Group preparing for 2010 tourism event

Published 11:59 pm Friday, January 23, 2009

Alabama has celebrated the year of sports, the year of Alabama arts, and has begun the year of Alabama history.

But in Andalusia, the focus is already on the theme for 2010, when the state will promote The Year of Alabama Small Towns & Downtowns.

Andalusia’s Tourism and Relocation Committee has selected Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 11-14, for a local homecoming celebration. This past Thursday night, the committee expanded the planning for the event by inviting a number of people to city hall and inviting them to participate as members of the beautification, business involvement, budget, church, civic, education, events, historical resource, hospitality, publicity and city services committees planning the long weekend.

Tourism and Relocation committee member Barbara Nichols told those assembled that the T&R committee selected the dates in November so that the city’s annual Veterans Day parade and celebration can be part of the larger event.

The 2010 homecoming weekend will begin with Veterans Day on Thurs., Nov. 11, including the annual parade and program. During those events, a historic marker will be unveiled at city hall, which formerly housed East Three Notch Elementary School.

On Friday, the group hopes to have open houses in the local schools, Nichols said, and on Saturday, a fly-in at the South Alabama Regional Airport.

The homecoming weekend would culminate on Sunday with church homecomings and with the dedication of a civic project that is yet to be determined, Nichols said.

The Office of the Governor, the Alabama League of Municipalities, the Alabama State Chambers of Commerce and Alabama Tourism Department are sponsoring the program. Partipating cities will be featured in a book to be published by the Alabama Tourism Departent featuring photographs and a brief history of each participating town. The books will be sold in stores all over Alabama.