FORT PAYNE-Autumn’s colorful foliage and cooler temperatures provide an ideal setting for some of DeKalb County’s most popular free festivals and holiday events. From a festival celebrating one of the state’s must-see treasures to an open-air art fair, there is plenty of family fun, holiday shopping and entertainment for locals and visitors to enjoy while taking in the splendor of beautiful northeast Alabama.
Eddie’s Florist opens the doors to its holiday shopping extravaganza the second weekend in October for those who want to get started on holiday decorating and shopping for gifts. Christmas at Eddie’s is an over the top, one-of-a-kind Christmas experience that has become a tradition for thousands of visitors over the past three decades. From October 14 through the end of the year, the florist shop is transformed into a winter wonderland, where approximately 200 fully decorated Christmas trees are on display. No two trees are alike, each one sporting a different theme.
All ornaments are available to purchase, and with no two trees alike, shoppers are inspired to create their own unique tree at home. Along with unique ornaments, ribbons, bows and other items for decorating trees as well as nativity scenes and Christmas home décor are available to purchase.
Admission to Christmas at Eddie’s is free and open to the public with hours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sundays. Thanksgiving Day hours are 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eddie’s Florist is located at 9112 Alabama Hwy 40 (close to the intersection of Highway 40 and Highway 75) in Henagar, Ala. For more information, call 256-657-3841.
Art and nature come together the first Saturday in November in celebration of one of Alabama’s popular natural wonders – Little River Canyon. Set for November 4, 2023, Canyon Fest offers music, nature and arts activities, art demonstrations and sales, live animal shows, an assortment of food vendors, children’s activities and more. Dozens of artists and exhibitors will be on hand offering demonstrations and selling their handcrafted work. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and all activities are held at the Little River Canyon Center located at 4322 Little River Trail NE (472 Alabama Highway 35) in Fort Payne. For more information on Canyon Fest, call 256-845-3548. Pets welcome on leashes. Admission is free. Donations supporting the Little River Canyon Center will be accepted at the gate.
Adding a twist to a typical art fair, the Creative Spirit Market is an open air showcase featuring artist demonstrations, local and regional fine and folk art, hand-crafted goods and live acoustic music. Shoppers can browse and watch artists in their creative process, listen to music and purchase one-of-a-kind gifts from painters, potters, quilters, weavers and basket makers, fabric spinners, culinary artists and craftsmen. Marketgoers are encouraged to bring a chair to hang out and enjoy the music and scenery, and if the weather is chilly, marketgoers can enjoy a warm fire in the stone fireplace in the CCC pavilion.
Creative Spirit Market is set for November 11-12, 2023, in DeSoto State Park’s country store/picnic area on County Road 89 in Fort Payne. Festival hours are 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. both days and event is held rain or shine. Admission is free. There is a $2 fee per vehicle for parking in the picnic area. For more information, call 256-997-5025.
Surrounded by the majestic Appalachian Mountains, Collinsville is home to a popular festival that dates back to 1912. Set for November 11, 2023, the Collinsville Historic Turkey Trot is a free event featuring an antique car show, music, arts and crafts, food vendors and carnival rides with plenty of fun for the entire family. There will also be a silent auction featuring prizes from local vendors and artists and chances for a cash giveaway.
What makes this event unique is the turkey toss from the roof of a building in downtown Collinsville. During the festivities, crowds gather on Main Street for the historic turkey toss where, in keeping with more modern sentiments, beanie-baby turkeys are launched from the roof of a downtown business. The beanie baby turkey are then turned in for a gift certificate to receive a turkey from the local Piggly Wiggly.
Turkey Trot began in 1912 as a promotional scheme for the Oliver Hall Company, a large general store located in Collinsville. The highly advertised event brought people from the surrounding area to Collinsville where turkeys, guineas and chickens were released from a scaffold built on top of the Hall’s store. The waiting crowd scrambled to catch a bird that would end up on their Thanksgiving dinner table. The Birmingham News reported as many as 10,000 crowded the streets for the exciting day that included bargains in all businesses as well as the Oliver Hall Company. Today, turkeys are still released from the roof of a building to a waiting crowd but the turkeys tossed are toy turkeys that the lucky person can trade in for a frozen bird. In addition to attracting visitors to Collinsville for a day of fun, the event has become a major fundraising activity for the restoration of the Cricket Theatre.
The Collinsville Historic Turkey Trot is sponsored in part by the Collinsville Historical Association. Festival hours are 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and admission is free. All activities are held in and around historic downtown Collinsville. For more information about the Collinsville Historical Association visit https://
Media Release/DeKalb Tourism/John Dersham, President & CEO