First Fridays March 2018

Join us as we kick off First Fridays for 2018! We’ll have dozens of arts and crafts vendors lining Court Street, downtown restaurants and shops will be open, plus live music on the Big River Broadcasting Stage. We’ll also be celebrating the Florence Bicentennial.

Music lineup:
5pm – Emmalee Martinez
6pm – Barry Billings
7pm – Coffee Black

First Fridays is presented by Listerhill Credit Union and is a committee of Downtown Florence Unlimited.

Chocolate Crawl 2018 Recap


Just a bit more than a week before Valentine’s Day, Florence Main Street hosted our 4th Annual Chocolate Crawl! This year was just as great as the rest with delicious chocolate treats that were to die for and new businesses to visit as well as our returning favorites!

Tickets this year sold out 3 days before the event and even though it was cold out, we had a great crowd!  We saw so many new faces and heard a lot of positive feedback from the patrons.  Many of them said it was the best year yet!

On top of that, ticket holders enjoyed 15% off their purchases as well as a chocolate treat at participating businesses. Grier Insurance even gave away dinner for 2 at Ricatoni’s to one lucky winner!

This year’s chocolate treat winner was Cloth & Stone with their Chocolate Wine Cake!  Great job to the Cloth & Stone team, we heard crawlers raving about that treat and the store it was in all day.

A very close second was Miss Beth’s Tailoring and Alterations with their Oreo Bon Bons!  Miss Beth’s was a first time participant in the crawl this year and nearly clenched the victory, so congratulations to all involved; everyone seemed very impressed.  

A few honorable mentions this year were North Alabama Chiropractic’s Chocolate Covered Bacon, Jack O’ Lantern Farm’s Mocha Turnovers, and Printers and Stationer’s Mini Cannoli’s, but there were many more amazing treats as well that were very well made and well received.

We can’t thank the participants enough.  The bar had already been set high by the previous years and the ball was still knocked out of the park by each and every one of you!  

If you missed out this year, don’t worry; there’s always next year! If you love bacon, be on the lookout for our Bacon Fest in June that will include our annual Bacon Crawl!

15th Annual Empty Bowl Luncheon

The 15th Annual Empty Bowl Luncheon to feed the hungry will be Wednesday, March 14th, 2018. It will be held 11:00AM-1:00PM at the Marriott Conference Center. This event is hosted by the Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary. Tickets are available at The Salvation Army on Huntsville Road or at Trinity Ceramic Supply. $15 in advance or at the door.

Firekid at LIVE

Join Singin’ River and Listerhill Credit Union in celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Singin’ River LIVE with a St. Patrick’s Day party featuring Firekid! Tickets go on sale Friday, February 9th at 9am.

Dining Downtown – Ricatoni’s Italian Grill

By Stephen Edmonds

107 North Court Street Florence, Alabama


Florence is a small, but busy college town with many choice places to eat that I believe do not get the recognition they deserve, so I wanted to take a minute of my time to write about my experience with one of our favorite restaurants.  This past week, Florence experienced a rare amount of snowfall keeping my wife and I cooped up for a few days on end, so when we were finally able to emerge from our hole and stretch our legs the first thing we wanted to do was enjoy a meal at one of our favorite local downtown spots: Ricatoni’s.



This is one of our favorite places to go for quite a few reasons.  First and foremost, before the great food is even brought into consideration, their atmosphere is so pleasant and relaxed.  Employees interact with each other in such a way that encourages guests to loosen up and enjoy their time in the establishment.  The décor adds to the previously mentioned atmosphere in a very subliminal way, making anyone who steps in the door to dine more at ease and more susceptible to a good time.  Even their menus seem to draw you further into the atmosphere.


Pictured: House Salad, Complimentary Bread & Herbs, &                                        Fettucine Alfredo


In my personal opinion, a business’s food is their strongest weapon for convincing customers to return, and in Ricatoni’s case this is doubly true.  From a purely statistical standpoint, the portions are perfect and their food tastes like it should cost more than the affordable prices they have on their menu, and buying good food at affordable prices will make any restaurant goer feel like they are scoring a great deal.  From a personal opinion standpoint, their entrees, appetizers, and desserts are appealing, fun, and they taste great. 


Photo by Sarah Belanger


I feel like a blog post review of a restaurant needs to have at least some valid criticism, but after racking my brain and thinking about all my past experiences in this establishment (all the way back through high school!) I can’t find a single instance where I was anything less than satisfied.  The track record of this restaurant speaks for itself; the food is great, the mood is great, and more than anything else, Ricatoni’s is a consistent dining experience that delivers time after time. 

