Spring events bloom across the state
Family fun and live entertainment highlight some of the many spring events across Alabama. Events include everything from one of the Southeast’s largest hot air balloon festivals in Foley to races at Barber Motorsports and Talladega.
Festivals this spring include the Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival, the Panoply Arts Festival in Huntsville and the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores. Families can also enjoy live music and great barbecue at the Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival in Bessemer or meet award-winning authors at the Alabama Book Festival in Montgomery.
The Alabama Tourism Department suggests the following spring events. For a complete calendar of events listing see www.alabama.travel.
Fairhope - Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival
March 16-18 in Fairhope. Held in beautiful downtown Fairhope by Mobile Bay each March, this award-winning art show attracts more than 200 exhibitors and more than 250,000 visitors. www.eschamber.com. Free admission.
Statewide - April Walking Tours
Some 30 towns across Alabama will be on display during Saturday mornings in April as part of the Alabama Tourism Department's April Walking Tours. A variety of community leaders will lead the free tours through the historic districts or courthouse square areas of their hometowns. The hour-long tours will start at 10 a.m. on April 7, 14, 21 and 28. For a list of the participating cities see www.alabama.travel. Free admission.
Anniston - Noble Street Festival and Sunny King Criterium
April 7 in Anniston. Noble Street becomes cyclists and pedestrians-only for a day at the Noble Street Festival and Sunny King Criterium. Pro bike races, food, music and art. www.noblestfestival.com. Free admission.
Fort Deposit - Calico Fort Arts & Crafts Fair
April 14-15 at Calico Fort. One of the largest and most popular arts and crafts fairs in the South with 200 exhibitors and 20,000 attendees in a natural amphitheater setting, a children's area with rides and a petting zoo. www.calicofort.com. Admission charged.
Birmingham - Honda Indy Grand Prix
April 20-22 at Barber Motorsports Park. This is a signature event in the INDYCAR circuit. The 2.38-mile road course, with 17 flowing turns and 80 feet of elevation change, challenge drivers and engineers unlike any other track in the circuit. This year’s grand marshal is actor and Alabama native Channing Tatum. www.barberracingevents.com. Admission charged.
Montgomery - Alabama Book Festival
April 21 at Old Alabama Town. This is the state’s premier book festival, with more than 4,000 people from around the state converging in the capital to meet with and hear from their favorite authors and discover new favorites. www.alabamabookfestival.org. Free admission.
Huntsville - Panoply Arts Festival
April 27-29 at Big Spring Park. Featuring games, food and Moon Pie-eating contest :
www.artshuntsville.org. Admission charged.
Lincoln - Geico 500 Weekend
April 27-29 at the Talladega Superspeedway. A weekend of racing including the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500, NASCAR XFINITY Series Sparks Energy 300 and the ARCA Racing Series. Talladega is NASCAR's Most Competitive Track (record 88 changes in 188 laps), most banked (33 degrees), and longest (2.66 miles). www.talladegasuperspeedway.com. Admission charged.
Bessemer - Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival
April 28 at DeBardeleben Park. Live performances from award-winning local and national blues musicians, great barbecue, an art and vendor area, and a variety of booths including arts and crafts, outdoor exhibits, and a diverse selection of vendors. There is a large kids corner with activities and games. www.bobsykes.com/blues-festival. Admission charged.
Troy - Troyfest
April 28-29 in downtown Troy. TroyFest is the premier fine arts & craft festival for the central Alabama region. The weekend long show draws upwards of 10,000 people to downtown Troy to celebrate the arts. A wonderful selection of art, food, entertainment and activities will be offered for all ages. www.troyfestarts.com. Free admission.
Foley - Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival
May 4-5 at the Foley Soccer Complex. Pilots from across the U.S participate in the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival. The festival will include balloon glows Friday and Saturday night, the Disc-Connected K-9's Frisbee Dog Show, carnival rides, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and entertainment. www.gulfcoastballoonfestival.com. Free admission.
Gulf Shores - Hangout Music Festival
May 18-20 at the Gulf Shores Public Beach. The Hangout Music Festival has been recognized as one of the premier live music events in the United States. The festival is located on the white sandy beaches of Gulf Shores. Each year at the Hangout Festival, fans are treated to some of the biggest names in music alongside new emerging acts. www.hangoutmusicfest.com. Admission charged.