As one of the battlegrounds of both the Civil War and the civil rights movement, Alabama is filled with historical sites and monuments to the giants of America's struggle with equality. Visitors can also enjoy the natural beauty of the state's sandy white beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, and adventurous individuals can enjoy exploring some of the state's numerous caverns.
Though many equate Mardi Gras with New Orleans, many cities across the country celebrate the event and Mobile is no exception and in fact held the first carnival in 1703. Festivities begin 10 days to two weeks in advance of Fat Tuesday and include dozens of spectacular parades, balls, live entertainment and special events.
- Gardendale Civic Center 857 Main Street Gardendale, AL 35071 in GARDENDALE, AL
This spring celebration takes place every year for two weekend days at the Gardendale Civic Center. The carnival like atmosphere includes rides, live entertainment and traditional foods along with eating contests, fun runs and plenty of activities for the kids. The festivities begin with a fireworks display and continue with car shows, pooch parades and a large variety of musical entertainment spread across four stages.
- St. Bernard Prep School 1600 St. Bernard Drive, SE Cullman, AL 35055 in SE CULLMAN, AL
Located at the scenic St. Bernard Abbey and Prep School campus, the annual event ushers in spring every April with over 100 artisans and craftsmen displaying their talents. Guests have the chance to purchase items and see dozens of live demonstrations covering every craft imaginable. The location also promises vendors serving a selection of beverages and food.
- Big Spring International Park Huntsville, AL 35801 in HUNTSVILLE, AL
Held each year during the last full weekend in April, the Panoply Arts Festival is supported by more than 2,000 volunteers. With its unusual roster of events, such as a fiddling contest and songwriter's competition, it is ranked one of the top 20 events in the region by the Southeast Tourism Society. This festival has something for everyone: art, competitions, dancers and a "Global Village featuring cultural pavilions from six different cultures.
- Foley Sportspark 18507 Highway 98 West Foley, AL 36535 in WEST FOLEY, AL
For two weekend mornings in the middle of June, the skies over West Foley fill with rainbow colors, as over 50 hot air balloons take flight. Thousands arrive and gaze in awe at the unusual sight. Festivities continue throughout the days with live entertainment, friendly competitions, animal displays and activities for all ages.
The Pulitzer Prize winning novel comes to life on the Montgomery stage during the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in May. Offered in four weekly performances, local thespians present the story that evolves around the battle against prejudice and for civil rights in a southern community during the year 1935.