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FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2007
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Catie Duffy as Annie Sullivan, left,  and Prestley Bramlett as Helen Keller are both Morgan County actors who will perform “The Miracle Worker” play through July 14 at Ivy Green in Tuscumbia
Daily photo by Emily Saunders
Catie Duffy as Annie Sullivan, left, and Prestley Bramlett as Helen Keller are both Morgan County actors who will perform “The Miracle Worker” play through July 14 at Ivy Green in Tuscumbia

Celebrate Helen Keller’s life at annual festival in Tuscumbia

By Patrice Stewart
pstewart@decaturdaily.com · 340-2446

Music, drama, art, a car show, athletic events and more will be part of the Helen Keller Festival at Spring Park in Tuscumbia this weekend.

This event was founded in 1979 as a tribute to the achievements of Tuscumbia native Helen Keller. Blind and deaf from 11/2, she learned to communicate with the help of teacher Annie Sullivan.

She devoted her life to improving the conditions of blind and deaf around the world and became known as “America’s First Lady of Courage.”

At 8:15 p.m. Friday, the Award of Courage will be presented to Molly Ridgeway, 11, daughter of Dr. Lynn Ridgeway of the Shoals, who grew up in Decatur.

Here’s the music schedule for the festival, which runs through Sunday:

Friday: 5:30 p.m., Jukebox Jim; 7 p.m., James Ed Combo; 8:30 p.m., Paul Thorn Band.

Saturday: 10 a.m., Jake Landers Band; 11:45 a.m., Savanna Smallwood; 12:30 p.m., Common Ground; 1:15 p.m., Jay Hovater; 2 p.m., Joseph Baldwin and the Rowdy Knights; 3 p.m., Dave Potts; 4 p.m., Malcolm Singleton and Gaylon Partain; 4:45 p.m., Keller Kids; 5:15 p.m., songwriters James LeBlanc, Mark Narmore and Bobby Tomberlin; 7 p.m., The Shoals; 8:30 p.m., headlining country-music singer Collin Raye.

Sunday: 1 and 3 p.m., fiddler Sharon Bounds; 2 and 4:15 p.m., Smokin’ Strings Quartet.

‘The Miracle Worker’

On the outdoor stage at Ivy Green, the Helen Keller family home, Darren Butler of Decatur will direct Decatur and Shoals area actors in performances of “The Miracle Worker” Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. The home can be toured with the $8 and $10 play tickets. Call Ivy Green, 383-4066. This is the play’s 46th season, and it will continue Fridays and Saturdays at 8 through July 14.

Art show

Hours for the Helen Keller Festival of the Arts in Spring Park will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. This juried show will include items such as pottery, glass, jewelry, paintings, photography and mixed media. The Gees Bend Quilt Collective will be there, too.

Inside the Tennessee Valley Art Center, 511 N. Water St., the annual Helen Keller art show will feature work by Alabama children who are visually impaired, blind and/or deaf.

“You’ve Got That Magic Dust,” a juried exhibit by the Alabama Pastel Society also is hanging inside.

Other activities will include town and railroad history, a parade, a water show, Glenco Cemetery tours of the Keller family burial sites and the Coldwater Stage Coach Stop Museum, storytelling, spaghetti supper, Blind Bikers, a family bike ride and a golf tournament.

Saturday events include a 5-mile run and fun run, walking tour, Shoals car and truck show downtown, and hamburger supper. A “Lucky Ducky Derby” will end the weekend at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $2 on Friday and Saturday, with gates opening at noon Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.

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