The Anniston Star

March 31, 2015

Life & Arts

One on one with... Allison McElroy, artist

Anniston native Allison McElroy is an art professor at Jacksonville State University. She is one of 26 artists chosen for inclusion in "Women’s Voices: An Artist’s Perspective," a nationally juried art exhibit opening April 2 at the National Association of Women Artists Gallery in New York City. The exhibit, which is also on display in an online gallery, is a project of McElroy was also one of the artists who participated in the one-day-only "pop-up" art gallery held during last week’s Noble Street Festival in downtown Anniston.

  • icon Updated: March 29

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Sunday 03/29/2015
Oxford historical exhibit continues through May
Updated: March 29, 2015 - 1:01 pm

An exhibit at the Oxford Performing Arts Center, "Oxford at the Crossroads of History," will be up through May, according to Jane Batey, president of the Oxford Arts Council.

Our picks for what to do in April
Updated: March 29, 2015 - 12:32 pm

  1. The Anniston Farmers Market makes its debut in its new home, under a big tent in the parking lot behind Anniston City Hall, on April 4. The market will be open Saturday mornings from 7 a.m.-noon, through Oct. 31. For this opening market, expect farmers and vendors to be selling fresh lettuces, kale, collards, cabbage and potatoes, along with Capra Gia goat cheeses, canned veggies, local honey, soap and lotions, and fried pies (which go fast, so get there early). Visit for more information.
  2. Michael Bolton has lost his long locks but not his soulful voice. Knox Concerts presents the pop crooner, known for his covers of Motown and soul classics, on April 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Anniston Performing Arts Center. The show is sold out, but some returned tickets might be available. For ticket information,call Lee Merrill at 256-741-8262 or email
  3. Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band Rhonda Vincent & the Rage will perform April 18 at 7 p.m. at the Oxford Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $15-$35. For information, call 256-241-3322 or visit
  4. CAST community theater’s big musical of the year is "Oklahoma!," the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, which pits cowboys against farmers in the territory of Oklahoma. Performances will be April 23-May 3 at McClellan Theater in Anniston. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students. For information, call 256-820-2278 or visit
  5. The national tour of Montana Repertory Theatre’s adaptation of "The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 20th-century novel masterpiece, stops at the Historic Ritz Theater in Talladega on April 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults, $16 for students, with group discounts for parties of six or more. For ticket information, call 256-315-0000 or visit

PLANT LEGENDS: A brief history of the hosta and its many shapes and sizes
Updated: March 29, 2015 - 12:01 pm

The hosta, the darling of so many gardeners, has a distinguished history in the plant world. Hailing from Asia — the same area of the world as camellias and azaleas — the hosta is known primarily for it magnificent foliage.

April gardening calendar
Updated: March 29, 2015 - 11:47 am


Skits at the annual Revelers Ball poked fun at everything from ‘50 Shades’ to ‘Star Wars’
Updated: March 29, 2015 - 11:32 am

Last month, the Revelers Krewe hosted its annual Revelers Ball at the Anniston Country Club. The theme of the evening was "Good vs. Evil," which allowed Krewe members the opportunity to put an interesting spin on some old (and not-so-old) stories as they performed a series of skits while competing for first-, second- and third-place bragging rights.

Anne Tyler’s remarkable novel about a family’s unremarkable moments
Updated: March 29, 2015 - 11:02 am

Family. Family is, well, family.

I can’t believe I ate the whole thing
Posted: March 29, 2015

Et tu, stomach?

The holiday meal is a chance to eat well and connect with the past
Updated: March 29, 2015 - 10:02 am

Holidays, whether secular or religious, frequently center around a table laden with food. Serving dishes contain family favorites that spark memories of past celebrations, family relationships (good or bad), or crowded kitchens where delicious food was prepared just as the cooks in the family had always done.

