Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shop Local, Celebrate Local

The Villager, downtown Auburn
Have you heard? The Villager of Auburn, AL. was honored as having the Best Visual Display/Store Makeover in the Nation by NICHE magazine’s 2011 Top Retailers competition. Congratulations to owner Ingrid Brown and all The Villager employees!

Join Auburn Parks and Recreation as we send summer out in style at the Farewell Summer Block Party on Thursday, August 4 from 6 - 8 p.m. at Town Creek Park. Enjoy a FREE concert with music from Summer Breeze and purchase food from Chick-fil-A. The Southeastern Raptor Center will kick off the event with a brief educational program and a hawk and owl release.

But back to shopping …. on of my favorite things! The sales tax holiday for Auburn and Opelika is August 5-7! You can shop downtown, at Village Mall, Tiger Town and more! So stop all that ordering online and support your local retailers.

For a complete list of your favorite shops in the area, visit!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why I love Auburn & Opelika

No sugar coating... no fluff. I really and truly love this place. As a native of Chicago, (yes, I am forever stuck with a Midwestern accent) I have learned to appreciate all of the amazing things that the South and this area have to offer. So, here is a list of the things I love.

-Summertime. When the mass amount of students (I was one of them just a year ago) clear out, the drive to work is cut in half and the weather is H-O-T.

-Drinks and 'small plates' at Piccolo.

-Eating. I love food. Our 'Top 10 Eats' restaurants are simply the best. My favorite cheap eats would be Toomer's Drug while I prefer to be wined and dined at Cafe 123 downtown Opelika.

-Azaleas... especially the ones in front of Samford Hall.

-My co-workers. Nope, no one paid me to say that. They simply are the best. Everyone who knows them reminds me frequently 'how lucky I am,' and I agree!

-The farmers market at Ag Heritage Park and at the Courthouse Square in Opelika. Support your local farmers AND get delicious food? Count me in!

-Free parking downtown at certain times of year... because it gives me an excuse to go shop!

-Kiesel Park, dog park heaven for my sweet dog Lady.

-Free events.  SummerNight Downtown Art Walk in Auburn, Noon Tunes in Opelika, Summer Swing in Opelika and the list goes on...

My favorite mascot
-Aubie. Hands down the coolest mascot. I don't care if you are 4 years old or 80 years old... you know you smile when you see him.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Auburn-Opelika selected to host the 2012 Miss Alabama USA ® and Miss Alabama Teen USA ® pageants

Barron Rae Williams (left) and Madeline Mitchell (Right)
The city of Auburn  has been selected as the official host city of the Miss Alabama USA and Miss Alabama Teen USA pageants, which will take place November 4-6, 2011, at the Auburn Performing Arts Center. The pageants are the official state preliminaries to the Miss USA ® and Miss Teen USA ® pageants, which are part of the Miss Universe Organization, an NBC Universal and Donald J. Trump Partnership.  Miss Alabama USA 2011, Madeline Mitchell, was named 2nd runner up at the nationally-televised Miss USA pageant, and Miss Alabama Teen USA 2011, Barron Rae Williams, is competing for the Miss Teen USA crown, which will be presented at the Atlantis Resort Bahamas.

The pageants will feature an estimated 150 contestants between the ages of 14-26, who will compete in interview, swimsuit, and evening gown competitions. They will be competing for thousands of dollars in scholarships and prizes as well as the opportunity to travel the state promoting the pageants and its charitable alliances and the once in a lifetime opportunity to represent the state of Alabama at the Miss Teen USA and Miss USA pageants.

In addition to a new host city, the pageant is adding another exciting change. The Miss Alabama USA & Miss Alabama Teen USA “Little Sisters” program is a non-competitive mentoring program for girls 5-12. “Every little girl lights up whenever they catch a glimpse of the sparkle in the crown,” said Dye. “The addition of the Little Sisters program will give them an opportunity to spend the weekend playing princess with their very special Big Sisters.”

“The essence of Miss Alabama USA and Miss Alabama Teen USA is of beauty, grace and charm, and I believe that Auburn embodies those same qualities,” said Dye. “The staff of the Tourism Bureau and the Auburn community as a whole have been exceptional. I feel very confident that the contestants will fall in love with Auburn.”

“The Auburn-Opelika area is extremely proud to be the new home for the Miss Alabama USA and Miss Alabama Teen USA pageants. This event will again place us on the national level of events,” said John Wild, president of the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau. “Our staff looks forward to working with Mr. Dye and the entire organization. This is the type event we work to bring to the area, not only creating lodging tax but an estimated $750,000-900,000 in economic impact.” For more information, contact Dohn Dye at 205-826-2992.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Your Auburn Graduation Survival Guide

Commencement will take place Saturday, August 6 in the Auburn Arena. There will be TWO graduation ceremonies (see below).

10:00 A.M. Ceremony
-Architecture, Design, & Construction      
-Forestry & Wildlife Sciences                               
-Liberal Arts                                                      
-Sciences & Mathematics 
-Graduate Students within these colleges/schools

2:00 P.M. Ceremony
-Human Sciences
-Graduate Students within these colleges/schools


 AU Graduation in the Auburn Arena
Hotel rooms are filling up fast. While this information is subject to change, we currently have found open space for Friday, August 5 and Saturday, August 6 for Auburn University graduation in the following hotels:

Sleep Inn 501-7171
Microtel 826-1444
Quality Inn 821-6699
Hometown Suites 826-1133
Jameson Inn 502-5020

Microtel   745-0415
Studio 6   737-6040
Comfort Inn   741-9977
*all area codes 334
Niffer's Place- Top 10 Must Eat Restaurant

-Looking for incomparable dining? Check out our Top 10 Must Eats here.
-If you have a large group or party we suggest the following restaurants, which can be found in ‘all other dining’ above. Provino’s, Niffer’s, Amsterdam CafĂ©, Ariccia in the AU Hotel, Zazu and Jimmy’s. Call today because space fills quickly!
-A list of all the area restaurants, including great places that offer catering, can be found here.

-Auburn Alumni Association Membership- Call today for your life or year membership (334)844-2960.
-Tiger Rags, J&M Bookstore, Big Blue Bookstore, Anders Bookstore and more! Find great Auburn Alumni gear at all the bookstores in Auburn. Some also offer custom framing of your grads diploma!
-Auburn Art- Find great Auburn prints, jewelry and much more at this store downtown Auburn and online at
-Have family or friends that cannot attend? No problem! Direct them to this site the day of graduation and they can watch it live!

Please be aware there are other area events going on the same weekend as graduation. Expect slower traffic, more people and longer lines at dinner. No matter what, we guarantee you will still have just as much fun as usual!