Summer is almost here, and you do not want to miss these fun summer festivals taking place all over north Alabama!


3rd Friday Downtown Decatur

Each third Friday from April to October, downtown Decatur comes to life at night with live music, vendors, food trucks, vintage cars, and businesses are open later! Grab a bite to eat at a downtown restaurant or food truck and then stroll Second Avenue to shop, get a snack, play games, ride a mechanical bull, hear live music, and more!

3rd friday

First Fridays Downtown Gadsden

Downtown Gadsden is the place to be the First Friday of the month! Stores stay open late in the evening and downtown rocks with live entertainment, special events, sales, food, and artists from all over.

gadsden first friday cars

Alabama Jubilee Hot-Air Balloon Classic

More than 60 big beautiful hot-air balloons will fill the sky above Decatur, the last weekend in May during the annual Alabama Jubilee Hot-Air Balloon Classic. The must-see event of North Alabama is set for Memorial Day weekend, May 25-26, at Point Mallard Park and features hot air balloons, a balloon glow, antique cars and tractors, arts and crafts, fireworks and other family fun with activities on the ground and in the air.

The Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic has become a Memorial Day weekend tradition for local families and visitors for over 45 years. The celebration begins bright and early Saturday, May 25, at 6:30am, with the hare and hound balloon race: one balloon flies off and the others try to follow to see which pilot can get closest to a target put down by the hare balloon.

Additional activities on Saturday include a hands-on historical tool area, an antique and classic auto expo from 8:30am-3pm and the Southland Flywheelers will host an antique tractor show, featuring some of the best restored and maintained tractors in the Southeast. A tractor parade follows at 10am, and from 11am-1pm, there will be tractor games and a pedal tractor park opens for kids 6 years old and under. Beginning at 5:30, some balloons will lift off for an evening flight and the Balloon Glow at 8:15pm is a must see as towering balloons of all colors light up Point Mallard Park.

Held under the pavilion, the popular Decatur Art Guild arts and crafts show is Saturday from 7am-7pm and Sunday 8am-6pm.

Another round of friendly competition between the hot-air balloon pilots is scheduled Sunday, May 26 with the Lynn Layton Key Grab. Balloons should start flying into the Jubilee field starting about 7am in order to grab a ring from the top of a tall pole.  A secondary goal is to drop a bean-bag marker at the center of an 'X' that is also placed at the pole. Another fun flight is set to launch at 5:30pm and free tethered rides will be available starting at 6:30pm. The two-day event concludes with a fireworks show at 9:30pm.

Admission to and parking at the Alabama Jubilee are free. Blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged. For safety reasons, smoking is not permitted on the launch field and pets are strongly discouraged due to the loud noise caused by the balloons and the large number of people present. All balloon activities are weather permitting. Balloons do not fly, tether or glow in the rain or if wind on the ground is stronger than about 8 mph or if there are thunderstorms nearby. During festival hours, Point Mallard Park is a “No-Drone Zone” according to FAA regulations.

All activities take place inside Point Mallard Park, a 750-acre municipal park providing year-round recreation facilities in Decatur, Ala. For more information and a schedule of events, visit

alabama jubilee balloons


Each year, the North Alabama community of Brilliant pays tribute to its roots in the coal mining industry with a free festival filling the downtown area with two days of family fun. Set for May 24-25, CoalFest offers live music, games, a look into the coal mining days, activities for children, arts and crafts and more throughout Main Street in downtown Brilliant.

Coalfest kicks off on Friday, May 24 around 5pm with live music from Area 51 Memphis Band, Lloyd Moses and Mike Mayhall and Friends. The festivities continue Saturday, May 25 beginning at 8am with family-friendly activities and more live music. Activities include a coal mining exhibit, car and tractor show, horseshoe tournament, a motorcycle ride to raise funds for a local family in need, arts and crafts and a kid’s area with games and rides. Saturday’s musical lineup includes Lee Roy ParnellThe Georgia Thunderbolts and Jeff & Jordan. The two-day event typically wraps up around 5pm on Saturday.