10 things to do with your kids in April
Updated: March 29, 2015 - 9:31 am

  1. Enjoy Anniston’s newest entertainment center, Scorpion Zone!, featuring an outdoor track for go-karts. Rides are $6 each. Hours are 2-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday, and noon-9 p.m. Sunday. 2930 McClellan Blvd., Anniston, 256-343-1097,
  2. "Dr. Frog" George Cline will lead an expedition to a frog pond to teach participants how to identify different frog songs. Participants might even get hands-on with a few amphibians! April 4, 6-8 p.m., location TBA. Registration is required; $3 per person. For more info, contact Renee Morrison at or 256-782-8010.
  3. Celebrate the history of Talladega while supporting the preservation of landmarks at the annual "April in Talladega" weekend. In addition to a tour of historic homes, there will be a storyteller sharing the history of the town at Talladega Public Library, a "Taste of Talladega" luncheon at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, a "Ghosts of Talladega" tour at Oak Hill Cemetery, a block party on the Square, and much more. All day April 10-11. For tickets and more info, visit or call 256-362-9075.
  4. The 5K Race to Solve the Puzzle & Walk for Autism benefits the Autism Society of Alabama. Autism is a developmental disability that affects tens of thousands of Alabama residents, especially children. Sign up to run or walk, or make a donation only. April 11, 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., 1301 Woodstock Ave., Anniston. Registration is $35 for ages 11 and up, $25 for ages 10 and under at
  5. Heather Montgomery, popular children’s non-fiction author ("How to Survive an Earthquake") and environmental educator, will lead a family-friendly hike around the forest above Little River Canyon in Fort Payne. Along the way, Montgomery will teach participants how to ask questions and observe the smaller things of nature. April 11, 10-11 a.m. Registration is $5 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under; required by April 7. For more info, contact Renee Morrison at or 256-782-8010.
  6. Laissez les bon temps rouler! Head to Railroad Park in Birmingham for the annual Girls Inc. Cajun Cook-Off. This family-friendly event supports Girls Inc. of Central Alabama, an organization that provides area girls with educational activities and inspiration, as well as a scholarship fund for eligible members. Attendees taste and vote on their favorites in the categories of dessert, gumbo, jambalaya, open Cajun, People’s Choice, professional open Cajun and team spirit (determined by costumes, tent decorations and enthusiasm). April 11, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Railroad Park, 1600 First Ave., Birmingham. Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for ages 4-10, free for ages 3 and under. Tickets include food samples, kids activities, live music from Ray Reach Band and nonalcoholic drinks. Advance tickets may be purchased from Girls Inc. representatives or online at
  7. In the vein of the popular "Color Run" races, the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce and Alabama Power are sponsoring the Whirlwind of Color 5K in Jacksonville. Participants begin the 5K dressed in white; at predetermined locations along the race route, racers are splashed with colored paints. All ages are welcome to run or walk the route; each racer will receive a white T-shirt and "other color goodies." Bandanas (to cover mouths) and sunglasses (to protect eyes) are recommended. April 18, 8 a.m., Jacksonville Community Center, 501 Alexandria Road SW. Entry fee is $25 (entrants ages 5 and younger are free if racing with a pre-registered adult). For more info, contact Emily Duncan at 256-237-3536 or
  8. The first annual Blue Eye Creek Festival in Lincoln will include an archery tournament, an arts and crafts show, a Birdieball golf tournament, a hushpuppy cook-off, live music and two youth fishing derbies (ages 3-7 and ages 8-12). April 18, 9 a.m., Blue Eye Creek, Lincoln Park and Randolph Park (all located in Lincoln). Lincoln Department of Parks and Recreation, 205-763-1006.
  9. Earth Day is coming! The Anniston Museum of Natural History throws an Earth Day Celebration on April 18 that includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the live animal facility and a rain barrel workshop led by environmental consultant Jennifer Yates. In addition to learning how to set up a rain barrel, participants can observe the museum’s 3,000-gallon rain barrel. Registration is required for the workshop; fee is $35 per person and includes the cost of the rain barrel each participant will make during the workshop. 256-237-6766 or visit
  10. Birmingham Children’s Theatre stops at the Oxford Performing Arts Center to present the musical "Play to Win," based on the life of Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. Robinson is highly regarded for his talent and for being the first black MLB player of the "modern era" of baseball. This musical is geared toward younger patrons, but all lovers of the theater can enjoy this American underdog story. April 24, 9-10 a.m., Oxford Performing Arts Center, 100 Choccolocco St. Tickets are $5. 256-241-3322,

