Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. The city, nicknamed "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County.
Tourism is a major part of Decatur's economy. Hundreds of thousands of people from in and out of town, and from many other countries and territories, attend some of the premier festivals in the South. The Alabama Jubilee, begun in 1978, is the oldest hot air balloon race south of the Kentucky Derby's Great Balloon Race (from 1973). With visiting populations rising into 100,000, people crowd around more than 60 seven-story-tall balloons as they inflate. Because of the Alabama Jubilee, Decatur has been named "The Ballooning Capital of Alabama" by the Alabama State Legislature. The Riverfest barbeque cook-off at Ingalls Harbor is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and attracts competitors from across the country. Beginning in 1995, the festival has previously been selected as a top ten tourist event in the State of Alabama, festival goers can expect live, nationally known musical acts, children's activities, and award-winning barbeque.
Austin High and Decatur High are the two main high schools of the city. With the addition of the International Baccalaureate Program to Austin and Decatur High Schools, Decatur has become the first Alabama school system north of Birmingham and one of five in the state to offer the honors program for juniors and seniors (as of July 2006).
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