Friday, March 17, 2017

Living History

Civil War reenactments basically began before the war ended as a way to honor and remember the fallen. Now, reenactments take place across the world, including Calhoun County. 

Each spring, Cheaha State Park, at Alabama's highest peak, reenact portions of the "Battle Above the Clouds," also known as the siege on Chattanooga. This year's reenactment March 17 & 18, features battles each afternoon and a ladies tea. Reenactors attempt to convey the life of the time, dressing as those did during the civil war era and camping as they did.

Each Spring, Janney Furnace also hosts a reenactment, but of a battle that occurred nearby, the Battle of Ten Islands, defending the furnace from being destroyed. This year's reenactment will take place April 1 & 2, also with battles beginning at 2 pm.

Each May, Fiddler's Green hosts a living history, featuring a reenactment, sutlers selling goods, a ladies tea, a ball and more. This year's events will take place on May 6th & 7th.

From Civil War to Civil Rights, Calhoun County is rich in history, so join us where history comes alive.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Arts & Culture

“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.”
Alberto Giacometti

This weekend is not only full of athletic events at Choccolocco Park. It's full of arts too! 

"It's been a hard day's night," but the Fab Four, who are performing this weekend at the Oxford Performing Arts Center, will make you think you're really watch the Beatles. Note by note and through costume changes, this show portrays the evolution of the Beatles era and music, wowing audiences. Don't regret not going and wish you'd seen it "yesterday," join OPAC and sing along to all the hits you know! 

For the younger audiences this weekend, CAST Kids are presenting Disney's The Jungle Book Kids, a 30 minute production adapted from the animated classic. These performances will be on March 11th at 7:30 P.M. and March 12 at 2:30 P.M. at the Anniston Performing Arts Center. Join in the jazzy beats and sing along to your favorite songs from the movie. 

The weekend wraps up on Monday, March 13, with Once the Broadway Musical performed at the Oxford Performing Arts Center. At the 80th Academy Awards, "Falling Slowly" took the award for Best Original Song, featured in the 2007 film Once. In 2011, the musical stage adaptation premiered, winning eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Listen in awe to talent musicians and ensemble telling the tale of a Dublin Street musician close to giving up when a young woman takes interest in his haunting love songs. 

For more events, browse the community calendar

Monday, March 6, 2017

Almost Like Home

From a long hidden tintype to recast medallions, modeled after the originals destroyed by fire, the Springwood Inn and former home of Anniston Founder Samuel Noble is full of history. Legend has it, negotiations were made on the porch to begin the local newspaper, The Anniston Star.

This home once stood on the site now occupied by Anniston High School, but in 1967, the property was seized. At that time, the Woodruff family owned the property, and decided to have the home moved, piece by piece, to be historically preserved on the outskirts of Anniston. The home stayed in the Woodruff family until 2014, when this cozy and quaint property in Booger Hollow was purchased by Bob and Carolyn Orchid.

Original moulding and accents detail the house, furnished with the Orchid's beautiful french and antique furniture, capturing the 130 years this home has seen. The front porch has a breathtaking view of the highest point in Alabama, Mount Cheaha.
Each morning, gourmet breakfasts are served to guests, and optional wine tastings are available in the evening. Movie showings are available for guests in the theatre room, featuring a stained glass window acquired by the Woodruff family from the Noble Opera House. The accommodations are beautifully surrounded by nature, ponds, streams and spring blossoms, nestled in a private and picture perfect location for weddings and events. 

Book your stay now, and find the many reading nooks or simply spots to relax and enjoy your stay in a piece of Anniston's history.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Weather Permitting

April Shower bring May Flowers. Yes, it rains in spring, but we have inclement weather plans.

This church was built by John Ward Noble in 1888 for the working men of West Anniston. A drive through the grounds of one of the finest late nineteenth century churches in Alabama shows the Romanesque style of architecture designed by William Hulsey Wood, the architect of St. John the Divine in New York City. Features include hand-carved stonework by Simon Jewell, an imposing 95-foot bell tower housing twelve bells, a series of memorial windows, hand-carved interior trusses by Bavarian woodcarvers, and an Italian marble altar. The Parish Hall contains a set of lithographs showing the history of Christianity, said to be the only set of its kind in existence.
The Anniston Museum of Natural History exhibits more that 2,000 natural history items on permanent display. There are exciting, diorama-style exhibits of pre-history with a life-sized Albertosaurus dinosaur model to the extremes of the African savannah, where a preserved African elephant rests under one of the world’s largest constructed baobab trees. One of the most fascinating exhibits is two Egyptian mummies from the Ptolemaic period.
The Berman Museum of World History exhibits more than 3,000 historical objects, works of art, and weapons spanning 3,500 years.

