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Alabama is turning 200 years old. For a relatively small state, it has much diverse natural beauty. Given the mountains on the Tennessee border to the sugar white sands on the Gulf Coast and all the greenery in between, one thing cannot be denied -- she looks great for her age.

Throughout the nation, we are known for college football and some of the best soul food to ever touch the tongue. But our fair state is more than landscape, sports, and fried chicken. We also have a rich literary heritage and have contributed some of the greatest author's and their works to the world.

Harper Lee, author of the immortal “To Kill a Mockingbird” is from Monroeville. As was her childhood friend, Truman Capote. Humorist Fannie Flag is also a native. And the Whistle Stop Cafe where they serve those Fried Green Tomatoes is just a stone's throw away in Irondale.

That is just a few among many.

Two more are Elizabeth Lee Sorrell and Sandra J.S. Coleman. These sisters are not only Alabamians but daughters of Ashville. And they have given children countless hours of entertainment with their many works: the “Doofy the Hippo” Series, “Black and White” and “The Life of a Firework” series among others.

And on November 29, Ashville will be hosting The Christmas Ball to commemorate Alabama's bicentennial, St. Clair County's first families and the latest two books dedicated to the memory of their friend, Chris Porter, also an Alabama native. The event will be held appropriately at Ashville's Historic Masonic Lodge. It begins at 5 p.m. and lasts until 7 p.m.

All who wish to come are welcomed to attend and celebrate Alabama history, literature and heritage.

The average person doesn't get many opportunities to attend balls anymore. And, for this one, no fairy godmother is required!

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