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Boaz: Perfect destination for shopaholics

It’s every shopaholic’s dream — Boaz, Ala., a town so proud about its shopping opportunities that it has a website about shopping: shopboaz.com.

“Boaz has a good selection of retail stores, unique specialty shops, outlet stores, automobile dealerships, entertainment venues, service providers, restaurants and other things to meet your shopping needs. Our website motto is “Shop Boaz today. You will find a sale,” the website notes.

It’s the outlet stores that have many Chattanooga area residents making the approximately 106-mile trek south.

According to Bromleigh Hale, president of the Boaz Chamber of Commerce, there are several outlet centers, as well as retail and outlet shops in downtown Boaz. The fashion outlets include Polo/Ralph Lauren, Motherhood Maternity, Gap, Osh Kosh, Van Heusen, Paper Factory, Kitchen Collection, Kasper, Legs/Hanes/Bali, Vanity Fair, Bonworth and more.

Shopping, though, is not limited to clothing.

Looking for jewelry? There are jewelry stores in Boaz including a King Arthur Jewelry.

How about cosmetics? Check out Merle Norman.

And there are many more shops specializing in furniture, shoes and toys.

There’s also a wide selection of places to eat.

New this year in Boaz is “Boaz Second Saturday Night,” Hale said. “It’s the second Saturday night of each month from March through October. We have an antique car show downtown, and we average around 150 to 200 cars each month.”

AT A GLANCE

-- Population: 9,800.

-- Date founded: 1886.

-- Best things to do: Shopping at outlet stores.

-- Biggest employers: Marshall Medical Centers, Progress Rail, Pilgrim’s Pride.

-- Miles from downtown Chattanooga: 106.

-- Landmarks: Snead State Community College, founded in 1898 as a seminary school.

-- Unique traditions: The annual Boaz Harvest Festival Oct. 7-8.

-- History: In its earliest days, Boaz was occupied by American Indians, mostly Cherokees. In 1878, Bill Sparks and 42 people settled in the area. A railroad line opened in 1892. Boaz is named for the husband of Ruth in the Old Testament.