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Experience the Great Outdoors with a Family Day at Bucks Pocket State Park

June is National Great Outdoors Month and what better way to kick off summer than a free day of outdoor fun at Buck's Pocket State Park.

One of three state parks located in Marshall County, Bucks Pocket has wooded hiking trails, a campground and picnic area, one the most beautiful lookout points around and some of the nation's best white water. And, on Saturday, May 30th, the park will be alive with activities of all sorts to encourage families to spend a little time together in the outdoors.

The events are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will center in the campground area. There is no fee to attend and no gate fees. Donations however are much appreciated.

For those families who have spent the winter lounging on the couch, take one of the guided nature hikes which will highlight the wildflowers in bloom and are designed to get the heart pumping. For those of you up to the challenge and looking for a "learn and burn" experience, try the power hike to the overlook which will be offered.

Buck's Pocket is shaded and offers the perfect location for a picnic, so pack one and enjoy. Or, bring a fishing pole and fish from the banks. If you are feeling brave, grab your kayak and try out the rapids running along the base of the mountains.

Other activities offered throughout the day include fly fishing demos, a Dutch oven Cooking Demonstration, a snake program offered by Pet Depot, a Bird of Prey program by Rise Raptor Project, a blacksmith demonstration and much more!

The Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau will offer outdoor activities for kids at our booth as well as a scavenger hunt. Participants who complete the scavenger hunt will have the opportunity to register to win a Majestic 3 weekend stay at the Lake Guntersville State Park which includes lodging, meals, and a trip to Cathedral Caverns.

Join us for a rock painting activity and create your very own bug or fish rock.

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Why We Do What We Do

Why We Do What We Do

The fact is, we all need to know the answers to these
questions, in our professional and personal life.

 Ask any marketing professional and you'll see that brand identity is key to success in the business sense. Our job at the CVB is to promote tourism for Marshall County. Lake Guntersville is a huge attraction enjoyed by both locals and visitors, as well as our many attractions, events, and southern hospitality that truly makes Marshall County a unique and enjoyable place!

We at the CVB are very lucky to have a great board of
directors, in which some of them have been on the board longer than most of our
employees have been here. Our board helps govern why we do what we do and how
we do it. They strive to make us a better organization.

Our staff is always looking to better our organization and
grow it so tourism in Marshall County is better than ever.

Where am I going with this? Well, back in August, we
conducted a board retreat, a full day of brainstorming as an organization with
our board of directors and a facilitator, Cynthia Hill, from Decatur. She was
able to get us thinking of where we should be headed, what our main focus
should be, and how to get there.

Great day and great progress! Meet our new mission
statement: Our mission is to stimulate the economy by creating and promoting a unique lesire experience for our overnight guests. In 2013, Marshall County saw employment in the tourism industry up 8 percent with 1,428 jobs directly related to tourism.

So in moving forward, I wanted to give you an update on what
we've been working on this fall:

·Top Eats MC

Top Eats Logo Color Small –A social media campaign encouraging
visitors and locals alike to take photos of their food at Marshall County
restaurants and upload to social media using the hashtag #TopEatsMC. Photos are
also displayed on our website.

·Hosted events such as Aviation Airport
Conference, SPRO Frog & Oakley Big Bass tournaments, boasting around 300
boats each.

SPRO Winners

·Worked with Lake Guntersville Stakeholders to produce
a lake map and educate the public about the TVA rules and regulations on
aquatic plant management.

·Working with the Lake Guntersville State Park to plan the 30th
Anniversary Eagle Awareness Program at the State Park (January-February 2015)
www.alapark.com/lakeguntersville

·Meeting with each city concerning a raise in
surcharge tax on lodging properties. We would work with the cities to split the
additional surcharge tax. Our office is looking to grow our advertising budget
to further promote and recruit new events in the area, having a direct affect
on lodging increase.

·Launched the "Marshall County Bucket List"
campaign in an effort to put a list of all the must-see attractions and events
in the county.

·Assist with the 50th Annual Boaz
Harvest Festival on October 3-4—over 12,000 in attendance!

·Assisted with the 90th Annual DAR
Dedication October 8-10.

·Continuing to promote the Majestic 3 campaign.

Majestic 3 small
Did you know we are the only county in the state with 3 State Parks?! Bucks
Pocket, Cathedral Caverns, and Lake Guntersville State Park. This being the 75th
anniversary of the State Park system in Alabama, make sure you pay homage! Cathedral Caverns boasts over 50,000 visitors a year!

