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July

Demopolis

Songwriters from AL and MS perform as well as anyone who had ties to Hwy 80. Writers from as far as Nashville and California came to our first festival.

Jacksonville

Jacksonville. Jax Fest. 256-435-8115. www.jacksonville-al.org. Jacksonville Community Center and High School Stadium--A celebration of the 4th of July with fun activities at the community center and concluding with fireworks at the high school stadium. All day, with fireworks approx. 9 p.m.

Grand Bay

Celebrate summertime with all the free watermelon you can eat along with arts, crafts, entertainment and the crowning of the winner of the Miss Grand Bay Watermelon Pageant. Children can enjoy an area created just for them.

Decatur

Jul 4, Decatur. Spirit of America Festival. 800-232-5449 or 800-524-6181. www.spiritofamericafestival.com. Free. Point Mallard Park. A large fireworks show.

Huntsville

Visit the U.S. Space & Rocket Center for Huntsville's largest fireworks display and July 4th celebration! Bring the whole family and enjoy delicious food, patriotic entertainment and breathtaking fireworks.

Birmingham

For decades, Thunder on the Mountain, Birmingham’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration, has been hailed as one of the largest and most extravagant Independence Day traditions in the state of Alabama, and this year will be no exception. On Saturday, July 4 at 9 p.m., Thunder on the Mountain 2015 will once again illuminate the skies above Birmingham's beloved iron man, Vulcan. Free to the public, this year's show will last approximately 20 minutes and will feature a variety of firework shells that will brighten the sky with new colors and patterns. The show will be choreographed to a musical soundtrack that will feature a mix of patriotic favorites and popular musical performances.

Wedowee

Jul 4, Wedowee. Fourth of July Boat Parade. 256-276-7959. www.lakewedoweelife.com. Free. Lakeside Marina, Hwy. 431, Lake Wedowee/RL Harris Reservoir--Boat and personal watercrafts decorated with patriotic themes. 10 a.m.-noon.

Florence

July 17-26, Florence, Sheffield, Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals. W.C. Handy Music Festival. 256-766-7642. www.wchandymusicfestival.org. The Shoals (Florence, Sheffield, Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals), various locations--week-long celebration honoring Florence native, W.C. Handy, "Father of the Blues," with over 200 events taking place including concerts, plays, art exhibits, picnics and more.

Birmingham

The Fifth Annual Taste of Birmingham, benefiting the Birmingham Boys Choir, features the nationally recognized cuisine of Birmingham’s top restaurants accompanied by refreshing drinks and entertainment. Enjoy award-winning music provided by the choir as well as great jazz.

August

Cullman

Call for exact date. The Celebrate Cullman festival will be held in downtown Cullman, and will include food, free live music and free kids activities at the Festhalle Market and other locations throughout the downtown.

Northport

This shrimp and barbecue festival is designed to bring the Gulf Coast to West Alabama, providing a fun-filled Saturday full of shrimp, barbecue, music and fun in historic downtown Northport, where unique local shopping should be on your itinerary! This event benefits Eagles’ Wings of Tuscaloosa, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a nurturing and caring community for adults with special needs.

Albertville

This FREE two-day event has something for all ages including a children's inflatable water park, vendor booths, art contest/exhibit and entertainment on two stages featuring national entertainment each evening.

Russellville

The annual Watermelon Festival is held the third weekend in August and brings crowds from 35,000-50,000. Numerous activities surround the festival including: bike ride, 5K, motorcycle ride, Watermelon Beauty Pageant, tractor show, car & truck show, & Contests: seed spitting, best dressed, largest melon, best tasting. Outdoor entertainment on the main stage & indoor entertainment at the historic Roxy Theatre. Admission to the festival and a slice of watermelon is FREE.

Ozark

Come see bull riding, team roping, barrel racing, calf roping, bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding and breakaway roping.

Statewide. Alabama Restaurant Week. 1-800-252-2262. www.alabama.travel. Various restaurants--Restaurants around the state, including many featured in the popular brochure "100 Dishes To Eat in Alabama Before You Die," invite diners to experience the wonderful culinary scene of Sweet Home Alabama. Participating restaurants will offer specials throughout the week.

Birmingham

Birmingham Restaurant Week celebrates Birmingham's acclaimed culinary culture by highlighting its locally owned and operated restaurants across the area.

The Annual Okra Festival is free and located off Hwy. 80 W. on Fredrick Douglas Road. Follow the signs. Enjoy fresh vegetables, okra, great food, arts and crafts vendors, music and more. From noon until...

Powell

Best of bluegrass & gospel music groups in the Lyceum

September

Cullman

Wings, bands, and brew. See website for exact date and details. Coincides with the Cullman County Fair Parade.

