Celebrate spring at these 12 festivals in Birmingham

IMG 1159 Celebrate spring at these 12 festivals in Birmingham

Spring is on its way. Celebrate beautiful weather, amazing food and more at these excited festivals happening from March-May around Birmingham.

March 2020

1. 2020 Cherry Blossom Festival

Birmingham, Japan-America Society of Alabama‎, Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Photo via Japan-America Society of Alabama‎’s Facebook page

Would you like to experience something truly beautiful? Then head to Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Saturday, March 21 for the largest annual event hosted by the Japan-America Society of Alabama—the Cherry Blossom Festival

You’ll have the chance to celebrate the arrival of spring with performances, food and Japanese cultural activities. Don’t miss your chance to see these incredible blooms.

Where: Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 2612 Lane Park Rd., Birmingham, AL 35223
Date: Sat., March 21
Time: 10AM-4PM
Price: FREE

2. Birmingham Hammerfest

Birmingham, Hammerfest
Chase the rainbow. Photo courtesy of Bruno Event Team

Grab your crew and wear some green for the 2nd annual Birmingham Hammerfest on St. Patrick’s Day weekend at Pepper Place.

Now, before you break out those MC Hammer pants, note that this festival is centered around bike racing. Here’s what to expect:

  • Bike racing from 21 USA CRITS D1 (criterium racing) professional cycling teams.
  • Hammerfest Community Hour where you can don those shamrocks and lots of green for the chance to win prizes. Dogs welcome!
  • The Lil’ Shamrock Fun Ride where kids can ride their very own bikes and tackle a course just like the pros.
  • The chance to train with the pros on Sunday, March 15 during the Hammer Ride. All are welcome.

Where: Pepper Place. 2829 2nd Ave S., Birmingham, AL 35205
Date: Sat.-Sun. Mar. 14-15
Time: Fri. 11AM | Sat. 9AM
Price: FREE

3. 16th Annual MortgageBanc Chili Cook-Off

Birmingham, The Exceptional Foundation, chili, food, festivals
Chili Cook-Off 2019. Photo via The Exceptional Foundation’s Facebook page

It’s chili time, Birmingham! For all you can eat and drink, live music and more, join in on the 16th annual MortgageBanc Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, March 7. Proceeds from the event benefit The Exceptional Foundation.

Cool facts: The 2019 Chili Cook-Off featured 150 cook teams and was attended by over 12,000 people.

Where: Brookwood Village. 780 Brookwood Village, Birmingham, AL 35209
Date: Sat., March 7
Time: 10:30AM-3PM
Price: $10 Advance | $15 At Gate | Kids 12 and under – FREE

4. AirWave Block Party + Riverkeeper Benefit

Birmingham, AirWave
Photo via AirWave’s Facebook page

AirWave takes over Cahaba Brewing Company on March 21 for their annual Block Party and Riverkeeper Benefit.

At this springtime event, you’ll find:

  • Live music
  • Local artists
  • Food trucks
  • And more!

Your participation supports local nonprofits Black Warrior, Cahaba and Coosa Riverkeepers.

Where: Good People Brewing Company. 114 14th St. S., Birmingham, AL 35233
Date: Sat., March 21
Time: 1-10PM
Price: FREE

April 2020

5. Holi Festival of Color

Birmingham, Birmingham Museum of Art, Holi Festival, Indian culture, Indian festivals
Colors and fun during the Holi Festival in Birmingham. Photo via the Birmingham Musem of Art

Join the Birmingham Museum of Art for one of their most exciting and colorful events—Holi: A Festival of Color.

This exciting event will feature:

  • Classical Indian and Bollywood-style dancing
  • A pop-up restaurant by Taj India
  • Henna artists
  • Art making
  • And more!

Be sure to stick around, because at the end of the event, guests gather outside for the highlight of the day—the throwing of powdered colors. It’s truly magical.

Where: Birmingham Museum of Art. 2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35203
Date: Sat., April 4
Time: 11AM-3PM
Price: FREE

6. St.Elias Food & Culture Fest

Birmingham, St. Elias Food and Culture Fest
Don’t miss the fun at the St. Elias Food and Culture Fest. Photo by @ghosseinmarie on Instagram

This April, mark your calendar for the 22nd annual St. Elias Food and Culture Fest.

Since the festivals start, over $553,000 have been given to local and national charities, including The Exceptional Foundation in Birmingham.

During this family-friendly event:

  • Enjoy Lebanese delicacies (baked kibbee and baklava anyone?)
  • Watch traditional dance performances (Don’t shy away. Join in!)
  • Bid on a variety of unique offerings in a silent auction.
  • Follow along guided and self-guided church tours
  • And more!

Where: St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church. 836 8th St. S., Birmingham, AL 35205
Date: April 17-18
Time: 10AM-9PM
Price: FREE

7. Magic City Art Connection & Corks and Chefs

Birmingham, Corks & Chefs, festivals, Magic City Art Connection
Photo via Corks & Chefs: A Taste of Birmingham’s Facebook page

Love art? Love food? Then don’t miss these two events.

