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The Paul W. Bryant High School concert band, and the Eastwood Middle School band will present a spring concert on Thursday, April 17, at 6 p.m. in the PWBHS auditorium.

Our Tuscaloosa students are tremendously talented, and this spring show is an excellent opportunity to come out and support the bands from both of these great schools. Both have outstanding band directors: Cailyx Ladson is the PWBHS band director, and Lauren Brown is the EMS band director.

And best of all? It’s a free event! Hope to see you there!

Photo: Paul W. Bryant High School Facebook


This Saturday, the Druid City Garden Project (DCGP) is sponsoring a hands-on workshop designed to help Tuscaloosa residents create vibrant dirt in their own backyards. This class, titled “Backyard Composting,” will be held at University Place Elementary School on April 19 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

In this workshop, participants will join DCGP’s Garden Manager, Josalyn Randall, to learn how to reduce waste, build soil, manage vermicompost, and create sustainable gardening practices by making compost. Participants will leave this workshop with the skills to begin compost piles at home and get their spring and summer gardens off to a tremendous start with excellent soil.

“Composting is an essential part of growing organically,” said Lindsay Turner DCGP’s executive director. “Every plant lives or dies by the quality of its soil and adding compost is the best way to guarantee a productive garden.”

Any size yard, house, apartment, or office is suitable for composting or vermicomposting, the practices of composting using worms. “Participants will be shocked at how much waste they can divert into their compost systems and at how easy it is,” Turner said.

Compost is often referred to as “Gardener’s Gold,” due to its importance in gardening.

This is the second workshop in DCGP’s series. The final workshop in the spring titled, “Free the Plants! Propagation Techniques for the Home Gardener,” will be on May 17 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

A $20 fee will be charged for participants and students will be charged $10. Contributions will go toward DCGP’s mission and efforts to help diverse communities of Alabama build vibrant food systems.

Interested community members and students are encouraged to reserve their spots in advance by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and should plan to wear clothes that can get dirty. The first workshop that DCGP held last month reached capacity.

For more information on the Druid City Garden Project please contact Lindsay Turner at (205) 523-5450, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit their website at or on the DCGP's Facebook page.


The Junior League of Tuscaloosa has not one, but two major events coming up in the next few weeks! Both offer an excellent opportunity for everyone in our community to support JLT and to have a whole lot of fun doing it.

Annual Dragon Boat Races

First, the annual Dragon Boat Races will be held on Saturday, April 26, at the Cypress Inn on the Black Warrior River. If you haven’t seen the Dragon Boat Races in person, don’t miss this event – it’s so much fun!

Registration for Junior League of Tuscaloosa Dragon Boat Races is open until April 20. Top prizes will be awarded, but the real winners are the beneficiaries – the community programs supported by Junior League of Tuscaloosa, like Holt Elementary School, Junior Achievement and Alabama Reach.
Participants rave about the excitement, friendly competition and community spirit surrounding the sport. Teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer and steersperson race in authentic 46-foot long Chinese dragon boats. Participants must be 15 or older but all levels and physiques can participate, making it the ultimate teambuilding sport, requiring synchronicity and finesse -- more than power to win.

Off the water, team members also compete to raise the most pledges for Junior League of Tuscaloosa and its community partners.

The Dragon Boat Races help fund Junior League of Tuscaloosa’s work in the community. Junior League President Niccole Poole says, “Our organization is different than others because we match our money with manpower. We multiply the impact of our dollars by coupling them with thousands of volunteer hours donated annually by our more than 150 active members.”

More information is online at, or contact Janine Gascoigne at, or call (205) 310-1573.

Sips N’ Stogies

On Saturday, May 3, JLT presents its annual Sips N’ Stogies event, and it’s another excellent way to give back to the community while enjoying wonderful spirits! This year’s Sips N’ Stogies will be held at the Southern Ale House in Tuscaloosa from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are just $20, and the ticket covers five beer/wine tastings. This event is sponsored by Southern Ale House and R&R Cigars.

