2021 has been an incredibly eventful year for Alabama, with new developments, the COVID-19 pandemic, sports wins and losses and so much more. Before we leap into the New Year, we rounded up 12 of our most popular stories from 2021—keep reading to find out more!
In April, Bama Buzz author Libby Foster took us on a virtual tour of eight jaw-dropping parks in Tuscaloosa, including:
- Lake Lurleen
- Lake Nicol
- Lake Harris
- The Tuscaloosa Riverwalk
- Van De Graff Park
- University of Alabama Arboretum
- Sokol Park
- Hurricane Creek Park
Bama Buzz’er Liv George is our go-to expert for fun things to do on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. In April, she highlighted seven eclectic restaurants in Mobile with outdoor dining options—perfect for taking advantage of that coastal weather!
For the highly-anticipated 2021 SEC Championship, the Bama Buzz published legendary sportswriter Kevin Scarbinsky‘s take on the Alabama Crimson Tide’s win over the top-ranked and undefeated Georgia Bulldogs in early December. Plus, Bama Buzz author Emily Kent was able to snap a few photos while at the game.
In February, the Alabama House passed Bill 235—a bill that would allow pet owners to bring their pets to restaurants while dining outdoors! Under this bill, pet dogs may join their owners while dining outdoors under the following conditions:
- Pet dog must be on a leash or in a carrier and under control of the owner at all times.
- Owner of the pet dog is liable for any damages to the property of the food service establishment caused by the pet dog.
- Pet dogs are not allowed on the any of the restaurant’s outdoor dining furniture.
And great news—later this year, Governor Ivey officially signed Bill 235 into law.
This year, COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines have been top-of-mind for nearly everyone. But as flu season approached, many wondered if it was safe to mix a COVID-19 vaccine with the annual flu vaccine. So, Bama Buzz’er Madison Croxon spoke with Dr. Darrel Weaver, MD, a qualified expert at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, to answer some questions.
7 — 7 things you’ve never done in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach during the holidays, but should right now
Spending the holidays on the coast is already a fun experience, but Bama Buzz author Patience Itson pulled together a list of 7 incredible activities you can do to make your trip even better, including:
- Holiday Horse + Carriage Rides
- Ice Skating
- The Wharf North Pole Express
- Photos with Santa
- Black Friday Shopping
- Holly Days on Main
- Reelin’ in the New Year
If you know me, you know I love a good zoo. That’s why I was so excited to read Emily Kent‘s story about the new zoo coming to North Alabama! This project is the brainchild of the North Alabama Zoological Society (NALZS), a non-profit organization that has been working to bring a zoological park and aquarium to North Alabama.
With 880 miles of shoreline to visit, Lake Martin can be daunting to first-timers. Luckily, Bama Buzz’er Emilyn Hamn pulled together a handy list of seven must-visit spots on the largest man-made lake in Alabama, including:
- Kowaliga Restaurant
- Catherine’s Market
- Bluff’s Daiquiri Bar
- The Social
- The Landing at Parker Creek
Another entry from Liv George, this article highlights all the reasons to love Fairhope, an adorable little town situated in Baldwin County. This walkable, historic town is full of fun for the whole family—it even has its own French Quarter!
Did I mention that I love zoos? Yeah, I probably did. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is one of the big surprises awaiting you at Gulf Shores, with over 199 species and 31 subspecies—and, of course, sloths!
In August, Bama Buzz author Pat Byington brought us some incredible news: the Forever Wild Board of Trustees voted to acquire 1,611 acres of forestland adjacent to Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama’s largest state park. This acquisition will both enlarge Oak Mountain State Park and protect the view from King’s Chair, a popular hiking destination.
Drumroll, please! The most popular story—by far—on the Bama Buzz this year? The story of the heroic rescue of a fawn by a dog at Lake Martin!
In June, Harley the Labrador Retriever went viral for his valiant rescue of a fawn which had become stranded in the middle of Lake Martin. According to the original Facebook post by Harley’s owner, Ralph Dorn, “I couldn’t find Harley this evening until I looked out on the lake. He was near the middle of the lake herding a little fawn back to the shore line. Not sure how the fawn got out there, but Harley obviously didn’t ask why, he just jumped into action.”
And the story gets better—Harley and the fawn have become fast friends!
What was your favorite story in Alabama this year? Tag us @thebamabuzz to let us know!