Our Tourism Department has released its top 10 events for 2014. The list includes
events in Mobile, the Shoals, Birmingham, Huntsville, Wetumpka, Gulf Shores and Tensaw.
The top 10 events are Mardi Gras in Mobile, the W.C. Handy Music Festival in the
Shoals, the statewide Alabama Restaurant Week, the 200th Anniversary of Fort Mims
in Tensaw, the Magic City Class Football weekend in Birmingham, the 50th Annual Bluff
Park Art Show in Hoover, National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Barber Vintage
Festival in Birmingham, Galaxy of Lights in Huntsville and Christmas on the Coosa
The tourism department comes up with the list each year and selects the top 10 based
upon significant anniversaries, unique events and those with large attendance. Nearly
1,900 events are scheduled around the state for 2014.
Below are the Top 10 Events of 2014 that are listed in the tourism department’s annual
vacation guide/calendar of events:
Mardi Gras, Mobile, Feb. 14- Mar. 4, 2014
Mobile is known as home to “America’s Family Mardi Gras.” The celebration lasts for
more than two and a half weeks and culminates on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent.
The streets are filled with marching bands, floats and crowds of parade goers. Masked
riders in costume toss “throws” of beads, moon pies, doubloons and candy into the
W.C. Handy Music Festival, the Shoals area, Jul. 18-27, 2014
The Shoals (Florence, Sheffield, Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals) is home to a weeklong
celebration honoring Florence native, W.C. Handy, “Father of the Blues.” More than
200 events take place including concerts, plays, art exhibits and picnics. www.wchandymusicfestival.org.
Alabama Restaurant Week, statewide, Aug. 15-24, 2014
For the third year, restaurants around the state, including many featured in the
popular brochure “l00 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die,” invite diners to
experience the culinary scene of Sweet Home Alabama. Participating restaurants will
offer special fixed-priced menus for lunch and/or dinner and other specials throughout
the week. www.Alabama.travel
Fort Mims Massacre 200th Anniversary, Tensaw, Aug. 30- Sept. 1
The event begins on the actual anniversary date of the attack on Ft. Mims with a
memorial and dedication service on Friday when descendants of survivors, historians,
and state and local dignitaries gather to “Remember Fort Mims.” Visitors will experience
a living history encampment with settlers, militia and Redstick Creek Indian re-enactors,
arrowhead and artifact displays, demonstrations of early crafts such as basket weaving
and flint napping, period music, and Indian crafts. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. www.fortmims.org
Magic City Classic Weekend, Birmingham, Oct. 25-26
The Alabama A&M University Bulldogs of Huntsville and the Alabama State University
Hornets of Montgomery meet annually in Legion Field for this traditional football
rivalry featuring exciting half-time band action. This is the largest black college
football rivalry in the country. www.themagiccityclassic.com
51st Annual Bluff Park Art Show, Hoover, Oct. 5
The art show is celebrating 50 years and is always held on the first Saturday in
October. Meet the artists and enjoy seeing and purchasing their works of art in
a beautiful wooded park setting.www.bluffparkartshow.com. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
National Shrimp Festival, Gulf Shores, Oct. 10-13
This nationally recognized outdoor festival features more than 300 vendors that offer
fine art, arts and crafts, a retail marketplace, children’s activity village, 10k/5k
run, live entertainment, and of course, shrimp. Thurs.–Sat. 10 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sun.
10 a.m.–5 p.m., www.nationalshrimpfestival.com.
Barber Vintage Festival, Birmingham, Oct. 10, 11 & 12
The vintage motorcycle race takes place at Barber Motorsports Park just outside Birmingham.
The event features road racing, motocross, cross country events, an air show, a swap
meet with more than 250 vendors, a fan zone and more. www.barbervintagefestival.org
Galaxy of Lights, Huntsville, Nov. 28-Dec. 31
The month-long event is a magnificent two-and-a-half-mile long holiday light extravaganza
featuring larger-than-life animated light displays. Special exhibits include a holiday
village, dinosaurs, wild animals, a magical twinkling icicle forest, garden scenes,
animated snowmen and the twelve days of Christmas. 5:30–9 p.m., www.hsvbg.org
Christmas on the Coosa, Wetumpka, Dec. 13
This is a Christmas extravaganza with arts and crafts, parade, food, quilt show,
classic car show, entertainment and activities on the Coosa River culminating with
a spectacular fireworks exhibition at dusk.www.wetumpkachamber.com