Alabama Bicentennial Tea

(From left) Martha Ann Whitt, Davie Williams, Annette Smith, Ashley Barton, Carol Kitchens and Sonja Randle at a planning meeting for the upcoming Alabama Bicentennial Tasting Tea.

Once a new project attracts the interest of creative women, it’s amazing to see how many directions the plans can take. Last week’s meeting for exchanging ideas for the upcoming Alabama Bicentennial Tablescapes/Tasting Tea brought multiple ideas on different levels. The event, scheduled for Sept. 29 from 3-5 p.m., will be in the Ayers Room of the Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County.

The tea will benefit the Alabama Room in the library. Each participating organization will sell tickets for $10. The goal is to raise funds to provide additional genealogical research materials. 

Most of the organizations involved are genealogy-related. They have a special appreciation for the help the Alabama Room provides. But the staff does much more. The room serves those researching local and state history in general. There are also files on clubs and organizations in the area’s present and past. 

The tea is coordinated by the Thomas Blunt Chapter of Colonial Dames in Anniston. A similar event was hosted by the Colonial Dames chapter in Fort Payne, which benefited the DeKalb County library, according to Ashley Barton, president of the Thomas Blunt chapter of Colonial Dames. 

Besides being colorful, educational and varied in subject, each table will have centerpieces, tasty treats and written information that work in harmony with each theme. The table covers are just as likely to be quilts as formal lace and linen. 

The ladies at work have already selected some subjects for their tables. The themes, thus far, are:

• “Alabama, the Beautiful” by the Thomas Blunt Chapter, Colonial Dames.

• “Sweet Home, Alabama” by the Daughters of Indian Wars: a chocolate-themed table.

• “Homespun Alabama” by AlaBenton Society: old-fashioned teacakes and fried pies.

• “Heart of Dixie” by Children of the Confederacy: Southern treats.

• “Stars Fell on Alabama” by Children of the American Revolution.

• “Famous Alabama Women” by  Chinnabee-Fort Strother Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

• “Happy Birthday, Alabama!” by the Alabama Bicentennial Committee of Calhoun County.

• “Alabama: 1861-1865” by Daughters of the Confederacy  

Calhoun County Historical Society: a theme unique to Alabama.

Music relating to Alabama also rises to the occasion. Piano- violin duets and solos will be played by members of the Alabama Youth Symphony.

Limited space is available for organizations interested in participating. If interested, contact Barton at 205-408-5780 or

Veggies and visits at the farmers market


In today’s world where almost anything can be purchased online, farmers markets offer a more social way to buy goods. Markets like this offer a connection to the community, too, because the vendors may be jewelry-makers, craftspeople, beauty product producers and artisans as well as farmers. Going to market is a way to meet new people and learn more about what they do.  

Vegetables, cheese, blackberries, soups and fried pies are just some of the reasons people are finding their way to The Downtown Market from 7-11 a.m. each Saturday in Anniston’s Zinn Park. Between 16 and 20 vendors are there each Saturday.     

“We plan an added feature for each Saturday,” said Michelle Lowery Combs, market coordinator. “We have invited artists to be on hand and musicians to entertain. Rainbow Omega will be with us, too with their indoor and outdoor plants.”

Rainbow Omega has 11 greenhouses as part of its vocational program. The year-round program produces spring plants, ferns, mums and poinsettias, which are sold to the public. 

The Downtown Market will be open through Oct. 31.

Auditions for CAST’s ‘Matilda’

CAST announces “Matilda” auditions Monday at 5:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Anniston (come through the white double doors on 14th Street.) (A first audition was held last week.)

The musical will be directed by Judy Shealy and Brian Rothwell, with Jennie Wall as music director. Show dates are Oct. 3-6.

Auditions are open to anyone ages 9-adult. There are 14 characters plus an ensemble of various personalities. 

Here’s the plot: Matilda is a little girl with mesmerizing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She faces the challenges of her unloving parents and her school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. However, she meets a friend in her schoolteacher, Miss Honey.

Over time, Miss Honey and Matilda have a positive effect on each other’s lives, and Matilda is recognized for her extraordinary personality.

“Matilda” is a Tony Award-winning musical based on a children’s book by Roald Dahl.

Please sign up for an audition time online at

For questions about preparation and character descriptions, email the directors at

Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at