Rogersville

This festival takes place place twice a year; the last weekend of June and the 1st weekend of September.

Cullman

A myriad of arts & crafts along with craft and food vendors, sweet potatoes, music, a car show, and lots of food and family fun abounds at this festival.

Decatur

Riverfest Barbecue Cook-off. Call or visit website for exact date and time 800-524-6181. www.decaturjaycees.com. Ingalls Harbor Pavilion Meeting & Event Center--10 a.m.-midnight. The Alabama State Barbecue Cook-off features barbecue teams from across the South and the entire country, all competing for a total of $20,000 in cash prizes - and bragging rights too, of course. Come enjoy live musical entertainment, children's activities and more.

Atmore

Local cuisine, music. Hosted by the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, this event held in a park setting is an evening of entertainment and food prepared by businesses, groups/organizations and individuals. This event is known for showcasing some of the Atmore's best chefs and cooks!

Montgomery

Celebrate the 92nd Birthday of Hank Williams with live music all day. check our website for details. www.thehankwilliamsmuseum.net

Dothan

A polka party, Biergarten, collectible steins, accordion music and lederhosen all accentuate this sanctioned barbecue cook-off. Now in its fourth year, PorktoberQue grows annually, offering both German music and rock, car shows, kids activities, and cold beer and barbecue for sale.

Irondale

Whistle Stop Festival . 205-297-9897. www.irondalewhistlestopfestival.com. Historic Irondale, 1912 1st Ave. S.--This event brings together artists and craft makers who sell and demonstrate their work to the sound of live music and various performances throughout the day. Vintage fire engines and fire safety presentations, carnival games for all ages, barbecue and funnel cakes - this event has something for everyone. The Irondale cafe will be open for lunch, selling their famous fried green tomatoes. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Daphne

Juried Arts & Crafts Show with Live local entertainment. Kids Art in the Park, food vendors and more.

Luverne

This festival includes more than peanuts. Enjoy arts and crafts, a beauty pageant, car show, 5K fun-run/walk, entertainment under the big tent and a great variety of food.

Athens

Fried foods are Southerners' Achilles’ heel. Our kitchens are like art studios where recipes are perfected and new delights are born. We especially love to batter and fry standard fare like okra and fish, but we don't mind expanding the technique to Twinkies and Snicker bars. In Athens, we have embraced our love of fried foods and the Greek origin of our name by hosting the Athens Grease Festival in downtown Athens. Eating healthy is important, but we have set aside this time for our taste buds to enjoy the culinary creations we love to batter, dip and fry. Grab a bed sheet, create your own toga and bring your taste buds to the city that knows how to celebrate being a classic, living Southern and having character. A $1 discount off the admission price will be given for toga wearers. Spirit of Athens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Athens, is organizing the event. Proceeds from the event will benefit SOA and improvement projects downtown.

Birmingham

Breakin' Bread. www.birminghamoriginals.org. Admission charged. Sloss Furnaces--Signature dishes from local restaurants, farmers market, live entertainment, a children's area with live animal encounters and more. Visit website or email admin@birminghamoriginals.org for exact date and time of the event.

October

Spanish Fort

Three days of guided bird & nature tours on land and by boat plus speakers, evening events, and family-friendly Expo with raptors, snakes, exhibits, and more.

Eclectic

Alabama Cotton Festival . Downtown, The Warehouse--Cotton Queen Pageant, 5K Run, Anglers for Kids weigh-in, Art Contest, Arts & Crafts, an expanded Kids Zone, Motorcycle Run, Antique Car Show, Vendors from all around the south and so much more. All day event starting at 8 am. Free Admission. For more information call 334-578-1620 or go to www.townofeclectic.com. See you at the Festival! Call or visit website to confirm event date

Pinson

Music, Food, Arts and Crafts, Rides, Friday Night Fireworks.

Mobile

Bayfest Music Festival. 251-208-7835. www.bayfest.com. Downtown--A weekend of entertainment on multiple stages, with music genres including country, classic rock, R&B, rock, pop, jazz, gospel and acoustic tunes. Special children's area. Weekend passes available; children 12 and under are free. Visit website for more information. Fri., 6 p.m.-midnight; Sat., 2 p.m.-midnight; Sun., 2-10 p.m.

Huntsville

Five Points Walking Tour . 256-551-2230. www.huntsville.org. Free. Five Points District--Huntsville's locally designated historic district encompasses architecture from the late 1890s through the 20th century. Guides share unique and interesting stories about these quaint Victorian homes and bungalows. 10 a.m..

Guntersville

In addition to a Alabama Barbecue Association-sanctioned barbecue competition, this event also offers family entertainment, a petting zoo, wood carvers, food, drink and merchandise vendors. Open to the public with free admission.

