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40th Helen Keller Festival kicks off in Tuscumbia

The Helen Keller Festival brings thousands to the Shoals every year.

Posted: Jun 21, 2018 2:43 PM
Updated: Jun 21, 2018 6:33 PM

It was a soggy start to the 40th Helen Keller Festival in Tuscumbia, but Thursday morning's showers and future chances for rain aren't stopping people from going.

"We don't want it to rain," said Helen Keller Festival goer Dianne Grissom. "We're hoping it stays away."

Helen Keller Festival organizers are hoping the same. They have 90 vendors on hand for the four-day festival -- double from last year. The festival lasts from June 21-24. Vendors are already setting up in Spring Park in Tuscumbia and live music will be throughout the town.

"If there need to be rain delays or any changes, we will make those at the time. We hope to go full steam ahead. A little sprinkle isn't going to keep the Helen Keller Festival from happening," said festival chairperson Mary Ellen Mcilwain-Mayfield.

Mcilwain-Mayfield said most of the events are outside for the festival and all the hotels in Tuscumbia are full of visitors from across the country and world.

"We have visitors from the U.K., from Japan, coming all the way to Tuscumbia for this festival," said Mcilwain-Mayfield.

The festival celebrates Tuscumbia native Helen Keller, her life and legacy. The event also brings in millions to the Shoals in tax revenue.

"It gets so crowded you're touching side-by-side -- you can't move," said Grissom.

If you plan on coming to the Helen Keller Festival you can down load their free app on your smart phone named "Helen Keller Festival 2018". If there are any weather delays they will send out alerts through the app.

You can also click here for a full list of events.

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