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Archive for the 'Events' Category

Where to Watch Lake Martin’s 4th of July Fireworks

Lake Martin’s 4th of July fireworks at The Amp is the real deal.  In the Alex City Outlook, it’s called “the Southeast’s largest fireworks show.”  Russell Lands puts on the event, and it runs a full thirty minutes, from 9:00 – 9:30 pm.  There are all kinds of ways to see this amazing show, but here is my two cents on my favorite way to watch.

Best Place to Watch Lake Martin fireworks 2I like to watch them, on land, at the amphitheater.

But there are other options . . .

From the water viewing.  A lot of people like to watch from their boat in Kowaliga Bay.  The boats gathered for the show are themselves a beautiful sight – a city of lights on the water, growing as the skies darken.  Some boats stake out their spot early in the evening.  From the boat, it’s a unique, amazing experience.

Fireworks at Lake MartinSome considerations when planning the boat/firework viewing are 1) the possibility of rain or thunderstorm, and 2) the boat traffic when the fireworks are over.  As far as storms go, it’s July.  It happens.  The weather radar on your phone should help you make this decision.

And traffic-wise, it’s dark when the show is over, and there are always those boat drivers who shouldn’t be operating any kind of vehicle in their celebratory (yet patriotic) condition.  If you’re coming from the east side of the lake, make sure you can navigate all the way home in the dark.  If you’ve never done it, it’s harder than you think.  I would also add some words of caution that are best summarized in this post on the Boat US Site:

Boaters: Don’t Let July 4th Be Your Undoing

Another alternative:  If you happen to have a lake home, or have a friend with a home close to the amphitheater and the Kowaliga Bay area, that’s a great option. A lot of people can see the show from their house and don’t have to worry about the drive home.  Call them now and promise to bring them food.

My vote for the best spot to watch the fireworks at Lake Martin is on land, at The AMP.

You can go as early as 4:30 for the concert that begins at 5:30 and features Nationwide Coverage with guests Sid Phelps and The Bank Walkers (click here for the $15 tickets).  You can go just to watch the fireworks and skip the concert – park for free in the amphitheater parking and watch from there.  (See the Outlook article for more info, or click here for The AMP’s website. Please don’t call me!)  You’ll feel the booming down in your guts – there is so much exploding and blowing up in such close proximity.  And it really does last about 30 minutes.

Remember that you have to drive by car to the amphitheater – there is no water access for boaters.

No matter how you view the fireworks this year, please do it safely and responsibly, and have fun!

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What to Do at Lake Martin on the Fourth of July

Are you spending the Independence Day holiday at Lake Martin?  July 4th is kind of a big deal around here.  In addition to all the regular Lake Martin water activities, here are a few other Lake Martin traditions to be a part of this year:

Best Place to Watch Lake Martin Fireworks

4th of July Fireworks Blast Concert and Fireworks

A huge Lake Martin tradition that takes place at The AMP (amphitheater).  Gates open on Friday at 5:30pm, the show starts at 6:30 pm, and the fireworks are at 9:00 pm.  This is a sho-nuff fireworks extravaganza – come prepared to be impressed.  Parking is free and watching the fireworks is free, but the concert is $15.  You can get tickets here.

I made a video of the setup several years ago, and I still think the whole process is really cool:

4th of July Boat Parade

10:00 am on the 4th.  It begins at Kowaliga Marina, crosses under Kowaliga Bridge, turns at Children’s Harbor, and heads back to the marina.  To watch the parade, hop in your boat and check out the contestants.  They’re being judged on all kinds of flag and patriotic-related categories: biggest flag, most flags, tallest flag, most patriotic, etc.  Sometimes they throw candy.  And by all means, enter the parade if that’s your thing.  Registration is free at the Russell Lands marinas. Stop in by July 3rd or call (334) 857-2111.

Elvis at Jim’s Bait Shop

Alas – this is a tradition that has sadly ended.  We used to go to Jim’s on July 3rd and hear The King in the parking lot.  If anyone know where the Elvis impersonator is playing, please let me know.

Elvis at Lake Martin

Floating Food

There’s a new food boat out of Parker Creek marina.  I don’t know much about it, but it’s worth checking out.  If you find it and try it out, let us know!  The Nibbler’s boat (totally separate boat) has some really good food and they’re usually based out of The Ridge marina near the Chimney Rock area.

Crossroads Pancake Breakfast

Thursday, July 3rd.  8-10:30 am at the Arts Cabin at Russell Crossroads.  Last year my dad took us and tried to pay my kids $5 to kiss one of the horses on the mouth while he took a picture.  They declined, but another 10 year old boy at the next table said he’d do it.  And he did. 

