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 2018:
Southern Voices Festival– February 20-24. 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. St. Elias Maronite Church. Now in its 18th year, the festival serves up the very best Lebanese dishes from baked kibbe to baklava.
16th Annual Gardendale Magnolia Festival– April 20-21. Gardendale Civic Center. Enjoy a midway carnival, 150 vendor booths, three stages of live entertainment, a pooch parade, a 5K run/fun run and much more.
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – April 20-22. 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 21. Sloss Furnace. 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 27-29. 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.
Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival– April 28. 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.
Homestead Hollow Arts & Crafts Festival– May 11-13. See wood carving, blacksmithing, wood stove cooking, quilting, whiskey making at our original working still, tour our original cabins as they were built by the early settlers. Enjoy great food, music and children’s activities.
Do Dah Day Festival– May 19. 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.
Alabama Asian Culture & Food Festival – April 2018. Zamora Shrine Temple. Come meet people from different cultures, learn to understand cultural similarities and differences, sample many kinds of Asian food, observe a colorful origami peace mobile as well as an exhibit of the earliest known color photographs taken along the Burma Road in China, and have a lot of fun!
Steel City Jazz Festival – June 2018. Linn Park. Smooth and rockin’ are the operative words for this cool fest in downtown Birmingham.
Juneteenth Celebration– June. 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.
Slicefest– June 2018. 29th St. South outside Slicefest Pizza and Brewhouse. This day-long block party features local and regional music artists, craft beers and specialty pizzas.
Sloss Tech– July. Held in conjunction with Sloss Music and Arts Festival, this is the Southeast’s preeminent technology festival.
Sloss Music and Arts Festival– July 14-15. 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.”
Sidewalk Film Festival– August 20-26. 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.
Saint George Middle Eastern Food Festival– September. With homemade Middle Eastern food, live music and dance, the sights and sounds will be reminiscent of a Middle Eastern wedding! Free admission. St. George Melkite Greek Catholic Church.
Homestead Hollow Arts & Crafts Festival– September 28-30. See wood carving, blacksmithing, wood stove cooking, quilting, whiskey making at our original working still, tour our original cabins as they were built by the early settlers. Enjoy great food, music and children’s activities.
Greek Food Festival– October 4-6. 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.
Bluff Park Art Show – October 6. Bluff Park Community Center. Some of the finest artists in the country show at this annual event in the Bluff Park neighborhood of Birmingham.
Moss Rock Festival – November. 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.
National Veterans Day Parade – November 11. Downtown Birmingham. Birmingham has the oldest and one of the largest Veterans Day celebrations in the country.
Homestead Hollow Arts & Crafts Festival– November 9-11. See wood carving, blacksmithing, wood stove cooking, quilting, whiskey making at our original working still, tour our original cabins as they were built by the early settlers. Enjoy great food, music and children’s activities.
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.