Huntsville’s Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment is nation’s largest private arts facility


Arts and the sciences collide in a beautiful way in Huntsville, Alabama. There are two iconic structures that will greet you when you arrive. The first, a 36 story replica of the Saturn V moon rocket that first took humans into space, and the second, a water tower that lights at night and marks the spot of the nation’s largest private arts facility—-Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment.

We had the opportunity to chat with Dustin Timbrook, Lowe Mill’s Artist and Media Director, about why visitors should  make time for Lowe Mill during their trip to the Rocket City.

Check out what he has to say and why the future is incredibly bright for this former textile mill turned artist colony.

(Q) If you had to pick one thing happening in the near future at Lowe Mill that you are most excited about, what is it and why?

(A) I’m always excited about what’s happening at Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, but in the upcoming year I have more to be excited about than ever. As many have recently learned, our already massive arts facility is in the process of growing by thirty percent due to our expansion into the north wing of the building. During the past years my professional goal has simply been to make Lowe Mill popular in Huntsville, but with this new growth we believe it’s finally time to market our facility as a national destination.

(Q) What’s one fact you don’t think many people realize about Lowe Mill?

(A) The one fact about Lowe Mill that I want people to know is that we are literally the biggest private arts facility in America. I think that Huntsville locals often don’t realize how unique, rare, and impressive this place is simply because it is part of their day-to-day life. Often when something is in our own back yard we naturally assume that everyone else’s yard has the same thing. Let’s be clear though that this is not the case with Lowe Mill. No other American city has a private arts facility with as much working studio space, as many galleries, or as many professional artists as Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment. Huntsville is incredibly special in this regard. 

(Q) Talk to us a little about Lowe Mill’s history. How did it become what it is today?

(A) Lowe Mill was originally a textile mill around the turn of the century and was re-purposed as a shoe factory by General Shoe Company starting at the end of World War II. The mill eventually became a major supplier of combat boots during the Vietnam War. The ‘ARTS & Entertainment’ business of Lowe Mill came into being when Jim Hudson, founder of Research Genetics, decided to convert the building into visitor-friendly private studio spaces based on the popular Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Growth of our arts facility was slow-going at first, but with the vision and investment of the Hudson’s and a lot of hard work from our artistic community, Lowe Mill has blossomed into something I think outsiders could have never predicted. We are a community-focused for-profit business with incredibly affordable rent for artists, a creative culture that encourages and thrives on local and handmade work, and cultural and educational events designed to appeal to people from every walk of life. 

(Q) Give us a pro-tip. What’s the biggest thing that visitors should know about visiting Lowe Mill?

(A) My one pro tip for visitors to Lowe Mill is simple; Engage with our artists! The purpose of this place is for you, the public, to learn about art, media, and craft directly from the professionals who have dedicated their lives to it. We have huge windows in every studio for you to view what our artists are making, but if a studio door is open I promise that artist would rather have you come in and see his or her work up close. You just might discover your next art purchase still sitting on the paint easel. Talk to us! 



About Dustin

Dustin Timbrook is a local artist and the Media Director for Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment. Originally from Montgomery and having received his Bachelors in Fine Art from University of Montevallo, Dustin soon discovered his creative home in Huntsville after moving to the city to teach high school art in 2008. Unsatisfied with teaching, the artist took up studio space during the critical opening of Lowe Mill’s redeveloped 3rd floor. Since that time Dustin’s professional and creative relationship with Lowe Mill has grown in parallel to the evolution of the arts facility. 


Big Spring Crush, Huntsville’s first wine festival, to take place September 27


If you’ve been in Huntsville recently, you know that Huntsville Restaurant Week offered great deals on local food at 39 Huntsville/Madison County eateries. Now, the focus is shifting from great food to something some might prefer even more—-great wine.

But before we get much further into the nitty gritty, we have to emphasize that ticket sales end on September 1. That means if you want to attend, you’re going to want to purchase tickets as soon as possible. Here’s the ticket link.

Now, let’s get back to it.

Big Spring Crush is Huntsville’s first ever wine festival and it is happening this fall—-September 27 to be exact. It’s being organized by the events group HomeGrown Huntsville, which promotes, organizes and creates events unique to the Rocket City.

We spoke with HomeGrown founder Ashley Ryals about the first-time wine festival that is bringing over 200 wines to downtown Huntsville, food trucks, entertainment and more. She gave us the inside scoop so that you have all the information you need to make plans to attend.

Here’s what she told us.

(Q) Tell us what Big Spring Crush is and what attendees can expect.

(A) Huntsville’s first wine festival will take place in Big Spring Park east and will feature over 200 wines, live music, local restaurants, food trucks, a grape stomping area and more!  Your ticket gets you access to the festival, a commemorative wine tasting glass and as much wine as you would like to taste!

(Q)  How did Big Spring Crush come about?

(A) I have wanted to do a wine festival in downtown Huntsville since I started my events business, Homegrown, three years ago.  It has been an accumulation of brainstorms with local wine reps, people who attend my other events and a sounding board of other young professionals that I call “Homegrown’s Roots”. 

(Q) What are you most looking forward to about the festival?

(A) I’m looking forward to seeing the committee’s hard work come to fruition…that and tasting some of the great wines!

(Q) In what ways is this festival unique to Huntsville and North Alabama?

(A) Big Spring Crush is Huntsville’s 1st wine festival and the only wine festival in North Alabama!

(Q) Why should folks plan their vacations to the Rocket City during Big Spring Crush?

(A) It would be a great time for a getaway. Not only is the Big Spring Crush wine festival that Saturday, but The Color Run is coming to Huntsville that morning, which is a 5k run benefiting Huntsville’s Arts Council.  We’ve heard a lot of people are planning to “Run for Wine” which means run the 5k that morning and reward themselves with drinking wine that evening! 

Also, Embassy Suites is offering a discounted room rate for that Friday and Saturday night to anyone that has purchased a Big Spring Crush ticket.  It should be a great weekend in downtown Huntsville!


About Ashley Ryals

Born and raised in Huntsville, Ashley ispassionate about this city and planning quality events.  She collaborates with local businesses and organizations to cultivate signature events that the community can celebrate.  Her company, Homegrown LLC, organizes a popular restaurant tour called Dine & Dash, a local brewery tour called The Beer Hop and is producing Huntsville’s first wine festival in September 2014 called Big Spring Crush.  She is married to Bo Ryals, President of Decisive Intel, and they have a one year old son named Davis.  


Rocket City Tailgate Challenge promises all things football in pre-season tailgate extravaganza


Football season in the South. Aaaah… the sights, sounds..and perhaps most importantly, the smells, are pretty hard to beat. The tailgating experience is a must-do for any visitor. Thankfully, the Von Braun Center is replicating this one-of-a-kind experience ahead of football season. They are calling it the Rocket City Tailgate Challenge.

Presented by the Landers McLarty Group, the Rocket City Tailgate Challenge is a new family event that includes all things tailgating and football at a free expo, cooking competition and football 101 clinic. It is set to take place on Saturday, August 16 inside and around the Propst Arena from 10am-7pm.

The day kicks off with the Rocket City Tailgate Challenge Cooking Competition where individuals from around North Alabama will compete for cash prizes and the chance to win $1,000 payable the charity of their choice (must be a 501C3 company). Registration is $150 per team.

While the cooking competition is heating up outside we’ll have an expo going on inside where you can find anything and everything that you will need to make your football season a success! 

The Football 101 Clinic is for the person that enjoys the social life of football but needs to be taught the rules of the game!!!   You can find all of the details by clicking this link  www.rocketcitytailgate.com as well as a team registration form and a vendor application.

We’ll see you there!



Q&A with CVB Vice President of Conventions Bob Rogers


Huntsville/Madison County CVB VP of Conventions Bob Rogers

We recently sat down with Bob Rogers, the Huntsville/Madison County CVB’s new Vice-President of Conventions, to talk about his excitement and readiness to start a new chapter of his life at the CVB. On the job since June 9, Bob expresses his determination to spread awareness of the Rocket City as a meeting destination and work with meeting planners to ultimately recruit new business to Madison County.

As VP of Conventions, Bob leads the 5-person CVB convention team and work with meeting planners to connect them with venues, provide them with information on all things Huntsville/Madison County, from restaurants to hotels, and recruit conventions and persuade them that the Huntsville/Madison County area is the perfect place for their meeting. To contact Bob, please e-mail brogers@huntsville.org or call 256-551-2230.

"The world doesn’t work on a nine to five anymore, and we’ve got to be ready to assist folks on their time." -CVB Vice President of Conventions Bob Rogers

We are proud to welcome Bob to the CVB family. Here are some highlights from our conversation, providing you with more insight into who Bob is professionally and personally. The first question is below. To see his answer and the full Q&A, click through for the entire blog post.

