Congratulations to the 29 towns in
rural southwest Alabama for being selected and recognized in the Alabama
Department of Tourism’s Year of Small Towns and Downtowns. Each one of these
towns had to submit a summary of the things that make their town special and
agree to host a festival that will continue as an annual event.
towns hosting an annual festival will give tourists a reason to visit our area
at various times throughout the year,” according to Linda Vice, Director of Southwest Alabama Office of Tourism and
Film . “Tourism is ongoing economic development. Each town, in the process of
defining what makes them special and what festival the community will support,
has found something interesting that tourists will want to see.”
Each town that is part of this 2010 Year of Small Towns and Downtowns will receive a historic marker that gives some highlights of the town’s history. It will serve as a permanent recognition
of the town’s initiative in being part of this program. Many segments of the
community and a variety of organizations came together to make this happen.
This is an example of grassroots efforts that have come together for the
betterment of their communities. According
to Vice “Tourists are interested in authentic experiences that give them a
taste of what an area is really like. The festivals held as part of this effort
will give tourists just that. Tourists just might like the area so much we can
keep them coming back”.
“Southwest Alabama Office of Tourism
and Film wants to give a special thanks to their Tourism Partners in the 11
counties of Rural Southwest Alabama for encouraging their communities to
participate in the Year of Small Towns and Downtown and for providing an
ongoing calendar of events in each county. Tourists visit our website
alabamasfrontporches.com and plan their visits to the area. Not only does the
casual traveler check the website, but business travelers coming to the area,
people coming to visit relatives along with the families of the hunters,
fishermen and campers who spend many weekends here”, says Vice. “Rural
Southwest Alabama as Kathryn Tucker Windham says in our promotional video is ‘a
place where magic still happens and legends never die'”.