4th Annual Chocolate Crawl

The Downtown Florence Chocolate Crawl is back for its 4th year in a row!

Do you like chocolate and shopping? Then we’ve got a deal for you! Grab your date or group of friends and enjoy a day filled with chocolate treats and good deals! Downtown Florence boutiques, salons, and other stores will be turning into Chocolate Shops for one day only and they want you to come see them! This event is known as ‘trick or treating for adults” and “a wonderful time had by all, sampling sweets and exploring all the great stores in downtown Florence”!

Each business will be showcasing their current styles, specials, and services along with a bite-sized sample of a chocolate treat. During the Chocolate Crawl, shoppers will also get 15% off their purchases at participating businesses.

Tickets can be purchased here:

Starting off the Year with Florence Main Street

Do you have any new goals for 2018?  If so, downtown Florence Alabama has what you need to chase those goals!  Whether you aspire to be stronger, faster, healthier, dress better, or anything in between, the city of Florence has a local business to help you reach those goals.  

If you want to take your body to a new level physically, you’ll want to check Florence’s great fitness and health businesses.  These are great options to have whether you need training and individual attention from an experienced instructor at the Fit Facility, OR, if you’ve already got a workout regiment and need a clean community environment to execute it in like The Basement Gym.  For those of us who aspire to learn while they work out, Contender Boxing and Grit Fitness have boxing, yoga, and cycling classes that help us get into shape while learning new techniques!  Add that on top of our Jack-o’-Lantern Farm and Valley Health Foods businesses that can help anyone make sure that their diet healthily compliments their lifestyle, and there’s no way that getting healthier will stay on the list of unchecked resolutions.

As far as fresh and stylish clothing go, Florence AL has got you covered there as well.  Whether you find your ideal style in Coco’s Boutique, Karen’s Corner, Harper Clothing Co., or Jar & Co. it is all a part of what the brilliant shop owners of Florence have to offer.  Find an amazing piece of clothing that’s just barely out of your size range?  Take it to Miss Beth’s Tailoring and Alterations and have it sized up or down to suit your needs.  If more exotic clothes catch your eye, head over to The Eclectic for interesting and rare finds!  With all of these businesses ready and standing by to help put you in your ideal clothes and help in any way they can, becoming a savvy, experienced, and thrifty shopper is easy.

These are just some of the ways our thriving town can help you with your New Year’s resolutions.  Since there’s no way anyone can cover every advantage to shopping in Downtown Florence on one simple blog post, I’ll stop here; but if anyone has any questions about businesses and services offered in the downtown area, feel free to call us at 256-760-9648 OR contact any businesses directly on their Facebook accounts!  We all look forward to another great year of serving you.

Seven Points Art Crawl IV

The Seven Points Arts Community welcomes you to the 4th Annual Art Crawl Thursday, October 12th, from 5-9. The Art Crawl is a self guided tour of art exhibits, open studios, installations, food stands, and music, all in 7 Points! Other shops in the area will be staying open late as well!

Artists include:
Cullen Stewart
Nadene Mairesse
Olivia Sherif
Andrew Sutherland
Abraham Rowe
Katie Barrier

Sweet Home FloAla: TVA Trails

For as long as I can remember, my family has always loved being outside. Thankfully, Florence and the Shoals area have no shortage of hiking trails and paths for adventurers with all levels of experience. Last spring, I went with my family to the Rockpile Recreation Area to enjoy the sun and the river.

One of the coolest parts of the trail was passing under the Singing River Bridge that connects Lauderdale and Colbert Counties.  However, there’s also a beautiful waterfall and view of Wilson Dam, a plethora of challenging trails, and picnic areas and playgrounds for families with younger kids or those just looking to experience some of the natural beauty that the Shoals area has to offer.

Seven Points Art Crawl IV

The Seven Points Arts Community welcomes you to the 4th anual Art Crawl Thursday, October 12th, from 5-9. The Art Crawl is a self guided tour of art exhibits, open studios, installations, food stands, and music, all in 7 Points! Other shops in the area will be staying open late as well!

Artists include:
Cullen Stewart
Nadine Marisse
Olivia Sherif
Andrew Sutherland
Abraham Rowe
Katie Barrier

Food and Music: