Hi T-Town! Are you ready to celebrate the University of Alabama football team’s amazing national championship? Sweet 16, indeed! That’s just one of the excellent events taking place in and around our area this week. Get ready to Roll with the Tide through the streets of town, everyone – and enjoy all of these other great events too!

Bama Art House Films Presents “All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records”: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m. 'All Things Must Pass' is a documentary that explores the rise and fall of Tower Records, and its legacy forged by its rebellious founder, Russ Solomon. This film is sponsored by Left Hand Soap Company and Oz Music. Tickets: $8 general, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for Arts Council members. Box office opens at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (205) 758-5195 or visit bamatheatre.org.

Free Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop, Red Oak Legal, PC: Wednesday, Jan. 20, 9 to 11:30 a.m. Hotel Capstone, Tuscaloosa. Educational workshop presented by local attorney G. Stephen Wiggins. Topics include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, long-term care, Medicaid qualification, and probate administration. Also, how to protect your assets from:  divorce, remarriage, creditors, bankruptcy, and nursing homes. Registration is required. Call (205) 764-1262 or go to redoaklegalpc.com.

Alabama National Championship Parade and Celebration: Saturday, Jan 23, 10 a.m. The parade begins at Denny Chimes and proceeds down University Boulevard to the north steps of Bryant-Denny Stadium at the Walk of Champions. For more information, visit rolltide.com.

“Calico Street” Troupe Grand Opening: Saturday, Jan. 23, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Northport Civic Center. This exciting stage play for kids (ages 5 to 11) features great programs of unpredictable fun and learning with costumed actors and dancers, lights and music. Admission is free, and parent seating is available. Calico Street will be presented two Saturday mornings each month. Come early to register. For more information, visit calicostreet.com.

Makers Market Sample Saturday: Jan. 23, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Makers Market, downtown Tuscaloosa. Visit the Makers Market for delicious gourmet butters, sauces, relishes, jellies, extracts and more – all homemade here in Tuscaloosa by Sweet Home Chicago. For more information, visit themakersmarketalabama.com.

Stillman College United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Super Viewing Party “An Evening of Stars: Educating Our Future”: Saturday, Jan. 23, 7 p.m. Wynn Humanities and Fine Arts Center - Warner Presentation Room, Stillman College campus. Admittance is by invitation or a $25 minimum donation. Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served. The local Tuscaloosa band, Jus Gruv Entertainment, will provide live music. For more information, call (205) 366-8880.

Breaking Benjamin Unplugged at Druid City Music Hall: Jan. 23, 8 p.m. Druid City Music Hall, The Strip, Tuscaloosa. For more information, visit druidcitymusichall.com.

Richard Shelby Speaks in Tuscaloosa: Monday, Jan. 25, 7:30 a.m. Embassy Suites, Tuscaloosa. U.S. Senator Richard Shelby will speak at the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama’s “Chamber in Session” breakfast. Tickets: $30. For reservations, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For the fourth year in a row, the Northport Police Department is presenting its Citizens Police Academy, and area residents are encouraged to participate. What does this free program entail? This community-oriented program is designed to provide private citizens and members of the business community in the City of Northport with an insider’s perspective of police work.

During the free, seven-week academy, participants will be exposed to several areas that local police officers are involved in on a daily basis. Northport Police Department instructors will cover such things as drugs and drug abuse, traffic stops, criminal investigations, domestic violence and homicides, and more. Participants will be involved in ride-alongs, and get lots of hands-on experiences.

This is it, T-Town: It’s almost here. Soon, Santa will make his annual visit to our fair city, and we’ll all be gathering around holiday tables with friends and family to celebrate Christmas.

Have you finished your shopping? Yes? Well if so, then check out some of these fun events happening around town this week. Obviously with the holiday, this weekly calendar will be slightly thinner than usual – but that’s just because almost everyone will be taking several days off this week to enjoy some much-needed down time.

And if you haven’t finished your shopping, stop reading this immediately. Get the car keys and go shop – and remember to shop local, y’all!

Happy Holidays from everyone at Druid City Living.

