Welcome to December!

Mayor Andy Betterton

December 3, 2020

As we move into the month of December, I ask everyone to enjoy the cheer of the season while remaining diligent in social distancing and wearing a mask. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank our businesses, employees, organizations, and residents for all of your efforts to keep our community safe.

First and foremost, I ask that your thoughts and prayers accompany the 115th Signal Battalion as they were deployed Saturday. We appreciate their willingness to serve and protect us.

Our downtown is beautifully decorated this season thanks to the Florence Downtown Alliance & the many donors, The Florence Urban Forestry Department, the Florence Parks & Recreation Department, the downtown churches, and businesses. Please join us for the Festival of Lights on December 4th at 6:30 pm in Wilson Park or LIVE on the Florence Facebook page. The lighting of the Florence Beautification Christmas Tree on Court Street will follow at 7:00 pm.

On Tuesday morning, I had the privilege of visiting with Hunter Jackson on MY101.5 as he works to STUFF the Bus! The goal is to collect 3,000 presents for students across the Shoals area.

I hope you will participate with me in the many volunteer opportunities and festivities during this holiday season!

Mayor Andy Betterton

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115th Signal Battalion's Deployement

Mayor Andy Betterton and Council Members Jimmy Oliver and Michelle Eubanks had the honor of attending the 115th Signal Battalion’s deployment on Saturday, November 29, at Florence High School! Please remember these men, women, and their families during this time. We are humbled and proud of their dedication to protecting us! Our thoughts and prayers for a quick and safe return are with each of them during this tour!

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Mars Hill Panthers Play For the State Championship

Our Mars Hill Panthers beat Spring Garden as the Northern Division 1A Finalist. They will compete in the State Championship tomorrow. Congratulations Panthers!

When: 2:45 p.m. Friday

Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa

Records: Mars Hill (12-2); Abbeville (12-1)

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Hunter Jackson is living in a bus in the parking lot of Walmart until he collects 3,000 toys for children all across the Shoals Area! Mayor Betterton has been inspired by Hunter’s dedication to our local children since he began this initiative, and this year, he is encouraging our departments to participate. If you would like to donate a toy, Hunter is there 24 hours a day; just knock on the bus door to share the joy.

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Florence Police Department Holiday Blood Drive: 1:00 - 5:00 pm

Join the Florence Police Department in a holiday blood drive on Friday from 1:00 - 5:00 pm at the Florence Lauderdale Coliseum. All donors will have a chance to win a pizza oven, fire pit, and an outdoor heater! Give something that means something!


sponsor code: FPD

Light of the World Weekend

Our beautiful downtown churches are bringing light to our city this year in a new initiative to share light and hope for 2020. Check out the beautifully decorated First Baptist, First Presbyterian, Woodmont Baptist, Trinity Episcopal, First United Methodist, North Wood Methodist, and more! Pictures taken by District 2 Council President Dick Jordan.

Shoals Tinsel Trail Kick Off: 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Florence-Lauderdale Tourism and the Shoals Chamber of Commerce invite you to kick off the Shoals’ Second Tinsel Trail on December 4, 2020 from 5:30-7:30 pm. Holiday music will accompany Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Grand Opening to kick off this event. Masks and social distancing are required. The Tinsel Trail is a display of live Christmas trees on the grounds of the Florence-Lauderdale Visitor Center in McFarland Park. The Tinsel Trail is free, open to the public, and displayed from dust till midnight through January 6. For more information, visit the Tinsel Trail website.

Wilson Park Festival of Lights: 6:30 pm

The Festival of Lights will look a little different this year. The Forest Hills Show Choir will be performing in small groups while wearing masks. Attendees are required to social distance and wear masks. The event will also be Live on Facebook.

Court Street Christmas Tree Lighting and Dedication: 7:00 pm

The tree lighting tradition continues on Court Street thanks to the Florence Beautification Board. This year's beautiful tree will be dedicated to the memory of Linda VanSant. She was a long time member of the board who was instrumental both in the community and in renewing this tradition. The lighting will be held at 7:00 pm on Court Street.