If you’d like to get tickets to the 2014 Sips N’ Stogies event, you can purchase them online at

Photo credit: The Junior League of Tuscaloosa


Happy A-Day week, DCL readers! That’s right: The annual A-Day game is this Saturday, April 19, and for anyone having football withdrawals, it marks a great time to get a fix. Alabama’s final football practice of the spring promises to be an exciting one, and hopefully everyone will get the chance to hit campus and enjoy the free festivities. If not, know that this year’s A-Day game will be televised by ESPNU.

Kickoff for the A-Day game is 1 p.m., but plenty of fun activities are happening long before the Crimson Tide takes the field at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Locker room tours, a fan zone, and a Walk of Fame Ceremony: Those are just some of the exciting things going on before the spring scrimmage begins. For a complete lineup and information, including traffic and parking info in and around the UA campus, check out and

What should we, as Tide fans, be looking for in Saturday’s game? Which positions are most up in the air? For this, I’d like to introduce all of you to Druid City Living’s sports writer extraordinaire, Stan J.Griffin. Stan knows sports. Stan really knows football. So of course, we wanted Stan to weigh in on what he thinks are the most important things to watch for on the field on Saturday.

Much to Watch For at A-Day This Year

Bryant-Denny should be packed for likely the most intriguing spring game in the Nick Saban era at the Capstone. Of course, the reason for much of this fan frenzy is the still-continuing battle to succeed AJ McCarron at the pivotal quarterback position. While many observers and fans believe that Florida State transfer Jacob Coker will be the frontrunner for the position when he reports in the fall, senior signal-caller Blake Sims has seemingly separated himself quite a bit from other contenders such as redshirt freshman Cooper Bateman and sophomore Alec Morris with his performance during spring practices and in scrimmages held leading up to A-Day. Saban has noted Sims' command of the Tide offense thus far and his decision making, so it will be interesting to see how the quarterback play shapes up Saturday and how it will proceed once Coker is actually on campus.

It will also be worth watching Saturday to see how the Tide offensive line is continuing to develop for this season after an overall uneven campaign in 2013 that began with a dismal effort in the opener against Virginia Tech and ended with another struggle against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama has a good nucleus to build around with key returnees such as right tackle Austin Shepherd, left guard Arie Kouandjio and center Ryan Kelly. Other key parts will likely include sophomore right guard Alphonse Taylor, sophomore Brandon Greene (recently moved from tight end) and senior left tackle Leon Brown. More consistent play from the offensive line will be crucial if Alabama is to reestablish a physical identity which Saban said he felt was lost a bit in 2013, especially during the Tide's season-ending two-game losing streak.

I feel the Alabama secondary will also definitely be an area of intrigue for the Crimson Tide Nation heading into Saturday, especially with the loss of standouts such as Vinnie Sunseri and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. That area took a solid hit with the recent knee injury to sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson, who will not return until the fall at the earliest. While Alabama is fairly deep at the safety position with standout Landon Collins, as well as Geno Smith and Nick Perry among others, cornerback will be a question mark with Jackson's absence. Bradley Sylve and Cyrus Jones are the most experienced cornerbacks currently on hand and it's possible that the Tide may have to rely a great deal on youngsters such as true sophomore Maurice Smith and true freshmen like Marlon Humphrey and Tony Brown to have a huge impact if Bama's overall secondary is to be a formidable one in 2014.

See? Told ya: Stan J. Griffin is an expert when it comes to Alabama football analysis. Stan will be contributing a post-game analysis in the May issue of Druid City Living. Thank you, Stan the Man!

And Roll Tide, everyone.See you on Saturday!

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


Boy Scouts of America Troop No. 7, sponsored by Holy Spirit Catholic Church, recently honored five Scouts who earned the highest rank the BSA offers to Scouts, the Eagle Scout Award. Ozzie Bushery, Jackson Colburn, Robert Hemphill, and Michael Lavender II attend Holy Spirit Catholic High, and Ross O’Rear Jr. attends Northridge High School. Four of these Scouts are part of Troop 7’s Buffalo Patrol, which now boasts a 100-percent advancement rate, as all seven Scouts in the Patrol have now ranked as Eagle.

