Lenny LeBlanc Performance & Q+A

Florence-Lauderdale Tourism and the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area is set to co-host Lenny LeBlanc on Saturday, January 20, 2018 in the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Visitor Center Gallery. The event will begin at 1:00 p.m.

Andreas Werner with Crazy Chester Music will conduct the Q&A Session at the event. The event will be mostly a Q&A Session with Lenny playing a few songs as well.

Lenny LeBlanc was born in Massachusetts and grew up Daytona Beach, Florida where he learned to play the bass guitar and joined his first band during high school. After graduation, he briefly moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where he lived until 1973, when LeBlanc’s friend and famed guitarist Pete Carr encouraged him to relocate to Florence, Alabama. After a few months Lenny began playing bass as well as singing background vocals with artists like Hank Williams Jr., Crystal Gayle, Etta James, Shenandoah, Ricky Skaggs, Sawyer Brown, The Supremes, Joan Baez, Amy Grant and Roy Orbison.
With much success as a background musician and singer, Lenny LeBlanc embarked on a solo career. In 1975, he recorded a demo and producer Pete Carr sent a copy to Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records.

A few months later Lenny’s first solo LP was released. Atlantic saw great potential in Lenny and teamed him with Pete Carr. The result was three chart singles, including the top 15 hit “Falling.”
In 1980, LeBlanc became a born-again Christian and began recording Christian-themed music. In 1983, Heartland Records released his first Christian album “Say A Prayer.” In 1987, LeBlanc opened his own recording studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama where he does his own productions as well as others.
LeBlanc continues to write pop and country songs, including hits like “Treat Her Right” for Sawyer Brown and “You First” with Mac McAnally along Christian compositions such as the highly successful “Above All” and “There Is None Like You.”. He still travels nationally and internationally as a Christian artist and serves on the worship team at Faith Church in Florence, Alabama.

His latest project “Love Like No Other” includes a newly recorded version of “Falling”, as well as nine original worship songs. Willie Nelson recorded the Donnie Fritts co-write “Old Timer” on his latest album “God’s Problem Child.”

Tennessee Valley Strummers Performance

The Tennessee Valley Strummers will return to the Florence/Lauderdale Visitor Center in McFarland Park to play folk dulcimer music in the Gallery on Friday, November 17, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The dulcimer, which means “sweet sound,” is a four-stringed instrument developed in the 1700s in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The featured players use a tablature system of playing, based on fret numbers, which enables them to play with others – even if they have never met before.

Visitors are encouraged to join the Strummers in playing as well. Under organizer, Jack Brewer the Tennessee Valley Strummers also play at the Wayne County Welcome Center in Collinwood, Tennessee; Tupelo, Mississippi and local nursing homes. Brewer stated that the group believes tourism and local community have a great impact on the economy. The strummers enjoy playing for locals and interacting with their listeners.

Visitors are encouraged to come out and listen to the music and tour the Center. Admission is free.
For more information call the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Office at 256-740-4141.

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.

Bicentennial Birthday Bash

The City of Florence will celebrate its 200th birthday, and this will kick off almost a year of events as part of this very special occasion. The rain location is the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library.

Florence Wine Fest


Florence Wine Fest is headed back to Downtown Florence, AL for its third year on March 9-10, 2018 and is bigger and better than ever. Make plans to buy your tickets early so that no one in your squad gets left in the dust! Tickets go on sale now.

Florence Wine Fest is a rain or shine annual celebration of wine, food, and community in downtown Florence, AL. Each March, attendees can explore 100+ fantastic wines from around the globe and local food pairings from some of the Shoals’ best chefs all while soaking in the electric atmosphere of historic downtown Florence, AL. Plus, ticket holders will enjoy special events and discounts all weekend long at many participating downtown businesses!

Tickets: www.florencewinefest.com

*Attendees must be 21+ years of age and present valid identification upon entry to the event. All ticket sales are final.

Taste of Downtown: Riverside Restaurant


Riverside Restaurant is a southern diner located right in downtown Florence. Decorated with photos from old westerns and cowboy accessories, this small local owned restaurant even includes a jukebox full of country classics. The restaurant was built somewhere around 1959 and has been in the possession of the current owner for 25 years. Just walking through the front doors takes you back to the year it opened, complete with the mild scent of cigars smoked by their loyal patrons as they enjoy their morning coffee. Children ran and chattered about as their parents spoke cheerfully to someone they hadn’t seen in a long time. It captured the era it was built in perfectly and did not leave anything to be desired or lose any of the downright friendly behavior you would expect from a restaurant of this caliber.


Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can find a classic southern breakfast such as country ham or, if you’re in the mood for supper, could go for a juicy burger. My husband and I went for brunch so I opted for the classic gravy and biscuit combo while he ordered the blt; however, that was no easy choice! There were so many great foods to choose from including top favorites such as catfish or the ribeye steak, I had to work hard to keep my husband from drooling all over the menu. We both got sweet tea and yes, it is as sweet as your grandmother’s. They are open Monday through Thursday from 6:00am to 10:00pm and Friday and Saturday from 6:00am to midnight. You can find them at 111 East Limestone Street in Florence, Alabama. 


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:

The Tennessee Valley Strummers

The Tennessee Valley Strummers will return to the Florence/Lauderdale Visitor Center in McFarland Park to play dulcimer music in the Gallery.

The dulcimer, which means “sweet sound,” is a four-stringed instrument developed in the 1700s in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The featured players use a tablature system of playing, based on fret numbers, which enables them to play with others – even if they have never met before.

Visitors are encouraged to come out and listen to the music and tour the Center.

Trail of Tears

Every third weekend in September, motorcycle enthusiasts from around the United States gather in the Shoals to honor the legacy of Native Americans who were forcibly removed from their homes to live on reservations. The ride, which starts in Bridgeport and ends in Waterloo, is the same route Native Americans were forced to take during the Trail of Tears.