My train tour starts this Friday, and I won’t be back to Birmingham until … Sunday. It’s not because the trip is that short (the trip from New Orleans to New York on Amtrak is many things, but short isn’t one of them). It’s because geography (and Amtrak, I guess) makes Birmingham the second stop on my train route. Seem a little bit anticlimactic? I thought so, too — so I wanted to do something special when I hit Birmingham, something that could also work as kind of a hometown kickoff as well as a Localist event.
I was talking through this dilemma with my good friend (and photographer extraordinaire) Morgan Trinker while we were sneaking onto an Amtrak platform to take pictures of me with the trains. Morgan and I share more than a willingness to risk getting thrown into train jail to get the perfect shot — we also share a birthday, so we thought it would be a great way to celebrate the localist in all of us to throw a party together … and give gifts to our partygoers … and have a band … and have our party at a locally owned business so everyone can come.
So on Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m., we’ll be taking over the upstairs room at Carrigan’s. The party is totally free, and everyone’s invited. Local band War Jacket is going to play for us, and we’ll be giving out raffle tickets so you’ll have a chance to win one of the completely fantastic prizes donated by some of my and Morgan’s favorite local shops and vendors.
I’m super excited about the prizes we already have donated: We have three hand-delivered lunches from Stupid Good Lunchbox. We have candles from Great Bear Wax. We have lots of music from Communicating Vessels and jewelry from Charm and art from Sara Cannon and leather goods from All Hands Manufacturing Co. and treats from Magic City Macarons and the cutest stuffed animals from Parke Stalcup and Piper & Leaf tea and prints from Kelly Cummings and Better Kombucha and Finer Grind Coffee … well, we even have more treats and gifts on the way. (You can also bring your Localist books if you want them signed or personalized.)
So please come by on March 11, and tell your friends, spread the word, etc. — here’s the Facebook event. The party, band and prizes are free, and Carrigan’s is opening the upstairs bar for us, so if you want to buy drinks and food, that’ll be easy. I’m so excited to meet blog readers, spend time with friends, and celebrate Morgan, our birthday, and Birmingham’s local businesses.
Carrie Rollwagen is author of The Localist: Think Independent, Buy Local and Reclaim the American Dream and co-founder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Find her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @crollwagen.