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Socially Connected While Physically Distanced — Music Medicine for the Soul!

The Music Preservation Society, Inc. and the W.C. Handy Festival Steering Committee is pleased to present the socially connected while physically distanced 39th W.C. Handy Music Festival! Much planning has gone into ways to offer activities that incorporate adherence to the recommendations from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control during these unprecedented times.

You may miss some of your favorite Handy events this year, but we hope to offer those again next year as we celebrate our 40th Festival! Enjoying music and more from a distance is a new experience for us as we continue to pay tribute to the legacy and contributions of Shoals area music, while honoring the memory of the one and only "Father of the Blues", William Christopher (“W.C.”) Handy.

Some things won’t change. Official Handy t-shirts and posters featuring the 2020 design can be found at Counts Brothers Music in Muscle Shoals, Colbert County Tourism in Tuscumbia, and Florence Lauderdale Tourism in Florence. Comfortable, breathable, Handy face coverings with the W.C. Handy logo in either blue or white are also available. Thanks to all of those organizations and businesses which have sponsored the Festival for many years and have responded to the challenges of this year. We appreciate the event coordinators who had planned and confirmed events weeks ago, but who later made the decision to adapt to our current situation. Some of them have provided special messages to share with you. Our Music Preservation Society Board of Directors supported those creative coordinators, as they made it possible to present the 2020 Festival by offering virtual activities.

Information and concessions will be available at Colbert County Tourism and Convention and Florence-Lauderdale Tourism centers. For updates continue to visit us here, check our Facebook, or call us at 256-766-7642. The Handy Festival hopes that everyone will adhere to recommendations from health care experts to ensure a happy and healthy summer for all. Thank you for supporting the W.C. Handy Music Festival!

Even though we may not see you in person we hope you will enjoy the Handy Festival, and that you’ll decorate your parasols and continue to strut!

Messages from Our Coordinators

Da Doo Run Run Cancelled

Given the evolving public health situation and potential spread of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 "W.C. Handy Festival Da Doo Run Run 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run" originally scheduled for July 25, 2020. We are saddened that we won’t be able to host our favorite running event of the year in the Florence-Shoals area. Please know that this decision was not made lightly, but we must put the health and well-being of our community first. We appreciate your understanding in advance.

We aim to make the 2021 "W.C. Handy Festival Da Doo Run Run 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run" bigger and better than ever.

Look forward to seeing everyone back in 2021!

— Sonya Zaremba, Coordinator


Handy Concert Cancelled for FUMC

After much thought and lots of prayer, the decision has been made that Florence First United Methodist Church will not have a Handy Concert this year. In view of the rising numbers of the corona virus, we feel it is in the best interest of our congregation and our friends in the community to cancel the concert.

Though the concert is cancelled, the “spirit” of W.C. Handy is not! You will be hearing lots of Handy-ish music in our worship services during the month of July, Rest assured, “River in Judea” will be one of the traditional pieces you will not miss!

Take care, be safe, and join us online at 10:45 a.m. each Sunday during the month of July at www.fumcflo.org for a month of spirituals, gospel pieces and maybe some jazz as we celebrate W.C. Handy week virtually this year.

With a song in my heart!

— Linda