Don’t you just love it when your local festival comes to town? Sure, musical entertainment and handmade crafts are huge highlights of any festival, but let’s be honest with ourselves. The delicious, and not-so-healthy, food is the main attraction of any festival. Funnel cakes anyone?
Alabama is fortunate to host a variety of festivals. Listed below are nine upcoming festivals in Alabama that are well known for their amazing food.
1. Gumbo Gala - Birmingham, AL
If you're a fan of gumbo, the Gumbo Gala is a festival you don't want to miss. Here, guests will get to sample gumbo from as many as 60 cook teams. If you have children, they can spend time in the kid zone on jump houses while you're walking around and sampling the delicious gumbo. You'll also be able to vote for your favorite gumbo/team. The Gumbo Gala will take place at Regions Field on April 23, 2016.
2. Cullman Strawberry Festival - Cullman, AL
For the best strawberries and produce in North Alabama, you'll want to attend the Cullman Strawberry Festival. In addition to delicious fresh strawberries, people from all over come for the outstanding music, classic car show, amazing craft shows and numerous food vendors. The Cullman Strawberry Festival will take place May 6, 2016 to May 7, 2016.
3. Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival - Foley, AL
The Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival will feature more than 30 hot air balloonists from across the country. Guests will get to enjoy fun and free entertainment while watching these balloons light up the night sky. If you plan to attend this festival, don't forget to grab yourself a delicious BBQ plate or some delicious homemade ice cream. The Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival will take place May 6, 2016 to May 7, 2016.
4. Orange Beach Wine Festival - Orange Beach, AL
At the Orange Beach Wine Festival (Waves of Wine), guests will have access to more than 120 wines. For those who aren't wine lovers, craft beer will also be available. Wine is of course the main reason for this annual festival. However, there will be delicious food from several distinguished local restaurants, including Cobalt, Cosmos, Sunset Corkroom and Rouses Fresh Mart. The Orange Beach Wine Festival (Waves of Wine) will take place on May 14, 2016.
5. Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival - Bessemer, AL
On May 21, 2016, the 7th annual Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival will be held in DeBardeleben Park. At this annual festival, guests will get to enjoy the music of local and national blues musicians, in addition to sampling Bob Sykes barbecue. Tickets to this event can be purchased at Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q, 1724 Ninth Ave North, Bessemer, or online at bobsykesblues.com.
6. Athens Grease Festival - Athens, AL
If you're a fan of fried foods, then drop what you're doing right now and make plans to attend the Athens Grease Festival. At this annual festival, attendees will enjoy a variety of fried foods such as fish, okra, Twinkies, Oreos and Snickers bars. For an even more unique experience, attendees can dress in a toga if they so desire. The Athens Grease Festival will take place in downtown Athens on June 11, 2016.
7. Sweet Tater Festival - Cullman, AL
At the Sweet Tater Festival, guests will get to enjoy many different types of arts and crafts, in addition to a car show and wonderful music. There will be a variety of foods sold at this event, including many that are made from fresh sweet potatoes. This family-friendly festival is one that shouldn't be missed. The Sweet Tater Festival will take place at Smith Lake from September 3, 2016 to September 5, 2016.
8. National Shrimp Festival - Gulf Shores, AL
At the upcoming 45th Annual National Shrimp Festival, guests will get to enjoy fresh-from-the-gulf seafood. This popular festival lasts four days and attracts more than 300,000 people. Besides numerous musical acts, food is also a major highlight of the festival. At this year's National Shrimp Festival, 50 local and regional vendors will be offering a variety of mouth-watering delights. An estimated 200 pounds of shrimp will be prepared per day by some of the area's best chefs. The 45th Annual National Shrimp Festival will take place from October 13, 2016 to October 16, 2016.
9. National Peanut Festival - Dothan, AL
Each fall, the National Peanut Festival is held in Dothan, Alabama - "Peanut Capital of the World." This annual festival is a ten-day event and attracts more than 150,000 people each year. The festival's different types of activities include carnival rides, animal attractions, concerts, livestock shows and a parade. Guests will also enjoy sampling different types of fair food, in addition to every type of peanut imaginable. The National Peanut Festival will take place at the fairgrounds from November 4, 2016 to November 13, 2016.
Do you plan to attend any of these upcoming festivals? Does your town host an annual festival? What other Alabama festivals can be added to this list?