So many activities and events are going on in Mobile County in the coming weeks: breakfasts, luncheons, teas, festivals, open houses, art exhibits, fall bazaars, veterans' honors'--and that's all before the real holiday season kicks off.
In Chickasaw, the Seniors' Early Bird Breakfast is Monday, November 3, 7:30 a.m. at the Civic Center, 224 Grant Street. Hosted by the City Recreation Department, the breakfast is just $3 per person. The food is good and plentiful, and those attending also get to hear a short presentation of upcoming city events, shared by senior aide, Stephanie Stewart.
Tillman's Corner Area Chamber of Commerce business networking luncheon is Wednesday, November 5 at noon at the TC Community Center, 5055 Carol Plantation Road. Guest speaker will be a representative from Zevac & Lindsey, LLC (CPAs) Lunch will be turkey and dressing with sides, tea and dessert provided by The Wilton Caterer.
The members of Saraland Woman's Club are celebrating the organization's 65th anniversary with a tea on Saturday, November 15, 2-4 p.m. The event will be held at the historic clubhouse, 216 Highway 43 in Saraland. All who are interested in the Club and its many charitable and civic events and activities, or perhaps in becoming a member, are invited. RSVP to Kathy Gordon, 251-232-0756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also on November 15, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., the Episcopal Church Women of St. Francis Episcopal Church, 401 Key Street, Dauphin Island, are holding their Annual Fall Bazaar and "Bring your own Yard Sale." There'll be plenty of food to purchase to enjoy lunch there (wonderful chicken salad sandwiches) or frozen casseroles and gumbo to take home for later. Those who would like to bring a table and get rid of their own "white elephants" can call Joan Smith, 861-2552. The fee is minimal and space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The 50-Plus Seniors' Club in Theodore is holding its annual bingo fundraiser at St. Philip Neri's Bingo Hall, 9101 Dauphin Island Parkway, on Sunday, November 16 from noon until 5 p.m. This yearly event features a turkey-and-dressing lunch with all the fixings and then BINGO! including Prize Bingo and special bingo games. Spokesperson T. Ray Aspinwall said that an arts and crafts sale, a bake sale, raffles, 50/50 split-the-pot and cake auctions are also on the agenda. The public is invited.
Last-Friday Art Night Celebration, sponsored by Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Council, is Friday, October 31, 6-8 p.m. This event includes a special Halloween costume contest and featured-artist exhibit, along with the regular art, music, art demonstrations, food, refreshments "and good company," according to Director Kathryn Carver.
And speaking of art and artists, the WGAS (Water Color and Graphic Arts) show at the Urban Emporium, 260 Dauphin Street in downtown Mobile, will remain on exhibit until November 15. So there's still time to view the works of award-winning artists, including Lynda Smith Touart, Barbara Rettig, Janet Hinton, Joyce Shields, Monique McFarland, Clare King and Satomi Kamei,
In Satsuma, A Little Shoppe, 5475 Highway 43, has a very special event on November 5, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Lisa Howell, Sales and Marketing representative, said that during that time, the shop is presenting a "Meet & Greet" with Joan Bradley Reedy, the daughter of Vera Bradley and sister of Barbara Bradley Backgaard to celebrate Vera Bradley's Winter 2014 Launch.
"As Vera Bradley's Brand Ambassador, Joan will enlighten and entertain us with personal anecdotes about Vera Bradley's history, their designs and the remarkable women behind it all," Howell said. The public is invited.
A Little Shoppe Christmas Open House is planned for Saturday, November 8, and Howell reminds potential shoppers that the store is an excellent source for Pandora jewelry. For information, call 679-2988.
Area Pumpkin Patches have just a few more days to invite children and their parents into the "fields" for fun.
At Dauphin Way UMC, Dauphin and Catherine streets, pre-schools and day-care centers can bring little ones for story time Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon. Call Wanda Carlberg, 471-1511 to schedule a visit.
At Tanner Williams UMC, school field trips can be scheduled on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday by calling 778-9283. This Patch is open every day, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. with pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, mums and homemade treats for sale. The last big shebang is Friday, October 31, 6 p.m. when the church will present "Trunk or Treat," offering visitors treats, free hot dogs and drinks.
And down at Dauphin Island, the 7th Annual Trick or Treat will take place October 31, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Green Park. Residents are encouraged to bring a table and chair (maybe even decorate their area a bit) and hand out treats to Island youth.
In Chickasaw, a little different Halloween event is planned. Paddlin' South Kayak and Canoe Rental, along with the City Recreation Department, is sponsoring "Scary Night Kayak Paddle" October 26 and 31. Call 648-2962 for details.
The 29th Annual Alabama Pecan Festival is October 31-November 2 on the campus of Griggs Elementary School and at Tillman's Corner Community Center. The event is one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the state and is listed in Sweet Home Alabama Vacation Guide magazine as the #1 spot to visit in November. For information on the line-up of entertainment and activities, visit www.alabamapecanfestival.com.
In speaking of the success of the Alabama Pecan Festival, one has to look toward the event's organizer and director for the past 3 decades--Billy Bolton. Bolton works tirelessly most of the year securing entertainers and other participants in the Fest, and making sure the word gets out across the state to bring in visitors.
"I grew up picking up pecans," Bolton said, and perhaps that explains his affinity for this festival. But as important as the Fest is to him, it's not all Bolton does to make life better for his neighbors and the area as a whole.
Among his many other activities, Bolton, an auctioneer who lives in west Mobile, serves on the Tillman's Corner Senior Center Advisory Board and on the board of Alabama Department of Senior Services. He's on the board of Mobile County Agriculture and Forestry Museum, is a member of the Alabama Pecan Growers Association and is working to restore several historic homes in the area.
His mission, Bolton said, is "to keep history alive, especially on pecan growing and agriculture."
The 1st of November may seem early for "Mark Your Calendar" or "Save the Date" notes, but several activities are just not to be missed.
One is the 2014 Semmes Christmas Tour of Homes and Tasting Tour, planned for Saturday, December 13. The Homes Tour will be 3-7 p.m. and the Tasting Tour 3-5 p.m. Diane Moore of the sponsoring Semmes Woman's Club said that tickets will be available soon.
Another event, "Semmes Old-Fashioned Christmas," will take place Friday, December 5, 6 p.m. at Semmes Heritage Park. This one is reminiscent of the "It's a Wonderful Life" era, when community life revolved around the church, the school and the public square. For further details on this free event, call Carolyn Owens, 649-2184.