(Q) Has anything surprised you in the first three weeks at the CVB?

(A) Yeah, just the amount of information. Even though I’ve been here (in Huntsville) since 1988, there’s still a lot to learn. There will always be a lot to learn.

(Q) You were in the hotel business before this job; tell me about how your experience with hotels will help you with your job here at the CVB.

(A) I treat this not as a 280-room hotel, but as a 6,700+-room hotel. I look at it that way, and that’s how my mentality is. We’ll need partners and hotels to help us. We’ll need to go out and get business and take care of the business. We need to help them plan properly.

(Q) What are you looking forward to most as VP of Conventions?

(A) Helping people make their groups and time here as successful as it can be. From a group standpoint, filling in the gaps that aren’t normally busy, on the weekends for instance. Go after business that’ll fill the holes. Also, looking at questions like, “How can we impact the occupancy in the city?”

(Q) How would you describe your work ethic? Why is that important?

(A) Basically my philosophy is to be there when people need me; no matter what it is. Or to be there until the job is done, much to the dismay of my wife. Or maybe she likes it, I don’t know. The world doesn’t work on a nine to five anymore, and we’ve got to be ready to assist folks on their time.

(Q)  What are some wise words that you live by?

(A) “Well done is better than well said.” Ben Franklin said that. I put that on my Twitter for a while. Someone told me it was better than putting a picture of my face up there!

(Q) If you could give a piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

(A)  Plan well, and use all the resources available to you

(Q)  What’s the one thing you want Huntsville/Madison County hospitality industry to know about you that they may not know already?

(A) Oh, I’m an open book with them. We’re here to help them. We’re open to new ideas. We’re open to suggestions. We’re looking forward to working with them.

(Q) Anything else? Is there a fun fact about you, maybe?

(A) Go gators!

What does Bob love most about Huntsville? All of it of course! He does add, “I think the people are what I love most. The environment of Huntsville is great. There are things to do here, lots of things. It’s a fun city with good people in it.”

Bob’s influence on others has been abundant, and yet his gratefulness towards them is nothing shy of noteworthy: “I’ve been very fortunate to have had good people around me throughout my career. They’ve supported me my whole life.” He takes pride in all that he has done, but when asked what his biggest accomplishment is, he chuckles and says, “I’m still looking for it.”

We are looking forward to all that Bob has to offer, and we hope you are just as excited as we are! 

Be sure to follow and tweet Bob at @MeetingBob to ask him any questions or to be graced with his great sense of humor!

What about Bob? A little background

Bob Rogers earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Services at the University of Florida. Working with countless hotels and organizations, Bob has built several groups from the ground up. Working all across the country, Bob is a 30-year veteran with a successful track record in the hospitality and tourism industry.

He has held many leadership positions and received the Pineapple Award in 2004, the Huntsville/Madison County Hospitality Association’s highest honor.



"Three Words: Ghosts, History and Fun"—- a Q &A with Huntsville Ghost Walk’s Jacque Reeves

Although, it’s not quite Halloween, it’s always a great time for a Huntsville Ghost Walk. As Ghost Walk season officially begins in the Rocket City, we want to connect you with our friend Jacque Reeves, founder of these popular tours.

Read on. Perhaps you’ll want to add this to your Huntsville to-do list. We’ve got to admit—-they are pretty cool!


(Q) What’s new about the Ghost Walks this year?

(A) This year, the Huntsville Ghost Walk has put together, by popular demand, a bicycle tour! Our Spooks and Spokes Bicycle Tour is led by veteran tour guide, Wil Elrick, and we have researched entirely new stories. The Spooks and Spokes Bicycle Tour will only run in July and August, and some of the stories will be told in Maple Hill Cemetery, a most beautiful and serene place. We still offer the three walking tours and a trolley tour!

(Q) What can first time “walkers” experience on the Huntsville Ghost Walks?

(A) First time walkers with the Huntsville Ghost Walk will learn a lot of local history. How can one understand that a house or location is haunted if we don’t know who haunts it or why?  We have worked with mediums who communicate with ghosts, and we have been told that the ghosts want us to tell their history. Many of our guests have had encounters and we are happy to share their stories as well. 

(Q) Which Huntsville ghost story told on the Ghost Walk gives you the spooks?

