Childersburg community events aim to warm up weary winter
by Bill Kimber
Feb 16, 2014 | 1811 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bill Kimber/The Daily Home
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Tickets for the Childersburg Historic Preservation Commission’s annual Mardi Gras gala are $30 each, available at City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, and from commission board members.
Bill Kimber/The Daily Home

Tickets for the Childersburg Historic Preservation Commission’s annual Mardi Gras gala are $30 each, available at City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, and from commission board members.
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As the weather-worn winter begins to wind down, two community events promise to warm up the nights in Childersburg in coming weeks.

Next Saturday is the Childersburg Historic Preservation Commission’s annual Mardi Gras gala, and the following Thursday is the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet.

The Mardi Gras gala will feature music by Dodson Parkway, a band from Sylacauga that features Tommy Brown, Bobby Delander, Jay Jay Jackson, Mike Welch, David Harris and Mandy Kay Harris, according to their Facebook page.

Childersburg-based Vintage Six was originally scheduled to entertain, but was unable to perform due to illness, said Dianne Newman, president of the Historic Preservation Commission.

“We’re going to have tons of fun,” Newman said. “Our motto is, ‘dance like nobody is watching.’ We’re excited to have Dodson Parkway perform this year.”

She said she knows the band will make new fans that night, and hopes many of the band’s existing fans will attend.

A Cajun-style buffet catered by Hickory Street Café will feature jambalaya, gumbo, bread pudding and more.

A silent auction will feature purses and accessories, gift cards, sports memorabilia and more. Donations are still sought for the silent auction.

The annual event is presented at the Bella Luna Events Center, and raises funds to support the Butler-Harris-Rainwater Museum. Doors open at 7, and music starts at 8.

Tickets are still available at $30 each, $300 for a reserved table for eight or $150 for a reserved table for four. Tickets are available at Childersburg City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, Pam’s Hair Heaven and from commission members including Newman, Terri Kaye Cleckler, Gene Piatkowski, Mike Maxwell, Beth Maxwell, Lance Tucker, Jane Allen and Debra Morris.

Each person in attendance will receive Mardi Gras “throws,” including beads and Moon Pies.

Setups will be provided, and revelers are encouraged to bring their own beverages. A Mardi Gras queen and king will be selected.

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. It’s the day of celebrating and feasting before Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday. This year, Mardi Gras falls on March 4.

For more information about the event, contact Newman at 205-410-9195 or Childersburg City Hall at 256-378-5521.

Tickets are also available for the Childersburg Chamber of Commerce Banquet, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m. at Central Alabama Community College.

Sponsored by Coosa Pines Federal Credit Union, Coosa Eye Associates and the chamber, the event will be also be catered by Hickory Street Café.

At the banquet, this year’s inductee to the Childersburg Hall of Fame will be honored. Chamber members are voting now between nominees Marie Taylor and Judy Rochelle.

Ora Marie Taylor was nominated by Linda Taylor and Peter B. Storey. Taylor came to Childersburg in the 1940s from Morgan County, and after working at Avondale Mills and part-time at the High Hat Café in downtown Childersburg, she bought the café from the owners and changed its name to the Southern Belle.

She met and married Hugh Taylor, who owned Sunshine Cleaners, in 1950.

In the mid 1950s she built Taylor’s Restaurant on U.S. 280, which became a popular stopping place for travelers passing through Childersburg. She helped many people in need by providing jobs or providing food, clothing or Christmas toys. She also coordinated the benevolent efforts of some area churches. She died more than 20 years ago.

Judy Rochelle, affectionately known as “Miss Judy,” has touched many young people’s lives as a friend, teacher and mentor. She has lived in Childersburg since 1973, when she opened her dance studio. The Judy Rochelle School of Dance has been a landmark in the city for more than 40 years.

Her involvement with the Chamber of Commerce spans 39 years, as a member, board of directors member and Christmas parade coordinator. She and her husband, Marvin Rochelle, have a son, Blake.

As owner of one of the city’s oldest single-owner, first-generation businesses, Rochelle continues to be an ambassador for Childersburg and plans to teach and mentor for years to come.

She was nominated by Mack and June Lee and Sandra Donahoo.

Hall of Fame voting is open to chamber members, and deadline to vote is Wednesday, Feb. 19.

The city’s Public Servant of the Year will also be honored at the banquet.

Banquet tickets are $25 each, and are available from the chamber office or from any chamber board member.