5 ways to celebrate “Appreciate a Dragon Day” in Birmingham (PHOTOS)

A Blaze mural in Birmingham. (Cecilia Wood / Bham Now)

January 16th is “Appreciate a Dragon Day” according to the Days of the Year website. How are you going to celebrate this “national day” in the Magic City? We found five things you can do. Read on.

Dragons —Birmingham’s 2nd Iconic Symbol

I’m going to make a bold statement.  Yes, Vulcan is Birmingham’s most iconic symbol—hands down. 

Who comes in 2nd? It has got to be the most feared (Game of Thrones) and lovable (Shrek) real and mythical creature… the Dragon.

Dragons Are Everywhere in Birmingham

UAB Protective
Blaze logo on midfield at Protective Stadium. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

For folks who live on the Southside, UAB’s dragon mascot, Blaze, is omnipresent. But for this story we found dragons from North Birmingham to the zoo. 

Here is our handy tip sheet on where you can find them on “Appreciate a Dragon Day” and in some cases ways you can support your local dragons.

See Real Live Dragons at the Birmingham Zoo

Birmingham Zoo Dragon
Baby Philippine Sailfin Dragon at the Birmingham Zoo. (Birmingham Zoo)
Birmingham Zoo
Philippine Sailfin Dragon (Birmingham Zoo)

Want to see a real-life dragon?  Visit them at the Birmingham Zoo!

Last February, the Zoo welcomed baby Philippine Sailfin Dragon triplets. Their names? Ezekiel, Nat and Tony. No need to fear, they don’t fly or destroy villages. They are simply adorable. Here is the latest update from the zookeepers.

“The dragons are growing up fast! They just had their first birthdays and are making great progress in their training. They are learning how to take food from a pair of tongs. This skill will help the Animal Care Professionals weigh and survey the dragons. They are full of energy and love jumping, climbing, and hiding!”

Birmingham Zoo
Glow Wild Dragons at the entrance of the Birmingham Zoo. (Birmingham Zoo)

If you are looking for the mythical dragons, celebrate “Appreciate a Dragon Day” by checking out the silk lantern dragons featured at the front of the plaza in the Zoo during Glow Wild. There are only 2 days left to see them: January 16th & 17th from 5:00p.m. to 9:00p.m.

Purchase a ticket online at www.birminghamzoo.com/glowwild or at the gate.

UAB— Blaze

Birmingham, Alabama, UAB
Blaze statue at the UAB Collat School of Business building. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

Ken Jackson, the philanthropist who donated the statue of Blaze at the entrance of the  UAB Collat School of Business, described to us back in 2018 why the dragon is a powerful symbol for the Blazers and the UAB community.

“I’m convinced that Blaze is one of the most intimidating and inspirational logos of any college in the country,” said Ken Jackson. 

UAB has gone “all in” with Blaze. The beloved dragon image is painted on buses and the mascot actually enters Protective Stadium on a chariot pulled by a motorcycle. You can even see a topiary of the fire-breathing winged creature on the Campus Green.

Wenonah Mighty Dragons

Wenonah High School
Entrance sign at Wenonah High School. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Located on the southwest end of town, Wenonah High School’s motto is: 

Where Champions are made.

Over 750 students attend the 5A high school, and over the past decade, Mighty Dragons have produced 4 state champion Boys and Girls Basketball teams each.

One way to celebrate “Appreciate a Dragon Day” is to make a contribution to the Wenonah High School 2022 Alumni Scholarship Fund. Click here to visit their Donation Form.

North Birmingham Mural/Ecoscape

North Birmingham
North Birmingham Ecoscape dragon on 30th Avenue North. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

If you are traveling around the North Birmingham neighborhood, check out the dragon mural on 30th Avenue North behind the Maxway. The mural is next to the North Birmingham Ecoscape, and according to Birmingham-Southern College’s director of the Southern Environmental Center Roald Hazelhoff the building was once part of a movie that was filmed in the neighborhood.

Want to know more about the artists? Follow Mammoth Mural on Facebook.

Buy Dragon Art at ZooLN Art

ZooLN Art
Dragon. (ZooLN Art/Facebook)

One final way to appreciate a dragon is to purchase “dragon” art. One of our favorites is Sue Ellen Brown’s work at ZoolLN Art from Homewood.

She has got everything from jewelry to monograms. I specifically like her whimsical Dracoserific alphabet, made entirely of dragons. 

Visit her etsy website and take a magical tour.

Have Fun

UAB Blazer Baby Race
UAB Blazer Baby Race (UAB)

Good luck finding all the dragons today from the zoo to a local etsy website. Have fun!

Did we miss any other “dragons” around the Magic City? Let us know by tagging us on social media at @bhamnow

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

Articles: 2009