(A) Which stories give us the spooks? We all have our own favorites, but there are three that make me very uncomfortable. One is the place where a man shot two people to death in 1909 for no apparent reason. His ghost is as confused and angry as he was in life. Another is the ghost of a man who haunts the courthouse – angry because he was lynched for the murder of a farmer in 1904. He says, “Yes I did it, but he had it coming to him!” Another is a ghost who rails because he lost his fortune, and thus the respect of his peers, because of something that was his fault. The house, one of the oldest in town, is beautiful, yet it still gives me chills even in the heat of summer!

(Q) In three words, why should folks go on a Ghost Walk this year?

(A) Three words: Ghosts, History, Fun!


Learn more about Jacque

Jacque Reeves, a local author, writes history and crime. She is the president of the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society, curator of the Donnell House in Athens, Associate Editor of Old Tennessee Valley Magazine, and former editor of Huntsville Historical Review and Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society’s Valley Leaves. Jacque has written 12 books, numerous short stories, and commercials. Jacque is the founder of Avalon Tours, and co-founder of Huntsville Ghost Walk and Mischief and Mayhem Tours. 


How Homebrew Fest 2014 turned May into the Rocket City’s Craft Beer month

Event features 25+ homebrews you can’t find anywhere else…for now


Pictured (Left to Right): Homebrew Fest 2014 organizers Eric Robinson, Dan Perry and Jason Sledd

Did you enjoy Rocket City Brewfest last weekend? Well then we’ve got good news for you! The craft brew fun continues this weekend with the Second Annual Homebrew Fest at Straight to Ale on Saturday, May 17 from 3 – 10 p.m.

The event is a partnership between popular Huntsville brewery Straight to Ale and the local homebrew networking group Rocket City Brewers and celebrates the burgeoning craft and home brew scene in the Rocket City.

But don’t get too excited. All of the rules have been followed to the t, and although this event is a celebration of home brewing, all beer will be processed on site. Straight to Ale generously provided the needed ingredients and the i’s have been dotted and t’s crossed by the ABC board.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time for the fun part. If you don’t already know, the Rocket City is bustling with craft beer. From Straight to Ale, to Brew Stooges, Blue Pants, Yellowhammer and much, much more, Huntsville boasts the highest number of craft breweries in the state of Alabama and is quickly becoming the premier craft beer destination in the southeast.

Craft beer is so popular here that we even have a whole weekend dedicated to it in the form of Rocket City Brewfest, which wrapped up its 2014 dates May 9 & 10. Now, thanks to a partnership between Straight to Ale and Rocket City Brewing, May is becoming the Rocket City’s de facto craft beer month, extending the fun of Rocket City Brewfest and allowing folks to taste beers not even on the market yet.

As Jason Sledd, local homebrewer, put it: “Homebrew Fest 2014 represents some of the best home brewed craft beer in North Alabama. Huntsville, AL, is one of the best areas in the state for craft beer.”

Twenty five plus home brewed beverages will be available for tasting. Admission is $5, and the first 500 people get a free souvenir glass for samples. Here’s how it works: On Saturday, May 17, head on over to Straight to Ale (located at 3200 Leeman Ferry Rd SW behind Joe Davis Stadium). At the front, you’ll pay a $5 admission charge and from there will purchase tickets for “pours.” Here’s where your sampling awesome home brews comes in. If you want to taste five local brews, you’ll purchase five tickets for $1 each. If it turns out you want more, simply head on back to the front and purchase additional tickets.

One of the coolest parts? You have a say in potentially picking the next hit beer sold at Straight to Ale. You’ll be able to vote for your “People’s Choice” favorite, and as Jason explains…

“The beer with the most votes may possibly be a future release at Straight to Ale,” said Sledd.

It’s not just all sunshine and beer though, there will be options for the whole family including live music from Divide By Zero and Whiskey Strait, and food from local food trucks On-On TacosEarth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza, and Sugar Belle. The first musical performance will take place around 3:00 with the final act coming on stage around 6 p.m.

Still not sure if this event is for you? We’ll let Dan Perry, co-founder of Straight to Ale Brewery, and Jason Sledd, home brewer, have the final pitch.

“At an event like this, people get to come out and try all of these tremendously creative beers of high quality that they wouldn’t get to try otherwise,” explained Perry.

“If you want to be on the cutting edge of craft brewing in Alabama, this is the event to come to and check out,” said Sledd.


Check out a sneak peek of some the brews you can experience this Saturday!

