By Taylor Jones
For nearly two decades, the Carrollton Center for the Arts has lived by their mission of providing a diversity of quality fine arts programming for Carroll County, doing so by supporting local artists, providing education and workshops, and by displaying entertaining productions throughout the year. This Holiday season, the Carrollton Center for the Arts has four productions in store that will get you in the spirit.
The Christmas season begins with a three-day performance of The Nutcracker Ballet. A new twist on a classic story, the production directed by ballet coordinator Jurijs Safonovs will feature local dancers in addition to professional dancers, who will star in principal roles. Catch The Nutcracker Ballet November 16 & 17 at 7 PM eastern time, with a Sunday matinée on November 18 at 2 PM eastern.
Duane Sohl’s production of In-Laws, Outlaws, and Others (who should be shot) hits the stage two weeks later, November 30-December 2. According to carrolltonarts.com, this play will “leave the audience in stitches” due to humorous dialogue, outrageous characters, and a heartfelt message. Get your tickets now and get ready to enjoy In-Laws, Outlaws, and Others (who should be shot) November 30 and December 1 at 7:30 PM eastern, and December 2’s show at 2 PM eastern.
As the calendar inches closer to Christmas, the Carrollton Center for the Arts will feature two Christmas concerts featuring artists from the local area. The Community Chorus’ traditional Christmas in Carrollton concert is set for Friday December 7 at 7:30 PM eastern, and Saturday December 8 at 4 PM eastern. In what has become a Christmas tradition for Carrollton for nearly 40 years, the Community Chorus will perform your favorite Christmas tunes to get you in the spirit of the season.
The Carrollton Symphony Orchestra will take the stage December 13 and 14 at 7:30 PM eastern on both nights. Hear the sounds of Tchaikovsky, Irving Berlin, and many others. CSO conductor Terry Lowery also takes requests during the performances, and will perform them on the piano.
For a full list of productions, classes, and workshops that are held at the Carrollton Center for the Arts, visit their website carrolltonarts.org, or reach them by phone at 770-838-1083.
By Taylor Jones
Once the weather cools off, and you dust off that winter jacket, you know that Christmas is in the air. If you want to embrace the spirit of Christmas, be sure to clear space on your calendar for a trip to Noccalula Falls.
Noccalula Falls provides entertainment and attractions for East Alabama families, from BBQ competitions and the Halloween Super Bash, to the botanical garden and campground, Noccalula Falls has it all. Not only is it a great area to spend a day, or weekend with your family, it is also a hot-spot for Christmas celebration.
Located in Gadsden, Alabama, Noccalula Falls “does Christmas right” with “Christmas at the Falls”. This festival of lights opens on Thanksgiving Night, November 22, and runs through December 30. Noccalula Falls features millions of lights that can be accessed two ways: by smooth, paved walking trail, or by riding the parks train.
The lights have entertained many throughout the years, and continue to expand with many features synchronized to Holiday music favorites. Each day also brings something new to “Christmas at the Falls”, so be sure to follow Noccalula Falls on your favorite social media platform to see the latest special events planned during the festival.
The fun does not stop at just Christmas lights. Kids can ensure their wishes are delivered to Santa by writing him a letter at the old Post Office, and hand deliver their Christmas list to special mailbox. Santa will also make a visit to Noccalula Falls, so make sure to get your picture with the big guy himself. You can decorate your own cookie and sip some hot chocolate in the Pioneer Village, there is also a petting zoo that will be available.
“Christmas at the Falls” at Noccalula Falls opens November 22, and will continue through December 30 from 5-9 P.M., with the exception of two dates- December 24 and 25. If you are planning a trip, and it appears that weather may become inclement, be sure to follow Noccalula Falls’ Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on park closure, or call the park at 256-549-4663.
By Taylor Jones
Get Your Ugly Sweater Ready for the Jingle Jog
• By Taylor Jones
Active Auburn invites runners to ring in the holiday season by participating in the Jingle Jog 5K and Santa Stroll Fun Run on Saturday, December 8th in Auburn, Alabama.
Whether you are a skilled runner who wants to compete, or just want to enjoy a stroll through beautiful downtown Auburn, the Second Annual Jingle Jog and Santa Stroll Fun Run has something for every participant.