This April, Birmingham’s largest arts festival will transform Linn Park with wow-worthy sights, sounds, tastes and aromas.

Held at Linn Park, Magic City Art Connection will feature:

  • 185 juried artists from the state, region and around the country
  • Live music
  • Dance performances by local talent
  • Kids art experiences
  • Sculpture installations
  • And more!

While there, head over to the Corks and Chefs tent (additional ticket required!) and enjoy amazing culinary bites and drinks from some of Birmingham’s most talented chefs and restaurants.

Where: Linn Park.
Date: MCAC: April 24-26 | Corks & Chefs: April 25-26
Time: Fri.-Sat. 10AM-6PM | Sat. 10AM-5PM
MCAC: $10-$15 (Kids 15 and under – FREE)
Corks & Chefs: General – $45 Advanced, $55 At Door | VIP – $70 Advanced, $80 At Door

8. Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival

Birmingham, Bob Sykes BBQ, BBQ, barbecue, food, festivals
Lots of eats. Photo via bobsykesbbq.com

Barbecue and blues. Two things destined to go together. On Saturday, April 25, you can enjoy this mighty combo at the Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival in Bessemer.

While there you’ll have the chance to:

  • Devour legendary eats from Bob Sykes BarBQ.
  • Check out art and vendor booths
  • Take part in games and activities for all ages.
  • Listen to award-winning national and local blues musicians as they perform live onstage.

Who’s performing this year? These names may ring some bells:

  • Bobby Rush
  • Tullie Brae
  • Hurricane Elaine + Forces of Nature
  • And more!

Where: DeBardeleben Park. 1623 2nd Ave N., Bessemer, AL 35020
Date: Sat., April 25
Time: Noon-8PM
Price: $20 | Kids 8 and under – FREE

9. 4th Annual Magic City Mac N’ Cheese Festival

Is mac ‘n cheese your jam? Then get ready to fill that belly during the Magic City Mac N’ Cheese Festival.

During this cheesy event, you’ll have the chance to indulge in gooey-gooey samples of mac and cheese from local restaurants, food trucks and competing corporate teams.

You can also:

  • Grab drinks from Back Forty Beer Company.
  • Chill with your dog and others at the event.
  • Take part in activities and games with your kids.
  • And more!

Proceeds from the Mac N’ Cheese Festival benefit Community Grief Support to help fund free grief support groups, individual counseling and community education in the Greater Birmingham area.

Where: Back Forty Beer Company. 3201 1st Ave N., Birmingham, AL 35222
Date: Sun., April 26
Time: 1PM
Price: $5-$30 (Kids 5 and under – FREE)

10. Alabama Vegan Fest

Birmingham, Alabama Vegan Fest, festivals
Photo via Alabama Vegan Fest’s Facebook page

Calling all vegans! Sunday, April 26 marks the Alabama Vegan Fest, and it’s gonna be a kale of a time.

Don’t let the word “vegan” fool you, though. This festival welcomes everyone, from the veggie-curious to the serious omnivore.

During this food-filled event, expect:

  • Food trucks
  • Vendors and exhibitors from across the state of Alabama
  • Educational lectures

Nearly 2,000 people attended the 2019 Alabama Vegan Fest—double the number of expected attendees. Wow! So definitely expect an even larger crowd this year.

Where: Cahaba Brewing Co. 4500 5th Ave S., Birmingham, AL 35222
Date: Sun., April 26
Time: 1-6PM
Price: FREE

May 2020

11. Magic City Wine Fest 2020

Birmingham, Magic City Wine Fest
Photo via magiccitywinefest.com

Want to travel the globe tasting incredible wines and beers? I bet you didn’t know you could do just that at the Birmingham Zoo. No, I’m not tipsy.

On Saturday, May 9, visit the zoo for the 4th annual Magic City Wine Fest. At this popular event, you’ll have the opportunity to drink wine and beer from specific regions of the world. Cool, right?

During the event, you can also purchase yummy food from local restaurants and enjoy the soothing sounds of live music.

A portion of ticket sales from the event will benefit the Birmingham Zoo. So come out, get your drink on and help support animals like the lions and seals—my personal faves.

Where: The Birmingham Zoo. 2630 Cahaba Rd., Birmingham, AL 35223
Date: Sat., May 9
Time: 5:30-8:30PM
Price: $20-$79

12. Do Dah Day

Birmingham, Do Dah Day
Do Dah Day is all about the dogs. Photo via Do Dah Day’s Facebook page

May 16 marks one of Birmingham’s oldest and most anticipated annual events—Do Dah Day.

This dog-tastic event is all about the pups. Dress ’em up, watch ’em prance in a doggo parade and more!

Where: Highland Ave and Highland Park. Birmingham, AL 35205
Date: Sat. May, 16
Time: Parade 11:01AM | Festivities 11:31AM
Price: FREE

Are you excited for Birmingham’s many spring festivals? Tag us in those photos @bhamnow.

Patience Itson
Patience Itson
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