Celebrate George Washington’s Birthday at the American Village

Cupcakes at George Washingtons Birthday

Are We There Yet?

In a day of family fun, patriotic music and birthday cake, the American Village in Montevallo will celebrate the 291st birthday of the Father of our Country, George Washington, on Monday, February 20.

Washington’s birthday holds special meaning for the American Village. The land on Highway 119 in Montevallo where the American Village campus is now located was purchased on Washington’s birthday, and their first school program began on Washington’s birthday. 

Colonial Women at American Village
Join the American Village in celebrating George Washington’s 291st birthday on February 20. The American Village is located at 3727 Hwy. 119, Montevallo, 35115.

Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington’s birthday of February 22, the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, past and present.

Cupcakes at George Washingtons BirthdayVisitors to the American Village on President’s Day will enjoy family-friendly activities with their staff of costumed historical interpreters from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and can share birthday cake with George Washington at noon. This year’s celebration includes a very special patriotic music concert at 2 p.m., featuring the 18-member Cahaba Chamber Chorale and 89 students in the Ramsay High School Choral Department. The combined choirs will present Randall Thompson’s Testament of Freedom, based on the writings of Thomas Jefferson. Other selections will include Shenandoah, Zion’s Walls, and Lift Every Voice and Sing. The concert, entitled Made in the USA, is designed to highlight the ideals of what it means to be an American, engaging the spirit of our Founders and their aspirations for our Nation – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The classical, jazz, and spiritual choral selections are all by American composers – from Colonial times to the present day. Admission to the American Village on President’s Day will be $11 for adults and youth, $9 for seniors, and free to veterans, active military and children ages 4 and under. Learn more at www.americanvillage.org. †


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Save the dates for Birmingham Restaurant Week (BRW) 2023 – Winter Edition, presented by Spire, starting Thursday, January 26 to Saturday, February 4! From fine dining to down-home cookin’, food and drink lovers with a taste for adventure can enjoy two, three and/or four-course special breakfast, lunch and dinner menus ranging from $5 to $50 per person at approximately 40 restaurants. Hungry for more information? Visit www.bhamrestaurantweek.com

Special Feature Live Nativity manger scene

Special Feature

Experience the Christmas story come to life at local live nativities in and around Birmingham!

The Baptist Church at McAdory presents for the 7th year their Live Nativity Story on December 16-18 from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. in the wooded area directly behind the church located in McCalla.

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Scenes from The Live Nativity Story presented by The Baptist Church at McAdory December 16-18. The Church is located at 4954 Eastern Valley Road, McCalla, 35111.

A combination of tractor and open wagons provide a “hay-ride” and narrative exploring the life of Jesus. The event makes use of live costumed characters, outdoor sets and lighting to tell the story of Jesus. All are welcome to come and experience the Gospel story reenacted by church members and other volunteers. Learn more at www.bcam.info.

Each Advent season Briarwood Presbyterian Church hosts a Walk Through Nativity. Hundreds of Briarwood members come together to depict the birth and life of our Lord in 14 biblical scenes with narrated drama using live actors and animals (including a camel!) Won’t you plan on joining us this year? Come anytime between 6:45 p.m.- 8:45 p.m. on December 7-9 and take an easy, 1/4-mile stroll that is wheelchair and stroller friendly. Admission is free, but the message is priceless! The church is located at 2200 Briarwood Way, Birmingham, 35243. Learn more at www.briarwood.org/nativity

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More scenes from The Live Nativity Story at The Baptist Church at McAdory.

Brookview Wesleyan Church in Irondale invites you to visit their Live Nativity on December 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. Rain date is December 11 from 6 to 8 p.m., www.brookviewchurch.org. Mountain Brook Baptist Church will also host a Living Nativity for three evenings- December 20-22 from 7:30 to 8 p.m., www.mbbc.org. †

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Get up close and personal with the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales at the Bluff Park Piggly Wiggly on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m.! The gentle giants will be present at Piggly Wiggly, a proud carrier of Anheuser-Busch products, along with their iconic beer wagon to host an educational show, a trot and photo opportunities for those in attendance. City of Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato will join the Clydesdale handlers to ride aboard as the beautiful horses trot along. 

