Fun happens.

Whether you’re hopping on a hot air balloon, enjoying a regional delicacy, or shaking it to some soul music, there’s always something festive happening in North Alabama. Plan your trip today and check out these great events.

Whether you’re hopping on a hot air balloon, enjoying a regional delicacy, or shaking it to some soul music, there’s always something festive happening in North Alabama. Plan your trip today and check out these great events.

Ongoing Weekly/Monthly Events

First Fridays - Gadsden features wine and beer tastings, food vendors, and live entertainment. Downtown vendors stay open late and the scene is vibrant and filled with fun for families and those looking for a little romance. Takes place the first Friday of every month. downtowngadsden.com

Third Fridays - Decatur lights up downtown from April to December to feature late night shopping with store specials and live entertainment. Buses run from Bank Street to 2nd Avenue so you won’t miss a minute of the fun.

March

The Jerry Brown Arts Festival hits Hamilton the first weekend of March. The now decade-old festival has quickly become a must for arts lovers looking to discover the next great artist. The two-day event includes a juried festival and items available range from pottery to photography. jbaf.org

April

Bloomin’ Festival blooms every spring in Cullman. This outdoor juried arts festival features music, great southern cuisine, and great activities for youngsters. This fantastic two-day festival benefits St. Bernard Abbey and Prep School. bloominfestival.com

The Alabama Chicken and Egg Festival gets cracking in Moulton every April.  This weekend event features food vendors, live entertainment, educational exhibits, children’s activities, arts and crafts, and much more.  alabamachickenandeggfestival.com

The Smoke on the Falls Noccalula Barbeque Festival will get all your senses tingling! Set among a 90-foot waterfall, the annual festival attracts thousands of visitors to one of Alabama’s most beautiful natural parks for two days of high energy grilling competition and family fun. The two-day event includes ongoing live music and a kaleidoscope of children’s activities along with the barbecue cook-off and a chance to talk barbecue secrets with the pros.

May

Mayfest hits Guin on the second Saturday each May and features a host of fun activities like a dog show, tractor pull and parade, car show, BBQ cook-off, arts and crafts, and a multitude of children’s activities. Admission is FREE. guinal.org/mayfest

The first weekend of May brings WhistleStop Weekend to Huntsville. This “foot-stompin’, pig-chompin’ two-day festival” at Huntsville Depot Museum features live entertainment, an out of this world kid’s space zone, BBQ cooking competitions, and a corn hole competition. rocketcitybbq.com

The Arts Alive Festival in Florence features a juried arts and crafts festival, more than 100 vendors, and great food, music, and kid-friendly activities. Proceeds benefit local schools’ ‘Artist in Residence’ program. artsalivealabama.com

The Poke Salat Bluegrass Festival has been bringing great tunes to Arab for nearly 30 years. Also features a BBQ cook off, arts and crafts, and more. pokesalatfestival.com

The Limestone Sheriff’s Rodeo stampedes into Athens every May and features a Saddle Bronc and Bareback Bronc clinic, street dance, parade, rodeo, horseback rides, and the much-coveted Queen Contest. limestonesheriffrodeo.com

Soulstock has been bringing uplifting spirituality to Decatur each May for nearly 15 years. This FREE Christian music festival held at Point Mallard Park features some of the top artists in the genre. soulstock.com

The Alabama Jubilee Hot-Air Balloon Classic in Decatur features around 60 colorful hot-air balloons, children’s activity area, antique tractor show, and more. This Memorial Day staple is FREE and fun for the whole family. alabamajubilee.net

June

Gadsden Riverfest brings great bands to the banks of the Coosa River. Family-friendly outdoor fun with fireworks, arts, food, and play area. gadsdenriverfest.com

The Helen Keller Festival honors America’s ‘First Lady of Courage’ each year in Tuscumbia. Arts, crafts, live entertainment, and informative demonstrations make this festival a must. helenkellerfestival.com

July

Spirit of America Festival lights up Point Mallard Park each 4th of July and is the South’s largest FREE celebration of America. Event features a talent show, cheerleading competition, races, bike ride, softball and golf tourneys, food and game vendors, live music, the Miss Point Mallard Pageant, and, of course, fireworks. spiritofamericafestival.com

The W.C. Handy Music Festival honors the ‘Father of the Blues’ with a celebration of Alabama’s musical heritage. Festival includes a parade, jam sessions, plenty of activities for the kids, and much more. wchandymusicfestival.org

August

The World’s Longest Yard Sale’s southern-most point begins in Gadsden and travels more than 93 miles along the Lookout Mountain Parkway to Chattanooga. More than 1,000 yard sale vendors in Alabama set up shop to sell their unique wares. A true treasure hunter’s delight. shoplookoutmountain.com

September

The Boom Days Heritage Celebration shows off Fort Payne’s past and the heritage passed down to them through the arts and crafts of the region. Four blocks of the city’s downtown district are closed to traffic while art and music takes over the city. The Boom Days Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament is also a featured event each year. fortpayne.org

At the Athens Grease Festival you will find that fried foods are Southerners' Achilles heel. We love to batter and fry standard fare like okra and fish, but we don’t mind expanding the technique to Twinkies and Snickers bars. Grab a bed sheet, create your own toga, and bring your taste buds to the city that knows how to celebrate Southern life in a classical way. athensgreasefestival.com

October


Cullman Oktoberfest brings German music, food, and dancing to Alabama. Festival also includes historic district tour, arts and crafts, Miss Oktoberfest ceremony, and the Burgermeister Ball. cullmanoktoberfest.com

The Alabama Gourd Festival features artwork and crafts made from gourd. Enjoy hands-on crafting classes and free demonstrations while shopping vendor booths. alabamagourdsociety.org

Imagine a crisp fall weekend spent listening to stories of adventure and excitement... a place where memories and magic are captured and spun into tales that make you laugh and cry. At the Athens Storytelling Festival you will hear stories that tell of a time that used to be. Glimpse into the past and live the imaginary. Stories will be told on the courthouse square in Athens, Alabama within close proximity of an eclectic mix of shops offering a wide variety of antiques, gifts, gourmet foods, clothing and hardware. athensstorytellingfestival.com

November/December

Stroll the Historic Decatur Christmas Tour of Homes and get in the holiday spirit by visiting the old-fashioned holiday decor of Decatur’s two historic districts. decaturchristmastour.com

Reindeer, elves, snow falls, and the big guy himself, Santa, can all be found in Huntsville when the Alabama Constitution Village transforms its historical setting into the magical holiday attraction, Santa’s Village. Additional family-friendly activities adding to the whimsical fun include making crafts in the Toymaker’s Workshop, mingling with costumed characters, enjoying musical entertainment on the Tinsel Tunes Stage, and shopping in Santa’s gift shop. earlyworks.com

Enjoy five weeks of lights, entertainment, and music inviting children and adults to share in the magic of Christmas at the annual Christmas in the Park in Arab. Featuring more than 2 million lights throughout Arab City Park with spirited fun for all ages. The Arab Historic Village, located adjacent to Arab City Park, will be transformed into Santa’s village where children will be able to visit with Santa and have a photo made with him, decorate a cookie, make an ornament in Santa’s Toy Shop, and climb aboard Santa’s sleigh. arab-chamber.org

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