We are hugely pleased to have been asked to come to Alabama and participate in Florence Restaurant Week next month from May 9 – 17. The event is organized by Florence Main Street, who explain, “Historic downtown Florence, Alabama, is a unique and wonderful place. Florence Main Street is a non-profit organization designed to keep it that way! Main Street’s mission is to bring attention to the unique character of Florence’s historic commercial district while promoting progressive marketing and retail management techniques.“
I first visited Florence and its neighboring cities Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia last year while on my third “circumnavigation” and came home raving about the place. Florence has an absolutely adorable little downtown, full of independently-owned restaurants and shops. Home of the University of North Alabama, it doesn’t quite have a classic “college town” feel – Pegasus Records looks like it goes a little way toward rectifying that and I can’t wait to browse – but it’s sleepy and busy at the same time, with wonderful architecture and good people. Sam Phillips and W.C. Handy were both born here. This town has music in its roots. Across the river – and a downright gorgeous truss bridge – is Muscle Shoals, home of the legendary FAME Recording Studios. (Confusingly, the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, where the Black Keys’ excellent album Brothers was recorded, is not actually in the town of that name, but next door in Sheffield…) Plus, you’ve got a children’s museum that we can’t wait to check out, and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia. You know how that terrific Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon shut down? They didn’t let that happen here.
Anyway, I like what I’ve seen of this corner of northwest Alabama a lot, and had some very good meals here, and so I’m absolutely thrilled and pleased that we’ve been invited to town along with a few other southeastern bloggers for Florence Restaurant Week. It’s a terrific way to support local charities by eating out at locally-owned restaurants, and through the end of April, they’re taking nominations for charities to get a chance to win $5000, courtesy of McDaniel Window & Door Company. Some details continue in the press release below.
We’re taking this opportunity now to spread the word and to encourage our readers to think about visiting the Shoals area next month. During the nine days of Florence Restaurant Week, you’ll be able to enjoy good meals at the fifteen participating restaurants and cast a vote for the charity of your choice each time that you dine. The more times that you eat, the more times you can cast a ballot. And we certainly like to eat. We’ll be there for a couple of days, digging into a few good meals and getting material for what should be quite a few stories to share. And we sure would love to see you there, too! Whether you’re one of our readers, looking for something different to do and a road trip to a new destination, or if you’re one of our fellow bloggers, looking for a new patch of ground to write about, this is a great place to visit, and one that has been overlooked in our hobby for long enough. There is some terrific barbecue here, and lots of interesting restaurants, old and new. We can’t wait to dig in!
So next month, plan to see us tweeting and making Facebook updates as we visit the city and spend a bit more time in one place than we typically do on a trip. I expect that we’ll have a nice bit of content for the end of May to share with you all. I really hope that you’ll think about joining us!
photo courtesy of Florence Main Street
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY TO BE ON FLORENCE RESTAURANT WEEKS BALLOT
Florence, AL – April 1 – Between April 1 and April 25, Florence Main Street wants you to nominate your favorite charity to win a $5,000 check from our Florence Restaurant Week Presenting Sponsor McDaniel Window & Door Company.
Selected from your nominations, five charities will be eligible to receive votes by guests dining at participating restaurants during Florence Restaurant Week. Tuesday, April 1 through Friday, April 25th, nominate your favorite charity and tell us why they deserve $5,000. (To be considered, a charity must be a designated 501c(3) organization with the state of Alabama and have an office in the Shoals.) The three most nominated charities will automatically be included on the ballot, and Florence Main Street will choose two wild-card charities based on number of nominations, impact on our community, and other factors.
You can nominate your favorite charity three ways. Florence Main Street will have a poll on our Facebook page, on our website (www.florencemainstreet.org) or you can mail in your nomination. If you choose to mail in a nomination please include these items:
Your First and Last Name
Your Email address
Why you are nominating the charity?
Name of Contact person at the charity
Contact info for the charity
Then, from May 9-17, Florence Main Street will host Florence Restaurant Week 2014. Ballots will be available at participating restaurants. Every time you eat at a participating restaurant during Florence Restaurant Week, you will have the opportunity to vote for one of our five local charities. Every time you eat, you get to vote! Florence Restaurant Week is not only a showcase of our best local eateries, but it will also help to shine the light on some of our best local charities. The charity with the most votes at the end of the week will walk away with a check for $5,000 from McDaniel Window & Door Company–money that will be used to do good work right here in the Shoals.
Mark your calendars now for FLORENCE RESTAURANT WEEK–May 9-17, 2014! And please, help us do good where it counts by nominating YOUR favorite charity today!