Florence gets festive

A band jams out at the 2015 W.C. Handy Music Festival. The event offers a variety of music for listeners.

Florence offers a variety of free festivals throughout the year with varying themes. Pick a festival and take a trip back in time, experience films from around the globe or listen to local bands.

Renaissance Faire

Downtown Florence transports back in time to the era of rebirth and creativity between the fourteenth and seventeenth century. Men and women dress in elaborate costumes and face painters, vendors selling huge chicken legs and belly dancers fill Florence for this weekend-long event.

The faire is in October every year, said Florence City Historian and founder of the festival Billy Warren.

The George Lindsey UNA Film Festival

Another local festival worth looking into is the annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival.

While George Lindsey is perhaps most famous for playing Goober Pyle on the television series “The Andy Griffith Show,” the name also carries weight outside of the United States.

“We have had many filmmakers from across the globe tell us they submitted their work to our festival even though they did not know where UNA or North Alabama was because they recognized George’s name.”

W.C. Handy Music Festival

Students do not have to spend a ton of money on tickets to a music festival. The W.C. Handy Festival is free to the public and in Florence.

 The father of blues, William Christopher Handy, was born in Florence in 1873. This festival is a celebration of his musical contribution and a recognition of the great music that has come out of our area, said W.C. Handy Chair Tori Bailey.

“We have something for the saints (and) something for the sinners,” Bailey said.