Thursday, August 17, 2017

Where See the Solar Eclipse

Truly, as long as there aren't many clouds in the sky, you can see it anywhere, but with around 90% totality, Calhoun County has some places that are hosting eclipse events!
  • Business like Floors to Go in Anniston are hosting celebrations with FREE viewing glasses, food, t-shirts and hats, beginning at 12 Noon on Monday.
  • JSU's School of Science is hosting a viewing party on the lawn at TMB. Solar glasses, water and shade will be provided for the public!
  • The Oxford Public Library is also hosting a viewing party, complete with solar glasses, as supplies last, or a viewing of NASA's livestream.

Make sure to secure your certified solar glasses before you decide to step outside and gaze at the sky! NASA also has "how to's" for making your own Solar Viewing Projector, if you couldn't secure the glasses. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Picture Perfect Murals

Looking for the perfect backdrop? Look no further than city walls turned to canvases for artists, from near and far.

Garden Scene, Oxford
Tucked in an alley off Main Street, where Choccolocco comes to a T, this "Garden Scene" looks reminiscent of Italy or Greece, especially with Sarah Cavender Metalworks' blue door next door.

Anniston's Mural Trail
While Anniston has begun a mural trail throughout the historic downtown area, in the alleys behind the Classic and the Peerless, visitors will find various hand-painted masterpieces from local artists, including the newly designated Freedom Riders National Monument Mural off Gurnee Avenue, commissioned by the Spirit of Anniston.  

Patriotic Pride
At Jacksonville High School's Football Stadium, one will find a tribute to veterans, an American flag waving in the wind, visible from hometown hero Ben Tomlinson's new smart house.

Piedmont Collage
Riders along the Ladiga Trail know they've reached Piedmont by the visible mural just off the trail and Main Street, and next to the famous Solid Rock Cafe, visitors can also find an alley of artistic works, from Einstein to the Beatles.

Once you've snapped a pic, let us "tag" along with #VisitCalhounCo or #IGoCalCo! 

Anniston Mural Project

Friday, August 4, 2017

Calhoun County Arts Groups & Collectives

From growing arts scenes, events and venues, Calhoun County has many talented artists, whether musicians, painters, photographers, writers or other art forms. Various groups allow these artists to collaborate and develop works and events together to make Calhoun County a great place to work, live and visit.

This group of artists has partnered with businesses, the City of Jacksonville and Jacksonville State to create events and created a community innovative and collaborative artists to build opportunities to show works, share resources, and support projects of others.

This group was created to coordinate and assist with cultural activities and develop outlets for arts in the Jacksonville Community. These artists and those passionate about arts organize historical, craft and community events that showcase local talent. 

This organization is a "catalyst" for creative economy, implementing socially engaged art and projects that respond to challenges in the community, leverage the creativity of citizens, and aim to create opportunity. 

Artworks Alliance
This organization of artists and art supporters bring together those in and around Oxford to create special events, competitions, collaborations, community programs and promote artists, musicians, actors, dancers and writers in the community. 

This Piedmont group works with the goal of promoting local artists and introducing the artists to the community and together to create. From free music events to festivals and more, this group organizes community activities. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Seize the last days of summer

As the back to school time nears, check some family fun off your bucket list.

In case of rain:
Looking for something educational and fun, look no further than the Anniston Museums and Gardens. Explore the earth; see a safari and mummies at the Anniston Museum of Natural History.
More of a history buff? Explore the collections of spies and collectors at the Berman Museum of World History, with evens Greek Helmet more than 2000 years old.

Want adventure?
With all the rain we've had lately, water levels are up and perfect for floating Terrapin. In so areas, you barely have to paddle. Pull off on the shoals, take a picnic or a swim, and spend the day on the creek. No Worries Kayak will take care of you!

Go out for a spin!
Local trails are great for the whole family! From easy, car free, treks, try Ladiga. The trail is relatively flat, with mile markers to help you remember how far you have to go to get back to your car.
Coldwater's Baby Bear trail is great for beginners, with wider paths, difficulty options, downhill rolling beginning and slow climb back. If cycling isn't your thing, it's only a mile loop, if you stay right, and all the trails are great for walking.

Put your family to the test!
Get those critical thinking skills going again and challenge the family to Escape Zone. See if you can solve all the clues and breakout in under an hour! It will get your brain and your heart going; plus, it makes everyone work together.

If you're a teacher dreading going back or a parent overwhelmed from the summer, take some time away at one of our local wineries, like White Oak. Each sell onsite and offer tasting of both sweet and dry local wines! Uncork the bottle and unwind!

