Brundidge throws hat in state’s celebration

Published 8:51 pm Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel announced its promotional plans for 2010, “The Year of Small Towns and Downtowns,” Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage said he knew the citizens of Brundidge would want to throw their hats in the ring.

Each year, the state’s tourism department highlights a certain aspect of Alabama in its yearlong promotional campaigns. Previous years have focused on Alabama, food, history, sports, gardens and outdoors. The tourism department chose to highlight small towns and downtowns in 2010.

Ramage said he likes the idea and thinks the promotion will be good for the individual towns and for all Alabama.

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“We have a lot to be proud of and a lot to celebrate,” Ramage said. “The idea for ‘The Year of the Small Towns and Downtowns’ is exciting and it should bring a lot of people home to Alabama during the yearlong promotion and a lot of visitors, too.”

According to the state tourism department, 215 towns, ranging in size from Mooresville, population 54, to Birmingham, population of 300,000, have scheduled events as part of “The Year of Small Towns and Downtowns.”

Ramage said Brundidge may be a small town but big plans will be made for the town’s homecoming/reunion event.

“Each participating town or city was asked to designate a day or weekend for their homecoming or reunion event,” Ramage said.

“Our biggest community event is the annual Peanut Butter Festival, which we celebrate on the last Saturday in October.

“This year will be the 20th anniversary of the harvest and heritage celebration so it will be a great time for our ‘homecoming’ event.”

Ramage said the city will spearhead the celebration but it will be the participation of the citizens that make it a success.

The Peanut Butter Festival, which is sponsored annually by the Brundidge Historical Society, will be the “centerpiece” for the homecoming event and a gathering and gabbing place for those who come home to Brundidge for the reunion weekend.

“We want to involve the churches, businesses, industries, organizations, schools and clubs in the planning of this event,” Ramage said. “In the coming months, we’ll appoint committees and let them make plans that will enhance the weekend. Hopefully, many of the graduating classes from the 1930s forward will plan reunions during the last weekend in October.

“And, we will encourage participation in the Nutter Butter Parade that is a highlight of the Peanut Butter Festival. An alumni band would be a lot of fun. With all of us working together, this should be a great celebration of our small town and of our home state, Alabama.”