In addition to their appearance at Piggly Wiggly, the Clydesdales’ tour will also include the following:

  • Alabama’s 75th Annual National Veterans Day Parade – Friday, Nov. 11 (With Parade After Party)
  • Lakeview District Trot Parade – Saturday, Nov. 12
  • Cullman Christmas Market Open House – Sunday, Nov. 13 

For more information about these events and the Budweiser Clydesdales, visit www.adamsbeverages.net/BudClydesdales.

The Sound of Music Cast

Special Feature

Experience live at The Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre, The Sound of Music reimagined as a ballet, inspired by music from the 1965 musical film, and the von Trapp family’s life story. You don’t want to miss this one day only ballet performance by The Dance Studio on Saturday, November 19 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. “We are excited about bringing this timeless classic to the city of Birmingham completely reimagined and full of dance,” said Jaclyn Shiflett, Artistic Director.

Sound of Music performance
Save the date for The Sound of Music at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre on November 19.

Students of The Dance Studio have auditioned and been cast as characters from the story and have been hard at work learning choreography with Artistic Director Jaclyn Shiflett and guest star John Mingle, who is dancing the role of Captain von Trapp.  John Arthur Mingle is celebrating his eighth season with the Alabama Ballet. John trained on scholarship with the San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre, Dallas Metropolitan Ballet, and Ballet Frontier of Texas. John earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University where he danced the role of Waltz Man in George Balanchine’s Serenade at the opening of the renowned Winspear Opera House. Prior to joining Alabama Ballet, he danced professionally with the Cincinnati Ballet and Dayton Ballet. Since joining, John has been seen in principal roles such as Basilio and Espada in Don Quixote, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Cavalier in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, Von Rothbart in Swan Lake, Big Boss Man in Blue Suede Shoes, and Allegro in Western Symphony. 

The Sound of Music PerformancePlease join The Dance Studio in bringing this timeless classic reimagined and full of dance to the stage at the Alabama School of Fine Arts’ Dorothy Jemison Day Theater this November. I am so excited and can’t think of a better way to kick-off the holiday season,” Shiflett says, adding, “This beautiful ballet includes over 40 young dancers from communities throughout the Birmingham community.” This beautiful performance is a unique, magical and budget friendly experience you will never forget. Tickets are general admission and $20 for adults and $10 for children (2 and up). Click here to purchase tickets. †

Birmingham Christian Family is giving one winner two tickets to experience this timeless classic reimagined as a ballet. In addition to tickets, the winner will receive a gift basket filled with great items including a O’Henry’s Coffee Basket with Coffee Products and a pair of ballet pointe shoes signed by the cast of the Sound of Music. To enter, like, share and comment on the giveaway post on our Facebook page


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Publisher’s Note

Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas to You- Our Readers! As we celebrate the season, all of us at Birmingham Christian Family wanted to do something special for readers like you who read and spread Good News with your family and friends each month- either sharing a print issue or reading and sharing one of our articles on-line. So, get ready to enjoy our Jingle All the Way Reader Giveaways!

The fun starts on Friday, November 18 with 4 Weeks of Great Give-A-Ways all valued at $250 or more!

Cirque Dreams HolidazeWeek 1  Family Four Pack of Tickets to Cirque Dreams Holidaze, BJCC, December 9-10, www.cirquedreams.comStarts on Friday November 18. To be entered for a chance to receive the Family 4 Pack, LIKE and SHARE the giveaway post on Birmingham Christian Family‘s Facebook, @BirminghamChristianFamily and TAG 3 friends in the comments. WINNER will be announced on the Giveaway Post November 25, 2022. So be sure to LIKE our Facebook page.

Daniel Moore Giveaway IMAGE FINAL Saban Black Frame Crimson MatWeek 2 Artist Daniel A. Moore’s new pencil drawing portrait of Coach Nick Saban, framed limited edition, www.danielmooreart.com. Starts on Friday November 25. To be entered for a chance to receive the framed portrait, LIKE and SHARE the giveaway post on Birmingham Christian Family‘s Facebook, @BirminghamChristianFamily and TAG 3 friends in the comments. WINNER will be announced on the Giveaway Post Friday December 2, 2022. So be sure to LIKE our Facebook page.