If you're opting for a staycation, try a new restaurant, stay in a local hotel and play in our great parks! Some allow fishing! Some have pools and splash pads! Some have Boundless playgrounds, perfect for everyone! #OptOutside

Friday, July 21, 2017

Fiddle-dee-dee... BBQ

One staple associated with the south, after all it's mentioned in the first ten minutes of "Gone with the Wind," is barbecue. The slow cooking of smoking with indirect heat and grill is packed with flavor. Calhoun County is home to many barbecue havens, all with their own flavors, styles and sauces.

Cooter Brown's Rib Shack
8464 Alabama Hwy 204, Jacksonville AL 35265 - 256-435-1514Alabama's 100 Dishes to eat before you die has its share of BBQ, including Cooter Brown's Ribs. Don't let the little shack deceive you. They also have Hillbilly Egg Rolls, a tribute to Carolina BBQ.

Baby Boy’s BBQ
1292 Ponderosa Trail, Eastaboga AL 36260 - (256) 454-8246
If you're able to attend a community event, these guys will probably be there, food truck and all, perfect for a summer day outside. 

Betty's Bar-B-Q
401 S Quintard Avenue, Anniston AL 36201 - 256-237-1411
This family owned restaurant is always packed at lunch, as is evident as you may struggle to find parking, but they dish out so community renowned BBQ specials. 

Bill's Bar Be Que, LLC
916 West 10th Street, Anniston, AL 36201 - 256-770-7175
This family is known and loved by the community, respected for his knowledge, experience and dedication to the community. There isn't make community events that they'll miss. 

Brad's Bar BQ
1809 Hwy 78 East, Oxford, AL 36203 - 256-831-7878
This is another respected family. It's all in the family, working together to dish out the best meals they can, conveniently located in Oxford near the mall. 

Dad's Bar-B-Que
3105 McClellan Blvd, Anniston, AL 36204 - 256-238-4323
700 Noble Street, Anniston, AL 36201 - 256-238-4323
This local chain dishes out smoked chicken and bbq with several choices for sauces. Try the "honey mustard," and you won't regret it. 

Local Joe's at Alexandria
8314 Alabama Highway 144, Alexandria,  AL 36250 - (256) 241-6796
Voted Alabama's Small Business person of the Year for 2017, this local chain is known for its catering, but the smoked turkey and BBQ highlight the spread. 

Don't take our word for it! Experience BBQ yourself! Visit and taste test the deep roots of Alabama BBQ! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Sweet Home Alabama"

There's one place that can completely capture those "skies so blue," Cheaha State Park. Home to Alabama's Highest Point and the JSU Mountain Center, the park also hosts hiking trails, including the Pinhoti, mountain bike trails, a handicap accessible walkway to Bald Rock, an observation tower at the highest point, campgrounds, cabins and chalets for rent, a motel and restaurant, museums and so much more!
Towering 2,407 feet above sea level, Creek Indians named this spot "Chaha," or high place, with views that seem to go on forever in the heart of the surrounding Talladega National Forest.
Surrounded by natural beauty, this location is perfect for a picnic, photographs and events. There are so many recreational opportunities! Come enjoy tranquility and stand in awe of the surroundings.
Cheaha State Park also offers tons of programs for the whole family. From Pottery and Basket Weaving to campfire talks and discovery hikes, Cheaha has something for everyone.
*Make time to check out the Pulpit Rock Trail. Complete with Native American Trail Marker Tree Points, this short but steep walk offers the most rewarding view overlooking the lake and national forest. 
Adventure is waiting! Learn more at!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Dixie Youth Little League World Series

Come scout and discover future baseball stars during the Dixie Youth Little League World Series August 4 through 10 at Choccolocco Park in Oxford
August 4th, 36 teams will participate in skills competitions and the World Series Opening Ceremonies. Tournament play will begin August 5th. 
Choccolocco Park is an outdoor sports complex with state-of-the-art amenities for baseball, softball, track and field, and soccer. The park also has three walking paths that go around the historic Indian mound, a 30-acre lake, and plenty of green space in between, that connect for a total of 2.7 miles.
With amenities for every person in your family, including a Boundless Playground to include children of all abilities, Choccolocco Park welcomes you to come and enjoy our facilities to their fullest extent. 
Located just off Leon Smith Parkway near the Oxford Exchange and Commons, the park trails feature interpretive plaques capturing the history of the 19th century Muscogee (Creek) Nation that called Choccolocco home. 
Come discover this diamond of Calhoun County and all of its treasures. From delicious food to outdoor and cultural adventures, we've got it all and more! Check out! Adventure Awaits!