Discover Shelby Fest set for September

Published 12:28 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Arts Council will host the second annual Discover Shelby Fest at Old Mill Square Park and Columbiana Main Street on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The event will feature seven wineries in the second iteration of the event, which has grown measurably in size since its initial outing last year. Unlike its first iteration, it will also seek to make full use of the city’s main street and entertainment district.

“The focal point of the event is to highlight central Alabama winemakers (and) wine producers,” said Bruce Andrews, executive director of the Shelby County Arts Council. “With that being said, it is a wine, food and music festival. We’ll have some art vendors, we’ll have some food trucks and we’ll have some other select vendors. Not only will we have vendors in and around Old Mill Square, but also there will be vendors on main street in Columbiana. Of course, the main street entertainment district will be in full effect as well.”

In May of this year, Columbiana passed a resolution to create an Arts and Entertainment District to coincide with certain events organized by the city which allows attendees to freely walk within the district with open containers of alcohol. Organizers hope that the entertainment district will not only result in an expansion of the event but allow for it to reach its full potential.

“We’re super excited about the event,” said Kendall Williams, Shelby County tourism and events manager. “Any time that we can showcase what we have here in Shelby County, meaning our local wineries and old mill square, and any time we get more people into Columbiana to realize the great assets that we have here is just a win-win for everybody.”

Now with the inclusion of the entertainment district, the event also seeks to include a larger list of wineries, with this year featuring seven of them up, which is up from the previous year’s collection of four.

The Discover Shelby Fest will also feature live music and will see the art council’s gallery open for public viewing along with a kid’s activity tent that will be set up for families to enjoy. The day’s music will include live jazz and blues musicians, some of which teach classes at the arts council, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will conclude with ULA Band taking the stage from 5-7 p.m. for a two-hour tribute to Jimmy Buffett.

“I think it fits into the landscape of what Columbiana and south Shelby County is doing,” Andrews said. “There’s already, in Columbiana specifically, a really big summer festival called Liberty Day and then there’s also a spring festival called Cowboy Day. So, we felt like fall would be a good time to add something and I’m excited about where it is on the calendar and I’m excited about what we’re doing with the wine, food and music.”

Football fans that have noticed the event will occur on a Saturday have nothing to fear as well as the arts council has already made accommodations to set up a large screen at the council’s amphitheater. There, the day’s game will be played so everyone can enjoy the day and not miss their teams out on the field.

Discover Shelby Fest is a free event that all are welcome to attend, but those wishing to take part in the wine tasting will need to purchase wristbands. Attendees can either purchase them in advance at a rate of $20 per person or for $25 per person at the gate. All proceeds raised by the event will benefit the programs at the Shelby County Arts Council.

Those seeking to learn more are encouraged to visit or call 205-669-0044 for more information.