Filson Blanket from Marks OutdoorsWeek 3 Luxurious Filson Wool Blanket from Mark’s Outdoors Vestavia, www.marksoutdoors.comStarts on Friday December 2. To be entered for a chance to receive the Filson blanket, LIKE and COMMENT on the Giveaway Post on Birmingham Christian Family’s Instagram, @cfpbirmingham. Be sure to follow our account. Post to your story on Instagram for an extra entry. WINNER will be announced on the Giveaway Post Friday December 9, 2022. So be sure to LIKE our Instagram page.

Trak Shak LogoWeek 4 $250 Trak Shak Gift Card to use at any area Track Shak, www.trakshak.com. Starts on Friday December 9. To be entered for a chance to win the $250 gift card, LIKE and COMMENT on the Giveaway Post on Birmingham Christian Family’s Instagram, @cfpbirmingham and be following our account. Post to your story on Instagram for an extra entry. If your account is private, message us a screenshot of your story for the extra entry. WINNER will be announced on the Giveaway Post Friday December 16, 2022. So be sure to LIKE our Instagram page.

WINNERS for each giveaway will be announced EVERY FRIDAY morning on the Giveaway Post- November 25, December 2, 9, and 16, 2022. So be sure to LIKE our pages on Facebook and Instagram.

A NEW GIVEAWAY begins EVERY FRIDAY afternoon- November 25, December 2, 9, and 16, 2022.

A BIG THANK YOU to our advertising partners who make the gift giving possible and most importantly help us share the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ with readers and followers every day of the year!

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Laurie Stroud Franklin-Laurie Stroud Franklin

Founder, The Christian Family Publication, Inc.


Facebook: Birmingham Christian Family

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Celebrating 22 Years of Good News!

Special Feature Christmas Village 40 years photo of crowd

Special Feature

For 40 years, Christmas Village Festival has been a staple shopping experience for the city of Birmingham and beyond.

It all started in 1982. Lisa Fullilove’s father, Wayne Dees, was in direct mail marketing and wanted to diversify. “He got with his silent partner and came up with something new. They traveled around the southern states to get vendors and produced the show,” Fullilove says. In the first few years, they would have a variety of live entertainment to draw more vendors and shoppers to the show. “That’s how they built the business,” she explains.

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Lisa Fullilove has worked the Christmas Village Festival since she was a teenager. She is seen here (left) with volunteers who make the event a success each year.

Fullilove has fond memories of growing up around the show. “I grew up selling tickets, taking tickets, decorating and all of the fun things,” Fullilove says. Christmas Village Festival has always been at the BJCC but has expanded over the years. “It used to only be in the north and south hall of the BJCC but now we take up the whole exhibition space,” she adds. She remembers the early years of the show being somewhat chaotic but each year became more organized. “We are now known for the organization of the show. That’s why vendors come back year after year.” The show started with roughly 200 vendor booths and now has 750 booths! Seeing Christmas Village Festival grow each year fills Fullilove with a sense of pride for what her father began 40 years ago. “He was a wonderful person,” she says.

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For 40 years Christmas Village Festival has been helping visitors celebrate the season and complete their Christmas shopping.

One common misconception about Christmas Village Festival is that everything is Christmas related. “It’s not all Christmas items. We have gift items and personal items like food vendors, pottery, jewelry, art and more,” Fullilove says, adding that shoppers can expect to see new vendors this year including inflatable chairs for the beach.

Christmas Village Festival will be at the BJCC on November 3-5 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and November 6 from Noon- 5 p.m. “Stop by and get all of your shopping done in one place,” Fullilove says. To learn more, visit www.christmasvillagefestival.com or call 205-836-7173.

-Melissa Armstrong

Full Life Ahead

Full Life Ahead, a non-profit serving teenagers and young adults with any kind of disability and their families, is hosting their first annual Toss for Hope Corn Hole Tournament. There will be 2 divisions of play, Competitive and Special Needs.  All players should be 14 years old and up. Community resources will be on-hand to share information with families that have a young person with a disability. Join us for food, fun, prizes, and connection!  Saturday, October 29 at Hargis Christian Camp in Chelsea. The fun starts at 9 a.m. with food, games, prizes.

