Top Events and Festivals in Alabama
Explpore this selection of the top annual events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) in Alabama.
Please note: Top Events USA does not include every single event on offer in Alabama – only those recognized as the best by residents of Alabama and visitors to the "Yellowhammer State", the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA and officials of the state of Alabama too.
Alabama is unofficially referred to the “Yellowhammer State”, after the official state bird.
Mobile Mardi Gras
Beginning in 1703 and now recognized as the oldest and most original annual Mardi Gras carnival celebration in the USA, Mardi Gras in Mobile comes complete with parades, marching bands and huge crowds of celebrators. What is unique about the Mobile Mardi Gras festival is the celebration of so many different cultures and religions including French, Spanish, British, African, Creole, American, and even Swedish heritages and both the Catholic and Creole faiths all of which toss fun trinkets like necklaces of plastic bead, doubloon coins, decorated plastic cups, candy, wrapped cakes or snacks, stuffed animals, and small toys, footballs, frisbees, and whistles to the crowds lining the routes.
For more information about the Mobile Mardi Gras visit:
Anniversary of Battle of Horseshoe Bend
The 2040-acre Horseshoe Bend National Military Park preserves the site of the battle of Horseshoe Bend in which General Andrew Jackson and an army of 3,300 men attacked 1,000 Upper Creek warriors on the Tallapoosa River almost 200 years ago. This annual event recreates frontier life in the year 1814. It features special demonstrations and interpretive programs depicting the life of the Creek and Cherokee Indians, such as their traditional skills – hide tanning, flint knapping, and finger weaving – their hunting camps, military camps, dance, cannon fire demonstrations, exhibits, and more.
For more information about the Anniversary of Battle of Horseshoe Bend take a look at :
or visit: http://www.nps.gov/hobe
Battle of Selma Re-enactment
In a classic re-enactment of the Battle of Selma at Battlefield Park, soldiers and cavalry of the Blue and Gray clash once again each year. Cannons roar again as the Confederate troops defend the breastworks against the Yankee invaders. Further attractions of the weekend event include a camp dance, grand ball at Sturdivant Hall, and a memorial service.
For more information about the Battle of Selma Re-enactment visit:
Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic
Showcasing more than 60 inflated hot air balloons, the free Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic main attractions include the Balloon Glow event at night and all sorts of very different hot air balloon flights during the day including tethered balloon rides before dusk, live entertainment, food and the ever popular Alabama Jubilee Fireworks Spectacular. Visitors to this event can also enjoy a tractor parade, a pedal tractor pull and all sorts of tractor demonstrations.
For more information about the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic visit:
Celebrating over 30 years of outdoor performances at the birthplace of Helen Keller, this Broadway-style show recalls the childhood of deaf-blind Helen Keller, “American’s First Lady of Courage,” and her gifted teacher Anne Sullivan. "The Miracle Worker" is performed on the grounds of Ivy Green each year on weekends from early June through mid July.
For more information about “The Miracle Worker” Play in Tuscumbia visit:
WC Handy Music Festival
At various locations throughout The Shoals, the WC Handy Music Festival is a week-long celebration honoring the musical heritage of Northwest Alabama and the legacy of the “Father of the Blues” with a parade, concerts, exhibits, theatre, athletic events, music in various venues, and more. Previous festivals have featured jazz and blues legends including Jimmy Smith, Ramsey Lewis, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Blue Bland, Diane Schuur, Billy Taylor, Dianne Reeves and Charlie Byrd.
For more information about the WC Handy Music Festival in Florence visit: http://www.wchandymusicfestival.org
Alabama Restaurant Week
mid - late August
All across Alabama
An increasingly popular Alabama event attracting thousands of visitors, Alabama Restaurant Week in which more than 200 restaurants across the state take part. Many of these restaurants are included in the "100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die" brochure which showcases Alabama’s popular and highly respected range of restaurants that during this time offer special fixed-priced menus for lunch and/or dinner and other specials throughout the week.
For more information about Alabama Restaurant Week visit:
Fort Mims Massacre
end August / beginning September
Celebrating the 200th Anniversary in 2013, the Fort Mims Massacre Anniversary event commemorates the attack on Fort Mims by Creek Indians in 1813 that resulted in the death of over 500 pioneer settlers. Interesting facets of the event include a live, recreated encampment complete with period settlers, militia soldiers and Creek Indians, displays of weapons of the time as well as live demonstrations of everything from basket weaving to flint knapping, as well as period music and Indian crafts.
For more information about the Fort Mims Massacre Anniversary event in Tensaw visit:
Bluff Park Art Show
A nationally recognized and acclaimed art show that has been a popular attraction for more than half a century, the Bluff Park Art Show showcases the work of artists from all over the USA. The art show, which is always held on the first Saturday in October, features a number of artists and the chance to purchase their work.
For more information about the Bluff ParK Art Show in Hoover visit:
BayFest Music Festival
When BayFest brought country, soul, rock-n-roll and various other music acts to Mobile 14 years ago, few people thought Mobile’s music festival would become the attraction it now is, currently drawing more than 200,000 people each year to downtown Mobile for the music festival. People flock to BayFest from around the country – and the world – to see performers like LeAnn Rimes, B.B. King, 3 Doors Down, Keith Urban, The Temptations, The Beach Boys, Travis Tritt, and Ludacris.
For more information about the BayFest Music Festival in Mobile visit:
National Shrimp Festival
Gulf Shores, Alabama
A popular event for over 42 years, the National Shrimp Festival is one of the most important free outdoor festivals in the USA attracting more than a quarter of a million people each year with an abundance of shrimp, more than 300 displays of fine arts and crafts, music and entertainment on two out-door stages, a sand sculpture competition, an Activity Village created especially for children and a very popular 10k/5k run.
For more information about the National Shrimp Festival on the Gulf Shores of Alabama visit:
Barber Vintage Festival
Featuring a whole range of motorcycle events at Barber Motorsports Park, the Barber Vintage Festival showcases a vintage motorcycle race, motorcross, road racing, and various cross country events, as well as an air show, a swap meet with more than 250 vendors, a fan zone and more including the increasingly popular cycle market and auction.
For more information about the Barber Vintage Festival in Birmingham visit:
Moundville Native American Festival
Now one of the top tourism events in Alabama, and a big celebration of Southeast Indian heritage and culture, Alabama’s Moundville Native American Festival at the University of Alabama’s Moundville Archaeological Park features the very unique artistry of the performers, artists, craftspeople and tradition bearers of the Southeastern Indians.
For more information about the Moundville Native American Festival visit:
National Veterans Day Parade
The first Veterans Day celebration in the United States was held in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1947. Alabama, the state that has had some 13,000 Alabama National Guard soldiers and airmen called to active duty since the attacks of September 11, 2001, still holds true to that tradition of honoring the men and women who fight for freedom. This downtown parade features more than 5,000 participants, 15 bands, and 50 floats.
For more information about the National Veterans Day Parade visit: http://www.nationalveteransday.org
Galaxy of Lights
early November to end December
Recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast, and a popular attraction for more than 22 years, the Galaxy of Lights event at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens is a miles-long, magnificent display of holiday lights featuring larger-than-life animated light displays using more than 5 miles of extension cords and over 500 display pieces, Santa flying over the winter village, dancing nursery rhyme characters, dinosaurs, wild animals, a magical twinkling icicle forest, garden scenes and animated snowmen.
For more information about Galaxy of Lights in Huntsville visit: