TUSCUMBIA — The annual Courtin’ the Blues parade will not be held during this year’s W.C. Handy Music Festival, but the city of Tuscumbia will host a downtown kick-off parade tonight at 6 p.m. to signal the beginning of the annual music festival.
The new parade will begin near Deshler High School and proceed south on Main Street to Sixth Street. The parade will circle around the block and end at the Colbert County Courthouse.
Travis Wammack and the Snakeman Band will perform on the lawn of the Colbert County Courthouse. County Administrator Roger Creekmore said the courthouse will be open for patrons to cool off or use a restroom. The event lasts from 6 to 11 p.m.
W.C. Handy Festival Chair Tori Bailey said a drop in participation of the Courtin’ the Blues parade led to its demise, but the parade could return to the festival lineup next year.
“It was a wonderful way to generate excitement for the Handy Festival and ‘kicked off’ the series of Handy events taking place over the next 10 days,” Bailey said.
She said after last year’s festival, the committee was contacted by the Tuscumbia Parks and Recreation Department about a parade for Tuscumbia.
“We welcomed them to the Handy Festival and they have done a fantastic job planning what we hope will become an annual event,” Bailey said. “There are thousands of Handy Festival attendees, and we know that there are enough music-loving folks to support both those two parades and all the festival events.”
Anyone interested in planning the Courtin’ the Blues parade next year should contact the festival committee or its former coordinator, Jimmy Oiver, at Big River Broadcasting.
Bailey said the Shoals is one community and she encourages residents and visitors to support events throughout the area.
“Rather than being divided by our beautiful Tennessee River, the Handy Festival steering committee views the bridges over the river as the connectors which make our community one big happy Handy Festival family,” Bailey said.