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Special Feature

Congratulations to our Readers’ Choice Winners for Summer Family Fun!

Thank you to all of our readers who participated in our Readers’ Choice Survey! As a thank you for taking the survey, reader Rachael Montgomery from Birmingham won four tickets to Alabama Adventure & Splash Adventure!

Liberty Bell at American VillageCongratulations to the American Village for being the Readers’ Choice for Favorite Summer Entertainment Spot AND Recreation Spot! American Village in Montevallo welcomes you to enjoy red, white, and blue fun all summer long. From August 1-31, enjoy free self-guided walking tours of the 188-acre campus. For a complete schedule of  events, visit www.americanvillage.org.

camp spotlight shocoo springs Blob on the lakeCongratulations to Shocco Springs Camp & Conference Center for being our Readers’ Choice for Favorite Summer Camp! Centrally located on over 900 acres in Talladega, Alabama, Shocco Springs is an all-inclusive camp and conference center where you can relax and unwind in God’s incredible nature while holding your church or school group’s next event. Shocco Springs has an abundant selection of meeting spaces, lodging facilities and dining choices, whether you need space for 10 or 1400. Learn more at www.shocco.org

summer guide greater gadsden noccalula 3Greater Gadsden Tourism is our Readers’ Choice for Favorite Summer Travel Spot! The area includes Noccalula Falls Park and Campground with hiking and biking on the black creek trails, an animal habitat, botanical gardens, and the spectacular falls cascading over 90 feet into the Black Creek ravine! For updates on offerings all summer long in Greater Gadsden, visit www.greatergadsden.com.

For more ideas on Family Fun click here.

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On October 24-25, pastors, worship leaders, visual artists and musicians are invited to join in learning from and interacting with a diverse group of experienced practitioners and speakers who will focus attention on the beauty of the Triune God whom Christian people gather to worship and adore. Worship, informative talks, breakout sessions, meals and informal conversations will provide opportunities to deepen your understanding on how the beauty of God’s love is manifested through the ministries of preaching, worship, and the arts. Conference guests will hear from several featured speakers including:

  • Daniel Cason is an ordained minister, concert pianist and a former high school music teacher. He received his formal education at the Cleveland Music School Settlement (Rainey Institute), the renowned Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Southern California (ISOMATA), where he studied master classes with Lee Thompson of the Julliard School of Music. Cason holds two earned music degrees (Bachelor of Arts and Masters) from MTC School of Theology.
  • Joe Cory is associate professor of art and design for Samford University’s School of the Arts and faculty fellow of the Center for Worship and the Arts. He is an accomplished artist and educator who has been using a mix of traditional and innovative teaching methods for over 15 years to help students learn artistic skills and think creatively. As an educator, practicing artist, former gallery director, and leader of the non-profit CIVA | Christians in the Visual Arts, he’s gained extensive experience in all facets of the art world.
  • Cliff Duren is the worship pastor at First Baptist Church Woodstock, GA. He also writes, arranges, orchestrates and produces music resources for various publishers while also producing various artist recordings. He is a five-time Dove Award winner for his contributions in Christian music.
  • Matt Papa, a veteran songwriter and Christian musician, has carved an even more unique space for himself as one of the world’s top modern-day hymn writers. With songs like, “His Mercy Is More,” “Christ Our Hope In Life And Death” and “Come Behold The Wondrous Mystery,” Matt tours regularly across the U.S. as a songwriter with Getty Music and frequently guests on their tours. A two-time Dove Award nominated artist, Matt is on a mission to write songs that are singable, beautiful, and timeless. He serves as an artist-in-residence at Cedarville University and Marco Presbyterian Church.

Other featured speakers include John D. Witvliet, Kevin Twit, Debra Dean Murphy, Overflow, and Tyshawn Gardner. Early bird rates of $59/individual or $47/person for a group of 3 or more are on sale through August 31, 2022. General admission of $89/individual or $71/person for a group of 3 or more starts Sept. 1, 2022. The conference will be held at Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive Birmingham, AL 35229. To purchase tickets, click here.

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