Arti Gras

July 5th – Food, crafts and art vendors on the Town Green at Russell Crossroads.  Call (256) 212-1416 for more info.  I guess it’s all day.

4th of July Parade at Blue Creek

The parade begins at 11:00am at the north end of Ponder Camp Road and ends at Niffers on Highway 49.  If you’d like to participate, bring your golf carts, bikes, motorcycles, trucks, etc.  Decorating begins at 10:00am at the top of the hill on Olona Drive.  Any questions contact Mickey Forbus at (334) 329-0905.

Alex City Main Street Farmer’s Market

July 5th. If you’re into farmer’s market items like fresh produce, local honey, etc., the Farmer’s Market in downtown Alexander City is every Saturday morning thru the end of October.  I paid them a visit a couple of summers ago:

Have a fun and safe 4th everyone!  If you’re interested in real estate this week, feel free to give me at call at 334 221 5862.

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24th Annual Alex City Jazz Fest This Weekend!

That’s right, the 2014 Alex City Jazz Fest is June 13th and 14th, and as always, it’s a free weekend of great live music.

If you haven’t been to Jazz Fest before, I know this sounds cliche, but it really is fun for all ages.

Friday night the concert is held outdoors in downtown Alex City.  Bring your lawn chairs and your food and drinks, and enjoy a laid back night of really good music.  Young families enjoy the bands while their kids run around the picnic blanket, groups of friends or coworkers set up amazing food and contest winning table decor, and the hip, young crowd stays late to close it down.

Saturday night is at The Amp overlooking beautiful Lake Martin.  Again, bring your lawn chairs, your coolers, and your blankets, and watch out if my dad tries to dance with you.  A designated driver is a good idea, both nights, and FYI, everyone has to get to The Amp by car.  There is no boat parking at this venue.

And it is FREE, thanks to the many local sponsors who make this happen, year after year.  We’re proud to be a sponsor again this year.

Here’s the schedule for the weekend.  Enjoy!

2014 Alex City Jazz Fest Schedule

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Music for Memorial Day Weekend 2014

You may have heard – this Memorial Day weekend, there will not be a concert at Lake Martin’s AMP.

However, music will abound at three other popular Lake Martin locations: Russell Crossroads, Chuck’s Marina, and Harbor Docks Restaurant. Here’s the basic info; click on the links provided or call the locations if you need more detail.

RXR Fest 2014 at the Crossroads

RXR Fest 2014

This is the first annual, three day musical event that will take place on the Town Green at Russell Crossroads.  The fun starts Friday afternoon from 6:30-9pm, then Saturday from 2:30-9pm, and Sunday from 2-5:30pm.  For more details and their lineup of musicians, click here or call Russell Lands at 256.329.0835.

You can get to Russell Crossroads by car or by boat, and if you haven’t tried the boat route, it’s an adventure in itself.  I’d go by boat, go early, because boat docking is limited at the pick up spot.

Chuck’s Marina Summer Kickoff

Chuck's Marina on Lake Martin, AL

Grab some of Lake Martin’s best pizza at Chuck’s Marina, and celebrate the arrival of summer on Friday night- May 23rd.  Friday night favorites Bryan Jackson & Jake Corey are playing some of the best summer party music from 8-11pm.  You can like Chuck’s on their Facebook page and keep up with events like this all year long.

For more information about Chuck’s Marina, call (256) 825-6871.

Live Music at Harbor Docks

Harbor Docks Restaurant Lake Martin, AL

Harbor Docks Restaurant (next to Anchor Bay Marina) will have live music on their deck beginning at 7pm on Friday and Saturday nights.  On Friday night you’ll find Kenny Herd, and on Saturday night, Alex Craig (formerly of Trotline). For more information about Harbor Docks, call 334-857-3635.

Happy Memorial Day, and enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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Paddle for a Purpose 2014 Race Recap

Paddle boarding is really taking off at Lake Martin, and this past Saturday’s event is proof.   Here’s a quick video from Paddle for a Purpose ‘s one mile race – I put a couple of GoPro cameras on a board because I thought it would be a cool perspective.

It was a well organized event with eighty or so racers, three races (1 mile, 3 mile, 6 mile), and fantastic weather.  Racers came from Florida, Mississippi, and even Kentucky. Hats off to Sharon at Lake Martin Dock Company for another great lake event!  Proceeds from the race went to worthy local cause – Children’s Harbor.