Each candidate must earn 21 merit badges while planning, developing, and giving leadership to a service project that benefits the community. Bushery held a book drive to replenish the depleted library stacks from the tornado-ravaged Alberta Elementary School. Colburn’s project involved building a loading deck for a truck that is used by Catholic Social Services for donations storage. Hemphill spent several days cleaning up the grounds and refurbishing the landscape of the Holy Spirit Elementary School. Lavender converted the old Weaver-Bolden Library at the Benjamin Barnes YMCA to a computer lab. O’Rear built a pavilion and improved the landscaping at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter’s pet adoption yard.

Bushery is the son of Rebecca and Gary Minder and Steve and Lisa Bushery. Colburn is the son of Dr. William and Lori Colburn. Hemphill is the son of Anne Hemphill. Lavender is the son of Michael and Zelda Lavender. O’Rear is the son of Michael and Melanie O’Rear.


Front row (L to R):   Robert Hemphill and Jackson Colburn

Back row (L to R):  Ross O’Rear Jr., Michael Lavender, and Ozzie Bushery

Photo credit: Laurie Mitchell, Holy Spirit School


Did you know that in 2013 alone, over 10,000 children from West Alabama were treated at Children’s of Alabama? Anyone who’s ever visited this wonderful hospital knows: We are incredibly fortunate to have such dedicated, caring professionals taking care of our community’s children when they need it most. On Monday, April 14, Tuscaloosa can help give back.

For every patron who dines at Jim ‘N Nicks in downtown Tuscaloosa between 5 and 9:30 p.m., Jim ‘N Nicks will donate 10 percent of sales to Children’s of Alabama. Delicious barbecue, for a great cause? Yes, please.

This event also supports the ongoing efforts of the University of Alabama Dance Marathon (UADM), a student group solely dedicated to helping to raise funds to support patients and families associated with  Children’s Hospital of Alabama. To learn more about UADM, visit their official website. Also, follow Children’s of Alabama on Facebook.

Thousands of fans turned out for the first concert of the season at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater on Friday, April 11, enjoying music from country stars Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett and Eric Paslay.

Area residents had a blast, enjoying great tunes and, thankfully, wonderful weather. Gilbert, known for such country hits as “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” “Bottoms Up” and “Country Must Be Country Wide,” played to a sold out crowd of smiling faces, nearly all of whom sang along enthusiastically.

Also on Friday, the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater announced three other major country shows coming to town in upcoming months: Miranda Lambert (Friday, July 11), Jake Owen (August 21) and Darius Rucker (September 18).

For more information on all upcoming concerts and events at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater (including ticket on-sale dates), visit the official website or the Amp's Facebook page (which has some great images from Friday night's big show).

Photo courtesy of the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater on Facebook

Tuscaloosa is once again hosting a major tournament. Just weeks after the big Archery Shooters Association event drew throngs of people to the new Northridge Pavillion, big crowds are expected there for this weekend’s ACO Alabama Cornhole Cup II.

You don’t even have to be a pro to participate in at least one of the planned events. On Friday, April 11, a tournament for non-American Cornhole Organization (ACO) members will be held. If you want to get in, just walk up and buy in to the individual contests, which begin at 6 p.m. Registration for non-ACO members is $40.

Singles and doubles tournaments are planned for Saturday. The singles tournament starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and the doubles tournament should get started around 4 p.m. For more information, you can check out the ACO’s official website.

Now, for those who live near the Northridge Pavillion, the Cornhole Cup event, you need to know a few things about the traffic situation. This, from our friends at the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission (TTSC):

Northridge Road will be closed from the intersection at Ol' Colony Rd to the Oaks Subdivision entrance during event operation hours on Friday and Saturday.

Friday: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Saturday: 6 a.m. - 7 p.m.

If you’re planning on heading out to see all of the cornhole action, you’re encouraged to travel on McFarland Boulevard, and then head north on Watermelon Road, and then east on Ol’ Colony Road to access the event and its parking.

Spectators are encouraged to park at Sokol Park. Participants will be parked along Northridge Road, at Northridge High School and Sokol Park. Limited parking is on-site and will be reserved for VIP/Sponsor/Handicap parking. Additional parking will be on a first come, first serve basis.

The Oaks neighborhood residents are encouraged to enter neighborhood off of Rice Mine Rd. NE or Rice Valley Rd. N. on to Northridge Road and are encouraged to exit the same way.

Have a great time, everyone!

Photo credit: American Cornhole Organization (ACO)