Friday 03/27/2015
Is plastic surgery a sin?
Updated: March 27, 2015 - 10:01 am

True beauty isn’t about looks

Wednesday 03/25/2015
Everything’s better with bacon
Updated: March 25, 2015 - 10:04 am

Time spent in the kitchen with my niece, Marcella, has always been a special time of culinary fun. She lives in Bryant, Ark., so our time together is limited. When I come home from one of our visits, I have many new recipes to try, because we always sit up late at night going through hundreds of cookbooks searching for unique recipes. When we find one, we like to add our special touch to it. Marcella loves to cook and has a very creative mind.

Monday 03/23/2015
10 questions with ... Brian Rothwell, Shakespearian director
Updated: March 23, 2015 - 12:15 pm

Anniston native Brian Rothwell makes his CAST community theater directorial debut March 26 with "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)," a fast-paced comedy in which three actors run through all 37 of the Bard’s plays in 97 minutes.

Sunday 03/22/2015
36 hours in Anniston: A jam-packed weekend, from the first farmers market to pro bike races to the Noble Street Festival
Updated: March 23, 2015 - 6:51 pm

The Noble Street Festival and Sunny King Criterium – always the biggest street party in Anniston – are happening early this year, on March 28. But that doesn’t keep this coming weekend from being one of the most crowded in recent memory. Not only is there a food and music festival and a day’s worth of professional bike races in downtown Anniston, this weekend also sees a free concert with Blues Traveler, the opening of the downtown farmers’ market, and bike races and foot races for the rest of us. Grab some carbs and 3, 2, 1, go!

CAST theater announces new, edgier season for 2015-16
Updated: March 22, 2015 - 10:30 am

CAST community theater is planning a 2015-16 season with not only new offerings, but new venues.

DONNA BARTON'S SMALLTALK: A priest and a civil engineer got on a cruise ship ...
Updated: March 22, 2015 - 9:32 am

When it comes time to plan a vacation, Rev. Lee Shafer finds cruising to be particularly attractive. “When I am on a ship in the middle of the ocean, I cannot be reached,” she said. “And that is good and necessary for me, and it is good and necessary for the folks at the church.”  

ARTISTS IN ACTION: Young cellist wins new instrument
Updated: March 22, 2015 - 8:30 am

The most precious treasures come in small packages, it’s been said. But not so with a package that Glencoe High School sophomore Alex Dilly is waiting to receive. Dilly will soon be unwrapping a package containing a top quality cello as one of three U.S. winners of new instruments provided by Dalton Potter, owner of Potter’s Violins in Bethesda, Md.

BRETT BUCKNER: My mid-life crisis is a fitness app
Updated: March 22, 2015 - 8:03 am

Unlike The Who, I’ve decided not to die before I get old.

Saturday 03/21/2015
10 things to do with the kids on spring break
Updated: March 21, 2015 - 12:36 pm

1. Enjoy Anniston’s newest entertainment center, Scorpion Zone!, featuring an outdoor track for go-karts. It's scheduled to open the week of March 23; call and doublecheck before you head out. Rides are $6 each. Hours are 2-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday, and noon-9 p.m. Sunday. 2930 McClellan Blvd., Anniston,

Friday 03/20/2015
Blues Traveler has come a long way since the ’90s, and now they’re coming to Anniston for a free concert
Updated: March 22, 2015 - 12:16 pm

When a band has been in the music business for nearly three decades, it’s only natural that a little restructuring would happen from time to time. Bands grow and change and their sound becomes more distinct and mature.

Heck, no: Fire and brimstone don’t scare people like they used to
Updated: March 20, 2015 - 6:36 pm

JoAnne Kettle dreamed of hell.

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