April Walking Tours in Selma are part of a larger program sponsored by the Alabama Department of Tourism.  The Selma tours will begin Saturday, April 6 at 10 a.m. at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library.  Selma City Councilman Greg Bjelke will be the tour guide. -- Sarah Cook
April Walking Tours in Selma are part of a larger program sponsored by the Alabama Department of Tourism. The Selma tours will begin Saturday, April 6 at 10 a.m. at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library. Selma City Councilman Greg Bjelke will be the tour guide. -- Sarah Cook

Selma downtown to host tours again

Published 8:06pm Thursday, April 4, 2013

Several downtown areas across the state will be featured in special walking tours throughout the month of April — Selma included. 

The tours, which became an annual April tradition by the Alabama Tourism Department 10 years ago, are part of an effort to spotlight historic districts throughout the state.

“We’re actually the only state in the nation that holds statewide walking tours,” said Brian Jones, regional director of travel for the state department. “What they’re designed to do is kind of give people an informative, nice walk through historic districts.”

Selma’s walking tour will be held this Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library. Ward 3 Councilman Greg Bjelke will give the tour.

Jones said although tours are given in some of Alabama’s larger cities like Montgomery and Mobile, the tours are great for smaller towns because they spotlight businesses and downtown attractions.

“It’s really a way to introduce visitors to the downtown area and to reacquaint some of the people who live in the city with their downtown,” he said. “It’s also a great way to drive some traffic through the downtown area.”

In all, 23 cities are participating in the month of tours, held every Saturday at 10 a.m.

Sheryl Smedley, executive director for the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, said Selma has participated in the tours since they began 10 years ago.

“It’s a good way for not only visitors but for the community to come out and learn interesting things about Selma,” Smedley said.

Beginning at the library, the tour will weave through downtown, highlighting historic areas, Smedley said. City hall, the St. James Hotel, Songs of Selma Park and Victorian downtown architecture are just a few features that will be spotlighted during the tour.

And other than learning the history of Selma’s downtown, Smedley said the walking tour also offers a great way to practice healthy living.

“This is just another initiative for healthy lifestyles in our community,” she said. “It should be great time and I encourage everyone to come out.”

There is no cost for the tour.

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