As music fills the air, festival goers can learn about the early history of coal mining in Brilliant with a guided tour of the historic Train Depot located in City Park (donations accepted). Brilliant Methodist Church, located on Main Street, will also be open for tours. A stop on the North Alabama Hallelujah Trail, Brilliant Methodist Church was built by local coal miners and remains an iconic cornerstone of the town.

Shuttle service will be provided free of charge from the downtown area to City Park, Brilliant Methodist Church and the Train Depot. Admission to the festival is free. A nominal fee is charged to participate in some of the children’s activities. For more information, call 205-465-2281.


Haleyville's 9-1-1 Festival

Over fifty years ago, the first 911 emergency call was made in the United States and the call was placed in the North Alabama town of Haleyville. The Haleyville Area Chamber of Commerce and the town come together each year to host a two-day festival to celebrate the town’s role in making the first 911 call and to honor law enforcement and first responders. Set for May 31-June 1, 2024, the 9-1-1 Festival offers activities for kids, arts and crafts vendors, parade, live music, classic car and antique tractor show and more. Admission is free.

Beginning at 3pm on Friday, May 31, downtown Haleyville comes alive with free fun for the entire family. Activities include shopping among arts and crafts and food vendors, a kid’s zone with inflatables and enjoying live music which gets underway at 5:00 p.m. Slated to perform are Backdraft, Area 51 Memphis Bank, Paul Thorn and headliner Rodney Atkins. Rockin’ River Bottom Band is slated to perform at the after party at 11pm at the Heart of Haleyville Park.

On Saturday, June 1, the festivities get underway at 8:00 a.m. and include a classic car show and antique tractor show, arts and crafts and food vendors and a kid’s zone with inflatables. Entertainment lined up on the Heart of Haleyville Park includes a performance by the North Alabama Dance Theatre followed by live music by Wendell and Shane and Singing with Grace. The annual Haleyville alumni and first responders parade gets underway at 10am. 

Fifty-six years ago in 1968, Alabama Speaker of the House Rankin Fite placed the first 911 emergency call from City Hall and it was answered just a short distance away at the city’s police station by U.S. Representative Tom Bevill. The annual 9-1-1 Festival celebrates the history making moment with a free family-friendly event. All activities are held in downtown Haleyville and festivalgoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Activities take place in downtown Haleyville and festival goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. For more information, follow the event on Facebook at Haleyville Alabama 9-1-1 Festival or call 205-486-4611.

911 Festival

The Miracle Worker

An outdoor drama depicting the life of America’s first lady of courage attracts thousands of visitors to the North Alabama town of Tuscumbia every year. Playwright William Gibson's epic drama, The Miracle Worker at Ivy Green, is performed on the grounds of Ivy Green, the birthplace of Helen Keller, showcasing to the world the miracle that took place in the late 1800s. The 63rd annual production will run on Fridays and Saturdays beginning June 7 through July 20 (excluding July 5-6).

Produced by the Helen Keller Foundation, Inc, The Miracle Worker at Ivy Green, Alabama’s official state outdoor drama, runs Friday and Saturday evenings beginning June 7 through June 29 and July 12 through July 20 at the birthplace of Helen Keller located at 300 North Commons Street West in Tuscumbia. (No performances scheduled on July 5-6.) The live performance recalls the childhood of deaf-blind Helen Keller, who suddenly lost her sight and hearing at the age of 19 months, and the extraordinary teacher, Annie Sullivan, who taught her to communicate with the world. The play carries the audience into the daily disappointments and then the miraculous breakthrough of the young Helen at the guidance of her teacher, with authentic costumes and sets and professional acting.

Gates open at 7pm and play begins at 8pm. Patrons are welcome to walk the grounds prior to curtain. Admission is $20/reserved seating and $15/general admission. Groups of 20 or more receive a $2 discount per ticket. For reserved seating tickets and group discounts, please call (256) 383-4066. Special seating is available upon request for persons with special needs with a two-week notice. Tickets may be purchased online at or by credit card by calling (256) 383-4066.