Foley

Alabama Festival of Flavor. 251-943-3291. www.alabamafestivalofflavor.com. Free. Street of Downtown Foley--Features fresh local foods, with live cooking competitions by area restaurants, cooking secrets from local chefs, free, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Decatur

Wild game cook-off featuring cookers from across the country.

Cullman

Join us for four days of German heritage, Southern style. Planned activities include authentic German food, costumes and music; multiple stage events, a Biergarten, game-day TV, arts and crafts, a car show featuring classic German cars, a bratwurst-eating contest, stein-hosting contest, the Burgermeister Ball, historical tours, and much more!

Gulf Shores

National Shrimp Festival. (251)968-6091. MyGulfCoastChamber.com. Free. Gulf Shores Public Beaches--Held each year during the second full weekend in October, this event is one of the nation's premier outdoor festivals featuring more than 300 vendors that offer fine art, arts and crafts, a retail marketplace, children's activity village, 10K/5K run on the Saturday of the Festival, and of course, shrimp. Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m..

Birmingham

Barber Vintage Festival. 205-699-7275. www.barbervintagefestival.org. Admission charged. Barber Motorsports Park--Featuring road racing, motocross, cross country events, an air show, a swap meet with over 250 vendors, a fan zone and more.

Gadsden

Art-toberfest at the Center for Cultural Arts.

Cullman Civic Center

Alabama Gourd Show Festival--Come see the beautiful original pieces of gourd art. Learn how artists achieve their special techniques with the many FREE demonstrations throughout the weekend. Bring the kids by the FREE kids patch booth where they can decorate their own little gourd and take it home with them. You won't want to miss the exhibition room where each of our gourd artists and growers has entered a juried competition. Shop the arts and crafts show, take a class, and maybe even find a new hobby! Always the third weekend in October.

Anniston

Lobsterfest. 256-237-4457. www.graceanniston.org. Grace Episcopal Church--Lobster meals eat in or take out, arts and crafts, children's activities and more. Benefits Habitat for Humanity of Calhoun County. Noon-7 p.m.

Florence

Wenches and queens alike will enjoy this authentic Renaissance Feast prepared by a world-renowned chef. In true Renaissance style, entertainment will be provided throughout the meal. Participants are encouraged to wear their finest Renaissance attire!

Talladega

Witness the 6th and pivotal race in NASCAR's Chase for the Championship with the GEICO 500. The field of title contenders will be cut from 12 to eight. Lots of free camping, kids 12 and under with incredible discounts and lots more!

Theodore

Oct 24, Mobile. Balloon Glow in the Gardens. 251-973-2217. www.bellingrath.org. Admission charged. Bellingrath Gardens and Home--Hot air balloons will "glow" on the Great Lawn (weather permitting), scary and fun inflatables will be glowing throughout the Gardens, treats and trinkets will be available for trick or treaters and more. 4:30-8 pm

Elberta

Elberta German Sausage Festival. 251-986-5805. Free. Elberta Town Park--Held the last Saturday in March and October, event offers German sausage and other food booths, music, dancing, arts and crafts booths, children's rides and games. 8 a.m.-5 p.m

November

Wetumpka

Using Fort Toulouse–Fort Jackson Park as its historical backdrop, Alabama Frontier Days demonstrates what life was like on the southern frontier during the early years of European and American exploration and settlement, 1700-1820.

Orange Beach

Frank Brown Songwriters Festival. 850-492-7664. www.fbisf.com. Various venues--The festival provides an atmosphere to promote all writers, whether they had written hit songs which made people open their eyes and view the world in a different way or they are aspiring writers and musicians who knew they could do the same but needed a forum in order to get their music out to the world.

Beatrice

Cane Syrup Makin' Day is an annual tradition. The first Saturday in November, watch as sugar cane is squeezed in a mule-driven cane grinder, boiled into syrup and canned.

Brookside

Nov 7-8, 2015, Brookside . St. Nicholas Annual Food Festival . 205-285-9648. www.brooksidealabama.com, or www.stnicholasbrookside.org. St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church--Tours of the 1984 temple are available. The ladies of the Sisterhood of St. Olga prepare the food and pastries from recipes handed down from relatives and friends who immigrated to Brookside from Western Ukraine and what is now known as Slovakia. Be sure to visit our Russian Beriozka Store for imported gifts and souvenirs. Food is take-out or eat in..

