Alabama is an historic state synonymous with the American Civil Rights movement and the culture and creativity of the Native Americans. It’s a characterful place with cheery locals, a great sense of identity and farms aplenty. But it’s now also emerging as a location abundant with festivals of all types. So whether you want to eat, drink, dance, play, listen to some tunes or something else entirely, there’s something for you in awesome Alabama.
The oldest Mardi Gras event in the USA calls Alabama its home, and has been running annually since 1703. Mobile Mardi Gras is an exciting and inclusive blend of cultures, nationalities, religions and heritage, and celebrates the diversity and complexity of global and American culture. There are representatives from all over the globe, and loads of food, drinks, parades, music, decorations and a whole lot of laughs and love.
If you’ve got a hungry hankering for some seafood, the Alabama Shrimp Festival ensures you can fill your grumbling stomach. Each October, tonnes and tonnes of shrimp float into the Gulf Shores, where over 250,000 attendees nibble, munch and gobble their way through everyone’s favourite seafood treat. The event is also filled with vendors, activities, live music, children’s entertainment and loads of contests and competitions. It’s the perfect place to stuff your stomach!
Alabama loves its food festivals, and there are others dedicated to peanuts, peanut butter, beer, butterbeans, sweet potatoes and anything else that you can chuck down your gullet! Another very popular food event is the Athens Grease Festival, where the Greek origin of the city’s name is honoured not just with a great pun, but with a great love for food. If you can fry it, you can find it here – there are popular greasy classics like fish, vegetables and meats, and those who might like to try something different can devour some fried cakes, candies, Twinkies, Oreos and more.
The W.C. Handy music festival celebrates ‘Father of the Blues’ W.C. Handy, with a jam-packed program of jazz and blues legends and newcomers. The whole festival highlights the tuneful heritage of the region and those who blow us away with their trumpets, trombones and tunes, with parades, concerts, discussions and exhibitions. Previous attendees have included Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Smith, Diane Schuur and loads more famous faces.