Memorial Day Weekend is the kick-off to summer, and we’re here for it! Check out these fun events going on in Huntsville and Decatur.
Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic
The Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic is a must if you live anywhere near the Tennessee Valley area! Lots of hot air balloons invade Decatur and provide a magical experience at Point Mallard Park on Saturday and Sunday. For a full list of activities, check out Decatur Morgan County Tourism.
Point Mallard Water Park
Point Mallard Water Park opens for the season on Saturday, May 27! Grab your bathing suits, beach towels, and floaties and hit the water park for some refreshing fun all summer long!
Huntsville Botanical Garden
The Huntsville Botanical Garden invites U.S. service members and their immediate family (active duty & veterans) to visit on Memorial Day because Yulista is offering complimentary admission to enjoy the peaceful garden on Monday.
School’s out for summer, and Stovehouse has a line up of activities that are a great way to kick off the most laid-back season.
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
In the Discovery Theater at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center on Sunday, May 28 at 2pm, you can discover the story of how America’s first space station came to be. The discussion will explore the challenges and opportunities of launching an orbiting habitat and laboratory and the ingenuity required to see it through. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Skylab, America’s first space station, with free public events scheduled throughout the summer!
Taste. Sip. Repeat. This spring, Corks & Chefs: A Taste of Birmingham is toasting its 26th year. Join us April 29 & 30, 2023 under the main Casting Shed at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark for this highly anticipated tasting experience held in conjunction with the FAB 40th Magic City Art Connection. C&C looks forward to spotlighting talented local tastemakers as it presents culinary dishes for patrons to pair with select wines, craft beer, spirits, cocktails, seated tasting seminars, and a beloved contemporary art festival.
April Walking Tours
All across Alabama in the month of April, you’ll find free walking tours through the quaint downtown areas. You’ll learn about the history of the area, architecture, and see beautiful gardens.
3rd Friday Downtown Decatur
From April to October, downtown Decatur comes alive every third Friday! On Second Avenue throughout the spring, summer, and fall, you’ll find lots of food trucks, vendors, live music, and downtown shops open later. It’s a great time to get out and eat, shop, and catch up with friends.
Panoply Arts Festival
Panoply is the Southeast‘s premier arts weekend where Huntsville’s innovative spark shines through a festival of art, music, and more! Panoply takes place in downtown Huntsville on April 28-30 at Big Spring Park.
Panoply kicks off at 5pm on Friday, April 28 and during the three-day event, over 30 local and regional musical acts in a variety of genres – jazz, rock, R&B, indie rock, blues, pop and more – will entertain the crowd on Panoply’s two stages. Friday’s lineup features a homegrown favorite, The Wanda Band. Wanda made her solo debut at Panoply in 2012 as a Panoply Homegrown Talent Winner and in 2019 she debuted her band at Concerts in the Park. She was recently named one of the “5 Huntsville Bands with the best shot to become Famous” by Matt Wake, entertainment reporter with Alabama Media Group.
On Saturday, the music starts when the gates open at 10am and closes out with Huntsville’s own Rob Aldridge and the Proponents. Uncut Magazine wrote in 2022 that “Rob is an Alabama native who is finally starting to get noticed as a songwriting frontman capable of gnawing a hook and a finely weighted turn of phrase,” and NPR calls them “an Alabama rock & roll band you need to know.” Sunday’s lineup features local favorite and up-and-coming performers.
Birmingham Walking Tours
Birmingham Walking Tours are offered on select Saturdays and Sundays in April and May, and visitors, and locals alike can experience the history and beauty of Birmingham in a fun, invigorating way.
There are two new tours offered this spring, “Breathing Life into Landmarks” and “City Walk | Linn Park”. In addition to the return of a local favorite, “Parkside”. Presented by The Caring Foundation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Spire, and Stone Building Company, the two-hour tours guided by Allison Vosicky, Cheryl Morgan, David Fleming and Gary Bostany, focus on the redevelopment of some of Birmingham’s most cherished landmarks, details of the new City Walk, and the new vision for historical Linn Park.
Registration is $20 for Vulcan Park and Museum members and $30 for non-members. There is special discounted pricing for pairs of two. Tour groups will not exceed forty participants. Reservations and payment are required in advance.
North Alabama is a beautiful place with so many exciting things to do, and Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association is an organization whose mission is to promote the region to everyone from locals to international visitors. AMLA, known on social media as Visit North Alabama, has created many trails to help visitors find their favorite thing (or things) to do!
