There are two months in the year when festivals are the most popular in North Alabama. One is May because it’s finally warming up. September is the other because it is finally cooling down. As the temps dip down below scorching, make plans to attend some or all of these fun North Alabama festivals to celebrate the arrival of fall.
More than 70 artisans and craftsmen will make their way to Scottsboro to participate in a juried show and offer their artworks and crafts for sale when the Scottsboro Three Arts Club hold their annual Art Sunday event this weekend. Along with arts and crafts, the event offers musical entertainment, children’s activities, photography contests and food and beverage vendors. This year will be the 50th annual event.
Set for Sunday, September 3 at King Caldwell Park, Art Sunday features nationally recognized artists and emerging, local creators from across northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to shop the work of 70-plus artists and makers between the hours of 9am-5pm. The art exhibition is held rain or shine. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for students.
General Joe Wheeler Birthday Celebration
Don't miss the General Joe Wheeler Birthday Celebration on Saturday, September 9 from 9am-4pm. There will be horse and buggy rides, crafts for the kids to make their own souvenirs, guided tours of the grounds, and live music.
A celebration of the culture and traditions of American Indians who once lived in north Alabama returns this year to downtown Tuscumbia for two days of educational and free family fun on September 8-9, with activities taking place in and around Spring Park in downtown Tuscumbia.
The Oka Kapassa: Return to Coldwater Festival is a free family event featuring Native American heritage, entertainment and education through hands-on activities and demonstrations. Friday, September 8 is school day at the festival. Approximately 1,000 students, from as far away as Walker County in Alabama and southern Middle Tennessee, will attend.
On Friday evening at 5:30pm, the Tuscumbia Roundhouse will hold a cultural history event presented by LaDonna Brown of the Chickasaw Nation. This program will be followed by a presentation of Tuscumbia history related to Native Americans and a trolley tour of the Tuscumbia witness sites of the Indian Removal Period. Festival goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Concessions will be available.
On Saturday, September 9, festivities get underway at 9am with grand entry at 11am. Special crafts, fancy and traditional dance demonstrations, storytelling and music will all be on the agenda and authentic Native American artwork and crafts will be available for purchase.
Several well-known American Indian cooks will attend and prepare foods that were developed by their ancestors. Juanita Gardinski and brother Billy Thompson (Choctaw) are returning to Oka Kapassa to serve delicious and authentic Native American foods such as buffalo stew and burgers, fry bread, Indian tacos, fish and roasted corn. Gardinski will also demonstrate bead work and share Choctaw culture with attendees at Oka Kapassa.
Monte Sano Art Festival
The Monte Sano Art Festival has been an enjoyed tradition in Huntsville for two decades. The 2022 festival will be September 9-10 and will feature more than 150 of the region’s finest artists in an array of wonderful media. Along with the outdoor festival exhibitors, there will be local food trucks and musicians throughout the park. The Monte Sano Art Festival is always a highlight of the arts calendar!
Hartselle Depot Days
The Depot Days Festival rolls into Hartselle September 16, 2023, bringing a day of family-friendly fun and entertainment to the historic depot and downtown area. Hosted by the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce and presented by Decatur Morgan Hospital, the free event is the city’s largest event and is a tribute to the railroad industry and its contribution to Hartselle and the North Alabama region.
Now in its 42nd year, the Depot Days Festival gets underway on September 16 at 8am with activities lasting throughout the day until 4 p.m. Activities include an art show, craft vendors, a tractor and engine show, a car, truck and motorcycle show and live music. There will also be food vendors and a variety of fun and games for children.
The Depot Days Festival takes place at 110 Railroad Street SW and surrounding streets in downtown Hartselle. Hours are 8am-4pm. Admission is free. For more information on the Depot Days Festival, visit www.HartselleDepotDays.com or call the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce at 256.773.4370.
Alabama Wine Festival
Don't miss the Alabama Wine Festival on Saturday, September 16 from 2pm-6pm at Wills Creek Vineyards and Winery in Duck Springs near Attalla! Alabama wineries from across the state will have wine available for sample and purchase. You can enjoy food from local food truck vendors & live music! This is an adults only event. ID's will be checked. Tickets sold online are $30 per person, and tickets sold at the gate are $40 per person. Designated driver wristbands are available at the gate at no charge. Designated drivers must be 21 years or older.
Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride
Motorcyclists from across the southeast will come together on September 16 for a scenic ride across north Alabama to honor Native American Indians that once traveled through the region. Now in its 30th year, the Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride travels from Bridgeport in the northeastern part of Alabama to the northwestern town of Waterloo, and along with the celebratory ride, there is a kick-off rally and a three-day Indian Festival for the public to take part in.
The Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride begins at the Alabama/Tennessee state line on U. S. Highway 72 in Bridgeport with riders departing at 8am on Saturday, September 17. The ride travels U. S. Highway 72 West to I-565 West arriving at Redstone Harley-Davidson at approximately 10:30am for an official ride rest and lunch stop. At 12pm, riders will depart onto Mooresville Road to Highway 72 and head west through Athens and Florence arriving in Waterloo at approximately 2:30pm.
Sizzle and Smoke
Alabama's only triple steak cookoff returns September 22-23, bringing with it exciting grilling action and good times to the River City. Sizzle and Smoke made its debut last year with 33 local businesses, organizations and weekend grillers competing for prize money and bragging rights during the two day competition.
Mosaic Mentoring of North Alabama is excited to offer Alabama's only triple steak cookoff, a Steak Cookoff Association (SCA)-sanctioned event. Sizzle and Smoke is a two-day competition where anyone can take their skills to the grill and enter the competition as long as they are members of the SCA. Membership to SCA is $40 to join and allows members to cook in as many steak events taking place anywhere in the United States.
Competitors can turn in three steaks for judging. One on Friday night, Sept. 22 and two on Saturday, Sept. 23. Mosaic Mentoring will provide ribeye steaks for the competition to ensure a level playing field. The competition steaks are included in the registration fee. Sign up is available at https://www.steakcookoffs.com/event-5042463/Registration for Friday and
https://www.steakcookoffs.com/event-5042491/Registration for Saturday. Any cook registering before Sept. 12th will have his/her name put in a drawing for an aged Jack Daniels whiskey barrel.
The winning steak will earn that competitor a payout of $1000. The second place steak receives $500, third place $400, fourth place $300, fifth place $200 and sixth through tenth place receives $100 each and the winners of all three steak turn-ins will automatically receive a golden ticket to the World Food Championships Finals in Dallas.
The competition also offers ribs, dessert and Jack Daniel’s cocktail categories, with all paying to fifth place. Kids ages four to 13 years old can participate to see who has the best pork chop and compete for a payout of up to $100 for first place, $75 for second place, $50 for third place and $25 each for fourth through tenth place. To register, call Mosaic Mentoring of North Alabama at (256) 353-0157.
In addition to the competition, there will be food trucks and a steak sandwich sale hosted by The Morgan County Sheriff’s Posse for the public along with raffle prizes and a silent auction. Saturday’s lineup also includes a car show. Admission is free.
All activities will be held at Ingalls Harbor located at 802 Wilson St NW, in Decatur, Ala.
Red Bay Founder's Fest
Red Bay presents its annual Founder’s Fest Saturday, September 23, and everyone is invited to the northwest Alabama town for a day of free family fun. Situated under the shade trees of Bay Tree Park, the one-day tribute to the town’s heritage offers contests, arts and crafts, sidewalk sales and live music.
The family-friendly event gets underway at 8:30 a.m. with the King and Queen’s Train Ride of the winners of the beauty pageant, which will be held Sept. 18 at Red Bay High School. At 9 a.m., live music cranks up and festival goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets and enjoy the sounds. A contest to see who has the best fried pie entries with the best tasting, most unusual and best of show taking home a cash prize, and there will be quilt, coloring and photography contests for participants to take part in.
Additional activities include arts and crafts and an antique car-truck-motorcycle-tractor show. The Red Bay Museum will be open for tours and Weatherford Library will host a book sale and will have entries for the quilt, photo and coloring contests on display. Merchants will offer sidewalk sales, specials and door prizes throughout the day. A variety of festival food will be available, and another crowd favorite are the giveaways to be presented. Prizes will be awarded to the largest family, longest distance traveled to the event, and youngest and oldest attendees.
Bay Tree Park is located between 2nd and 3rd streets, along 4th Avenue SE in downtown Red Bay. Festival hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the festival or to register as a vendor, contact Jennifer Garrett at Red Bay City Hall at (256) 356-4473 ext. 3. Registration forms are available at http://cityofredbay.org/events/founders-fest-registration-forms/. For the latest updates, follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedBayAlabama/.
Mule Day, a two-day event centered on mules and their role in rural farming, hits the streets of downtown Winfield September 22-23, bringing with it free family fun. Vendors of all kinds, local merchant sales, live music, fireworks show, 5K run, rodeo, car show and antique tractors, mule judging, cornhole tournament, disc golf tournament and a parade are all on the agenda as the North Alabama town celebrates its agricultural heritage.
Mule Day kicks off on Friday evening, September 22 at 6pm when shoppers are invited to shop with local merchants and among 300 vendors during the Mule Night Madness. There will also be live music, a spectacular firework show that can be viewed while shopping downtown and runners can take part in a midnight 5K run. Onsite registration for the 5K is from 10:30-11:30pm at the Winfield City Hall or may be completed in advance online at https://runsignup.com/.