This family-oriented festival at the Tillman's Corner Community Center features a carnival atmosphere with rides, food, face painting, arts and crafts, and jewelry. Free grandstand events include a classic country and western show, a Sunday gospel show with topnotch entertainers, and more. Bring the grandparents and bring the kids. There is something for everyone. Friday, 5 p.m. until; Saturday, 9 a.m. until; Sunday, 11 a.m. until. Admission and parking are free. Call 251-401-5555 for more information. The event is held annually on the first full weekend of November.

Fairhope

Nov 19, Fairhope. Fairhope Tree Lighting Celebration. 251-929-1466. www.cofairhope.com. Free. Downtown--Entertainment provided and Mrs. Claus will be passing out candy canes. 5:30-8 p.m. with tree lighting at 6 p.m.

Mobile

Enjoy your day as you experience first-hand adventures from continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South Americas around the arena, exhibit halls and Expo Hall. See the arts and crafts, hear people speak their native languages, be entertained, and taste the delicous flavors of the world. Be sure to catch the Opening Ceremony!

Auburn

Join in the first home football game for the Auburn Tigers! Enjoy a full weekend of fun activities and the big game on Saturday!

December

Demopolis

Christmas on the River. 334-289-0270. www.demopolischamber.com. Downtown and along Tombigbee River--Historic home tours, nautical parade, 5K run, arts & crafts, fireworks and more.

Brundidge

Dec 4 & 5, Brundidge. Chili Country Christmas. 334-670-6302. www.piddle.org. Admission charged. We Piddle Around Theater, Brundidge--Get into the Christmas spirit with a bowl of hot chili and enjoy the songs and stories of the Christmas season with nationally acclaimed storyteller, Carmen Agra Deedy at 6:30 p.m.

Eufaula

Eufaula Christmas Tour of Homes. 334-687-3793. www.eufaulapilgrimage.com. Fee for attractions only. DowntownAn enchanting tour of the South's finest homes draped in holiday cheer. 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Montgomery

Celebrate the spirit of the season and see the Alabama Governor's Mansion public rooms decked for the holidays. Christmas Open House Tours are December 7, 14, and 21 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Pick up tickets the night of at the Governor's Mansion Gift Shop, located across the street at 30 Finley Avenue. Admission is free. www.alabama.travel

Gulf Shores

Christmas Lighted Boat Parade. 251-968-4237. mygulfcoastchamber.com. Free. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Intracoastal Waterway beginning at 5:30 p.m., the parade travels the Intracoastal Waterway Canal and ends approximately around 8:30 p.m.

March

Mccalla

Outdoor Flea Market

April

Dothan

Apr 8-9, 2016- Dothan. Tri-State BBQ Festival. 334-699-1475. www.tristatebbq.com. Admission charged. Houston Farm Cente----Food and music festival featuring a sanctioned barbecue competition with cash prizes totaling more than $10,000. Spectators can enjoy tasting BBQ, and can attend BBQ classes, as well as listen to music, see an antique car show, and shop in the vendor village. BBQ for sale, as well as other great foods. Lots of fun for kids (inflatables, rides, games, crafts) as well.

May

Huntsville

A foot-stompin', pig-chompin' two-day festival on the grounds of the Huntsville Depot offers live entertainment, a children's play zone, and professional and amateur barbecue cooking competitions. Proceeds support the EarlyWorks Family of Museums.

Orange Beach

The Orange Beach Wine Fest is one of the most cherished tickets on the island. Over 120 wines, three live music acts, food from distinguished local restaurants, boat tours of the bay, custom wine glass, custom wine bag, and even craft beer for the un-winies ...... all for only $39

Decatur

May 28 - 29, Decatur. 800-524-6181. www.alabamajubilee.net. Free. Point Mallard Park. Enjoy balloon races, key grab, tether rides, balloon glow, arts and crafts, entertainment and more. 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Auburn

Bluegrass On The Plains is a 7-day bluegrass festival hosting 20 bands annually the week of Memorial Day starting on Monday, May 30 and going through Sunday, June 5, 2016. It is held at University Station RV Resort in Auburn, AL. www.bluegrassontheplains.com

June

Georgiana

Jun 3-4, Georgiana. 334-376-2396. www.hankwilliamsfestival.com. Hank Williams Boyhood Home & Museum. Tribute to native son, Hank Williams, with country music, arts, crafts and food.

Alabaster

Voted the Best Annual Festival in Shelby County for multiple years, Alabaster CityFest is a FREE festival - bring the entire family, stay all day! Nationally recognized music artists.

July

Florence

July 22-31, Florence, Sheffield, Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals. W.C. Handy Music Festival. 256-766-7642. www.wchandymusicfestival.org. The Shoals (Florence, Sheffield, Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals), various locations--week-long celebration honoring Florence native, W.C. Handy, "Father of the Blues," with over 200 events taking place including concerts, plays, art exhibits, picnics and more.