Thursday, May 31, 2018

Where Nature meets Culture and Activity

Do you dare to go off the beaten path?
We’re near Atlanta and near Birmingham, meaning we’re near perfect for a weekend or week of adventure!

Experience Nature
From preparing for an AT hike on the Pinhoti and camping beneath the stars to mountain biking through the “Disney World” of MTB in Northeast Alabama, outdoor enthusiasts will find a haven of excursions!

Create Culture

From History dated to the Civil War or Civil Rights, to the Anniston Museums and Gardens, there are so many cultural experiences created to enrich our lives, teach us about our history, and showcase what’s unique to our region.

Get Active
There’s much to see and do, and there’s never a dull moment. From biking and kayaking to hiking and running, our summers are filled with events. If you get active, you must eat, and we have too many choices to list. Here’s a list.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"It's a Beautiful Day In Alabama!"

When one calls the Alabama Tourism Department, we're often greeted by a lovely and welcoming voice stating, "It's a beautiful day in Alabama!" Indeed it is!
Today, we celebrated National Tourism Month with the crew from the State Welcome Center located in Cleburne County, in between Atlanta and Birmingham.
We're lucky enough to celebrate and gather at the Welcome Center twice a year, in May and for the Holiday Open House each winter.
This staff, lead by Kathy Freeman, is always the most hospitable and kindest Welcome Center Staff one may come across!
Today brought together hotels, attractions and restaurants to showcase what "Sweet Home Alabama" has to offer, from as far north as Ardmore, as far west as Tuscaloosa and as far south as Conecuh.
Alabama has everything from beaches to mountains, international to southern cuisine and history and culture all wrapped into one destination that makes you feel like family.
So, come! Visit Calhoun County! Relax, explore and do more!

Friday, May 18, 2018

"Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears..."

In 1971, the southeast, basically D.C. to Dallas, did not have a professional Shakespeare company. In 1972, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival was established in Anniston, with performances presented in the high school auditorium. The inaugural season had around 3,000 audience members, which grew to 15,000 by 1977. Later, Anniston constructed today's Performing Arts Center, a 1,000 seat air-conditioned auditorium, complete with a thrust space ideal for Shakespeare. Audiences came from across the state and southeast to see mostly Shakespearean works paired with other classics.

In 1985, the "state theater" moved to Montgomery.

The Chamber & Visitors Center promotes and sustains the economic growth of Calhoun County's region. The Chamber Foundation focuses on education, workforce development, marketing & community development, creating programs to enhance our schools & leverage businesses.

In 2018, the Bard is back in Anniston. The Chamber & Visitors Center, in partnership with JSU's Drama Department, local schools, Anniston Parks & Rec and local arts organizations including CAST, has established The Shakespeare Project to enhance the understanding of performing arts and literature by presenting free professional productions of classic works, including Shakespeare.

August 15 through 17, there will be free professional productions of Julius Caesar for our schools, and August 18 & 19, this free production will also be presented to our community at the Anniston Performing Arts Center, the original home of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

More information coming soon, but make plans to join us this August!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Summer is coming...

Summer is coming... when school lets out, the kids might get cabin fever, so what better way to spend summer than summer camps! Here's a list of some of the options!

JSU offers a ton of athletic and departmental camps over the summer. Here's a start to their growing list.
The Softball Skills and Drills Camp for grades K through 5, will be June 4-6 from 9 AM to 12 Noon.
The Softball Elite Camp, Session 1, is only taking the first 50 registered grades 7 through 12, for their June 11-12 set for 9 Am to 4 PM.
Softball Elite Camp, Session 2, is also only taking the first 50 registered, grades 7 through 12, for the June 13-14, set for 9 Am to 4 PM.

Rick Pietri's Basketball Team Camp, Session 1, is for High School teams, junior varsity and varsity, as well as travel teams and is set for June 13-16
Rick Pietri's Basketball Team Camp, Session 2, is also for High School teams, junior varsity and varsity, as well as travel teams and set for June 20-22
Rick Pietri's Basketball Elite Camp is for females in grades 8 through 12 and set for June 22-23.

Gamecock Soccer Day Camp is for ages 5 through 13 and is set for July 23-26 from 8 AM to 11:30 AM.

Volleyball's Serve and Pass Camp is for girls and boys, grades k through 12 and is set for July 9 from 6 PM to 8 PM.
Volleyball's Setters Camp is also for girls and boys grades k through 12 and is set for July 10 from 6 PM to 8 PM.
The Volleyball Hitters Camp includes girls and boys grades k through 12 and is scheduled for July 11 from 6 PM to 8 PM.
The Volleyball General Skills Camp is scheduled for July 26-27 from 1 to 4 PM, for girls and boys grades k through 12
The Volleyball Team Camp is set for July 28 from 8 AM to 5 PM.

The Elite High School Football Camp, "Night of Champions" is set for June 21 and July 24, from 6 to 8 PM, with Specialist at 2 PM and Registration from 4:30 to 6 PM at Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium. 
FCA Football Team Camp is set for July 11 through 12. Both Camps consist of FCA, Character Development, Position School, 1-on-1s, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11. 
Youth Camp will be July 9 and 10, with registration from 5 to 6 PM and camp from 6 to 8 PM. 

Drum-Majors, Colorguard, Percussion and Band Leadership, Spirit Camp's leadership training is back June 12 through 16. Visit for more information. 

May 29 through August 7, from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM, the City of Parks & Recreation Department has their summer day camp. 

The YMCA of Calhoun County also has day camps available through summer. 

Foothills Day Camp is a free summer day camp taking place at Camp Lee in Anniston, Alabama, for children ages 6-10. This year, camp is set for July 16 through 20. 

The JSU Drama Department is again partnering with CAST for their summer camp 2018. June 18 through 22, from 8 to 11 AM, ages 5 through 8 will have their 101 Dalmatians Camp, and June 18 through 22, from noon to 5, ages 9 through 14 will also have their 101 Dalmatians Camp. 
Then, June 25th through 29th from 9 AM to 4 PM, ages 13 through 18 are invited to the Advanced Musical Theatre Camp, featuring the musical Godspell Jr.  For more information, email 

This is only the start... check back for more details to come...

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Share the Road

We see these signs, slogans, but what does it mean as a cyclist and driver?

When on a road, a cyclist and their bike are to be treated like a car. They're different but equal. Treat them like a human or as you would a tractor or slow moving vehicle. It's the cyclist's job to stay right, preferably riding within two feet of the right shoulder roadway. Alabama even has a law for when a cyclists and automobile driver are in a passing zone, and drivers may pass a cyclist but must allow a minimum of three feet between their vehicle and the cyclist.

Be patient, and let the police handle the bad ones. That goes for cyclists and drivers. Cyclists are your neighbors, doctors, teachers, etc. Always think of them as human, and realize that most are responsible. Please don't honk or try to spook them. Riding a bike is stressful enough, and adding traffic, especially threatening traffic, is scary.

Cyclists are not to ride toward oncoming traffic, but they are to ride with traffic, using hand signals to change lanes, turn, etc. Cyclists, just like an automobile, shouldn't pass on the right, in case the car turns right.

f riding on the roadway, cyclists should always wear a helmet and ride predictably, in a straight line, and abiding to traffic laws, yielding to traffic, stopping at lights and stop signs, etc.

It's the cyclists responsibility to be aware and to be visible, wearing cool and bright clothing, with lights on in the early morning, night or during

evening rides.

If you've never tried it, rent a bike and ride. It's fun and good for you. In fact, Ernest Hemingway once said, “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”