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Alabama wards off winterís chill with food festival, hike, musiccomment (0)

October 12, 2006

By Linda Holloway

Alabama offers a variety of both indoor and outdoor attractions for winter.

Pecan lovers can experience a festival that has a “tasty” connection, and outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a guided trail hike.

You will also want to make plans to attend a concert by the Vienna Boys’ Choir.

The Alabama Pecan Festival offers a fun-filled weekend of tasty entertainment.

Now in its 17th year, the largest agritourism event on the Gulf Coast will take place just south of Mobile Nov. 3–5 at W.C. Griggs Elementary School in Tillman’s Corner and the Tillman’s Corner Community Center.

“Visitors will enjoy arts and crafts, a songwriters contest, talent contests, a bake-off contest and a carnival,” said Billy Bolton, executive director of the festival.

A variety of foods will be offered at the festival, including the traditional Southern pecan pie and other pecan goodies. Nonpecan favorites include funnel cakes, smoked turkey legs and shrimp baskets.

Alabama’s own Freddie Hart — an award-winning country music singer who was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2001 — will also perform Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. and again later that evening.

Born Fred Segrest Dec. 21, 1926, in Loachapoka, Hart has had 14 No. 1 singles, 34 top ten singles and has recorded more than 40 albums. He has also been honored by the Academy of Country Music numerous times.

For the youngsters who attend the festival, the children’s area will keep them busy with games, a petting zoo, pony rides and a stage with children’s entertainment.

Budding musical stars may want to enter the Shining Stars children’s talent contest. There will also be a children’s choir competition Nov. 5.

Also, a gospel singing will be held Nov.  5 that will feature groups such as the McRaes, Southern Joy and Grace Trio.

“We start off the day (Nov. 5) with morning worship for the vendors and volunteers, and then our singing begins at noon to allow everyone to attend the churches of their choice,” Bolton said.

For information call 251-401-5555 or visit www.alabamapecanfestival.com.

The Web site includes pecan recipes, as well as information about growing pecans.

The Little River Canyon Field School of Jacksonville State University is sponsoring an exclusive Autumn Mountain Longleaf Hike Nov. 4, which is now open to readers of The Alabama Baptist.

Keith Hudson, Anniston Parks and Recreation Department representative and founder of the Anniston Outdoor Association, will lead the four-mile loop hike, which is rated as moderately strenuous.

“This hike takes participants by several vistas offering views of surrounding peaks and towns,” Hudson said. He noted that it winds through one of the oldest longleaf pine stands in Alabama, which is located in the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge in Calhoun County.

The hike also includes a visit to a recently discovered American Indian structure and an existing snake effigy mound, which is made of rocks collected in a huge art form.

Hikers should bring a daypack, water, lunch and snacks, said Renee Morrison, the field school’s assistant director.

For information and directions call 256-782-5697 or visit http://fieldschool.jsu.edu. Those interested must mention this article to participate.

The internationally known Vienna Boys’ Choir will perform Feb. 12, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. at the Claudia Crosby Theatre of Troy University.

The performance is sponsored by the Troy Arts Council with the assistance of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment of the Arts and Regions Bank of Troy.

“This choir is a superior example of disciplined musical training, and we are fortunate to have it touring in our part of the country,” said Don Crapps, president of the Troy Arts Council.

“A previous performance by this choir at Troy University resulted in a sellout (crowd),” he noted.

For information on the choir’s performance in Alabama, call 334-670-2288 or e-mail TroyArts@troycable.net.

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