Just a lot of fun on Lake Martin!

FYI – Lake Martin has its own paddle board groupPaddle Lake Martin – that meets a couple times a month to paddle together.  Check them out here on Facebook.

If you need a Lake Martin waterfront home, lot, or condo to go with your paddle board, give me a call at 334  221 5862, and let’s talk real estate.  I’d love to work for you!

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SUP the South Race 3 This Saturday at Lake Martin!

SUP the SouthThe 3rd and final leg of SUP the South’s paddle board triple crown takes places THIS SATURDAY at Children’s Harbor!

 The states of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama will be represented by paddle boarders from Paddle Destin, Mississippi Gulf Coast Paddle and Paddle Lake Martin.  Each race will consist of a 1 mile beginner race, 3 mile rec race and 6 mile elite race.  Around here the race is also known as Paddle for a Purpose, because all proceeds benefit Lake Martin’s Children’s Harbor.

Paddle for a Purpose Lake Martin

ANYONE can enter and there’s still time to register!  It’s a super laid back event – my 11 year old is entering the 1 mile race, and my wife is daring me to enter the 3 mile.   If you haven’t tried paddle boarding yet and you’re curious, bring your family and some chairs and enjoy the morning.  Looks like it’s going to be a “clear and pleasant” 80 degree Saturday at Lake Martin.

To catch you up to speed, here are the race dates & locations:

* March 22nd ~ Destin, Florida (Legendary Yacht Club)
* April 26th ~ Bay St. Louis, Mississippi (Bay-Waveland Yacht Club)
* May 17th ~ Eclectic, Alabama (Children’s Harbor at Lake Martin)

1 Mile Beginner Race ($35.00) ~ Surf Style (Male/Female)

3 Mile Rec ($45.00) ~ Surf Style (Male/Female)

6 Mile Elite ($45.00) ~ Surf Style (Male/Female)

T-Shirt and Lunch will also be provided for all racers.

*ALABAMA – http://www.active.com/eclectic-al/paddle-for-a-purpose-paddleboard-race-2014

Here’s a sneak peak of the shirts for this year’s race and the trophies . . . SUP the South TrophiesAnd I’m taking Lake Martin Voice Realty’s swag bag goodies (c/o Lake Martin Crazy.com) to Sharon at Lake Martin Dock today.  Lake Martin Dock Company puts together this event with Children’s Harbor, and they also sell BOTE Paddle boards.  Saturday will be a great day to demo some paddleboards:

 Paddle Board Race Swag Bag StickerHope to see you there!

If  you don’t have a paddle board, and would like to rent one for the weekend, try calling Anchor Bay Marina at 334-857-2654. Ask for Linda Sharman. They rent paddle boards on Lake Martin, but I am not sure if they are rented out or not. But it’s worth a shot! Let her know John Coley said to call!

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8th Annual Tallapoosa Basin Conference

Tallapoosa Basin Conference 2014Hey Lake Martin Residents!  SAVE THE DATE!

The 8th Annual Tallapoosa Basin Conference

When: Friday, May 30th, 2014
Where: Auburn University Water Resources Center
559 Devall Drive
Auburn University, AL

After a two-year hiatus they have a LOT to talk about!  Check out the lineup of topics:

  an update on FERC relicensing in the Tallapoosa Basin,

  an overview of water quality, biodiversity and university-based research in the Tallapoosa River Basin,

  a presentation on the award-winning environmental education program at Radney Elementary School in Alexander City,

  updates on watershed stewardship activities in the Upper, Middle and Lower Tallapoosa sub-basins, and,

  how-to for basin residents who want to do their part to minimize polluting our streams, rivers and lakes.

Organizers and sponsors for this year’s conference include the Auburn University Water Resources Center, Alabama Water Watch, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and the AU College of Agriculture.  For more information, call 1-888-844-4785.

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A New Paddle for Paddle for a Purpose Race!

Thanks to Sharon Johnston at Lake Martin Dock Co. for getting me back on the water this spring!  I broke my paddle board’s paddle over spring break, and Sharon replaced it for me – no questions asked.  That’s super customer service!

I bought my BOTE paddle board from Lake Martin Dock as a Christmas gift to myself (I mean my family), and I have already tried it out at Lake Martin, at my hunting camp’s fishing pond, and in Florida.  These boards are easy to transport and they allow you to get out on the water, even when it’s still a little chilly.  I installed a simple pulley system to hang it in my garage in town during the winter, and I’m really surprised by the amount of use it’s gotten since Christmas.  Now it’s time to bring it back to the lake!