1. “O’Leary’s Irish Red”, Irish Red Ale, 5%, Eric D. Robinson
2. “Jess’s Extra Special Bitter”, ESB, 6%, Brandon Adams
3. “West Coast Roast BIPA”, Black IPA, 7%, Chris Andrews
4. “Dampfbier”, German Dampfbier, 5%, Jason Sledd
5. “Sledd-O-Matic Watermelon Wheat”, Wheat Ale, 5%, Jason Sledd
6. “Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Amber”, Amber Ale, 6%, Brant Warren
7. “Drink Purty Good Robust Porter”, Robust Porter, 6%, Adam Arnett
8. “Black Dynamite BIPA”, Black IPA, 7%, Matt Lawson
9. “Tennessee Cream Ale”, Cream Ale, 6%, Mike Johnson
10. “Earl’s Original Brown Ale”, Brown Ale, 5.1%, Kevin Pulliam
11. “Special Task Force Unicorn Double IIPA”, Imperial IPA, 8.9%, Kevin Pulliam
12. “D’or Belgique de la Toussaints”, Belgian Golden Strong, 7.4%, Rich Edmondson
13. “Citrusy IPA”, IPA, 6.5%, Drew Winstel
14. “King Richard’s Snickerdoodle Ale”, Winter Specialty Spiced Beer, 6%, Rick Bagwell
15. “Equinox Lager”, Oktoberfest, 5%, Jim Morris
16. “Tallulah Bankhead Belgian Blonde”, Belgian Blonde Ale, 7.2%, Dr. Jeremy Brown
17. “More Fun Blonde”, American Blonde Ale, 6%, Mark Dorner
18. “Imperial Dim Wit”, Imperial Wit, 8.5%, Jeff Miles
19. “Brown Dog Ale”, American Brown Ale, 6%, Chris Chalmers
20. “JT’s Oatmeal Stout”, Oatmeal Stout, 6%, John Tipton
21. “Middle Earth Stout”, Russian Imperial Stout, 9%, Mark Wall
22. “Ginger Peach Hefeweizen”, Hefeweizen, 5.6%, Scott Obermann
23. “Usuale”, American Amber, 7.2%, John Hodges
24. “Alabama Rain”, American Pale Ale, 6.7%, Aubrey Stewart
25. “Todd’s Sour Fruit Ale”, Sour fruit ale, 6%, Todd Swearingen
26. “Drunken Huntsman Brown Porter”, Brown Porter, 5.2%, Randall Montgomery
27. “Vanilla Bourbon Porter”, Porter, 5.2%, Will Freeman
28. “Ole Number Six IIPA”, Imperial IPA, 9.4%, Eric D. Robinson


70 + live performances, STEAM, World Discovery Zone and more at this year’s Panoply Arts Festival April 25 - 27




Every year, Panoply Arts Festival is one of the biggest events in downtown Huntsville and features local and regional art and performances with a global twist. We couldn’t be more excited to have chatted with The Arts Council Executive Director herself, Allison Dillon-Jauken.

Read on to get the insider’s view of Panoply from Dillon-Jauken.

The organization behind Panoply, The Arts Council deserves our rousing standing O for making Panoply a success year after year.

(Q) What’s different about Panoply this year?

(A) This year, we’ve taken a new approach to some old favorites at Panoply. Huntsville is known for innovation in STEM: the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Panoply celebrates Huntsville’s innovative spark by adding the arts to the STEM equation and featuring STEAM-powered interactives for all ages throughout the festival. We’re also returning to festival seating, where patrons bring their own blankets and chairs to enjoy the 70+ live performances at the festival. There are new artists in the Art Marketplace, a revamped international area called the World Discovery Zone and more Arts In Action demonstrations too.

(Q) What’s your favorite thing to do at Panoply?

(A) I get an inside view of the festival, so my favorite memories tend to connect to our amazing volunteers and the work they do on the event. Watching them come together to produce Huntsville’s largest downtown festival is a joy!

(Q) What makes Panoply unique among art festivals in the south?

(A) Last summer, we researched events like Panoply across the nation and found that it is quite unique! Very few festivals like Panoply exist, where visual art, music, cultural exhibitions, hands-on activities and more combine for an affordable ticket price. We are proud to present this gift to the community every year.

(Q) Why should folks make time to attend this year?

