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Depot Days one month away

After being canceled due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the 40th annual Depot Days festival will be returning this year with additional events and festivities. The community-wide celebration will kick-off Sept. 12 and will continue throughout the week, culminating with the festival Saturday.

The Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce president Missy Evans said the benefit of a weeklong celebration is that Depot Days will have something for everyone.

“Every day of the week there are different segments of the community who will have their interests and passions addressed, so we like that,” Evans said.

“I think that it gives everybody in town a way to participate in some way,” volunteer Melanie Burger added. “Not everyone is interested in coming to festival on Saturday but a lot of people will come to the singing on Sunday or Youth Glow Night. Even if you don’t want to come out on Saturday, there will be something for you.”

“One thing that we have worked hard on this year and going forward is making sure this truly a celebration of Hartselle,” Evans said. “We’re trying to make sure that the things that make Hartselle so unique and strong and the things that contribute to our quality of life here are getting highlighted.

To that end, Evans said the entertainment on the main stage is largely local talent.

“We want to celebrate the people who are already doing great things right here in Hartselle,” she said.

Festivities for the 40th annual Depot Days will begin Sept. 12 at the Hartselle Tabernacle with a community worship service. The service will begin at 6 p.m. and is open to all congregations and to the public. Service will be led by Dr. Jerome Ward, and while there will be no community choir this year, several groups and soloists will perform.

Down Memory Lane will take place Monday night at the Hartselle church of Christ where there will be several items of historical significance on display at the church building located on Sparkman Street. Beginning at 6 p.m. the building will be open for members of the community to come in and view the displays and the 100-year timeline of the history of the congregation. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a short video presentation in the auditorium. Refreshments will be provided at the conclusion of the evening in the fellowship hall.

The week-long celebration will continue with a Youth Glow Night that will be held at Depot Main Stage at Railroad and Hickory streets Sept. 15 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The event is open to area youth and will include a devotional led by David Mote with Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“Youth Glow Night will be an amazing opportunity for the kids to come together and have worship and praise music and have a little fun,” Burger said. “We all want to be entertained, and everyone loves a glow stick.”

Depot Days will continue with a community homecoming event at Hartselle High School Sept. 16. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and is open to the community. Hotdogs, hamburgers and s’mores will be provided by the football and band boosters free of charge.

Friday night is homecoming in Hartselle as the Tigers take on Columbia at J.P. Cain Stadium.

The main festivities will take place Sept. 18 in downtown Hartselle and will include a car and tractor show, two children’s areas, an art show, live music and more. The event will take place from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.