By Lynn Grisard Fullman
Summertime. Ah, summertime! The living definitely is easy. The days are (mostly) sunny. The pace is slower. The possibilities are as abundant as the
stars in the night sky.
In Birmingham this summer, you will find festivals and special events of all sorts.
“This is a great summer to stay right here in Birmingham,” said Dilcy Windham Hilley, vice president of marketing and communications with the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“The music and film events scheduled for this summer are as good as you could travel to find anywhere,” she reports.
“In addition to festivals,” she said, “we get the Birmingham Barons all summer long. It’s just a really fun time to spend downtime in Birmingham.”
Following is a sampling of what the ’Ham has on tap this summer. Mark your calendar so you won’t miss a single event.
Through Sept. 4: Alabama Splash Adventure. Two theme parks provide wet and dry attractions, including miles of slides, thousands of gallons of water, waves, lazy rivers, the Rampage roller coaster and rides for younger children. Try monster slides, Wipeout Adventure Course, Mist-ical Maze, Laser Maze Challenge and more. 4599 Alabama Adventure Parkway, Bessemer (Exit 110 at I-459 & I-20). alabamasplash.com.
Saturdays through Dec. 9: The Market at Pepper Place. Saturday mornings, 7 a.m.-noon, Alabama farmers, food purveyors, artists and craftsmen show up for the city’s biggest weekly farmers’ market. Pepper Place, 2829 Second Ave. South. pepperplacemarket.com.
2-3: Steel City Jazz Festival. Smooth and rockin’ are the operative words for this cool fest in the heart of the city. Included in the lineup are Marion Meadows, David Sanborn, Norman Brown and Kirk Whalum, Jeffrey Osborne, Boney James and the O’Jays. Linn Park. steelcityjazzfestbham.com.
2-3: Magic City Brewfest. This summer, cool down at the premiere festival for Alabama’s craft beer. This popular event serves up specialty beers including many rare and cask ales never before available in Alabama. Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. magiccitybrewfest.com.
2-3: Made South. Meet Southern artists and craftsmen and enjoy music, food from local chefs and drink tastings from regional distilleries. Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. madesouth.com.
2-3: Alabama Symphony Orchestra Ebsco Masterworks Series. Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Andreas Delfs returns to Birmingham to conduct Brahms’ joyful Second Symphony. Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center. alabamasymphony.org/masterworks_15-16.htm.
2-3: Rock the South. Sam Hunt and Luke Bryan are among those scheduled to appear at what’s billed as “the biggest party in the South.” Heritage Park, Cullman. rockthesouth.com.
3-4: Tannehill Gem, Mineral, Fossil & Jewelry Show. The 44th annual event includes demos, exhibits, children’s activities, door prizes plus geology- and jewelry-related booths showcasing and selling gems, minerals, fossils and jewelry. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. tannehill.org/events.html.
3: Alabaster City Fest. Live bands perform all day, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., at this annual event that includes food vendors, arts and crafts, cruise-in car show, children’s activities and inflatables. Municipal Park. al-alabaster.civicplus.com
3: SliceFest. The sixth annual block party is hosted by Slice Pizza & Brewhouse to thank the community for its continuing support. Expect local and regional musical talent paired with local craft beer and specialty pizzas. Slice Pizza & Brew, 725 29th St. South. slicefest.com.
8 and each Thursday in June: Sounds of Summer. The outdoor concert series (weather dependent) includes music and food on Thursdays in June beginning at 6:30 p.m. Raquel Lilly kicks off the series. Saks Plaza at The Summit Shopping Center. thesummitbirmingham.com/event/sounds-of-summer/.
8-9: Spring Film Fest. Thursday’s program will feature short propaganda films from the 1980s to the 1920s; Friday’s program will feature films from this year’s Birmingham Underground FilmFest, a collection of independent films from around the world. Take a chair or blanket. Oak Hill Cemetery, 1120 19th St. North.
9-10: Steel City Model Train Show. Vendors and layouts of all scales. Bessemer Civic Center. 2017serconvention.com.
17-18: Tannehill Trade Days. Held the third weekend of each month, March through November, trade days, with more than 300 vendors, offers such options as tools, clothing, jewelry, knives, furniture and other treasures. (No pets or bicycles.) Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, McCalla. tannehill.org.
1: Magic City Con. A pop culture, comic and fan convention draws fans of cosplay, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, art, comics, film and TV, as well as table top and video gaming. Participants celebrate their favorite fandoms and meet special guests during a weekend of activities and events. Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel. magiccitycon.com.
4: Fourth of July Festival. The 68th annual Fourth of July barbecue is one of Homewood’s longest-running food festivals. Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 1728 Oxmoor Road. ourladyofsorrows.com.
9: Jazz in the Park. Phil Denny and Joe Carnaggio Trio are on tap. Helena Amphitheater. magiccitysmoothjazz.com.
14-16: G2K Cinderella. Red Mountain Theatre Company presents a specially crafted fairy tale featuring the beloved songs and familiar characters of the Cinderella story in a condensed script for younger audiences. RMTC Cabaret Theatre, 301 19th St. North. redmountaintheatre.org/our-season/G2K-Cinderella.
14: Comedian Tim Hawkins. One of the country’s most in-demand comedians offers a hilarious look at daily life. BJCC. timhawkins.net.
15: Float Your Boat Festival. The eighth annual event includes balsa-wood boat races starting at noon, with prizes, the city of Pinson’s “Beat the Heat” ice cream give-away, food, swimming and a kids’ fun zone. Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, Pinson. turkeycreeknp.com.
4-5: Secret Stages Festival. The two-day music discovery festival will include more than 60 up-and-coming artists. Now in its seventh year, the event assembles some of the region’s best Southern talent to seven stages. Venues around downtown Birmingham. secretstages.net.
13: Jazz in the Park. Take a chair or blanket to this free concert, 6-9 p.m. Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens. magiccitysmoothjazz.com.
25-27: Sidewalk Film Festival. Independent filmmakers from across the country will screen their work at multiple venues in Birmingham’s historic Theater District. MovieMaker Magazine has named the event one of 2017’s “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.” Downtown Theater District. sidewalkfest.com.
25-27: Rick and Bubba Outdoor Expo. If you love the outdoors, this is the place with a focus on hunting and fishing. Expect outdoor retailers and organizations from across the country, hundreds of exhibitors plus autograph and photo sessions with Rick and Bubba. BJCC Exhibition Halls. rickandbubbaoutdoorexpo.com.
26: Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival. During this annual event, local and national jazz artists perform on historic Fourth Avenue, once the hub of Birmingham’s African-American business community. Food available. Fourth Avenue North between 16th and 18th streets. 4thavenuejazz.org.
26: Tannehill VolksJam. Billing itself as the state’s “premier Volkswagen show,” the event is open to all years, types and conditions of Volkswagens and Audis. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, McCalla. tannehill.org/events.html.
As things do change and weather can alter plans, verify dates and hours before setting out for any event. Better safe than sorry.
Based in Vestavia Hills, Lynn Grisard Fullman is a professional writer who has contributed to numerous newspapers, magazines and blogs.
For more information on other special events, contact the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau: inbirmingham.com or 458-8000. Or to learn about other events, check out birminghamal.org/events-calendar.