Festivals & Events: Music, Movies, Motorsports and More
The variety of annual events nourishes the Birmingham vibe. Here are some of the festivals and events on the schedule for 2017:
Birmingham Restaurant Week– January 20-29. Various Birmingham restaurants. 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.
Alabama Symphony Orchestra Sound Edge Festival– February 10-18. Various venues around the city. The music scene like you have never seen. Hear the cultural underground. Sound Edge Festival brings together creative talents from the music and art industries for intense collaborations with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
Southern Voices Festival– February 24-25. Hoover Library. The celebration of writing, music and art attracts a full house each year to see and hear the works of noted Southern writers and artists.
St. Elias Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival– April 21-22. St. Elias Maronite Church. Now in its 18th year, the festival serves up the very best Lebanese dishes from baked kibbe to baklava.
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – April 21-23. Barber Motorsports Park. The only Indy Series event in the Deep South, this motorsports event draws tens of thousands of race fans every year.
Gumbo Gala– April 22. 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.
Magic City Art Connection– April 28-30. 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.
Feast of Saint Mark Italian Festival- April 29. Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church. The festival begins with Mass and is followed by a grand celebration of Italian culture.
Do Dah Day Festival– May 20. 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.
Barber Historics– May 19-21. 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.
Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival– May 20. Debardeleben Park in Historic Downtown Bessemer. Now in its eighth year, the festival takes place in the heart of downtown Bessemer, just west of Birmingham.
Steel City Jazz Festival– June 1-3. Linn Park. Smooth and rockin’ are the operative words for this cool fest in downtown Birmingham.
Magic City Brewfest- 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.
Juneteenth Celebration– TBA. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The annual Juneteenth celebration, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, is presented by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
Sloss Music and Arts Festival– July 15-16. Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. Music fans rock to nationally-known and regional alternative bands on three stages. Southern Living magazine calls this event “one of the iconic Southern festivals.”
Sloss Tech – July 14. Held in conjunction with Sloss Music and Arts Festival, this is the Southeast’s preeminent technology festival.
Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival– TBA. 4th Avenue Business District. This annual fest features local and national jazz artists and takes place in the historic 4th Avenue Business District, once the hub for Birmingham’s African-American business community.
Secret Stages– TBA. 2nd Avenue North Music District. 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– TBA. 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.
Sidewalk Film Festival– August 25-27. Downtown Birmingham Theatre 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.
St. George Middle Eastern Food Festival– TBA. St. George Greek-Catholic Melkite Church. Food, dance and music are all part of the festivities at this annual event.
Birmingham Artwalk – TBA. Downtown Birmingham Loft Neighborhood. 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.
Greek Food Festival– TBA. Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Begun in 1972, this widely popular festival embraces the Greek zest for living through food, music, dance and a market of souvenirs.
Breakin’ Bread– TBA. Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. One of Alabama’s premiere food festivals showcases the culinary talents of Birmingham’s best chefs.
Bluff Park Art Show– October 7. Bluff Park Community Center. Some of the finest artists in the country show at this annual event in the Bluff Park neighborhood of Birmingham.
Fiesta– 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– TBA. Barber Motorsports Park. This beautiful race track is the setting for one of the most anticipated motorcycle events in the world. 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.
National Veterans Day Parade – November 11. Downtown Birmingham. Birmingham has the oldest and one of the largest Veterans Day celebrations in the country.
Moss Rock Festival– November (exact dates TBA). 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.