Black Belt has much to offer tourists

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, May 23, 2024

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An Editorial Opinion of The Lowndes Signal

The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association reports that tourism in Alabama’s 23 Black Belt counties generated more than $3 billion in 2023, providing a whopping 45,500 jobs in the regions which includes Butler, Lowndes and Crenshaw counties.

Locals are proud to know that people from all over the country travel to the area to feast on the abundance of good food, warm hospitality and beautiful landscapes available. Each community boasts something worth visiting and a few keep visitors coming back year after year for a taste of local flavor.

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Priesters Pecans draws return shoppers who make a point to stop by during every southbound trip so have lunch, shop the store’s wide selection of handmade candies and pause for a photo opportunity at one of several displays set up just for that purpose.

Meanwhile, just up the road off U.S. Interstate Highway 65, the Georgianna Opry House hosts the Hank Williams, Sr. festival to honor the legacy of one of country music’s most beloved legends. This year’s festival, slated for May 31 – June 1, will feature long-time favorites like Diamond Rio and is keeping Hank’s memory alive in the community where he grew up for the 45th year.

Further south, Crenshaw County boasts something every weekend and travelers motoring along U.S. Highway 331 can veer off the beaten path to events like the Festival at the Well in Glenwood, the monthly Sardis Farm Swap or one of many seasonal events at Southridge Winery.

One does not have to look far to find something of interest happening locally, not to mention the opportunities for hunting, fishing, antiquing and sampling a bit of soul food that abound in our small towns. 

It is hardly any surprise that tourism pumped $750 million into rural county economies in 2023. Our communities are doing something right and it is paying off.