Many of you have already planned your summer within an inch of its life, but we’d like to encourage you to take a few days to enjoy the simple pleasures of summer. Stroll down a fairway, ride the ferris wheel, enjoy a game of cornhole, or just soak up some tunes while eating your weight in cotton candy. Below is a listing of area festivals, fairs, and carnivals happening this summer. Enjoy!
33rd Annual Poke Salat Festival
The 35th Annual Poke Salat Festival in Downtown Arab is a time-honored local family event. Activities include artisan demonstrations, arts and crafts vendors, a Top Dog Competition, Side Dish Showdown, Battle of the Bands, children’s costumed fun run, North Alabama’s biggest bluegrass jam session, scavenger hunt for prizes, Buck Dancing Expo and Competition, Street Corner Pickin’ Bluegrass Competition, street painting by the Arab Jr High and High School Art Departments, an open mic area for singing, staged entertainment, a FREE children’s play area, games,a food court, and of course, Poke Salat!
20th Anniversary Soulstock
SoulStock is the largest Christian concert festival in North Alabama. It started 21 years ago by putting on a free concert for a few local youth groups. Friday Night Worship from 6:00-9:00PM features Noah Cleveland, and others.Saturday lineup is Britt Nicole, Sidewalk Prophets, B Haley for the message with Noah Cleveland for worship, Verses (from Australia), Blake Whitely, The Persuaded, The Hedgerow Folk, and As We Are. Vendors and food trucks will be on site with food, and merchandise sales will be available from all artists. No coolers please. Bring sunscreen and stay hydrated. We encourage young children to have ear protection.
33rd Annual Arts Alive
The 33rd annual Arts Alive juried fine arts and crafts festival is May 18 and 19 in downtown Florence, Alabama. The festival takes place in Wilson Park and at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts and features quality national, regional and local artists and crafters. Admission is free so bring the family and stroll through the park as you meet artists, find one-of-a-kind treasures to add to your collection, and enjoy good food. The festival showcases artists specializing in painting, stained glass, jewelry, sculpture, pottery, fiber art, woodwork, photography, and much more.
Since 1994, the Daikin Festival has offered attendees of all ages an opportunity to experience Japanese culture through music, exhibits, and food. Participate in Japanese folk dances and enjoy traditional Japanese music as well as dance away to country, Cajun, rock & roll, and big band. The highlight of the festival each year is when Daikin employees take the stage with their amazing Japanese Taiko Drums performance. Enjoy both traditional festival fare as well as traditional foods, and learn more about Daikin America from various displays of product exhibits. Free tethered hot-air balloon rides are also available, weather permitting. In addition to free parking around the fairgrounds, free round-trip shuttle service will be provided to the fairgrounds from Decatur Mall and Austin High School.
A Memorial Weekend staple, the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic is the largest balloon race in Alabama. It features 60 balloons from around the country flying early in the morning and in the evening on Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting). Saturday morning is the ‘hare & hound’ race and during the evening there is the always popular Balloon Glow that lights up the night sky. Alabama Jubilee also features food & merchandise vendors, live music, arts & crafts show, classic car show, tractor show. MOM TIP: Parking is free but can be far away so bring a few dollars to ride the shuttle ($1 per person).
Smith Lake Memorial Day Festival
Make your plans now to attend our Smith Lake Park Memorial Day Weekend Music Festival on Saturday May 25, 2019. We’ll have arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, live music, and contests happening all day! Play putt-putt at our newly updated putt-putt course. It’s also opening day of our swimming pool, where you can swim, rent kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards! It’s fun for the entire family!
Project Sweet Peas Jamboree
There will be carnival games, inflatables, super heroes, and vendors. All proceeds from this event will benefit families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Huntsville & Birmingham, Alabama. Project Sweet Peas is a 501(c)3 national non-profit organization coordinated by volunteers, who through personal experience have become passionate about providing support to families of premature or sick infants and to those who have been affected by pregnancy and infant loss.
Marina Day Celebration
Join in a celebration of all that makes Ditto Landing great. The party includes the Reelin-N-Smokin Barbecue Competition, lots of live music, family fun, food vendors, and more! You can also help judge the Reelin N Smoking People’s Choice BBQ Competition.
Family Fun Festival and Expo
A community event that offers face-to-face interactions with exhibitors that support families, fun, & learning! This family festival will feature a full day of face painting, inflatables and kids activities as well as many area businesses that cater to families. There will be live performances and free health screenings in addition to the children’s activities.
