Helena Magazine

My Helena: Cris Nelson, former City Council president and Helena’s 2023 recipient of the Lifetime Volunteer Award

Published 9:08 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

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Cris Nelson, former City Council president and Helena’s 2023 recipient of the Lifetime Volunteer Award, talks many of the reasons why she loves the city she has dedicated herself to.

Buck Creek Festival

Helena’s premier community festival

This is an event that has deep roots in the City of Helena as it has grown over the many years.  BCF is near and dear to my heart as I was one of the team members for 18 years.  It has brought tens of thousands of attendees over the years and was the model for other cities to start their own city festival.  The festival continues to excite everyone that attends where they are the headliner for the bands or the winner of the rubber duck race!

Helena Schools

A great education for our children

When my children first started elementary school, it was Helena Elementary.  The next step up was Riverchase Middle School and then Pelham High School.  Now the city can proudly boast that we have 4 Shelby County Schools within our city limits and our kids will get one of the best educations available to them.  The team spirit for the Huskies is reflected in each grade level, at each school.  Everyone chants “Go Huskies” throughout the city during Homecoming week!

The Caboose

Make it your first stop in Helena

The little red caboose in Old Town is the Welcome Center for all visitors and residents.  On any given morning you can catch Major Dundee serving coffee and chatting with the regulars that want to hang out for a while.  Puzzles are available for those enthusiasts and Fridays are donut days supplied by the Major.  The Caboose and the waterfall of Buck Creek are one of the most photographed areas in the city.

Free Events

These events make Helena the very special place we all want to be

Helena has a very devoted group of people that volunteer countless hours to bring free family entertainment to our residents and guests.  You can get first class entertainment with the Buck Creek Festival and Old Town Live.  The Helena Market Days gives you fresh fruits and veggies during the summer.  The Christmas Tree Lighting and Christmas parade were awesome last year.  The 4th of July celebration has some of the best fireworks to be seen.  All these events have busy little bees working in the background to make Helena the special place where we all want to be.  Next time you are at one of these events, be sure to tell one of team members thank you for what they are doing.  Not many cities are as fortunate as we are to have such awesome volunteers.

The Deck at Beef O’Brady’s or The Depot

Outdoor dining experiences with a view

Both restaurants have outdoor dining and during the Spring, Summer or Fall, it is one of the best places to have a meal and enjoy good company.  There is something very soothing about the sound of the falls.