·Nominated Albertville's Main Street Music
Festival for AMLA's Event of the Year—and they won!

Event of the Year Award

Pictured from left to right: John Dersham, Board Chair of AMLA, Ben McGowan and Melody Whitten from the City of Albertville, and Tami Reist, Director of AMLA.

·Announced plans to host a Bassmaster Elite—April
9-12, 2015, among many other great events and tournaments in 2015. For a
complete list visit: www.marshallcountycvb.com

·Attended SEOPA to network with travel writers
and give them info about our area

·Attended and worked the Sunbelt Ag Expo in
Moultrie Expo. This is the country's largest agricultural expo, held the third
week in October, over 1200 vendors are represented. I attended as well as the
Boaz Chamber in an effort to promote Boaz's newly formed festival, the Farm and
Poultry Expo, April 10-11, 2015. We were able to make good contacts with
potential vendors and interested attendees, as well as tell them about the neat
things Marshall County has to offer.

 

So as you can see, things are always busy here at the tourism office! We wear many hats and are always in the business of growing and promoting our county's attractions. We are fortunate to have the lodging properties, restaurants, festivals, attractions, and events throughout the year that have a postive impact on the economy and is a place where memories are made. Whether it's anglers fishing in a tournament or just going fishing for the day, groups coming in for a conference, families vacationing on the lake, thousands coming in for music and craft festivals, people exploring the caves, hiking and biking trails, playing rounds of golf at our four beautiful courses, sampling wine at the local winery, or going back in time at the historical society, you can imagine that it's all an interesting place to see and retreat to, no matter your age or purpose!

Get out and explore the area, take photos, and give us some feedback on what you enjoyed! lake

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Shrimp: My Favorite Summertime Food

peel and eat shrimp

Shrimp are best served the good ole’ fashioned way. Just peel’em and eat’em. At least that is what I thought initially and then I began to think of all my favorite shrimp dishes. Well, I am not so sure anymore.

I mean, I love to eat them battered and deep fried, maybe with a little coconut thrown in, which reminds me of breezy carefree nights at the beach.

coconut shrimp

Or I could sauté them in a little butter and a few spices, toss into a white sauce with my pasta of choice, and a good glass of wine. Suddenly I am thinking date night and cuddling with my hubby.

shrimp and pasta

Or, I could boil them, along with some corn and potatoes, a little sausage and it is amazing how the sounds of New Orleans fill my brain.

shrimp boil

I could crank up the grill and skewer a few with some veggies and have a healthy snack that reminds me of nothing in particular, but makes me feel good that I am eating healthy.

So, I guess I could call myself a shrimp lover. Those little sea creatures just do it for me. They are part of my summer menu at least once a week. Hoping some of you will comment and share your favorite shrimp dishes.

If you are looking to eat them the New Orleans way, join us for Shrimpfest this Saturday at Lake Guntersville State Park #ShrimpfestLakeG. Tickets are only $3 per person. For more info visit http://www.marshallcountycvb.com/what-to-do/upcoming-events#year=2014&month=7&day=24&view=month

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100 Days Until Bassmasters Arrive

November 12 is 100 days prior to the biggest event Marshall County has ever hosted. Yes it is a fishing event, not that anyone should be surprised by that. After all, Lake Guntersville ranks number 4 in Bassmaster Magazine's 100 Best Bass Lakes for 2013.

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Summer is Behind…Fall Forward Into FUN!

Wow–The first day of fall is Sunday! Where has the summer gone? School, football, and cooler weather are a nice change but it’s always bittersweet to say goodbye to the carefree comforts of vacation, dips in the pool, and watermelon and other popular seasonal eats. We asked the question on Facebook the other day of “You know summer is over when ________.” We got several responses, such as “When snow biz closes,” “When Saturdays are spent in front of the TV instead of on the lake,” and “It’s too cold to swim in the lake.”

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Spring Into Action

With the green glazed cars, streets, lake, and everything else that is still long enough to suffer the pollen wrath, we know spring is upon us! Despite the surge of allergies among most residents, spring is a beautiful and eventful time in Marshall County! It is a busy time with prom, graduations, various sporting events, etc., but we wanted to you to be aware of many great events around the county in the next couple of weeks that you won’t want to miss!

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Contact   200 Gunter Avenue | P.O. Box 711 | Guntersville, AL 35976 | (256) 582-7015 | Toll Free: (800) 582-6282