William Gibson was an American playwright and novelist who lived November 13, 1914 – November 25, 2008. He won the Tony Award for Best Play for The Miracle Worker in 1959, which he later adapted for the film version in 1962. Both the play and the film adaptation featured Patty Duke as Helen Keller and Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan.

For more information, visit or call (256) 383-4066.

helen keller festival

June Fling

The Oneonta Business Association invites locals and visitors to make their way to their downtown area the second Saturday in June, for a one-day celebration of fun, arts and crafts, classic cars, great food and more. Now in its 22nd year, June Fling is set for June 8, with hours from 9am-4pm. Admission is free.

During June Fling, over 100 arts and crafts booths, a cruise-in for all kinds of vehicles, a kidz fun zone, live music and entertainment fill the downtown area. Live music gets underway at 9:30 a.m. and the line-up for the day includes saxophone instrumentalist Kevin Moore, Tyler Ellis, Cheryl Christmas and The Small Town Gossips and the Chapter V Band featuring oldies but goodies.  

As music fills the air, kids are treated to a variety of activities including mingling with Star Wars characters from the Alabama Garrison of the 501st Legion, International Star Wars Costuming Organization, and playing in inflatables.

A special prelude to June Fling featuring live music and a variety of local food and beverage vendors will take place Friday evening, June 7, at the intersection of 1st Avenue and 3rd Street from 5-9pm. Slated to perform are Mitchell Hastings Band at 5pm and Southern Holler Band at 7pm. Admission is free.

Festival goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to both events or limited hay bale seating will be provided. For more information, visit or call 205.813.7194.

June Fling

Estes Field PCA Rodeo

Rodeo action will hit the dirt in June when the Estes Field PCA Rodeo makes it first appearance in the North Alabama town of Centre. Sponsored by the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and the City of Centre, Alabama, the rodeo will take place June 14-15.

Not just for rodeo fans, the Estes Field PCA Rodeo promises to bring excitement to Centre for two days in June. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with mutton busting at 6:30 p.m. and the rodeo following at 7:30 p.m. both nights. Competitive events lined up include bareback riding, calf roping, break-away roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing and bull riding. As cowboys and cowgirls compete for prize money, the crowd is also entertained with professional rodeo clowns and there will be food trucks for those arriving hungry.

Daily ticket prices are $15 per person. Admission is free for five years old and younger. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism office or at the gate.

The Estes Field PCA Rodeo is held at Estes Field located on Main Street in Centre, Alabama. For more information, call the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism at 256-927-8455.

estes rodeo

Rock the South

Rock the South, the biggest party in the South, arrives in Cullman July 18-20, 2024, for three days of music and entertainment. Eighteen acts are set to take stage during the three day event, including headliners Eric Church, HARDY and Jelly Roll. The annual event is held at York Farms, located at 1872 County Road 469 in Cullman, Ala.

Three mega country stars – Eric Church, Jelly Roll and HARDY – are set to headline 2024 Rock the South with a total of 18 acts to take the stage during the three day event. Additional performers include Parker McCollum, Oliver Anthony, Warren Zeiders, Nelly, Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Flatland Cavalry, Priscilla Block, Nate Smith, Wyatt Flores, Treaty Oak Revival, Kidd G, Gavin Adcock, Alana Springsteen and Dee Jay Silver.  

Along with the incredible lineup of music, Rock the South offers other experiences including the Honky Tonk Hideaway, an air-conditioned Western-themed oasis with live acoustic music, line-dancing lesson, and more. For those feeling adventurous, take a ride on the thrilling mechanical bull or hop on the Ferris wheel for a bird's-eye view of the festival grounds. A diverse selection of over 25 food and beverage vendors, offering everything from Southern barbecue to hamburgers, lemonade, Greek food and more, will be available for anyone hungry or thirsty. For more information, visit    

Tickets are on sale and may be purchased from Four different types of packages are offered: general admission, VIP, Front Porch and the Country Club Skydeck and chair rental is available.

