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11/05/2013 – SAD NEWS – Lawrence County’s Signature Spring Event Comes to an End

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Vicki Morese, Event Coordinator
Alabama Chicken and Egg Festival
PHONE: 256.905.0700
vicki@alabamachickenandeggfestival.com

Lawrence County’s Signature Spring Event Comes to an End

Moulton, Alabama (November 4, 2013) – The Board of Directors of the Lawrence County Arts Council announces the Alabama Chicken and Egg Festival (ACEF) has come to an end after a nine year run. The idea of the festival hatched under Event Chairwoman Kathy Graham in 2004 when she was the president of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and Vicki Morese was the Executive Director of the Chamber. The first festival in 2005 attracted approximately 12,000 people and quickly became a much-loved tradition for many with nearly 20,000 in attendance at the 2013 event. “It has become increasingly difficult to coordinate and plan the event to a professional level expected from our patrons. We have outgrown our volunteer, logistic and financial resources,” stated Morese.

In nine years, the ACEF has evolved as one of the top events in the southeastern United States. The Southeast Tourism Society named it a Top 20 Events for April 2013. Founded in 1983, the Southeast Tourism Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of tourism to its 12 member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

In 2011, the Alabama Tourism Department named the festival as one of 50 must-see music festivals, and in 2012, it caught the attention of state tourism leaders again and was named one of 25 top food events. The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association named ACEF Event Coordinator Vicki Morese Tourism Professional of the Year in 2007 and she received the Citizen of the Year award in 2011 from the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

“We are happy in what we have accomplished in just nine short years. From seeing families spend quality time together to introducing arts to the students of Lawrence County, the ACEF has had a positive impact on the Moulton community,” said Morese. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you to the volunteers, sponsors, and the community for supporting the festival over the past nine years.”

Proceeds from the ACEF benefit the Lawrence County Arts Council (LCAC), an organization dedicated to providing the communities of Lawrence County with a broad range of visual, literary, and performing arts and cultural experiences.

Since inception of the festival, the LCAC has conducted in-school art education programs in Lawrence County schools by bringing musicians, theater, and art programs to students at no cost to educators or students in the week leading up to the ACEF. Festival organizers have also arranged for Master classes in blues guitar and music for students and have provided workshops on puppetry and their use in lesson plans to teachers. Past programs include a music education assembly by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a young African-American string band who has been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered;” “Riverboat John” Ferguson, a “True American Minstrel and Folk Lore Storyteller;” Wood and Strings Puppet Theatre, a professional, national touring company featuring extraordinary use of puppetry styles from around the world; “Mrs. Kate” Carpenter, folksinger, songwriter, and storyteller from Callahan, Florida; and Pied Piper of Percussion Steve Gryb of Miami, Florida. Each of these entertainers also performed during the ACEF for the entire community to enjoy.

In August, the LCAC presented $20,000 to the Lawrence County School System for the creation of an after-school fine arts program for high school students in Lawrence County beginning with the 2013-14 school year. The Lawrence Extended Arts Program, or LEAP, launched in August offering guitar, drama, and graphic design classes. According to Morese, the Lawrence County Arts Council will continue to function and will continue to raise money and write grants for art programs in Lawrence County schools. “We will continue to partner with Superintendent Grimes in the LEAP program and coordination of the Agricultural Career Day and assist in funding the program as long as we have the resources,” stated Morese.

For more information on the ACEF or the Lawrence County Arts Council, contact Morese at 256.905.0700.

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Written by 49 County News.Net

November 5, 2013 at 2:37 PM

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