Lowndes Co. Interpretive Center preps for first tour season

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 12, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

WHITE HALL – The Lowndes County Interpretive Center sits facing a trail made famous in 1965, when determined souls marched for freedom and equality.

Their stories are housed in this $10 million facility, which is still finding its niche since opening last August.

Email newsletter signup

“Overall things are going fairly well,” said Tyrone Brandyburg, chief of interpretation. “Our thing is letting people know that we’re here.”

Less than two weeks shy of its seven-month anniversary, the center is just now experiencing its first tourism waves. Brandyburg projects the center’s peak tourism months will be between February and June. “Those are the biggest months and that is because of Black History Month and school groups that are coming,” Brandyburg said, basing his predictions on annual visitation at the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site.

Brandyburg added the center had “a pretty fair sized” crowd following this year’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee. Upon entering the center, visitors are invited to view a short film titled “Never Lose Sight of Freedom.” Emphasizing the importance of passing down history to today’s youth, “Freedom” follows a group of Alabama teens who tour prominent sites of the voting rights movement. The film features several Selma notables, including the Rev. F.D. Reese, National Voting Rights Museum and Institute executive director Joanne Bland and Mayor James Perkins Jr. The center also has its share of interactive exhibits focusing on events that unfolded along the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.

Brandyburg said he’s only received positive feedback on the center since its opening.

“(The visitors) enjoy it and it touches home,” he said. “They are very pleased with it being here and wish they had more time to spend.”

“We just hope people come out and take a look at the center – tell us their opinion and come in and learn more about the trail.”

The Lowndes County Interpretive Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call (334) 877-1983.