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For the past 33 years, the town of Tuscumbia pays tribute to one of its heroic natives with a four day celebration attracting thousands of visitors from across the country. The annual Helen Keller Festival celebrates the life of Helen Keller and her remarkable achievements to overcome a world of silence. The 34th annual event is set for June 21-24, 2012 in Spring Park in downtown Tuscumbia.
The four day celebration kicks off Thursday at 6 p.m. with a parade along Main Street with a Street Dance/Block Party beginning at 6:45 p.m. Local businesses will keep their doors open late, special vendors will fill the streets, and bands will play following the parade.
The annual event is centered around the Helen Keller Festival Arts and Crafts Show featuring original artwork and activities for children on the North Bank of Spring Park. From noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, festival-goers can shop for original works of art and limited edition reproductions by accomplished jury-selected artists from across the Southeast. For children, the Imagination Station offers fun, creative hands-on activities. On Friday and Saturday, children can create their own works of art with a little imagination and some unexpected materials to take home as a souvenir. A car and truck show will take to the streets in downtown Tuscumbia from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Sunday’s festivities also feature ongoing live music. Slated to perform are Chelsea Yarber, Hello August, Chris Little, The Boatwrights, and Archie Hubbard Band. Other activities to take place throughout the four day celebration include nightly water shows, guided historic walking tours, cemetery tours, a 5-mile and 1-mile Fun Run, a 5-mile and 23-mile family bike ride, golf tournament, and art exhibits.
Admission is $3 for festival events in Spring Park on Friday beginning at 4:30 p.m. and $5 on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. For a complete schedule of events, map of downtown Tuscumbia, or more information, visit www.helenkellerfestival.com.
Daily tours of Ivy Green, the birthplace of Helen Keller, are also offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The home is located at 300 North Commons Street West in Tuscumbia. Admission is $6/adults, $5/seniors, $2/children. Live performances of William Gibson’s world-famous drama, The Miracle Worker, are offered Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. on the grounds of Helen Keller’s birthplace. Reserved seats are $10 and general admission is $8. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Helen Keller Home at 256.383.4066 or 888.329.2124.