Christmas on the River is an annual event that is in its 44th year. We celebrate with a "Special child" and the announcement of our "St. Nick". We have a reading of the Christmas Story and lighting of the park with a Santa visit, then on Friday and Saturday we have Christmas in the Canebrake, candlelit tours of historical homes, Canebrake children's plays, the Alabama State BBQ Cook-Off, Fair in the Square arts and crafts show, a day parade and a nautical night parade with a fireworks show and semi-formal Gala on the Tombigbee.
The annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Alabama State Capitol will take place on Friday, December 4th at 5:30 p.m. The Capitol Open House will follow from 6-7 p.m.
Celebrate the spirit of the season and see the Alabama Governor's Mansion public rooms decked for the holidays. Christmas Candlelight 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
Easter Sound, Light, and Water Show. 256-378-7252. desotocavernspark.com. Admission charged. DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park--A special Easter sound, light and water show that commemorates the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and is shown on every caverns tour. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 1-5:30 p.m.
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.
Montgomery Biscuits Baseball. 334-323-2255. www.biscuitsbaseball.com. Admission charged. Riverwalk Stadium--The Montgomery Biscuits (AA Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays) play in beautiful Riverwalk Stadium located in downtown Montgomery. Enjoy MAX Fireworks, Thirsty Thursdays, Dollar Dog Tuesdays and other great promotions throughout the season.
Cullman StrawberryFest features the best strawberries and produce in North Alabama. Along with our outstanding music venue, classic car show, arts and crafts, and scrumptious food vendors, visitors can plan to spend the whole day shopping in the unique stores in our downtown district, dancing to a variety of music playing at the Festhalle or visiting our historic districts via guided tours provided by the Cullman County Museum.
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
May 15-16, Hartselle. 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. Friday 4p.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Join in as Chilton County celebrates Alabama peaches. Pageants and tournaments are held throughout the week, along with the Peach Run, art exhibitions, a cook-off, fishing tournament, live music, parades, live and silent auctions, barbecue and much more. Call 205-755-2400 for more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. For more information, contact Dale Weathers at 931-629-2285.
Riverfest Barbecue Cook-off. 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.
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..
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!
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.