North Alabama Waterfall Trail
North Alabama is called the “land of a thousand waterfalls,” and when you visit, you’ll know why. Because of the Tennessee River and its tributaries, waterfalls can be found all over the region, and Bankhead National Forest is home to the majority of these majestic falls throughout the forest. The Singin’ River Trio of waterfalls in the Shoals area can be found nestled deep in Cane Creek Canyon, Spring Park, and at TVA’s Wilson Dam. On the northeast side of the region, you’ll find two of the most visited waterfalls in our region: DeSoto Falls and Little River Falls. Both of these waterfalls are quite breathtaking when they’re at full flow. Noccalula Falls in Gadsden is gorgeous and steeped in rich Native American history. There’s also a trail you can hike that takes you behind this iconic waterfall.
North Alabama Craft Beer Trail
Go on a spirited adventure to visit the craft breweries in north Alabama! Craft breweries began popping up all over several years ago, and north Alabama is home to many award-winning family owned and operated breweries that are perfecting their craft. From Florence to Gadsden, these Alabama makers offer dozens of beers and wines unique to north Alabama. When you download or request a hard copy of the Craft Beer Trail and Wine Trail brochures and complete the passport in each, you’ll receive a free gift from AMLA.
North Alabama Wine Trail
When you think Alabama, chances are wine isn’t the first thing to come to mind, but North Alabama is home to a wide variety of wineries. North Alabama’s wineries are close enough to each other that you can visit several in a day and experience them all over a long weekend. They include Jules J. Berta in Albertville, Wills Creek Vineyards in Attalla, Maraella Winery in Hokes Bluff, White Oak Vineyards in Anniston, Fruithurst Winery in Fruithurst, and High Country Cellars in Heflin.
Every vineyard hosts wine tastings and has bottles available for purchase. Whether you’re packing a picnic and spending the day with that special someone, kicking back with good friends and even better wine, or developing your palate to impress your friends back home with new wine knowledge, there’s a world of adventure around every vine in North Alabama.
North Alabama Mural Trail
Discover North Alabama’s heritage, beauty, and love of the arts through more than 125 murals across 16 counties. Read about the artist and stories behind the murals and be sure to keep your cameras ready as every mural boasts a completely unique design and creative vision. Be sure to also tag #NorthALMurals in your selfies and pictures! Plus if you check-in at 25 sites, AMLA will send you a prize for participating.
North Alabama Agriculture Trail
Agriculture is so important to the north Alabama region, and AMLA celebrates that rich agricultural heritage that has sustained and will sustain us all for generations. The Agriculture Adventures Trail is a new trail that highlights the businesses, farms, or organizations that has an agriculturally-related product for sale or is an educational, entertainment, historical, cultural, or recreational activity conducted on a farm that allows or invites members of the general public to observe, participate in, or enjoy that activity.
So if fun is what you’re looking for, you’ll find it all over north Alabama…and AMLA can help you!
A trip to Vulcan Park and Museum is a must for every visitor to the Birmingham region – in fact, it’s the best place to get started. In addition to seeing the iconic colossal statue, visitors gain an understanding of the region’s history and culture, and can learn more about other cultural, recreational and entertainment offerings at an onsite Visitor Information Center managed by the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Vulcan is the world’s largest cast iron statue and is considered one of the most memorable works of civic art in the United States. Created by Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti, Vulcan was cast from local iron to represent the state of Alabama at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Vulcan has overlooked Alabama’s largest city from atop Red Mountain since a 1930s WPA project created his permanent home and namesake park.
After decades of exposure to the elements, by the 90s, the 50-ton statue was in desperate need of repair. Recognizing Vulcan’s importance to the region’s history and persona, community leaders formed Vulcan Park Foundation, a nonprofit organization which oversaw a $16 million project that returned the statue to his 1904 grandeur. The meticulous restoration of Vulcan and his 124′ sandstone pedestal, completed in 2004, received numerous awards including the highest honor awarded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Embracing the personality of the community Vulcan symbolizes, the park grounds and museum offer a dynamic edu-taining experience. Standing for Birmingham Alabama’s rich industrial history, the diverse cultures that settled and built the community, and the story of Vulcan are recounted in both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
Vulcan’s park grounds and observation tower offer breathtaking views of downtown and the surrounding areas – a great introduction to Birmingham, day or night.
Visit Vulcan and learn the fascinating history that has made him the iconic symbol of our city and why he has stood for Birmingham for more than a century and counting.