July 21-30, 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.
Cotton Pickin' BBQ Cook-Off. 256-773-4370. www.hartsellechamber.com. Free. Downtown--Alabama State Championship Barbecue Cook-off featuring Professional and Backyard teams from across the US. Sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Association.
Statewide. Alabama Restaurant Week. 1-334-242-4169. 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.
Black Belt Folk Roots Festival.is a unique celebration which brings together craft persons, musicians, dancers, storytellers, food specialist, artists and community workers--all of whom are considered bearers of the traditions and folkways of the West Alabama region.
The Okra Festival started as a small community event celebrating the only crop that survived an unusually hot summer in 2000. More than a decade later, it is one of the highlights of the summer season, featuring local food, music and cultural arts.
Call or visit website for exact date and event schedule. The Shades of Bluegrass Festival is a twice-annual event held at the Rogersville Recreation Park. There will be food and craft vendors and a Shade Tree area for jammers. Primitive camping sites and a bathhouse are available as well as RV parking with hookups.
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.
Grape Stomp . 205-672-2053. www.morgancreekwinery.com. Admission charged. Morgan Creek Vineyards--Visitors get to stomp grapes with their feet in wooden barrels, take winery tours, enjoy wine tastings, watch or participate in the Lucy look-alike contest plus other fun activities. Food available for sale. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Join us for a celebration 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!
Kentuck Festival of the Arts features more than 270 nationally and internally acclaimed folk, visionary and contemporary artists and expert craftspeople presenting their works along with free hands-on art-making activities for children, music, and interactive live demonstrations by basketmakers, blacksmiths, woodworkers, potters, fiber and fabric artists, quilters, jewelers and more.
This will be the 76th annual game, and it is the largest attended HBCU Football Classic in the nations, consistently drawing more than 65,000 fans. The game features Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University, and it's the longest continuous rivalry in the state of Alabama.
51st Annual Pike Road Arts & Crafts Fair is one of the oldest crafts fairs in Alabama featuring more than 250 artists and craftspeople. Held on the grounds of the historic Marks House. Children under 8 free.
Battles for the Armory. http://tallasseearmoryguards.org. Admission charged. Tallassee Historic District and Gibsons Plantation--Battle Re-enactment of the Battle of Chehaw Station and the Battle of Franklin, Interactive exhibits, period artillery, infantry, field hospital, blacksmith, carriage rides, Tours of the Confederate Armory and more. This year we have added the new Arts and Crafts Fair.
Galaxy of Lights. 256-830-4447. www.hsvbg.org. Fee for attractions only. Huntsville Botanical Garden--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.
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.
Surround yourself with history at Fort Gaines! Completed in 1861, visitors delight at this site of The Battle of Mobile Bay. Explore the grounds while hearing stories of days gone by watching live reenactments.