(A) Panoply is theSoutheast’s premier arts weekend, celebrating art, music and more, and for $10 (or $7.50 if you buy online early) there’s not a better entertainment value out there! Bring the kids (12 and under get in free) and enjoy this showcase of the local arts scene this weekend in Big Spring Park. Tickets available now at www.artshuntsville.org!


Learn more about Allison Dillon-Jauken, Executive Director of The Arts Council

Allison joined The Arts Council, Inc. in June 2009 as Executive Director, where she oversees all programmatic, education, marketing and financial operations. From 1999 – 2009, Allison served as Managing Director of Nashville Children’s Theatre (NCT). During her tenure at NCT, she expanded the Theatre’s family programming and completed a $6.7 million capital campaign to expand and renovate the Children’s Theatre’s facility. Before joining Nashville Children’s Theatre, Dillon-Jauken was Associate Director of Development for The New 42nd Street – the New York City non-profit organization charged with the redevelopment of 42nd Street’s historic theatres. Her duties at The New 42nd Street included annual fundraising for The New Victory Theatre and the capital campaign for The New 42nd Street Studios. Allison has served on the boards of TYA/USA, Nashville’s Association of Non-Profit Executives, and Nashville’s CABLE, and she is an alumni of Leadership Nashville. Past affiliations include the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Arizona International Youth Arts Festival, and the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre. Allison received an MFA in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University and a BA in Drama from Stanford University. 


Ready for a gold rush? ‘Gold Mountain’ coming to Burritt on the Mountain


If you’ve never experienced Burritt on the Mountain, it is a must-see attraction in Huntsville, Alabama. Not only is Burritt Huntsville’s first and oldest museum, but its constant addition of creative activities as well as its ability to catapult you back in time to see how our ancestors once lived is truly a must-have experience for the whole family. (Not to mention the views! The views of the Tennessee Valley from Burritt on the Mountain are something every visitor should see during their adventure in the Rocket City!)

We caught up with Caroline Kelly, Development Director, at Burritt on the Mountain to get the scoop on what you can expect from them in the coming months…and why you should make Burritt a stop during your visit to Huntsville.

Burritt —- Huntsville’s first museum

"There are three areas of Burritt: The Burritt Mansion, The Historic Park including the Barnyard with authentic animals, and the Nature Trails. The Mansion is very eclectic and boasts various styles of architecture. Dr. Burritt built it in an energy efficient manner before it was cool to do so.  In 1955, he left his home to the City of Huntsville where it  became Huntsville’s first museum. The Historic Park is where we have a variety of homes built primarily in the 1800s. We know a lot about each home. We have restored them to their original state, relocated them here and created a place where visitors can see first-hand how our ancestors lived day to day. Interpreters are here to answer questions and demonstrate activities that 19th century families would have taken part in. We use our Historic Park for field trips, camps, festivals, and everyday visitors. Lastly, our Nature Trails are a wonderful way to hike North Alabama. From our trails, one can access the Huntsville/Madison County LandTrust and the Monte Sano State Park, affording miles of trails at all levels for hiking and biking.”

Breathtaking views of the Rocket City

"With Burritt’s large space, we have created a beautiful attraction including a breathtaking view of the city.  The animals in the barnyard are a blast to visit and we are perfect for multi-generational groups. Stories start to flow when the senior members of a group start to reminisce about growing up around animals, houses, and farm-life such as this."

Can we get a sneak peek of what to expect at Burritt in the coming months?

"We will have camps, an Easter program and Spring Farms Days featuring a County Fair. All of this will be in conjunction with our new program Gold Mountain. What is Gold Mountain, you ask? I’d be happy to tell you!

Gold Mountain – A Treasure Hunt is an exciting, interactive adventure that comes to life in March 2014. Visitors will experience the Alabama Gold Rush of 1829 for themselves. Guests will “arrive” on the stagecoach, shop in the General Store for provisions, build a cabin out of child-size faux logs, pan for gold in the sluice, get hands-on experience with daily chores, enjoy music of the time - all this and more while collecting “gold nuggets” along the way. Visitors won’t want to forget to weigh their gold and stake their claim! This adventure, geared for children ages 3 to 11, will provide hours of family fun and learning while presenting the rough and tumble life of a prospector.”

Happening now at Burritt on the Mountain

"We have field trips, distance learning and home school opportunities available. We will begin a new exhibit in the mansion next month (February) about the Civil Rights Movement in Huntsville during the 1960s."

Like what you’re reading? Become a member!

