Southside: A Hidden Gem of Alabama

Nestled in the heart of Etowah County, Alabama, Southside is a city brimming with historical significance and a vibrant, diverse community. Established in 1850, the city has evolved into a thriving hub governed by a mayor/council system.

With a population of 8,801, Southside boasts a demographic tapestry primarily composed of white, Hispanic, African American, and multi-racial residents. Education is central to the community, with schools under the Etowah County School system and close proximity to Gadsden State Community College.

The city's accessibility is enhanced by State Highway 77 and Interstate 59. Southside also offers a plethora of cultural and recreational attractions, including the annual Southside City Fest and a well-equipped sports complex.

From its rich history to its modern allure, Southside stands as a captivating hidden gem of Alabama.

Key Takeaways

  • Southside is located in west-central Etowah County in the northeast part of the state, on the Coosa River.
  • The city has a mayor/council form of government.
  • Southside was first settled in 1850 and resulted from the merging of Green Valley, Cedar Bend, and Pilgrims Rest.
  • According to the 2020 Census, Southside has a population of 8,801, with a majority identifying as white.

Location and Government

Located in west-central Etowah County in the northeast part of the state, Southside operates under a mayor/council form of government.

The city council plays a crucial role in local politics, making decisions that impact the community's development and well-being. With a focus on representing the interests of the city's residents, the council addresses various issues, including infrastructure, public services, and economic development.

Engaging in open dialogue and debate, council members work collaboratively to shape policies and initiatives that align with the city's vision for the future. Through strategic planning and thoughtful decision-making, the city council strives to create a thriving environment where residents can live, work, and prosper.

This form of government fosters a sense of community involvement and ensures that the diverse needs of Southside's population are considered in the decision-making process.


Southside was first settled in 1850, marking the beginning of its historical legacy. The town resulted from the merging of Green Valley, Cedar Bend, and Pilgrim's Rest, with agriculture forming the backbone of its early economy.

Over time, Southside saw significant economic development, evidenced by the introduction of electric lights in 1931 and the construction of its own water system upon incorporation in 1957. These milestones in infrastructure development highlight the town's steady progress.

The settlement origins and economic development have laid the foundation for Southside's rich history, shaping it into the vibrant community it is today. This journey from its agricultural roots to a more diversified economy showcases the resilience and adaptability of the town's inhabitants, contributing to its unique historical tapestry.


The demographic makeup of Southside reflects a predominantly white population, with smaller percentages identifying as Hispanic, African American, and multiracial, according to the 2020 Census estimates. The population of Southside was recorded at 8,801, with 95.7% identifying themselves as white, 2.3% as Hispanic, 2.1% as African American, and 1.1% as two or more races.

Additionally, 0.5% identified as Asian, and 0.1% as American Indian. The median household income was reported at $70,306, and the per capita income at $32,498.

These statistics showcase the cultural diversity within the town, contributing to a rich tapestry of traditions and backgrounds. Southside's population statistics depict a community with a blend of ethnicities, making it a dynamic and vibrant place to live.

Education and Transportation

Public schools in Southside are part of the Etowah County School system. The town boasts one elementary school and one high school, providing quality education to the local community. Additionally, Gadsden State Community College, located just seven miles from Southside, offers opportunities for higher education and vocational training. State Highway 77 bisects the city, providing crucial connectivity and access to neighboring areas. This strategic location enhances the town's accessibility, stimulating economic growth and facilitating travel for residents and visitors alike. The presence of Interstate 59 approximately 10 miles northwest further augments Southside's connectivity, positioning it as a pivotal hub within the region.

Education Transportation
– Elementary School – State Highway 77 bisects the city
– High School – Interstate 59 located 10 miles NW
– Gadsden State Community College

Events and Places of Interest

One of the notable events in Southside is the annual Southside City Fest held every third Saturday of July. This vibrant event features an antique car show, providing a nostalgic display of classic automobiles. The fest also offers a range of activities for all ages, including engaging children's activities and a variety of arts and crafts booths to explore.

Moreover, the festival is a culinary delight, with diverse food vendors serving up delectable treats, and there's top-notch musical entertainment to keep the atmosphere lively.

Southside also boasts a sports complex with well-maintained softball fields and a community center with versatile meeting rooms available for private functions, making it a hub for community center meetings and gatherings.

Southside City Fest

Southside City Fest is an annual event that showcases the vibrant community spirit and diverse attractions of Southside, Alabama. The event, held every third Saturday of July, features an array of activities that cater to all ages.

