Florence's W.C. Handy Festival is in full swing

The festival celebrates the Florence native, W.C. Handy.

Posted: Jul 22, 2019 3:15 PM
Updated: Jul 22, 2019 3:35 PM

It's W.C. Handy Festival time over in the Shoals with 300 music events planned during the next 11 days.

Downtown Florence and every restaurant and parking place is packed with W.C. Handy Festival goers flooding the Shoals area. Organizers of the event said it brings in about $7 million to the area.

You don't have to go far to find music being played on every corner of the Shoals for festival, which celebrates a Florence native and the Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy.

"There's great music," said festival goer, Leslie French.

French and her sisters travel to the Shoals every year for the W.C. Handy Festival.

"It's a chance to catch up and we love being around each other so we just pick up fight where we left off no matter how much time we've been apart," said French.

With tourists packing out restaurants and all of the hotels booked, that's money being spent in the Shoals.

"We're looking at about $7 million and that's with a very conservative multiplier. People come to the area and they leave their money here and go home with these fond memories of music during the festival," said Tori Bailey, the event organizer for the festival.

Bailey said they have been busy. They've already had to place another order for t-shirts. She says when people come here and spend their money, it helps the entire area.

"They have left their dollars here and those dollars turn over two or three times and that helps our local municipalities and our commissions. We want to make sure we give back to the people who support this festival," said Bailey.

French said it's cool to see the festival grow every year, even though parking might be a pain.

"I like seeing every year as it picks up steam, so who knows five years from now what it might be like. It might be a pain for parking, but that's progress right?" said French.

The official W.C. Handy parade will be Tuesday in Tuscumbia at 6 p.m. It was rescheduled because of rain on Saturday. You can keep up with the events and possible rain delays by clicking here.

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