Shelby County Chamber honors local tourism with All-Star Awards

Published 5:54 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – One of the top counties for tourism in the state of Alabama due to amenities offered and travel through Shelby County, The Shelby County Chamber held its annual All-Star Tourism and Recreation Awards luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 5 to celebrate those who continue to leave an impact.

A total of 29 local events, lodging locations, restaurants, attractions and advocates were nominated for this year’s awards with five winners announced in separate categories.

“Shelby County has a brilliant patch work of history, cultural business, attractions, arts and community, making it one of our state’s and nation’s most dynamic counties,” said Shelby County Director of Tourism Kendall Williams. “At Discover Shelby, we are focused on featuring different things around our county, whether it’s our wonderful attractions, hotels, festivals, events and also featuring our communities and municipalities.”

During the luncheon, each nominee was honored and announced before having their picture taken with their awards before the five winners were announced in the categories of Attraction of the Year, Event of the Year, Lodging Facility of the Year, Restaurant of the Year and Advocate of the Year. 

The Attraction of the Year was awarded to the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum. Located in Calera, the venue offers events throughout the year with train rides from the museum that feature themes with different holidays as well as much more.

The annual Liberty Day Festival won this year’s Event of the Year after celebrating its 37th year this past summer. The event takes place the last weekend of June and features music, games, vendors, a parade and much more ahead of the Fourth of July.

Restaurant of the Year was awarded to Oak House in North Shelby County. The restaurant is located in the Town of Mt Laurel and is operated by Travis Grappo with the goal of offering a fine-dining experience in a relaxing environment.

This year’s lodging facility of the year was Fairfield Inn and Suites located in Pelham in the heart of an upbeat area with the Pelham Civic Complex and Oak Mountain Amphitheatre both just behind the facility.

And this year’s Advocate of the Year was the Shelby County Commission with County Manager Chad Scroggins and commissioners Kevin Morris, Jon Parker and Robbie Hayes all in attendance to accept the award.

Those winners were announced from a long list of nominees that included:

-Adventurer’s coffee

-American Village

-Birmingham South RV Park

-Buck Creek Coffee


-Chelsea Community Center

-Columbiana Main Street

-Calera Trunk or Treat Calera Main Street

-Discover Shelby Fest

-Eagle Sports Complex

-Fairfield Inn and suites Pelham

-Farm Company

-Full Moon Pelham

-Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum

-Holidays at the Movies on Ice

-Just a Tish Wine and More

-Liberty Day Festival

-Main Street Tavern

-Mama Coco Cantina

-Montevallo Arts Collaborative

-Oak House


-Orr Park

-Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena

-Pelham Racquet Club

-Rolling Hills Conference Center and RV Park

-Shelby County Commission

-Slice Pizza and Brew

-Tinglewood Festival

Eligibility was based on each nominee being in Shelby County, having a business license in the county and being a participant in Calera Main Street, Chelsea Business Alliance, Columbiana Main Street, Discover Shelby, Montevallo Chamber of Commerce, Montevallo Main Street or The Shelby County Chamber.

Winners were determined by social media engagement, community engagement, information packets and participation in one of the main street, city or county organizations.