These boards are like pieces of art, so I took some pics while I was at Lake Martin Dock.  These are some of their newest boards – check these out!  BOTE has a new inflatable board – with a lower price point – and it’s the blue board in the second picture below.

BOTE Paddle Board at Lake Martin Dock - 01

BOTE Paddle Board at Lake Martin Dock - 11BOTE Paddle Board at Lake Martin Dock - 02BOTE Paddle Board at Lake Martin Dock - 05Paddle for a Purpose

And by the way, Lake Martin Dock Co. and Children’s Harbor are teaming up again for the annual Paddle for a Purpose race on Saturday morning, May 17.  You can go to Active.com to register, and all proceeds benefit Children’s Harbor. They have a Paddle for a Purpose Facebook page with more info about the race and paddle boarding at Lake Martin in general.   You can also click here to read about last year’s event.

In the past there have been boards and paddles to demo, so if you’re interested in the sport, but don’t have a paddle board, this is a great time to try one out.  If you buy one, please mention you saw it here on Lake Martin Voice!

Hope to see you there! It’s a lot of fun, and all ages are welcome!

If you can’t make it to the race, but are in to SUP at Lake Martin, see the Paddle Lake Martin Facebook Page.

Paddle for a Purpose Lake Martin

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Horseshoe Bend Art on Display

The Lake Martin community extends beyond the shoreline of Lake Martin, and I love all the history that is a part of our location in central Alabama.  My kids and my wife think I am goofy about this, but I am among the many hundreds if not thousands of people that are excited about the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

Alabama artist,Tommy Moorehead thinks it’s worthy subject matter as well:

Tommy Moorehead Art at Emporium Wine in Alex City, AL

Art by Alabama artist, Tommy Moorehead.

Now through April 5th, Henry Foy’s Gallery 128 at Emporium Wine,  is displaying Mr. Moorehead’s art to commemorate The Bicentennial of The Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Check it out on Facebook. Even my wife, an artist herself, was interested.

Suddenly I am not so nerdy, eh?

The official anniversary proceedings are happening on March 27, 28, and 29th, 2014 at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park (on Highway 49, a couple of miles north of Highway 280 in Dadeville, AL).  For more information, see the Park’s website here.  If you are unfamiliar with the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, it’s only (arguably) the most important early American vs. Native American battle east of the Mississippi. It was the launching pad of many famous Americans like Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, Menewa, and Sam Houston, and it’s right in our backyard at Lake Martin.

I sent a letter to my kids’ school last month to make sure they knew about this event, and to offer my services as possible guide.  The principal sent my letter out school wide, and then informed me that (lucky us!) it is happening during our Spring Break week.  So now, as part of our Spring Break 2014 celebration, we are bringing another fortunate family (or two) to hear the canon, see the encampments, and soak up the history. My kids are not yet convinced that this will be as fun as the beach, but I’m betting I can change their minds a little, or at least have a seed planted of love for our local history.  See you there!

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Thanksgiving At Lake Martin

If you’re spending Thanksgiving at Lake Martin, you should truly be thankful. I can’t imagine a better place to enjoy a long weekend in the fall.

20131127-081901.jpg

I would recommend, if you plan on going out to eat or shopping, that you call ahead to get everyone’s holiday schedules. I can think of a couple of spots like Catherine’s and Springhouse that have abbreviated hours. I am not sure about Oskar’s and Niffer’s and the other spots. Just call ahead.

Shopping – I’ve been seeing a lot of promotions lately for the shops in downtown Alex City. If I were you I would definitely check out the wine and tapas at Henry Foy’s Emporium Wine and Cafe 128. Also I’ve seen promotions from Cloud Nine, Carlisle’s, and Little Black Dress. I don’t mean to leave anyone out here, so google them and give them a call to hear what they have going on this weekend.

I can tell you that one under the radar activity would be a donut run to Alex City. Daylite Donuts has opened up. They are about 150 yards down the road from the KFC. Awesomeness galore. My dad would berate me if I didn’t mention his favorite order – an Apple fritter. He gets them to put it in the microwave for 12 seconds.

To work off the calories, know that the hiking is stellar this time of year. Russell Forest at Russell Crossroads is nice if you prefer dirt roads with a side of Catherine’s coffee. Wind Creek State park is huge – the state’s largest. They have tons of trails or you can wander along the shore for miles. Cherokee Alpine Trails’ two locations on Overlook Road or Smith Mountain will be the most rugged experience but oh so worth it.

Whatever you do and wherever your Thanksgiving takes you, we wish you well.

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