After a round of golf or a long drive, we can all use a massage, and several local businesses will be happy to help you relax. 
  • Sample a Wine Tasting
From weekends at White Oak Vineyards to Tyson's Fine Wines and Things on Thursdays, local businesses offer samplings of local made wines weekly. Tyson's also features 99+ bottles of beer on the wall to create a local variety pack for you to take home. 
Open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00-7:00 P.M., these centers are world-class air rifle and air pistol training and competition facilities that feature state-of-the-art electronic targets at each of the 80 firing points the locations house. All shots are instantly displayed on monitors beside each shooter and on display screens visible to spectators in the center area of the range. The facilities also feature common areas with classrooms, offices, restrooms and a foyer. The competition centers host an array of air rifle and air pistol events throughout the year.
Calhoun County has a great mix of national retailers and unique local boutiques that can help you find whatever you need. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

All The World's a Stage

Many know of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, but few know of its founding. The festival did not actually start in Montgomery. It actually began as a summer program in Calhoun County's own Anniston in 1972. The original festival started in an old high school auditorium.
Martin Platt, known in the theatre world as a Shakespeare enthusiast, saw an opportunity, and through partnership and funding with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, he recruited unpaid actors from Pittsburgh and New York to host four productions, The Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, the Two Gentlemen of Verona and Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. For years, the company lived in Anniston, bringing large scale productions of classics to the southeast, but in 1985 ASF moved to its new home in Montgomery.
Thirty two years later, Shakespeare makes another triumphant return to Calhoun County, but this time it's at Jacksonville State for their production of The Tempest. The production runs February 16 through February 19 at the Ernest Stone Center for the Performing Arts.
This mystical production draws on the travel literature of its time and stories of violent windy storms causing fleets of ships to wreck. Shakespeare also seems to refer to the English colonial mentality of the time, the "What would I do if I king?" thinking.
 The tale begins as a tale of betrayal, with the wrongfully exiled conjuring a storm to shipwreck those he blames to an enchanted island. What mystical world will they enter? You'll have to see the show to find out!

The Tempest
Jacksonville State University's
Ernest Stone Center for the Performing Arts 
Feb. 16-18, 7 p.m., and Feb. 19, 2 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Natural Attraction for Local Charm

Many, when visiting, are searching for something unique to Alabama or made in Alabama.

Calhoun County has a great mix of national retailers, but we have an awesome selection of eclectic boutiques and shops to search for a one of a kind gift.

Unique to historic Main Street Oxford, one can find Sarah Cavender Metalworks, making jewelry for international retail and the runway or red carpet, selling for great prices in Calhoun County. While you're there, you can stop next door at the Main Olive for a tasting.

If you're strolling down or around Noble Street in Anniston, stop in Alexander's at Noble Shops for great gift items and clothes. From kitchen accessories to kid's boutique clothing, they have it. Just down the street, you'll also find great boutique shops like CD Cellar.

Something unique to Calhoun County is just off Highway 431, Blackberry Hill Alpacas Farm and Gift Shop, and just up the road the Anniston Museum & Gardens have a great gift shop with something for everyone! Just over the bypass, you'll find a shop that has an eye for made in the south items, Tyson Fine Wines & Things, featuring selections of local wines like White Oak's Southern Oak Wines and more!

If Antiques are your thing, we've got Calhoun Pickers in historic downtown Anniston, Cotton Antiques in historic downtown Oxford, Timeless Treasures just off Highway 78, and so much more within a 30 minute drive.

Just across from the new Freedom Riders National Monument, you'll find the family run Downing & Sons, still offering fabrics and farming tips and tools.

The Jacksonville area has many great boutiques. From Hannah Closet, to Swank, Quality Shoppe and Willow Tree, there is something for every price range. Jacksonville also makes sure you're gameday ready with the Bookstore on Mountain Street, just across from the new stadium, offering everything from sweatshirts to accessories.

Then local shops like Wakefield's, Martins, Griffins and Couch's offer items you could find at big box stores, often with affordable prices and charming southern customer service.

Shop Calhoun County and be sure to tell them we sent you!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Romantic Getaway

Regardless of what your interests are, we have invigorating outdoors, amazing cultural sites, mouthwatering food and more, wrapped into one amazing destination. Whether you're looking for an relaxing overnight stay or an adventure, Calhoun County is a natural attraction for a romantic getaway.

If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind restaurant, Calhoun County will not disappoint with its list of locally owned restaurants dishing out mouthwatering dishes the state claims "you must eat before you die!"
What are you hungry for? 

The Courtyard by Marriott is offering a Valentine's special, a 1 night stay for two, either Standard King or Double Room, with Breakfast and Dinner for two at the Bistro. There will be a complimentary bottle of wine in the room at a special rate of $134 for Friday, Feb. 10th through Sunday, February 12th or $156 Monday, February 13th-Tuesday, February 14th.
This special is NOT AVAILABLE ONLINE. For more information or to make a reservation, contact 256-831-7995 and ask for the Valentine Special!

For a complete list of area hotels, browse,

Valentine's weekend kicks off with the National Broadway Tour of 42nd Street at the Oxford Performing Arts Center on Friday, February 10, at 7:30 P.M. 
Go for a romantic sunset stroll at Cheaha State Park, Oxford Lake or Choccolocco Park

Ride in tandem along Ladiga or challenge each other to an pedalling adventure at Coldwater Mountain.  

Compete to see who has the best aim at the Civilian Marksmanship Program

Explore World History at the Berman or the wilds of Africa at the Museum

Spoil your sweetheart with a local shopping spree or massage. 

Cruise through the Historic Driving Tour

Tee off at on of our local golf courses as a pair. 

Sample the North Alabama Wine Tour.