One of the highlights is the antique car show, where enthusiasts and curious onlookers can marvel at a display of classic and vintage vehicles.

In addition to this, the festival offers a delightful lineup of musical entertainment, ensuring that the atmosphere is always lively and engaging.

Attendees can also enjoy children's activities, peruse arts and crafts booths, and sample delicious offerings from various food vendors.

With its charming mix of old-fashioned allure and contemporary excitement, Southside City Fest is a beloved celebration that truly captures the spirit of this hidden gem in Alabama.

Sports and Recreation

Sports and recreation facilities are readily accessible in Southside, offering residents and visitors ample opportunities to engage in physical activities and leisure pursuits. The city boasts a range of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to fishing and boating on the Coosa River. Local parks provide serene settings for picnics, sports matches, and leisurely strolls.

Notable options include:

  • Coosa Landing: A popular spot for fishing and boating, with a boat launch and ample shoreline for angling.
  • Southside Sports Complex: Offers well-maintained softball fields for both recreational and competitive games.
  • Noccalula Falls Park: Located nearby, this scenic park provides hiking trails, a campground, and breathtaking views of the 90-foot waterfall.

These facilities cater to a diverse range of interests, making Southside an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Community Resources

Located in Southside, numerous community resources are available to residents and visitors, offering a wide range of services and support.

The city fosters community engagement through its various cultural institutions, such as the Southside City Fest, an annual event that showcases antique car shows, children's activities, arts and crafts booths, food vendors, and musical entertainment.

Additionally, Southside boasts a sports complex with softball fields, a community center with rentable meeting rooms, and the presence of the Etowah County Centennial Committee and Etowah County Heritage Book Committee, which contribute to preserving the area's history and heritage.

These resources not only provide avenues for leisure and entertainment but also promote a sense of belonging and unity within the community, making Southside an enriching place to live and visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Main Industries or Economic Drivers in Southside?

The main industries in Southside encompass a diverse range of sectors, offering job opportunities in manufacturing, healthcare, education, and retail. The city shows promising economic growth and investment potential, making it an attractive location for businesses and professionals.

Are There Any Notable Landmarks or Historical Sites in Southside?

Notable landmarks and historical sites in Southside, Alabama include the Southside City Fest, a vibrant annual event showcasing antique car shows, children's activities, arts, crafts, and musical entertainment. The city's sports complex and community center are also popular local attractions.

What Are Some Popular Outdoor Activities or Recreational Opportunities in Southside?

Hiking trails and kayaking adventures are popular outdoor activities in Southside. The city boasts scenic trails for hikers, offering diverse landscapes and wildlife encounters. Additionally, the Coosa River provides an ideal setting for kayaking enthusiasts to explore and enjoy the outdoors.

How Does Southside Support Local Businesses and Entrepreneurship?

Supporting local businesses and entrepreneurship in Southside is akin to nurturing a vibrant garden. The city invests in small business initiatives, community support, and entrepreneurship programs, fostering a thriving ecosystem of local marketplaces and opportunities for growth.

Are There Any Unique Cultural or Artistic Attractions in Southside?

Local art and music scene in Southside thrives with diverse talents and creative expressions. From galleries showcasing regional artists to live music venues featuring local bands, the city boasts a vibrant cultural and artistic community.


In conclusion, Southside, Alabama, offers a captivating blend of culture, education, and recreational opportunities.

The town's rich history, diverse demographics, and vibrant community contribute to its appeal.

One interesting statistic is that the annual Southside City Fest attracts over 10,000 visitors each year, showcasing the town's appeal and drawing attention to its hidden gem status in Alabama.

Our Reader’s Queries

What is the demographics of Southside Alabama?

In 2021, Southside, AL had a significantly larger White (Non-Hispanic) population of 8.69k people compared to other races or ethnicities. The second and third most common ethnic groups were 160 Other (Non-Hispanic) residents and 113 Two+ (Non-Hispanic) residents.

What is the history of Southside Alabama?

In 1850, Southside was established as a rural community, made up of townships like Green Valley, Cedar Bend, and Pilgrims Rest. These areas eventually merged to form the city of Southside. Initially, agriculture was the main economic activity in early Southside.

What is the loveliest village on the Coosa?

Southside boasts 31.8 miles of beautiful shoreline alongside the Coosa River, earning it the title of “The Loveliest Village on the Coosa.”

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