Sunday, July 26, 2015

My McCalla Walla Article =)

So there's something that's happening this Saturday. . . and it's a pretty big deal to me.
If you know me through facebook, you know that our household, friends, and family, are pretty freaking excited about the first EVER McCalla Walla, which will take place this Saturday, August 1st, at Tannehill State Park!!!!!

It is something that I have watched rapidly evolve over the course of 7 months, and, knowing the subject so closely, it is naturally very near and dear to my heart.

Sooooo, I was just thinking. . .

Why have I not seen an article about this yet?

It is happening THIS WEEKEND.


And yet I haven't seen a single article about it. . . not even a blurb stating time and place. . . from any of the online news outlets in our area.

So I found out that the thing is. . . 

They say they don't have enough room to cover it.




They know it's the friggin internet, right?  There is literally nothing BUT room.

All you have to do is the Who, What, When, Where, How and Why.

(And proofread.)

It's happening in your area.

It's going to be awesome.

You can bring your KIDS.

You can bring your DOGS.

And people need to know about it!!!

So. . . I mulled this over for a bit. . .  

And I considered ALL the typo-riddled articles that I had read time after time after TIME on these sites, times where I OFTEN thought to myself:  ". . . Good Lord, does NOBODY proofread this??"

And. . .

And I just decided that I'd write the damned article myself.


So here it is:

What:  McCalla Walla Music, Art and Animal Rescue Festival

When:  August 1st, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where:  Tannehill State Park                    

Admission:  $10 adults, $5 kids 5 - 12, under 5 free                    
Pay at the gate, or buy tickets online at

Why:  Because we like you.  =)

Who:  Michael Turberville and John-Mark Taylor's production company Turbo Taylor Productions, and the McCalla Event Planning Committee.

How:  . . . . . . 

. . . this is where it gets interesting.


As I said, I've watched McCalla Walla evolve over the course of the last 7 months.  I know it pretty well.

I should.  It started in my house.

It started as an idea.  

My husband was thinking about our area, which is McCalla/kind of Bessemer, Alabama.

It is an area that we've come to love, and one that has seen a lot of growth over the course of the last decade or so.

And the thing that troubled him about this was simply that we didn't seem to have an EVENT, some kind of happening. . . with music and kids and family. . . to kind of glue us together.  

Something to cement us, to introduce us to each other, maybe share a song, and help us to foster a stronger sense of community.

We didn't have that.

And you know what?  

. . . he WANTED that.

So he talked to some of his friends and neighbors about it.

Nobody fancy.  Nobody wealthy.

They all work regular jobs, lead regular lives, love their kids and their pets.

Just your friends and neighbors.

And they LIKED the idea.

They got on board.

They all donated their time, and their energy, and any contacts or knowledge that they had, and they just. . . just wanted to give back to their community.

And dammit if they didn't MAKE THIS THING COME TOGETHER.

It started happening quickly, accelerating. . . picking up speed.

People wanted to help.

First things first, they wanted the festival to help a worthy organization in the area.  A nonprofit.

They wanted to help an animal rescue organization, and quickly landed on the Sugarbelle Foundation.  They're a nonprofit animal organization "whose mission is to keep pets and people together."
They work all over Alabama, promote spaying and neutering, and do a lot of work through foster care.

They are great people.


You can find more about them on facebook, or at

So they had decided what organization was to benefit from the festival.

Next up:  music.

This one came together almost like magic.

With many of the prominent members of the planning committee being musicians themselves, and even more being avid music-lovers, the music turned out to, miraculously, be no problem.

They knew they wanted local talent.

And they GOT IT.

First off, they got Rollin In the Hay.

**If you're from Alabama. . . you KNOW Rollin In the Hay.  Odds are you've seen them perform.  Odds are even better that it was a great show.  They've been doing this for years, and are, if you are a betting person, pretty much a full-fledged guarantee of a really good time.

So the newly-formed planning committee put a LOT of care and consideration into the planning of this lineup.

And let me just tell you, speaking as a music-lover myself:

They know what they're about.

They've got country-- Brad Shirley

They've got "Newgrass"-- Rollin' In the Hay

They've got country-punk, and "Southern-fried alt-law country", with Mandi Rae, and Caddle.

