downtown districts sit empty, and precious people have moved away. Years ago, NAFTA legislation sent many key businesses, cotton mills and sewing factories in manufacturing towns, to Mexico or overseas. Jobs were lost, people moved away, and many small towns never recovered. By definition, opportunity is “a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something” or, “a good chance for advancement or progress.” Isn’t that still true of Alabama’s small towns today? Opportunity still knocks.
Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
#smalltownrevitalization - #smalltowneconomics - #smalltowndevelopment
The City of Wetumpka is proud to possess some of the oldest recorded histories in the state of Alabama. The Wetumpka Impact Crater is registered on the Earth Impact Database as one of 190 craters worldwide. Because the area would have been under seawater at the time of impact, it is said to be “one of the best-preserved marine impact craters in the world”.
The HGTV Home Town Takeover of Wetumpka with Ben and Erin Napier in 2020. Twelve major renovations were done including restaurants, shops, historic homes, public spaces and a new farmer's market.
The City of Wetumpka celebrated Tim Burton's Birthday from August 25-28, 2021. Burton put the spotlight on the city back in 2003 with the filming of the movie "Big Fish". The event had the city covered in pop culture references to his 40+ movies that Burton had made. Hopefully, celebrating Burton's Birthday will become an annual event.
Wetumpka, located in Elmore County, a judicial and economic stronghold before the Civil War. Selected as county seat in 1866, Wetumpka is still the economic center of Elmore County.
Thank you City of Wetumpka for being a part of Alabama Small Towns. You have a great and inspirational story of working together for success!
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And, the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Steve Jobs.
Sometimes it’s not about the work but where the work is accomplished. And, considering Kay Moore has spent her entire career in Downtown Gadsden, she truly does love where she works.
“I am born and raised Gadsden,” director of Downtown Gadsden Inc. said. “Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my mom and sister and I shopping in downtown Gadsden. Back then we would line up at the drug store (where Jirah’s is now) and buy our school books.
Moore growing up in the 1960s, she saw the downtown as a vibrant business center.
“Kay is definitely the engine that drives the train for downtown Gadsden. She works tirelessly for the merchants and everyone involved in this community,”
Spencer Williams, DGI Board President
#alabamasmalltowns #alabamadowntowns #downtowngadsden #strongsouthernwoman
One of the top Gadsden attractions is the Noccalula Falls Park & Campground a 250-acre public park known for its stunning 90 foot high waterfall.
First Fridays in Historic Downtown Gadsden from April to October. Broad Street closes to automobile traffic at 4 p.m. to allow for the set up of classic cars, live music, and food vendors. The monthly event kicks off at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m.
The 2006 movie "Failure to Launch," starring Matthew McConaughey had outdoor scenes filmed at Cherokee Rock Village and an indoor scene in Gadsden. The building used for the bicycle scene was a former restaurant on Broad Street and that is now headquarters of Downtown Gadsden Inc.
Gadsden, in the northeastern corner of Alabama, is the county seat of Etowah County. Located on the Coosa River about 56 miles (90 km) northeast of Birmingham
Gadsden is supported and promoted by these great businesses and organizations. When in Gadsden please support them!
For more information click on the picture to be directed to their website or Facebook page.
Eufaula is home to the second-largest historic district in the state, with more than 700 historic and architecturally significant structures. It also boasts the state's oldest and largest tour of homes, The Pilgrimage, each spring, featuring some of the South’s grandest structures in the Seth Lore-Irwinton Historic District.
Lake Eufaula a.k.a Walter F. George Lake is known as the "Bass Fishing Capital of the World," which consists of 45,000 acres and has 640 miles of shoreline. It attracts more than 10,000 fishermen each year and has become a tournament stop for the annual Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society (B.A.S.S.) Trail.
Click on map for a larger view and directions
Each October, the city of Northport hosts the Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Kentuck Park. The event draws hundreds of artists and thousands of visitors and features folk and contemporary art as well as traditional crafts, including pottery, quilting, and basketry.
On the first Tuesday in December, the city hosts Dickens Downtown, during which the town takes on the look of nineteenth-century England, the period setting of Charles Dickens's famous A Christmas Carol. This annual holiday event attracts many thousands of visitors
Hannah Kelsey Brown, raised and worked as an interior designer in Northport, was the lead in season 15 of The Bachelorette, and was in season 28 of Dancing with the Stars, with partner Alan Bersten. They were named the winner of the competition.
The city of Northport is located in Tuscaloosa County in the west-central part of the state on the Black Warrior River, across from the city of Tuscaloosa.
Thank you to the City of Northport for promoting your town!
Being a quaint small town, adjacent to a beautiful clean lake, allows its residents to live life at a slower pace while enjoying outdoor recreational options, such as fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, hunting, bird watching, etc. Wedowee is known for being one of a kind. How cool is that! To our knowledge, and after much research we could not find any other town in the United States or the world named Wedowee
The official and the originally known name of the 10,000-acre lake in Randolph County is R. L. Harris Reservoir. But, because of one man's mission and marketing efforts our lake will forever be known as Lake Wedowee. Thank you Tom Burnside!
Wedowee, located in Randolph County, is in east-central Alabama's Piedmont Upland, part of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. U.S. Highway 431 runs north-south through the center of Wedowee, and State Highway 48 runs east-west through the town