Mayor Andy Betterton

March 18, 2021

๐น๐“๐‘œ๐“‡๐‘’๐“ƒ๐’ธ๐‘’ ๐‘…๐’ช๐’ž๐’ฆ๐’ฎ!

Mayor Betterton, Florence City Council Members, and the City of Florence Planning and Community Development Director, Melissa Bailey, announced the launch of the "Florence ROCKS!" relief grant for Florence Arts and Entertainment Industry.

In honor of an industry that has defined our corner of the world and to further our goal of supporting our business community's recovery, it is with much excitement that we announce the development of a new special economic assistance program aptly named "Florence ROCKS!".

More Information...

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Womenโ€™s History Month

Extraordinary Women of Florence-Lauderdale County.

By Lee Freeman, Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, Local History-Genealogy Dept.

Since March is Women's History Month, this month and next month, we'll briefly examine the lives and legacies of a few exceptional women of Florence-Lauderdale.

Mrs. Camilla Madding Coffee (1842-1928). Camilla was born in Lawrence County, Alabama, a daughter of planter Elisha Madding and his wife Eliza M. Camilla's first husband, Dr. James T. Jones (1827-1872), died in 1872 at 45 years old and Camilla married Capt. AD Coffee (1821-1901), a son of Gen. John Coffee (1872-1833), whose first wife, Ann Eliza, died in March of 1871. With her late husband, Camilla was the namesake of Coffee High School in Florence (she donated the land in 1916). Their daughter Eliza Croom Coffee (1879-1904) was the namesake of Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence (Camilla donated that house and property as well, in 1917).

Continue reading about some of the exceptional women of Florence ...

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Thank you, Shoals Young Professionals, for adopting Cypress Creek!

Shoals Young Professionals went above and beyond to adopt a stream! Keep an eye out for upcoming cleanup days to join us in our effort towards a litter-free Cypress Creek.

For more information...

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Let's Travel Again!!

The โ€Diamonds in the Roughโ€ traveling friends want to invite you to join them. Trips are open to the public! For more information...

List of Upcoming Trips

Mackinac Island, Oct 3-9, 2021, $719

Pigeon Forge & Smokey Mountains Show Trip, November 15-19, 2021, $599

Niagara Falls, May 1-7, 2022, $659

Royal Caribbeanโ€™s โ€œOvation of the Seasโ€-Alaskan Cruise, June 2-June 10, 2022

Questions, call Fran at The Club 256.760.6642,

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Calling all Community Organizations ๐Ÿ“ฃ

The University of North Alabama Community Service and Outreach is hosting a volunteer fair on Monday, April 19th, from 11 am-1 pm for National Volunteer Week. Sign up to have a table!

Register Here

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Artistic Renderings of Youth, a juried exhibit of work by 7th through 12th graders

Artists from Colbert, Franklin, and Lauderdale counties are on display at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts in Florence through March 31st, 2021. The exhibit, founded by Florence art educator Jerry Foster, is celebrating its 30th year.

March is nationally recognized as Youth Art Month, and this exhibit provides an opportunity for the community to discover the young artistic talent in our area. The competition is coordinated by middle school and high school art teachers to give students a chance to exhibit their artwork and recognize their talent.

This year artwork representing 19 different schools is exhibited. Ribbons were awarded in three grade divisions: Division 1:7th and 8th grades, Division 2: 9th and 10th grades, and Division 3:11th and 12th grades.

Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts is located at 217 East Tuscaloosa Street in Florence and is open, free of charge, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Sundays 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.Call 256-760-6379 for more information.

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Take a Walk on the Historic Side of Florence

Residents will have an opportunity to โ€œTake a Walk on the Historic Sideโ€ by participating in the annual Walking Tours of Historic Florence April 1 โ€“ 29. Florence/Lauderdale Tourism hosts the walking tours to promote our historic sites, neighborhoods, and unique architecture. A Tour of a different historic location will be featured each Saturday and guided by local historians. The tours begin at 10:00 a.m., are free to the public, and will last approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. More Information...

April 3: Walking Tours of Historic Florence - Florence City Cemetery

April 10: Walking Tours of Historic Florence - Walnut Street Historic District

April 17: Walking Tours of Historic Florence - Forks of Cypress Plantation Site & Cemetery

April 24: Walking Tours of Historic Florence - North Court & Seminary Street

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New Business โ€“ Coming Soon

Dunkinโ€™ Donuts

1531 Florence Blvd.

Dunkinโ€™ Donuts is under construction at 1531 Florence Boulevard, next to McDonaldโ€™s. The company has more than 12,600 restaurants in 40 countries worldwide. Each restaurant offers 50+ varieties of donuts, but you can also enjoy dozens of premium beverages, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and other baked goods. More information...

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The word "renaissance" is an Italian word for "rebirth." In the 14th century in Florence, Italy (Firenze, Italia), a magnificent renaissance began as scholars began to study in-depth the Greek and Roman cultures. The result was an explosion of interest in many fields of endeavor: art, music, architecture, science, mathematics, philosophy, etc. Thus was born the well-known historical period known as the Renaissance. Such famous Florentine natives as daVinci, Michaelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo became part of the everyday conversation throughout the city. Equally astounding, the population of Firenze was approximately 140,000 (roughly the current population of the Shoals area) at that time. Fast forward to Florence, Alabama, in 1987. Because the historical Renaissance had its roots in Firenze, Italia, which is located on the banks of the Arno River, it was a "no brainer" that Florence, named for Firenze and located on the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River, should become the home of Alabama's official Renaissance Faire. In 2011, Darlene and Rick Freemon led a group of 40 people as ambassadors of Florence and its Renaissance Faire on a grand tour of Firenze and other Italian cities. So, the honored Florence-Firenze relationship that began 200 years ago with Signor Ferdinand Sannoner continues to flourish.

--Billy Warren, City Historian

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

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

4:00 p.m. Work Session

5:00 p.m. Council Meeting

City Auditorium

103 South Pine Street

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A little inspiration..

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How to Submit Your Event, News, or Announcement:

  • Public and community events or announcements can be submitted by attaching an email, Word document, PDF, or JPG file suitable for viewing on the web. Include graphics in JPG or PNG if possible.
  • Along with your information, include your name, phone number, event name, location, date and time, and a brief description.
  • IMPORTANT: Please submit your information no later than Tuesday of each week (preferably sooner). Submissions after the deadline will be added to the next week's publication. The newsletter is posted on Thursday afternoon.
  • Send your information to or call Rachel Koonce with questions at 256-760-6494.
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Background photo taken on Seven Mile Island by Johnny Raper