To further elevate the festival experience, RV and car camping is available. With easy access to all the action, festival goers can enjoy the music, attractions and camaraderie while staying just steps away from the festivities. For more information, visit

Originally intended to be a one-year celebration of recovery from the tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011, Rock the South has continued to expand to become a massive celebration of this area and what it has to offer. Since the first event in 2012, Rock the South has given away nearly a million dollars to multiple community partners including Cullman City Parks and Recreation, The Link of Cullman County, Cullman Caring for Kids, Curts Closet, Alabama Veterans and many others. Even though Billboard rates Rock the South as the sixth best country music festival in the United States, Rock the South will always be a festival about two things- giving back to the community and celebrating southern culture. For more information, visit

rock the south

Guntersville Lake HydroFest

Alabama is known for fast cars and a NASCAR superspeedway, but the southern state is also developing a name for fast boats on a liquid track. Lake Guntersville invites people of all ages to an extreme summer event where the fastest boats today race on an oval course at speeds of 200 mph. Hosted by Marshall County Tourism and Sports, the annual Guntersville Lake HydroFest will take place June 29-30, offering two days of competitive racing as drivers volley to take home the American Power Boat Association (APBA) Gold Cup title.

H1 Unlimited hydroplanes are the fastest, reaching speeds of up to 200 mph, and most powerful, closed-course racing boats in the world. Racing takes place along scenic Sunset Drive in Guntersville. The action-packed event offers three classes of racing: H1 Unlimited, Grand Prix America and Pro-lite series. The state-of-the-art hydroplanes race on a 2 ½-mile oval course and maintain speeds of 130 mph to upwards of 200 mph on the straightaways. More information on these boats is available at  

In addition to experiencing the action on the water, there will be entertainment on land including a kid’s area with water slides, sponsors giveaways and food vendors. On Friday, June 29 from 9-11am at Marshall County Park #1, located at 19348 Highway 431 North, the public is invited to a meet and greet with owners, racers and team members and up-close views and photo opportunities of the boats. Stay tuned to for a schedule of events.


Spirit of America Festival

The Spirit of America Festival at Point Mallard Park in Decatur offers two days of star-spangled fun, arts and crafts, live music, a bike parade and a spectacular firework show in honor of Independence Day. Festival hours are July 4 from 12-9pm.

 Activities include a petting zoo, pony rides, trackless train rides, carnival games, and face painting. Over 100 food and arts and craft vendors along with food trucks will be on hand, serving lemonade, sweet tea, shaved ice, funnel cakes, ice cream, beignets, pizza, hamburgers, hotdogs, iced coffees, deep fried Oreos, egg rolls, gyros, chicken wings, roasted corn, catfish, shrimp, kettle corn, and much more.

July 4 festivities kick off with the Children’s Bike Parade at 10am with patriotic decorated bikes, tricycles, wagons and strollers making their way from the TC Almon Center to the Point Mallard Ice Complex. Registration for the parade is free and is required beginning at 9am at TC Almon.

To wrap up the weekend of family fun, a spectacular fireworks display will illuminate the night sky at 9pm on July 4th. The fireworks display will be choreographed to music simulcast by WDRM, and spectators outside of Point Mallard Park are encouraged to tune in to 102.1 FM to enjoy.

Spirit of America Fest

Cruise and Croon

A time of fun, fellowship, shopping and dining in downtown Oneonta is planned for Saturday nights in 2024. Sponsored by the Oneonta Business Association (OBA), Cruise and Croon rolls into town July 6, bringing with it free entertainment for locals and visitor.

Cruise and Croon welcomes locals and visitors to the downtown area for an evening of classic cars and music. Car owners from the surrounding area will bring their classic cars to show off and merchants will extend their business hours so eventgoers can shop and mingle. The performance stage will be located at the intersection of First Avenue and Third Street where live music will fill the air as everyone enjoys an evening of free family fun.

Cruise and Croon will be set up along First Avenue East in downtown Oneonta and hours are from 5-8pm. The event is free and open to the public and is held rain or shine. Everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy an evening with family and friends. Downtown shops and eateries will be open and there will be food trucks located on the north side of Third Street to satisfy any appetite.

