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FESTIVALS FUEL BIRMINGHAM VIBE


NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:  Dilcy Windham Hilley
                        VP Marketing/Communications
                        Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau
                        800-458-8085 or dhilley@inbirmingham.com



 
FESTIVALS FUEL BIRMINGHAM VIBE
A year-round calendar of festivals engages visitors to Birmingham.

 
 
Birmingham, Ala.----- People who visit Birmingham vow they sense a special vibe they don’t find other places in their travels.  It’s hard to put a finger on the particulars of it, but there’s no question that the variety of annual events nourishes the vibe.  Here are some top Birmingham festivals coming up this year:
 
  • Happenin’ Fest
    April 1
    Saturn/Good People Brewing
    Set in the hip and historic Avondale entertainment district, the 2016 festival includes music by Deer Tick and Jeff the Brotherhood.  Only for those 18 and over. 
  • St. Elias Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival
    April 8-9
    St. Elias Maronite Church
    Now in its 18th year, the festival serves up the very best Lebanese dishes from batata harra to baklava.  To-go orders can be taken in advance, but stay to eat and enjoy traditional Lebanese music and dance.  
  • Magic City Art Connection
    April 22-24
    Linn Park
    One of Birmingham’s largest festivals, this juried art show draws talent from around the country to show and sell paintings, jewelry, pottery, photography and more.  More than 200 artists display their works.  The event also includes music and dance along with food, wine and craft beer. 
  • Gumbo Gala
    April 23
    Regions Field
    This spicy event has grown into one of the city’s most popular cooking competitions.  Proceeds benefit Episcopal Place, which provides affordable, independent living for seniors and disabled adults.
  • Do Dah Day
     May 14
    Rhodes and Caldwell Parks
    Benefitting animal rescue services, this is one of the city’s most wonderful and wacky events.  Homemade floats and animals dressed in costume parade the streets of Highland Avenue, winding their way to live music in the parks. 
  • Barber Historics
    May 20-22
    Barber Motorsports Park
    Historic Motorsports Association brings some of the world’s finest automobiles, ranging from the early days of racing through the 1980s, to compete on the 2.38-mile course.  Championship cars will be on the track and on display. 
  • Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival
    May 21
    Debardeleben Park – Bessemer
    Now in its seventh year, the festival takes place in the heart of downtown Bessemer, just west of Birmingham.  Good food and music, and children 12 and under get in free. 
  • Steel City Jazz Festival
    June 2-4
    Linn Park
    Smooth and rockin’ are the operative words for this cool fest in downtown Birmingham.  The 2016 lineup includes David Sanborn, Morris Day and the Time, and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, just to name a few. 
  • Juneteenth Culture Fest
    June 4
    Kelly Ingram Park
    The annual Juneteenth celebration, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, is presented by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.  Set in adjacent Kelly Ingram Park, the event includes music, food vendors, family activities and free admission to the institute galleries.
  • Magic City Brewfest
    June (dates TBA)
    Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark
    The theme of this event is pretty much self-explanatory, but you should also know this is the premiere festival for Alabama’s craft beer.  The event has grown as the state’s craft brewing industry has matured.  Cheers. 
  • Sloss Music and Arts Festival
    July 16-17
    Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark
    In its inaugural year last year, Sloss Fest attracted more than 25,000 music fans to rock to nationally-known and regional alternative bands on three stages.  Southern Living magazine calls this event “one of the iconic Southern festivals.” 
  • Secret Stages
    August 5-6
    Venues in downtown Birmingham
    Secret Stages is a weekend filled with up-and-coming music from local, regional and national talent.  Billed as a “music discovery festival,” the event takes place on stages throughout the downtown area. 
  • Birmingham Restaurant Week
    August 12-21
    Participating restaurants throughout the area
    Foodie fans eat this event up.  A wide variety of participating restaurants offers fixed prices on meals throughout the week, giving foodies a chance to try out all sorts of new offerings.
  • City Fest
    August (date TBA)
    Railroad Park
    This free festival in beautiful Railroad Park downtown brings in headliner music, along with a wide assortment of food trucks, a beer garden and local art. 
  • Sidewalk Film Festival
    August 26-28
    Downtown Theater District and other walkable locations
    This showcase for independent film has gained wide notoriety in film and consumer publications for its tight organization, range of subject matter and good ol’ weekend fun.  USA TODAY calls Sidewalk “one of 10 great places for a film festival.”
  • St. George Middle Eastern Food Festival
    September 8-9
    St. George Greek Catholic Melkite Church
    Food, dance and music are all part of the festivities at this annual event.  But mostly food---baked kibbe, rolled grape leaves, Arabic salad, meat pie and so much more.  Just go on and spring for the pastry variety box. 
  • Greek Food Festival
    September 15-17
    Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral
    Don’t put away your fork just yet.  Begun in 1972, this widely popular festival embraces the Greek zest for living through food, music and dance.  It also includes a market filled with Mediterranean and Orthodox Christian souvenirs. 
  • Birmingham Artwalk
    September 9
    Downtown Birmingham Loft District
    This free festival transforms the loft neighborhood into an arts district, with the work of more than 100 visual artists, live music, street performers and food and drink vendors.
  • Southern Makers
    September 10-11
    Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark
    In its inaugural year, this festival showcases the many and varied talents of Alabama’s most creative cooks, brewers, builders, designers and other craftsmen. More than 200 makers from throughout the state are expected to display their goods and talents.  
  • Trucks by the Tracks
    September (date TBA)
    Railroad Park
    Food trucks from around the area circle the wagons and serve up everything from gourmet burgers to cupcakes and gelato.  Giant lawn games and other fun join the musical entertainment.
  • Breaking Bread
    September (date TBA)
    Sloss Furnaces
    One of Alabama’s premiere food festivals showcases the culinary talents of Birmingham’s best chefs.  This local flavor event includes unlimited food sampling, craft beer and wine, a kids’ zone and cooking competitions. 
  • Bluff Park Art Show
    October 1
    Bluff Park Community Center
    Some of the finest artists in the country show at this annual event in the Bluff Park neighborhood of Birmingham.  More than 40,000 people each year attend the show to admire and purchase. 
  • Cahaba River Fry Down
    October 2
    Railroad Park
    This is good food for a good cause.  Area culinary masters vie for top catfish cooking prizes with proceeds going to restore and protect the Cahaba, Alabama’s longest free-flowing river. 
  • Fiesta
    October (dates TBA)
    Linn Park
    Alabama’s largest celebration of Hispanic culture is a colorful event in downtown Linn Park.  Learn about the many Hispanic countries and their cultures through art, music food and dance.
  • Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival
    October 7-9
    Barber Motorsports Park
    This beautiful race track is the setting for one of the most anticipated motorcycle events in the world.  The festival includes a fan zone and a swap meet with hundreds of bike vendors   Adjacent is the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum with the world’s largest collection of motorcycles.
  • Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
    November 2
    In the Mexican tradition, the festival commemorates the deaths of loved ones through music and dance.  Costumed participants lead the festivities with a parade through downtown streets.
  • Moss Rock Festival
    November 5-6
    Moss Rock Preserve
    This art festival is set in the beautiful surroundings of The Preserve in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover.  Artists display and sell jewelry, pottery, paintings, glassware and folk art.  Food and drink vendors are on site. 
 
For full itineraries of things to see and do during your Birmingham visit, go to www.inbirmigham.com
 
 
 
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Photographs available quickly upon request.  Call or email Dilcy Windham Hilley at 800-458-8085 or dhilley@inbirmingham.com.