Christmas Afloat, the lighted holiday boat parade along the Black Warrior River, is returning to Tuscaloosa and Northport this Saturday, Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. The event, put on by the “Pirates of the Warrior” boat club, had been held annually since 1990, but the April 2011 tornado destroyed so many boats, a three-year hiatus was taken.

“We are proud as a Boat Club to bring Christmas Afloat back to Tuscaloosa,” said Ken DeWitt, chairman of the event. “This has long been a local holiday tradition, but our club was battered hard by the storm in 2011, and we are slowly but surely returning to our former numbers.”

In addition to the lighted boat flotilla, a fireworks show is planned. Earlier this month, the boat club asked for donations toward that effort, and enough money was raised to finance the fireworks display.

May the Force be with you, Tuscaloosa. Gee, can you guess what major event is happening this week? Yeah, Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on Friday but if you aren’t planning on braving the theater crowds to see it in its opening weekend, guess what? You’ve got tons of fun options for things to do all week long, including this weekend. From a Live Nativity scene in Northport to Christmas Afloat on the Black Warrior River to The Mulligan Brothers acoustic performance at the Bama to a special night of bowling at AMF just for stressed out moms, we’re hopping, T-Town!

Enjoy these events, you must.

A TSO Christmas: Dec. 14, 7 p.m. Moody Concert Hall, University of Alabama School of Music, Tuscaloosa. Don’t miss the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra’s annual sold-out classic, which features a myriad of holiday favorites, including sing-alongs and music from Steve Sample. For more information, including tickets, call (205) 752-5515 or visit www.tsoonline.org.

Theatre Tuscaloosa Auditions for “The Glass Menagerie”: Dec 14-15, 6 p.m. Wilson Carr Rehearsal Hall, Bean-Brown Theatre, Shelton State Community College. For more information, call (205) 391-2277.

United Way 2015 Campaign Celebration: Dec. 15, 5:30-7 p.m. Embassy Suites, Tuscaloosa. Join United Way of West Alabama for its 2015 campaign celebration where you'll meet and hear from campaign volunteers and learn West Alabama's fundraising total for the annual United Way campaign. For more information, contact Julie Mann at (205) 345-6640 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2nd Annual Tacky Christmas Sweater and Bowling Mom’s Night Out: Dec. 15, 7 p.m. AMF Bama Lanes, 520 15th Street East, Tuscaloosa. It’s all about bad bowling, questionable fashion choices and lots of laughs! Cost: $12 (two hours of bowling and shoe rental). For more information, visit amf.com/bamalanes.

Holiday Acoustic Night at the Bama Theatre Featuring The Mulligan Brothers: Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. Greensboro Room, Bama Theatre, downtown Tuscaloosa. This event is a benefit for the Druid City Garden Project. Tickets: $15. For more information, visit bamatheatre.org.

United Way of West Alabama (UWWA) will “unwrap” their campaign total during a Campaign Celebration at Embassy Suites (2410 University Blvd.) on Tuesday, December 15th from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

While friends, volunteers and donor s of United Way are anticipating the announcement of whether West Alabama met its record goal of $3.4 million, they can mingle with fellow supporters. Meanwhile, Campaign Chairman Gene “Poodgie” Poole will be working on presenting his “gift” to the crowd. With the help of fellow Campaign Cabinet members, he’ll be rolling out the total at 6:00 p.m.

“We hope everyone will join us to celebrate our campaign total that they all had a hand in raising,” says Jackie Wuska, President and CEO of UWWA. “Even with unfortunate losses of jobs and businesses in our community, we are so grateful to the many individuals who have stepped up to ensure our partner agencies can help community members who are now looking for new jobs or need assistance.”

If you’ve ever thought about having your pet’s photo taken with Santa Claus, now might be a great time to actually get that done. The Humane Society of West Alabama’s annual pet photos with Santa is happening soon at Pet Supplies Plus on McFarland Boulevard.

By Cokie Thompson

 

With Halloween come and gone, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. Some people may not break out their tinsel and stockings until late November, but the Tuscaloosa Community Dancers have been preparing for their Christmas tradition since September.

 

The group will put on their annual performance of The Nutcracker December 3-6 at the Bama Theatre. September may seem early to start dreaming of sugar plums, but artistic director Jenna Wilson said that’s what it takes to get everything ready.

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.