Boom Days: Fort Payne to celebrate 130 years of heritage

City officials say the event generates tourism revenue each year
WAFF 48's Savannah Sapp reporting
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:44 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:05 PM CDT
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FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WAFF) - The City of Fort Payne, incorporated in 1889 was known as a “boom town” due to the many industries started during that time.

Now, 130 years later, the city celebrates with Boom Days.

“We’ve got a lot of historic architecture, historic content and a great Boom Days history,” Director of Dekalb County Tourism John Dersham said.

Boom Days will consist of live music, arts and crafts, and local vendors lined along Gault Avenue and other downtown spots. Dersham says Boom Days is one of the most celebrated events of the year.

“We consider this really the beginning, the first event for the fall season because school has been started a little more than a month and what happens is people start to get the itch to get out and do other things,” Dersham said.

Mayor Brian Baine says the city provides funding for all entertainment each year to keep things free for the public. He says next year may be even bigger.

“The budget they gave us was $100,000 that the city gives. I think they have agreed to go up next year to help get some bigger bands and get some more attention,” says Baine.

Dersham says the event helps create a “boom” in the number of tourists in the area.

“Not only will they come to Boom days, some people stay for 3 or 4 hours or longer, come back, since it’s a free event you can walk in at any time. They’ll do other things throughout the area, and they’ll spread a lot of money throughout the community, so it’s a very big event for us,” Dersham said.

Festivities will begin Friday morning at 9 a.m. and will wrap up with live bands on Saturday night.

Fort Payne Chief of Police David Davis says his officers will be downtown helping with road closures and traffic.

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