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Depot Days offers a week of family fun, music

Joy Haynes

Hartselle Enquirer


The entire community knows Depot Days as the Saturday festival with food, music and fun, but not everyone knows there’s an entire week of community events before the weekend.

The 35th annual Depot Days will kick-off with the sixth annual Depot Days Tourism Pageant Sat., Sept. 12. Appliciations for this preliminary for the Alabama Miss World’s Tourism Pageant will be due by Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. The pageant is open to girls from birth to age 18. It will be held at the Sparkman Civic Center, and last year’s queens will be on hand to crown the next winners in each category.

The first Hartselle Lions Club Depot Days 5k Zombie Chase will be at 7 p.m. Sat., Sept. 12 near the high school baseball field at Sparkman Park. Participants can enter as a zombie or a runner. Runners will be given two flags representing their lives that zombies will be trying to capture. Those who cross the finish line are survivors while those without flags are infected. Registration begins at 5 p.m.

The annual community worship service will be Sun., Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. East Highland Baptist Church will host an evening of hymns and gospel music. This event is hosted by the Hartselle Ministerial Association, and a love offering will be taken up to help transients with gas and food as they pass through Hartselle.

Monday evening, Sept. 14, will feature the Hartselle Historical Society’s Down Memory Lane. This year’s theme is “City Offices Handed Down and Passed Around.” The “behind the scenes” look at Hartselle’s  city servants will be at the Hartselle Fine Arts Center with displays opening at 5:30 p.m. and the program starting at 7 p.m. Displays will include memorabilia and relics from each of the city’s departments, the U.S. Post Office, the Alabama Co-Operative Extension Center and the CCC Camp.

Hartselle’s many musically talented residents will be featured Tuesday evening, Sept. 15. Everyone is invited to the first Musical Variety Show- Hartselle Style at the Hartselle High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Music styles will include gospel, country, quartet, blue grass, instrumental, theatrical and more. Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce president Susan Hines said this is the start of a fun new addition to Depot Days.

“We tried to provide as large of a variety of music as possible, so we feel sure everyone will enjoy the talent we have found,” Hines said. “We want this show to grow into something bigger, but this year is going to be great. This addition helps finish out our week, so we can get the community together almost every night of the week leading up to Depot Days. There’s so much for the entire family, which is what Depot Days is all about.”

Thursday evening will offer more music from the Hartselle City Schools’ choirs. The Hartselle Junior High and Intermediate School choral departments will present their first concert of the year Thur., Sept. 17, in the HHS auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. All choirs will be under the direction of Sarah Shifron.

The Hartselle Kiwanis Club will sponsor the Hartselle Half Marathon Sat., Sept. 19. The registration deadline is Sept. 14, and it is available online at The shotgun start will be at 7 a.m. at Quail Creek Resort.

Sat., Sept. 19, will also be the community Depot Days festival downtown. The festival will host numerous vendors and booths, a tractor show, entertainment and the 25th annual car, truck and motorcycle show. Children can enjoy an inflatable children’s area full of slides, moonwalks, obstacle courses and more. The Huntsville Community Drumline  will perform throughout downtown from 10 a.m. to noon.

Live music will be available throughout the day at two stages at E.A.R.T.H. Park and on Railroad Street across from the Chamber.  Performers will include Ally Burgess, Garret Dean Music, Mary Elizabeth Hilliar, Apostle Creed, Ben Parker Project, Matt Hill & Sons, Benny and Katrina Austin, Will Sterling Band, Ray Sparks Band and more. A complete line-up with times and locations can be found in the Hartselle Enquirer’s upcoming Depot Days guide, which will be in papers Sept. 9.

Additional entertainment will be the third annual performance of The Great Hartselle Bank Robbery of 1926 at the Hartselle Fine Arts Center. The play written by Martine Bates Sharp is a theatrical interpretation of historical events that took place in downtown Hartselle. College Street Players is sponsoring the free event that will be performed at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. Seating is limited to 125 people per performance, and doors will open 30 minutes prior to show time. Dena Nagel is the show’s director.

Hartselle High School drum major Ally Burgess performs at last year’s Depot Days. She will perform Sept. 19. | Special to the Enquirer
Hartselle High School drum major Ally Burgess performs at last year’s Depot Days. She will perform Sept. 19. | Special to the Enquirer
Willa Harris, 3, checks out last year’s Depot Days festival with her grandmother and sister. | Special to the Enquirer
Willa Harris, 3, checks out last year’s Depot Days festival with her grandmother and sister. | Special to the Enquirer