“Evening with the Editors,” the name of the Birmingham kickoff of Southern Living magazine’s 50th anniversary celebration, doesn’t begin to hint at what’s to come the night of Jan. 25.
While those who spring for an $85 ticket can hobnob with current and former editors and staff (including former editors in chief John Floyd, Eleanor Griffin and Lindsay Bierman), plenty more is in store.
“Evening with the Editors” launches the commemorative book “Southern Living 50 years: A Celebration of People, Places and Culture,” Editor in Chief Sid Evans said. Each person attending, or couple attending, will receive a signed copy of the book, which is included in the ticket price. Couples tickets are $130. The event, at the new Time Inc. Food Studios in Southern Living’s building near Samford University, also features:
- Alabama chefs Frank Stitt (Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham), John Hall (Post Office Pies in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa), Rob McDaniel (SpringHouse near Lake Martin) and Robby Melvin, director of the Southern Living Test Kitchen, will prepare hors d’oeuvres. Champagne, wine and Birmingham’s Good People beer will be served.
- Writers Rick Bragg, Matt Moore, Tasia Malakasis and Valerie Luesse will sign copies of their books, which will be for sale.
- The public will get its first peek of the magazine’s test kitchens and Time’s Food Studios, a 40,000-square-foot facility with 28 state-of-the-art kitchens that serve the company’s portfolio of print and digital brands.
- Jazz trio Jerry Chapman, Abe Becker and Allen Barlow will play throughout the evening.
“It’s going to be sensational,” said Alabama Booksmith owner Jake Reiss, who is partnering with Southern Living and will provide books for the event Monday night.
“Incidentally, it’s a phenomenal book,” he said of the commemorative volume. “Every Southern home must have a copy of that book on their coffee table.”
Evans, who is signing the book, wrote its introduction.
“This book is not just a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Southern Living, a milestone the magazine will hit in plan 2016. It’s a celebration of the South, a heartfelt tribute to our people, places and culture,” he wrote. “It represents the work of a lot of talented people over the years, but it’s not a history book, and it’s by no means a definitive guide to the region. This is a scrapbook, a collection of covers, photographs, and stories that attempt to capture the beauty and sweep of the South as seen through the eyes of its biggest fan.”
The iconic Southern magazine’s anniversary celebration began in earnest with a special anniversary issue that hits newsstands Friday Jan. 22, Evans said.
“We made February our 50the anniversary issue because the first issue of the magazine was in February 1966. We wanted the timing to be right,” he said.
Magazine staff is planning a number of celebratory events around the South over the rest of the year, Evans said. Already announced are weekends in Charleston in June and Nashville in September that will feature dinners, tours, music performances and more. Other events are in the works but have not yet been made public.
“It’s a fun time, a very celebratory time for us,” he said.
Evans said the events aren’t just about celebrating Southern Living’s first 50 years.
“It’s a celebration of the South,” he said. “This is about the Southern way of life and how good it is to live in the South.”
For more information about the event, click here.