Beginning and ending at Toomer’s Corner, the Jingle Jog 5K and Santa Stroll Fun Run features two different routes throughout downtown Auburn. The Jingle Jog 5K is a 3.19 mile route, and covers East Magnolia Avenue, to points as far south as Wrights Mill Road, before the last stretch of the race beginning at the corner of Samford Avenue and South College Street. This race will offer eight different awards, awarding first through third place, and best in age-range from 14 & under, to 60-plus.
As for the Santa Stroll fun run, the route will cover East Magnolia Street, South Gay Street, and Miller Avenue, passing Ralph Brown Draughon Library before ending at Toomer’s Corner, a total travel of 0.93 miles. The Santa Stroll will not be scored.
As many 5K and Fun Runs have, the Jingle Jog 5K and Santa Stroll Fun Run has a quirk. There are “color runs”, and races that allow participants to wear an elaborate costume. This race is all about the “ugly Christmas sweater.” So while you are training, be sure to go to the basement and dust off that sweater from 1970 before making your way to the Plains!
Registration is open now through the day of the races, December 8th. For the Santa Stroll Fun Run, registration is $20 through the month of November, increasing to $35 day of the race. As for the Jingle Jog 5K, registration is $25 during November; the rate will climb to $40. Active Auburn says that in order to guarantee that you will get a t-shirt, you will need to register by November 30. A limited number of t-shirts will be available for day-of registers. Registration on December 8th is open from 6 A.M. central until 6:45 for Santa Stroll and 7:10 for Jingle Jog.
To register online, or for more information on the race, visit activeauburn.org
by Taylor Jones
How do you keep a once-thriving shopping center from becoming vacant in your hometown? You turn it into a venue that brings entertainment to locals, and helps your town continue to thrive. That was the goal set forth by Randall Redding, founder of Milltown Music Hall in Bremen.
The shopping center that now houses Milltown Music Hall was once home to one of the world’s smallest Walmart stores. Once Walmart moved locations, Redding, a Bremen native, did not want to see the shopping center become empty. In a conversation with General Manager, Steve Bennett, he began renting the spaces to tenants, including Ingles grocery chain. Ingles then decided to build a larger location in town, leaving a large space that needed to be filled. While racking his brain on how to utilize the space, while providing a service to the residents of Bremen, Redding decided to walk by faith, and opened Milltown Music Hall.
Since opening in 2012, many acts have entertained residents of West Georgia and East Alabama including: The Oak Ridge Boys, Sammy Kershaw, John Berry, Sara Evans, Diamond Rio, among many others. When looking for acts, the goal was to promote the venue, while finding proven talent, says Kelli Weaver, marketer for Milltown Music Hall.
“We tried to find people who were touring, who attracted a crowd, and who we could book. So that we would have all of those elements going together in order to get our numbers up our first two years.”
Five big shows are scheduled for the remainder of 2018, starting with John Conlee on November 9, and the Bellamy Brothers on November 17. Milltown Music Hall will feature three Christmas shows, including a two-night show with David Phelps of the Gaither Vocal Band.
Phelps, who will be performing his Christmas show at Milltown Music Hall for the second consecutive year, has won a number of Dove and Grammy Awards due to his vocal range that has been described as “seemingly endless.” David will perform two dates at Milltown Music Hall, December 7 and 8 with each show beginning at 7:30 P.M. eastern.
The final show of 2018 will be “Christmas with Exile”, with Chris Golden opening. Exile, with hits that include “Kiss You All Over” and “Woke Up in Love”, have been together since 1963 and continue to tour. They will bring their show to Bremen on December 15 at 7:30 P.M. eastern. Opening act Chris Golden has a solid solo platform, and has performed with The Oak Ridge Boys and Restless Heart.
To purchase tickets, or for more information on the wonderful music venue, visit Milltown Music Hall online at milltownmusichall.com
By Taylor Jones
What started as an idea to promote a fine state park in South Alabama quickly became a tradition that many in the south have come to enjoy.
“Scarecrows in the Park” has become a tradition at Frank Jackson State Park located in the small town of Opp, Alabama. Each fall, scarecrows welcome visitors to Frank Jackson State Park during the months of October and November as a way to say “hello to fall.”
Scarecrows in the Park, which is in its 11th year, started out with a group of volunteers who wanted to draw more visitors to the state park located in Covington County.
“We needed some way to attract people to the park, because many people, even in Opp, were not aware of what the park was like,” says Charles Willis of the “Frank Jackson State Park Trail Masters”.
