Each year in July, the city of Florence and the Shoals area pay tribute to the “Father of the Blues” and Florence-native W.C. Handy with a ten day family-friendly festival. The W.C. Handy Music Festival offers a variety of events including live musical performances, street parties, art exhibits, and more.
Over 200 activities and musical events are planned for the W.C. Handy Music Festival with activities taking place each day and night during the ten-day festival. Activities include a street strut and parade, songwriter showcases, a car and truck show, a three-state bike ride, and great jazz and Blues music featuring popular local performers can be heard throughout the Shoals at local eateries, malls, parks and other establishments.
W. C. Handy presented to the world the sounds of rhythm-and-blues, jazz, and soul with famous tunes such as “St. Louis Blues,” “Memphis Blues,” and “Beale Street Blues”. He was born in Florence, Alabama on November 16, 1873. Today, his home located at 620 West College Street is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday for tours.