Florence-Lauderdale Animal Services Christmas Market

Chloe's Fund presents a Christmas Market Friday & Saturday at the Florence Lauderdale Animal Services! Check out the baked goods pre-order sheet. There will be a lot of crafts and other goodies! All proceeds go to Chloe's Fund to help sick or injured animals.


Holiday Bike Parade

Bikers will show off their bikes in front of the library while the community enjoys the sights and sounds of this festive holiday evening at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, 350 North Wood Ave, Florence, AL 35630. Learn More...


Florence Downtown Alliance Reverse Christmas Parade: 6:00 - 9:00 pm

The Florence Christmas Parade has been a holiday tradition in Downtown Florence for over fifty years. This year’s tradition will include a new spin to allow participants to enjoy the parade, from the safety of their vehicle. The Downtown Florence Alliance will host the 2020 Christmas Parade of Lights presented by Bank Independent on December 10, 2020. From 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., spectators may drive through Tennessee and Court Streets to view the spectacular display of holiday lights in Downtown Florence. The 2020 Florence Christmas Parade of Lights is a new format this year to ensure social distancing while not forgoing the opportunity to spread holiday cheer.


Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts Holiday Programs for Children

On Saturday, December 12 from 10:00 am until noon, local mixed media artist, Provie Musso, will be teaching a holiday ornament workshop. The workshop is open to children ages 8 to 12 years old who will learn how to craft holiday ornaments using cardboard, recycled materials and found objects. All materials will be supplied.

Programs are free, parents need to call the art center in advance to reserve a place for their child(ren) as we are limiting attendance to allow for social distancing. We ask that all participants to wear a mask to ensure the safety of all guests.

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Florence Nutrition: 764 Cox Creek Pkwy.

The Florence Nutrition team serves healthy shakes, energizing teas, and lots more. Go by and grab a meal replacement shake for breakfast or lunch. The new smoothie and juice bar is located beside Mid South Rentals. Text or call in your order at 205-570-2171.

TytenFit: 711 Thompson St.

Make time for personal wellness by checking out TytenFit. The fitness studio is packed with modern exercise equipment. Personal training and nutrition counseling are provided, as well.

Blvd Nutrition: 1557 Florence Blvd.

The Blvd Nutrition team serves delicious, loaded energy teas and shakes. Go by and grab a meal replacement shake for lunch. They are located on Florence Boulevard near Auto Zone at 1557 Florence Blvd.

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The history of a city can easily be told through its people. Such is definitely true of the illustrious history of Florence; a trip to the Florence Walk of Honor located on the edge of River Heritage Park behind the Shoals Marriott Hotel will verify that fact. There the visitor will find an impressive series of brick pillars with a bronze plaque mounted on each of the pillars’ four sides. Citizens commemorated on these plaques were either born in Florence or Lauderdale County or lived here at least three years. Additionally, they have achieved at the national or international level. Included are educators, musicians, military personnel, philanthropists, scientists, government officials, Pulitzer Prize winners, etc. And it’s an ongoing process: up to four inductees are chosen annually. Visit the Walk of Honor and be prepared to be impressed!

--Billy Warren, City Historian

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Toys for Tots Registration: Saturday, December 5

United Way and Marine Corps League of the Shoals are holding their make-up registration for Toys for Tots on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Please call 211 to schedule your appointment. Learn more..

I Give Because...

The Shoals Nonprofit Center has partnered with the Shoals Chamber of Commerce to extend the "Keep the Cheer Here" initiative. As important as it is to shop local this season, it is equally as important to give locally! Find an organization on the list to support by volunteering or making donations this holiday season! Learn more...

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The Mayor and Council members will hold the next council meeting on

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

4:00 p.m. Work Session

5:00 p.m. Council Meeting

City Auditorium

103 South Pine Street

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A little laugh...

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