Cruise and Croon

Watermelon Festival

Plenty of sweet juicy fun is on tap the third weekend in August when summer’s favorite fruit takes center stage during the annual Franklin County Watermelon Festival in Russellville, Ala. Set for August 16-17, 2024, the Watermelon Festival offers arts and crafts, a variety of watermelon contests, car and truck show, food vendors, children’s activities, games, and musical entertainment, along with free samples of watermelon.

The festival weekend begins with opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. on Friday with live music taking the stage both days.   

Friday, Aug. 16 - Music Lineup

6:30 PM – Opening Ceremony (National Anthem: Tara Greenhill)

7:00 PM – Tremayne

8:30 PM – Lover, Taylor Swift Tribute

Saturday, Aug. 17 - Music Lineup

6:00 PM – REWIND of the Shoals

7:00 PM – Austin Bohannon

8:30 PM – Colin Stough

Contests centered on watermelons, including watermelon seed spitting, the largest melon, best tasting melon, most unusual and best-dressed melons, are a highlight each year entertaining festivalgoers of all ages. Over 100 vehicles are expected for the car and truck show on Saturday morning, and additional activities include a 5K run and 1-mile fun run, character guests to entertain the children and the Franklin County Extension Office contests.

The event was voted Best Adults and Children’s Events in the Tennessee Valley in a reader’s choice poll conducted by the Franklin County Times for the past four years. 

All activities take place along Main Street (Jackson Avenue). Hours are 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free. For more details, visit the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce website at and click on the Watermelon Festival link or call 256.332.1760. For the latest information, follow the Franklin County Watermelon Festival page on Facebook and Instagram. 

watermelon festival

World's Longest Yard Sale

Each year, bargain hunters, yard sale connoisseurs, treasure seekers and those who just like to haggle make their way through northeastern Alabama for the biggest yard sale shopping spree in the world. The World’s Longest Yard Sale, a once-a-year, 690-mile shopping trip also known as the 127 Yard Sale, takes place August 1-4, 2024, and along with shopping, treasure hunting, and bargaining, there is plenty of sightseeing to do along the North Alabama stretch that begins in Gadsden, Alabama and travels along the Lookout Mountain Parkway through Fort Payne, Alabama and into Chattanooga, Tenn.

The World’s Longest Yard Sale offers everything from antiques, collectibles, furniture and dishware to fresh local produce and homemade jams and jellies as well as food vendors and live entertainment. The annual event is also known as the 127 Yard Sale and many shoppers begin at the southernmost start point in Gadsden, taking the scenic Lookout Mountain Parkway to Chattanooga and following Highway 127 all the way north through six states to Addison, Mich. For a list of single locations and/or small areas with a minimum of 25 vendors each in Alabama, visit Visit for turn-by-turn directions through the Alabama section.  

Created to get travelers off the interstate and into towns and communities located off the beaten path, the World’s Longest Yard Sale takes visitors on a shopping excursion through some of the country’s most scenic areas. The 93-mile Lookout Mountain Parkway has been touted “A Must See” by Reader’s Digest, National Geographic and Southern Living magazines, providing a beautiful backdrop to the thousands of roadside sales.

Along with four days of shopping, visitors can experience a slice of real Americana, true southern hospitality, a variety of locally owned restaurants and accommodations and a world of nature, including  majestic waterfalls, canyons, scenic brow vistas, unique towns and villages, state and national parks and preserves. Visit to plan a trip around the World’s Longest Yard Sale event.

Vendors are typically up and running by 8 a.m. and operate until late in the evening each day of the event. While some vendors may accept credit cards, cash is the preferred method of payment. Shoppers are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes, insect repellent and sunscreen and to bring plenty of hand sanitizer, snacks and water. For lodging information, directions, road closures and more information, visit or call DeKalb Tourism at 888.805.4740 or Greater Gadsden Area Tourism at 888.565.0411.

world's longest yard sale