They've got the gritty, soulful, sounds of Heath Green and the Makeshifters.  (Seriously.  Check these guys OUT.)

They've got veteran Birmingham musicians like Michael Leon, and Nathan Peek and The New Thread.

Ashley and the Keepers, The Old Paints, and Kyle Kimbrell round out the lineup, adding everything from jazz-fusion to blues to rock to folk to soul.

Actually. . . they're bands that all have their own distinct sound and allure.

. . . It's kind of something that you're really going to need to see.


The music was down.

What next?


They wanted local artists, and any and every weird and wonderful thing their twisted little hearts could produce.

. . . and they ended up getting that, too.

With over 25 local artists signing on to display and sell their own unique creations, the Art Walk promises to be an interesting (and fun!) part of the festival.


Finally, there was really only one thing left to talk about:

The kids.

At this point. . . I'm going to have to break off for a moment, just to once again identity myself as a veteran concert-goer, and music festival camper/enthusiast.

There's not much that I love more than seeing good live music. The way it feels to be a part of the crowd.  The way it feels to share in that with everyone around you.

I am not over-stating here when I say that music is an important part of life in our home.  We appreciate it.  We sing it, we dance to it, and much of our time spent together, whether in the back yard, or the kitchen, is spent with music in the back ground (or foreground, as is often the case).

I want my kids to love music.  (And they DO.)

I want my kids to HEAR live music.


And there's the rub.

See, I've SEEN live music.  I've spent many years chasing it, in fact.

I've seen it performed in tiny bars, larger bars, grand theaters, symphonies, the beach, city sidewalks, and literal mountaintops.

But the thing is, unfortunately, most of those places aren't really places that I would feel comfortable taking my young children.

So the McCalla Walla planning committee decided that THAT'S what they would do.

They would create a festival where you could go and enjoy a day FULL of music-- really, really, GOOD music-- WITH your family.

You can even bring your dog.

. . .


You can even bring your dog.


And they planned a kid's area, complete with a bounce-house, inflatable slides, face-painting, and a sensory-play area, for kids with special needs.



But it's gonna be hot.

Misting fans set up throughout the park.

Boom.  =)

Also, since admission to the festival includes park admission. . . you could also take some time to wander off the path, and enjoy your lunch while dipping your feet in a bubbling creek.


Oh, wait.  You didn't pack a lunch?

I think they might have SOMEONE selling food. . .

Let's see. . . 

What will food vendors be selling there. . . .

How about:

Roasted Corn
Turkey Legs
Fried Porkchop Sandwiches
Hot dogs
Fresh Fruit
Taco Truck
Island Ices
Buffalo Rock refreshments
Full Moon Barbecue (VIP Sponsor)


Chik-Fil-A (begins serving at breakfast)

Now. . . I am a person that loves carnival/street food.  And I am almost as excited about the food lineup as I am about the music.




Soooooo. . . basically, that's it.  That's the article.

The Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why are all there.

And, if you're in the area, from the area, or plan on being anywhere AROUND the area that day. . . I highly suggest you come.

Have a turkey leg.

Check out some art.  (I'll have a booth-- swing by and say hi!)

Listen to some great music.

Bring your kids.

Let them play.


Seriously. . .

Get down with your bad self.

It's something that your kids need to see.


Let THEM boogie.

Come on out and spend the day with us.

Yeah, because it'll be fun.

Yes, because it's supporting a great cause.

OKAY, because there are gonna be some REALLY great bands there, and you feel like your dog needs to be introduced to rock and roll and soul.

But, if none of those reasons are enough for you?

Do it because of what it is.

And what it IS. . . is about as grass-roots as you could possibly GET.

Your neighbors put this together.

With sacrifice, and laughter, and pure determination. . . your friends and your neighbors decided that they WANTED this.

A day of music.  Family.  Creativity.  


A day of living it up, while giving back.

A day to smile with the sun, shake what you got, and add your own voice to the chorus.

They wanted it for their own families. . . and they wanted it for yours, too.

How many sunny, art and song-filled days do YOU want to spend with your family?



So. . . you know.

I'll be there.

. . . Because the answer is, of course:  

ALL of them.