41st Annual Hellen Keller Festival
Location: Downtown area and Spring Park, Tuscumbia (map)
Date(s) & Time(s): Thurs. June 27 from 6-10PM, Fri. & Sat. June 28-28 from 10AM-10PM; Sun. June 30 from Noon-10PM
Cost: Most events are FREE; some events charge admission of $3-$6; Spring Park Festival concerts are $5 per day
More Info: Website | Facebook
The annual Helen Keller Festival, one of the largest festivals in North Alabama, begins on Thursday with a parade at 6PM in downtown Tuscumbia. This festival pays tribute to America’s “First Lady of Courage” with four days of more than 100 activities including an outdoor marketplace, Keller Kids educational activities, and various musical artists performing evening concerts. Be sure to bring lawn chairs! Note that coolers, alcohol, and dogs are not permitted inside Spring Park. Parking is very limited; take one of the free festival shuttle buses!
Athens Kiddie Carnival
A carnival just for kids? Yes, you heard us right and it is NOT TO BE MISSED. Seriously, read our review and you’ll be lining up. Tokens to ride are just $.50 each and all monies go to local charities. A North Alabama tradition that needs to become your family’s summer tradition.
Smith Lake Park Fireworks & Music Festival
Make your plans now to attend the Smith Lake Park Fireworks and Music Festival on Thursday, July 4, 2019. It’s a day full of arts and crafts, food, live music, and fireworks! We’ll also have our golf cart parade and other contests for the family. Play putt-putt in the newly updated putt-putt course, and the swimming pool will be open and renting kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards! Park Admission is $5 per person. Additional costs for camping, pool, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, and putt-putt.
Spirit of America Festival and Fireworks Show
Every year in July, Americans join together to celebrate our nation’s freedom and to pause and reflect on the sacrifices military personnel and their families make every day. The Spirit of America Festival, held annually in Decatur, Ala., has attracted thousands of families to the River City for one of North Alabama’s largest free fireworks show in honor of Independence Day. The spectacular fireworks show will launch at 9 p.m. and families can arrive earlier to enjoy the patriotic bike parade, to make a splash at the Point Mallard water park and visit all of our wonderful food and craft vendors. We will hDelicious snow cones, pizza, funnel cakes, hotdogs, etc.
Location: VBC South Hall (map)
Date(s) & Time(s): Fri. July 19 from Noon-Midnight; Sat. July 20 from 10AM-midnight; Sun. June 24 from 10AM-5PM
Cost: Daily and weekend passes from $20-$50; Parent passes can be purchased for $5 (limit one parent pass per child under 16)
More Info: Website | Facebook
HAMACON, which stands for “Huntsville & Madison Anime Convention,” is the Rocket City’s anime con! This 3-day event features panels and guest stars, a big ol’ gaming area for both video and tabletop games a Dealer’s Room with vendors selling a huge variety of collectibles, costume pieces, props, figures, key chains and more, an Artist Alley, Cosplay, and more. Parents, be sure to read the information on this page before attending!
37th Annual WC Handy Music Festival
This 10-day long series of primarily music events occurs in and around the Shoals and honors William Christopher “W.C.” Handy. The Festival is presented by the Music Preservation Society and is intended as part of the Music Preservation Society effort to preserve, promote, and present the musical heritage of the Shoals in Northwest Alabama. There are always many events designed specifically with children in mind, including the DaDooRunRun 5K and Family Fun Walk, the traditional Street Strut Parade, a play about the life of WC Handy, the Courting the Blues parade, car, truck and bike shows, music history discussions and so much more!
Cotton Pickin’ BBQ Cook-Off
The competition is fierce and the flavors are rich as national award winning barbeque cookers will be cooking up the most unbelievably delicious barbeque ribs, chicken, pulled pork, and more – including a Kids Q competition. This is Top 20 Southeast Events winner is a KCBS sanctioned festival held annually. The Cotton Pickin’ BBQ Cook-Off is also a member of the Alabama BBQ Association. Shop vendors’ booths, boutiques, and antiques and specialty shops throughout Hartselle. A great event for friends and family!
Main Street Music Festival
Billed as the premier music festival in North Alabama, Southeast Tourism Society has selected Main Street Music Festival as an “STS Top 20 Event.” Previous years have included a children’s inflatable water park, dog show, petting zoo, cooking competitions and demonstrations in addition to the music. This year’s lineup features Whiskey Myers, Marshall Tucker Band, Ashley McBryde & Easton Corbin.
Downtown Huntsville Women in Music Weekend 2019
Downtown Huntsville Women in Music Weekend returns for its second year this August in the city center featuring over 20 female musicians performing at over 10 Downtown area venues over the course of 4 music-filled days.