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A variety of festivals also occur throughout the year. Alabama 133 connected Florence and Muscle Shoals via Wilson Dam until 2002, when the new six-lane "Patton Island Bridge" (the unofficial, but locally accepted name) finished construction.The bridge is part of a new corridor that will eventually see the widening of Wilson Dam Road in Muscle Shoals to Alabama 20, and the construction of a new road from the bridge to Florence Blvd. State Route 157 is also an important road to Florence and the Shoals area, serving as a four-lane link to Interstate 65 in Cullman.Florence High School (grades 10-12) is the main high school, with an enrollment of approximately 1,000 students.It was created by a merger between the previous two city high schools, Bradshaw High School and Coffee High School.As of the census of 2000, there were 36,264 people, 15,820 households, and 9,555 families residing in the city.The population density was 1,454.6 people per square mile (561.6/km²).
The road is known as the "University of North Alabama Highway". 72 through Mississippi is four lanes, there are no plans to upgrade it to freeway status.Situated in Florence, and founded in 1830 as La Grange College, the University of North Alabama, a public, co-educational, higher education institution, is Alabama's oldest state-certified university.The University is the largest in north Alabama, with an enrollment topping 7,000 for the first time in 2007.He was officially sworn in as mayor on November 2, 2016. Highway 72 helps connect the city to Huntsville and Chattanooga, Tennessee to the east and Memphis, Tennessee to the west.He defeated incumbent mayor Mickey Haddock in a municipal runoff. Interstate 65 is accessible about forty-five minutes east on Highway 72.
Florence is the largest and principal city of the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia metropolitan areas in Colbert and Lauderdale counties). Handy Music Festival in the summer and the Renaissance Faire in the fall. Florence is located on Wilson Lake and Pickwick Lake, bodies of water on the Tennessee River dammed by Pickwick Dam and Wilson Dams.