Willis says that the motivation for this event came from one of the Trail Masters founding members, Juanita Blocker. Blocker had the idea to display around 100 scarecrows throughout the park, and it has only grown from there. So much so, that the state of Alabama wanted to help grow the event by constructing a new trail in the park.
Willis estimates that 5,000 guests visit the park during the months of October and November for “Scarecrows in the Park”. Guests easily flock to Opp to see the scarecrows, because of the easy accessibility. Frank Jackson State Park offers transportation for senior citizens who are not able to walk long distances, so that they can take in the scarecrows. The park also welcomes large buses from schools or churches. Frank Jackson State Park is also friendly to those who are traveling from out of state. There are cabins located inside the park that have as many For more information on “Scarecrows in the Park”, and on Frank Jackson State Park, visit alapark.com/frank-jackson-state-park online.as three bedrooms, as well as a number of hotels in the Opp area.
2018 Magazine - Digital Issue
“A Little Magic Can Take You a Long Way” — Roald Dahl
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What's inside this issue...
Y’all it’s that season again! Can you believe it? I can’t. I seems like we were just packing up our Christmas from 2017. We blink, turn around and it’s upon us again. Granted I am writing this when most of you are thinking of ghouls and goblins and all things pumpkin spice, but let me tell you... I wouldn’t trade this for anything.
get to work and create all things Christmas for about four months out of the year. (Those that are good at math... That’s one-third of the year dedicated to Christmas. HELLO!!!)
I will say that I am changing things up a bit and not taking this super special task for granted this year. I am using the power and talents that God has granted me to really enjoy the magic of Christmas and the entire holiday season in 2018. We have trips planned and advertisers to visit, and events to attend that are really gonna blow the socks off Christmas 2018.
We are so excited (and a little nervous that we may over do...) But, regardless we are going to embrace our inner Buddy the Elf and do All the Christmas things we can this year!
We hope you take time to enjoy the season and not just rush through it like so many of us seem to do every year. I can promise you won’t get another chance to enjoy 2018. So you might as well make the most of it!!!
A free gift for you!
It’s the most wonderful time of year… That’s what the song says, so it must be true, right? Absolutely! The holiday season is made up of amazing opportunities to gather with loved ones, remember and reflect on the past while making precious new memories, and most importantly remembering the reason for season. It is fun, exciting, and inspiring, but if we are being really honest with ourselves, then it can also be hectic, overwhelming, and exhausting. There are a million things to do, and it often seems like there are simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Well, this year Southern Holiday Life is here to help!
We are introducing our first Holiday Planning Guide, and it is a free tool to get you organized and ready to embrace this holiday season with a game plan to maximize this amazing time of year. It is an easy to use booklet that will give you space to plan out the season from Christmas card lists to budgets and menu planning to gift trackers. This is our gift to each of you this year, so that you can spend the your holiday season making memories and living in each moment rather than getting lost in the chaos.
Download the PDF, print and get organized this holiday season!
#MaryLeeCaldwell #HolidayOnPurpose #FreeGift
They say it takes a village to raise a child, well the same is true for publishing a magazine. We are constantly looking for new writers, photographers, crafters, decorators, cooks. If you are interested in joining this fun Southern owned and Southern made magazine, let us here from you!
To be considered:
If we haven’t made you run for the hills, please send us a sample of your work with pictures (knowing your way around a camera gets you bonus points) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking for the unique Southern craft, story or recipe. If you think you have what it takes, send us a sample… We will respond to every submission, (because mama raised us right!).
Good Luck Y’all!
Pepper Mozzarella Toasts
1/2 (11.5 oz) jar of Jennifer’s Kitchen Pepper Jelly, Strawberry*
8 oz mozzarella cheese, diced
3/4 T olive oil + more for brushing
Aged balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
2 T heavy cream
fresh basil thinly sliced baguette
Preheat Oven 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Cut baguette into 1/2 inch slices. Brush slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toast slices on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Mix chopped mozzarella, cream and olive oil in a small bowl to coat. Turn toast slices over and top with a spoonful of cheese mixture. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
Top with strawberry pepper jelly and a few slices of basil. Drizzle
a bit of aged balsamic vinegar. Yields: approximately 20 slices.
*works with any JK Flavor, We prefer Strawberry
Jennifer Lee is the owner of Jennifer's Kitchen, a gourmet jelly company based in Homewood, AL. She lives and breathes pepper jelly and is on a mission to teach people that pepper jelly is for more than just pouring over cream cheese!