Join Crunkleton At The Big Spring Crush Wine Festival!

This Saturday, 2,000 wine connoisseurs will gather in Downtown Huntsville to celebrate the fourth annual Big Spring Crush Wine Festival and sample more than 150 wines from around the world!

Ashley Ryals, owner and chief creator of Homegrown Huntsville, saw the need for a wine festival in the Rocket City and has worked tirelessly each year to bring the event to life. Guests can expect new twists and experiences to the lineup and enjoy a fresh take on what was voted Downtown Event of the Year in 2015.

“I think my favorite part of planning and putting on the event is contributing to the economic growth and development of downtown,” said Ashley. “We have return customers each year and everyone seems to love it. This year we have plenty of new surprises for guests to enjoy.”

Credit: Homegrown Huntsville – Big Spring Crush Wine Festival

Crunkleton will be there this year as a major sponsor and would love to invite you to join us for this fun event! You can find us at the “Crunkleton Tent” where guests will be purchasing beer and wine by the glass and wine bottles throughout the evening.

How did it all begin?

“I got started with Homegrown Huntsville five years ago,” said Ashley. “It all began with our signature event series—Dine & Dash. I always knew Huntsville needed a wine festival, but it wasn’t the right timing for downtown. So, I put on Dine & Dash for three years to build up a database of wine lovers.”

After Downtown Huntsville, Inc. made strides in revitalizing the downtown area, Ashley knew it was time to implement the festival. She hoped for 1,000 attendees the first year but ended up with 1,500.

Photo credit: Gregg Clemis (Big Spring Crush 2016)

The event started in 2014 after Ashley spent months coordinating with her team and with local vendors to supply wine and other elements. It wasn’t long until the festival gained the attention of wine suppliers in California.

“The wine industry is taking notice,” explained Ashley. “In fact, we have nine suppliers from California this year. Huntsville is growing as a wine community and the support we give to local events encourages these suppliers and vendors to reach out.”

What can you expect this year?

“Every year comes with its twists and turns, and we are big on keeping things fresh,” said Ashley. “We also have some old favorites that we keep bringing back because people seem to love them.”

VIP Three-Course Dinner

This year, VIP guests will be treated to a delectable three-course dinner provided by Church Street Purveyor.

And if that wasn’t enough, they will also be able to indulge in 25 additional high-end wines while dining and watching SEC football on large monitors.

Beer and Wine Sales Tent

Crunkleton is proud to sponsor the Beer and Wine Sales Tent! If you’ve sipped through several wines and discovered one you can’t live without, come by the tent to purchase it by the bottle at special pricing. It’s also the perfect place to grab a glass of wine that will pair wonderfully with your entree from the local food trucks.

All wine bottles will have special festival pricing that night only! This means it’s the perfect evening to stock up your wine cellar.

Photo credit: Gregg Clemis (Big Spring Crush 2016)

Pop-Up Local Market

All vendors in the market will be giving out samples, as well as free water to keep guests hydrated.

Dayspring Dairy, Fred Bread, and Cork and Cream will be present this year and will have goodies available for purchase (in addition to the free samples).

Cork and Cream—in case you haven’t heard—makes wine ice cream! Yes, you can have your wine and eat it too.

Photo credit: Gregg Clemis (Big Spring Crush 2016)

Grape Stomping

Let loose and pretend you’re in Napa Valley by entering the grape stomping exhibit. Guests can donate any amount of money to stomp the grapes and all proceeds go directly to Susie’s Wish Foundation that sends local people with terminal cancer to the beach.

It’s a fun way to experience the wine making process and give to a great cause.

Food Trucks

There will be a stellar lineup of local foods trucks that will be showcasing “wine-inspired menu items.” This means they will pair perfectly with your glass of white or red.

You can stop by Beast Mode, Fire & Spice, I Love Bacon, Manic Organic, and Back Alley Bistro!

Live Music

And what’s a festival without entertainment? Live music will begin at 4 p.m. and last throughout the evening.

4 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. – Milltowne Band

6:15 p.m. – Alabama Commercial Wine Competition Awards

6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. – Winslow Davis Ensemble

Photo credit: Gregg Clemis (Big Spring Crush 2016)

Excited yet?

We are thrilled to be a part of the event and we can’t wait to see you there. If you have any questions or still need to purchase your tickets, you can get all the info you need and more at

Click here to purchase your tickets, and use the promo code “crunkleton” to get $10 off general admission!

Have you been to Big Spring Crush before? Will you be coming this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Get Involved: Free 2 Teach

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThis past week our office had the opportunity to give back to our local community through volunteering with local non-profit: Free 2 Teach!

Born from the desire to give back and support local teachers, Free 2 Teach provides free resources to teachers in Madison County’s three public school systems. Supplying free resources to more than 3,800 full-time classroom teachers and their 52,000 students in Madison County, Free 2 Teach has given away over $1.1 million worth of free resources to our teachers, their students and their classrooms since they opened their doors in 2013.

From what started out as a collection of donated supplies in Free 2 Teach Executive Director, Eula Battle’s garage, The organization has grown into operating out of a 10,000SF retail and warehouse space off Leeman Ferry Road.

Which is where we came in.

Supported by a team of dedicated volunteers, Free 2 Teach runs a tight ship. Volunteers are put to work in one of two areas, the warehouse (sorting, logging and organizing donations), or the store (checking teachers in when they arrive, stocking merchandise, ringing the teachers up when they have finished shopping, and helping them load up their vehicles).