On Saturday, September 23, the festivities get underway at 7am. As festivalgoers wander through the town, approximately 300 arts and crafts and flea market vendors will be selling their wares. Starting at 8am, antique vehicles will be on display in the grove at Winfield Middle School, and not to be missed at 11am is the highlight of the annual event - the downtown parade of mules, horses, jacks and jennies.
Saturday’s lineup also includes the Mule Day Disc Golf Tournament, PDGA-sanctioned event by Prodigy Disc, at Ivan K. Hill Park at 9am and a cornhole tournament located at the Spann Real Estate parking lot. Registration for the cornhole tournament begins at 9am and bags fly at 10am. Preregistration is available at Scoreholio.com.
An exciting addition to this year’s Mule Day is the inaugural William Arnold Memorial Rodeo, set to take place both Friday and Saturday nights. Gates open at 5pm. and there will be food trucks and vendors. Mutton Bustin’ gets underway at 6:30 p.m. with the rodeo hitting the dirt at 7:30pm. Mutton Bustin’ features children ages 6 years old and younger and under 55 pounds riding sheep out of a chute and into the arena. To register, visit the announcer stand between 5:30 and 6:15pm. Cost is $25 (cash only). The rodeo will be held in front of the Gateway Shopping Center, 2210 US 43 in Winfield. Admission to the rodeo is $15 nightly per person.
Admission to Mule Day is free (unless otherwise noted). Free shuttle service will be offered on Saturday. For more information, visit http://www.winfieldcity.org/ or call the Winfield Chamber of Commerce at (205) 487-4265.
For over three decades, the town of Cullman comes together to celebrate its German beginnings with a family-friendly festival offering all things German. Cullman Oktoberfest, one of North Alabama’s largest and most anticipated events, will take place in downtown Cullman September 28-30, 2023, and during the three-day festival, the entire Cullman community rolls out the welcome mat and invites everyone to enjoy a multitude of fun activities, including a biergarten, an arts and crafts show, live German music, kids’ activities, a bratwurst eating contest and more.
Oktoberfest gets underway at 4pmThursday, September 28 when the biergarten opens and a parade takes to the streets at 6pm. The parade, filled with Bavarian jugglers and a variety of talented entertainers donning German costumes and playing German instruments, will be led by a new beer wagon pulled by a team of Clydesdales. Official opening ceremonies and tapping of the keg immediately follow the parade and throughout the evening there will be live music, costume contests for adults and children, crowning of Miss Oktoberfest, brat eating and stein hoisting contests and candlelight walking tours. High energy dueling pianos will deliver a dynamic live music experience beginning at 9pm in the Biergarten.
Festivities for Friday, September 29 get underway at 10am and include street entertainment, music, brat eating and stein hoisting contests, costume contests for adults and children, German food vendors and craft vendors. Dueling pianos return at 9pm in the Biergarten.
Family-friendly fun resumes Saturday morning, September 30 beginning at 10am when the arts and crafts show and children’s area open. Additional activities lined up for the day include wiener dog races, live music, pet costume contest and parade, stein hoisting contest, costume contests for kids and adults and a brat eating contest and there will be a biergarten and food vendors featuring tasty German food. Dueling pianos take to the stage at 9pm in the Biergarten.
Oktoberfest activities will take place in the warehouse district along First Avenue. Additional activities are planned in the community leading up to the event. For more information, including a daily schedule of events, visit online at https://www.cullmanoktoberfestival.com/, https://www.facebook.com/cullmanoktoberfest/ or call (256) 734-9157.
Eva Frontier Days
A greased pig, frogs and a parade take centerstage when the town of Eva comes together in September for the town’s annual Frontier Days festival. Set for September 30 Eva Frontier Days feature a greased pig chase, a frog jumping contest, a parade, antique tractors, a hayride and much more, providing several days of family-friendly entertainment for all ages.
The Eva Frontier Days Beauty Pageant gets the weeklong celebration going on Saturday, September 17 at 10am at Charlie's Vineyard at Frost Farm located at 1684 Frost Road. A hayride is set for 6:30pm, Tuesday, September 20. Cost is $1 per person and includes a free hotdog and drink at the end of the ride. Eva Baptist Church will host an old-fashioned hymnbook singing on Thursday, September 22 at 7pm. The agenda for Friday, September 23 consists of music on the square at 6pm. Slated to perform under the entertainment tent is Another Town and admission is free.
The big day gets underway on Saturday, September 24 beginning at 9am with an arts and craft show, food vendors and an antique tractor and car show. Additional activities include live entertainment by The Pylant Family, Dry Creek Bluegrass, Abby Huffnagle and Wildcat Ridge, a parade at 11am and a pig-calling contest at 3pm. The day wraps up at the ball fields with the frog-jumping contest at 4pm followed by the greased pig chase at 5pm.