A Scenic Run, a New Festival and Spooktacular Fun Are Must Dos atop Lookout Mountain in October

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FORT PAYNE-The month of October brings cooler temperatures and glorious fall colors to DeKalb County, making it an ideal time to plan a trip to North Alabama. Grab a friend or your significant other and make plans to check out these great events and enjoy fresh air and the scenic drive with the windows rolled down.

Runners will make their way to the Little River Canyon on the second Saturday for what is considered one of the most scenic half marathons in the country. Set for October 14, 2023, the Little River Canyon Half Marathon gets underway at 8 a.m. The certified course loops 13.1 miles on paved roads, starting and ending at the Little River Canyon Center located at 472 Alabama Highway 35 in Fort Payne. The first five miles of the run will follow the Little River Canyon National Preserve’s scenic and sometimes challenging rim of the canyon, as the remainder winds through gently rolling farm country including Randy Owen Drive and his famous Tennessee River Music Hereford and Angus cattle ranch. The registration fee is $75 and is available online here. Registration is available at 7 a.m. the morning of the race for $85 per person. Packet pick up will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. the day before the race and at 7 a.m. on race day.


Kids 12 years old and under can participate in the Salamander Sprint 1K fun run. Runners who register before September 1 will be guaranteed a t-shirt. Registration is $20 before September 1st or $25 after September 1st. Race starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Little River Canyon Center. All registered runners will receive a finisher medal and finish line snacks.


For more information, call (256) 845-3548 or visit http://www.jsu.edu/epic/canyoncenter/little-river-canyon-half-marathon.html.

The Pickin Post, located at 893 Old Highway 35 East in Fort Payne, presents a night with country legend John Conlee and special guest Crossroads Oct. 14, 2023. Show starts at 6 p.m. General admission seats are $45 and reserved seats are $50 per person. For more information, call (256) 657-3817.

Mentone Fall Festival

The town of Mentone, Alabama will host the inaugural Mentone Fall Festival Saturday, October 20-21, 2023. The arts and crafts event will take place at the historic campus of Moon Lake Elementary School, now known as Moon Lake Village, located at 866 E. River Road in Mentone.


A concert featuring Will Dooley and Company will kick off the event on Friday, Oct. 20 at the Mentone Inn from 7 to 10 p.m. Festival hours on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the day includes arts and craft vendors, activities for children, artisanal events and live music. The Mentone Inn will host an expanded Farmer’s Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and local area shops, restaurants, galleries and parks will be welcoming festivalgoers to Mentone all weekend long with special hours and sales. Admission to the festival is free. Parking is $5 per vehicle.


Moon Lake Elementary School was built in 1928 and was closed in 2021. After its closing the Board of Education deeded the campus to the town of Mentone, which then created Moon Lake Village, a space for shops, crafts workspaces, and entertainment events. The school building is badly in need of repairs, and all funds raised at the festival will be used by the town for its restoration.

Spookapalooza this Weekend

DeSoto State Park will host the 12th annual Spookapalooza Pumpkin Carving Contest Oct. 23-28, 2023. Entries will be judged on overall appearance, creativeness, neatness and originality and can have any theme or design, i.e., Halloween, nature, fall season, etc. All ages are encouraged to enter. Entries must be turned in no later than 12 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28 at DeSoto’s Country Store on County Road 89 (table will be set up on porch). Winners will be announced on Sunday, Oct. 29th via DeSoto’s Facebook and Instagram pages (#desotostatepark).


Campers in DeSoto State Park have been decorating their campsites with Halloween decorations for years and this year, there will be a campsite decorating contest. The Spookapalooza Spooktacular Campsite Contest will award the best decorated sites with great prizes like free camping, and there will be a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, as well as most creative to boost the competitive atmosphere. Winners will be announced Sunday, Oct. 29th via DeSoto’s Facebook and Instagram pages (#desotostatepark).

Media Release/John Dersham, President & CEO DeKalb Tourism

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