"Memberships are great values here. For just $75.00 a year, a family can enjoy us year round and get discounts on camps and in our gift shop Josie’s.”

More about the man himself—-Dr. Burritt


In 1955, physician and Huntsville native William Henry Burritt (1869-1955) willed his estate and mansion, known as Round Top Mountain, to the city of Huntsville to create our first museum. The site features Burritt’s eclectic mansion, a historic park with restored nineteenth-century houses, a barnyard with authentic breeds of farm animals, a series of nature trails, and concerts, plays, festivals and exhibits. Our mission is to enhance lives and build community through educational, artistic, and recreational experiences while preserving our heritage, land, and historic structures.

With camps, special events, musical and theatrical heritage, it’s too much to tell you here. Please visit the website at burrittonthemountain.com where you can find fun and educational activities for ages 2 to 100!


Cosmic Carols & Cocoa at the Space & Rocket Center!


The U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) is constantly doing something out of this world. This year, to celebrate the holidays, they have planned an extra special, extra unique event for the whole family. We caught up with Amber Williams, Director of Museum Operations, to get the inside scoop on what to expect.

(Q) What can folks expect at the first Cosmic Carols & Cocoa event at the USSRC?

(A) Guests can expect live musical performances, fun and festive activities such as cookie and ornament decorating, sand art, and story time with Mrs. Claus. We will also be having hot cocoa and showing the movie Elf.

(Q) What’s unique or different about this year’s holiday festivities at the USSRC?

(A) Unlike previous member and guest events, this one is free when you purchase admission to the museum. We will also have a live reading of The Polar Express by none other than Mrs. Claus herself.

(Q) In three words, how would you describe Cosmic Carols and Cocoa?

(A) Free, Fun and Festive!

(Q) Will folks of all ages enjoy?

(A) Of course! Any and all ages will enjoy this holiday treat.

(Q) Anything else you would like to add?

(A) We encourage everyone to come and participate this holiday season. It’s a great chance for family bonding, while experiencing holiday cheer at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.


Amber Williams is the Director of Museum Operations at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center located in Huntsville, AL. Amber has been with the
USSRC for 6 years. She lives in Decatur with her husband and son.


Downtown for the holidays


We thought it was important to give you a good overview of what’s happening in downtown Huntsville during this year’s holiday season, because there is so much going on…and there are some pretty cool things on the horizon as well.

Read on to learn what Macy Chapman, Director of Communications and Branding for Downtown Huntsville, Inc. has to say about what you can expect in beautiful downtown Huntsville.

(Q) What is there to do in downtown Huntsville for the holidays?

(A)There are so many great things offered downtown for the holidays. Santa’s Village is open from Nov. 29- Dec. 23. Downtown 47’s Tinsel Trail is open from Nov. 29- Jan. 1. Ice Skating in the Park at the Museum of Art is open from Nov. 21 - Jan. 5. The Von Braun Center is also offering many different shows and events throughout the holidays as well, so be sure to check their schedule. The great thing about all these events is that they are so close to one another, and any of them would make a fun outing with family or friends. 

(Q) What’s your favorite downtown holiday event that you’ve experienced?

(A) My favorite downtown holiday event that I have experienced is the Tinsel Trail. I love to come out and see all the different trees decorated by local businesses. All the lights from the trees are gorgeous reflecting off the pond! 

(Q) Is there something for everyone downtown this holiday season?

(A) There’s definitely something for everyone. They’re all events that people of every age can enjoy. The kids love to experience Santa’s Village and make cookies with Mrs. Claus. It’s great that the Art Museum gives kids the opportunity to ice skate in a rink outside in such a fun environment. All these events are also in the Entertainment District as well so people are encouraged to grab a drink to go from a local business downtown while also being able to enjoy these events. 

(Q) What’s on the horizon for downtown Huntsville past the holiday season?

(A) There are some really great things on the horizon. I don’t want to give away too much but there’s plenty to look forward to such as a Street Food Season starting up in March and a downtown Pop-Up Putt Putt Course we’ll be calling the Downtown Open. Many more events will be happening as well so be sure to follow Downtown Huntsville, Inc. on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with everything that downtown Huntsville has to offer! 


Macy Chapman serves as the Director of Communications & Branding for Downtown Huntsville, Inc. She was previously an event planner and a social media manager for different small businesses around the country. She received her degree from Hardin-Simmons University and now lives in Huntsville with her husband.