And with experienced volunteers to help guide you through each of the duties to be attended to around the shop, no prior experience is needed and new volunteers are always welcome!

Here are just a few images of our time volunteering with Free 2 Teach, if you too are interested in volunteering with Free 2 Teach, you can CLICK HERE to go to their website and sign up to help!

If you’re interested in simply getting more involved in your local community and discovering ways to help, join our quarterly volunteer team by sending an email to and we’ll make sure to notify you the next time we volunteer!

Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!


Get Involved: CASA Of Madison County

One of my favorite things we do as a company is our quarterly volunteering with local non-profits from around the city.  This quarter we had the privilege to volunteer with CASA of Madison County!


CASA (Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound) is a non-profit organization located in Huntsville, Alabama that provides assistance to individuals age 60 and older and to the homebound (wheelchair and bed bound) of all ages.

The organization’s mission is to enable the elderly and homebound to maintain their independence, dignity, health and safety.  One major way they do this is by ensuring these individuals have access in and out of their homes.  That’s where we came in.

Located just north of Downtown Huntsville is CASA’s warehouse, a streamlined workshop that constructs accessibility ramps.  Sectioned into stations, volunteers arrive at the workshop and are immediately put to work cutting 2×4’s,  framing,  and painting.


While there, you work to build, cut and frame a stockpile of every element that goes into the  construction of accessibility ramps in the area.  This enables installation crews to simply arrive at the warehouse, load up all the prefabricated, precut sections they need for a build, and be on their way.

While some prior experience with a few basic power tools is a plus, no experience is required to volunteer.   Each station is set up with preset cuts, premeasured lengths and easy to follow templates that allow individuals of all experience levels to quickly jump in and start helping.  And there is always a CASA team member who is standing by happy to show you the ropes and explain each step of the process.

If you’re interested in volunteering with CASA as well, you can find out more information by visiting their website HERE.  You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

Interested in joining our volunteer team next time?  If you’re like me, I’ve always loved the idea of volunteering, but just never knew where to start, who to contact, or how to sign up.  Joining our quarterly volunteer team makes it easy!  We’ll search out a great non-profit that needs our team’s help, send out an email blast with all the details and all you have to do is join us on the day of.  What could be simpler than that!?   If you’d like to join our team and be notified the next time we volunteer in the community, just send a quick email to

Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!


Could Adaptive Reuse Be The Key To Unlocking Huntsville’s Full Potential?

For those unfamiliar with the term “adaptive reuse,”  basically it’s a fancy way of saying you’re going to find a new use for an old building, or if we want to get more technical about it, “a process by which structurally sound older buildings are developed for economically viable new uses.”

The concept itself isn’t new, but really came into mainstream architectural parlance during the 1960s and 1970s due to the growing concern for the environment.  This, combined with high material costs, difficulties in securing building permits, and the growing preservation movement which was gaining ground due the national attention the grassroots efforts to save SoHo and Penn Statation were receiving in New York City at the time,  “resulted in adaptive reuse becoming a viable alternative to new construction,” stated  Sophie Cantell in an essay on The Adaptive Reuse of Historic Industrial Buildings.

But why? What are the benefits of adaptive reuse over simply building new?

Of course there is the fact that historic buildings help to “define the character of our communities by providing a tangible link with the past,” Cantell stated.  But there are also social and economic benefits to the community as well says Cantell.   “A successful adaptive reuse project can bring redevelopment, heritage tourism, and new life into a community.”

the-huntsville-timesbob-gathany-50da7f22e5f0db2bProof of this is already starting to trickle through our city as successful local adaptive reuse projects such as Lowe Mill are having an increasing impact on our community and new projects such as Campus No. 805 (the old Stone Middle School site) and Huntsville West (the former West Huntsville Elementary School) are popping up.

Here are just a few more creative projects from around the US that are igniting our imaginations right now for how adaptive reuse could have a big impact on Huntsville!

The Pratt Power Plant
Built in 1900, the plant served as the main source of power for the United Railways and Electric Company and later served as a central steam plant for the Consolidated Gas, Electric Light and Power Company and finally shut down in 1973.  Since then the plant has gone under an adaptive reuse to become a mixed-use, office, retail and entertainment facility.
The High Line
The High Line (also known as High Line Park) was once a portion of the West Side rail line running to the Lower West Side of Manhattan that had been abandoned since the 1980s.   When plans to demolish the disused line caused a community outcry, the High Line went under a creative adaptive reuse to create a 1.45 mile long linear park.
Built in 1937 as an Oil Station, the building went under an adaptive reuse to become a restaurant, complete with original subway tiles and salvaged brick.
Olio Restaurant Exterior; Saint Louis, Mo., owned by Chef Ben Poremba

Rhode Island Mill
Built in 1901 as a textile mill and closing it’s doors in 2001, this old mill went under an adaptive reuse to convert the 102,000 SF building into 63 dwelling units for low income families, complete with a Head Start daycare and business center.
770 North Point
A parking garage built just after the turn of the century in San Francisco went under adaptive reuse to become a Patagonia clothing store.
Could projects like this help revitalize more of the Huntsville area and breathe life into the older industrial sectors of our city?   We’d love to know what you think!  Leave a comment below and let us know what Huntsville buildings you’d love to see go through an adaptive reuse!

Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!