June 19 marks an incredible milestone for black liberation. Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas – two months after the Confederacy had surrendered.  This was also about 2 ½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.

 

We are encouraged to recognize today as an opportunity to listen, learn, and act as we fight for progress and equality within our very own community. With the help of some of our employees, we have compiled a list of five ways you can celebrate Juneteenth in Tuscaloosa this year!

 

  1. Educate Yourself

One of the very best approaches to fully understand what Juneteenth means is to simply spend time listening and learning. We have the emerging Civil Rights Trail that collects, preserves, and tells the stories of the important struggle for civil rights in Tuscaloosa. The trail, museum, and other resources represent the historical honesty necessary for our community to prosper. Enjoy the summer sun and immerse yourself in the rich civil rights history of this city with this walking trail.

 

  1. Support Black-Owned Businesses

Another incredible way to celebrate this holiday is to support all of the amazing black-owned businesses right here in Tuscaloosa. Want to branch out and try something new? Check out Reggae Flava’s delicious, gourmet Jamaican cuisine! They also have fun drinks like the Frozen Pina Colada or the Blue Coconut Rum Runner. If your appetite is far from adventurous, check out the local staple Catfish Heaven. Although their dining rooms are closed, now is the perfect time of year to grab some wings to-go and enjoy the fresh air! For all black-owned businesses in town check out Young Tuscaloosa’s list!

 

  1. Listen and Learn

We really wanted a full collaboration for this blog, so some of our TTS family joined in on the conversation. So why is it so important to celebrate and recognize Juneteenth? According to Naytalia Douglas, our director of first impressions, any part of American history, good or bad, deserves to be recognized because it helps teach the future generation how to evolve as an entire community. Loretta Jones, our expert accountant, also shared advice for someone who wants to learn and better understand the meaning behind Juneteenth. Her suggestion is to “research, ask questions, and do not be afraid to empathize with the people around you.”

 

  1. Celebrate

Don’t miss out on all of the Juneteenth celebrations this year! There is one at Snow Hinton Park from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday. This free event, organized by West End Pop Up Festival, will feature food, music, and vendors. There is also a free family-friendly event in Kentuck Park, located in Northport, from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday. This celebration will include free food, inflatable bounce houses, games, activities, and a live radio broadcast by 105.1 The Block.

 

  1. Take Action

It is important to take time to learn about Juneteenth, but the holiday represents much more than education. Juneteenth represents the power of change. Educating yourself on our nation’s history can only take you so far. It’s the tactical actions that make a real difference! One way to embody the spirit of Juneteenth is to volunteer online with the United Nations and its “Let’s Fight Racism” initiative. Put your skills to work for a great cause. There are a plethora of ways you can volunteer, whether it be writing an article, developing a communications strategy, or even designing an infographic.

 

If you or your family and friends participate in a Juneteenth celebration here in Tuscaloosa, be sure to tag us in your photos!  We’d love to share them.

The weekend is just around the corner and we cannot wait to dive into some of the events that will be happening this week. Your weekend in Tuscaloosa can be jam-packed with fun festivities for all, leaving anyone who participates bound to have a blast. Let’s ditch the week-day blues and put on our optimistic shades for the weekend. Below are some exciting events that will create incredible memories that are sure to last a lifetime.

Laughs at Loosa

This Friday Stand Up Tuscaloosa invites you to Loosa Brews for some comedy on the patio with our Headliner Dan Alten from Louisville, KY, and featuring comics Paige McBride from Birmingham, Zach Bragg from Columbus, MS, and New Yorker Bobby Lockwood. This show is packed with goodness. So come grab a drink, find a seat, and get ready for a fun time with the coolest tribe around. The seating is available starting at 7:30 p.m. and the showtime is at 8 p.m. 

Live Music on the Rooftop 

We love live music at the Lookout Rooftop Bar and this week’s performer is going to slay! Enjoy a beautiful view of downtown Tuscaloosa as you treat yourself to their great variety of food and beverages. Friday Night on the Rooftop with Brian Rhea will begin at 7 p.m. Let the music take you away as you kick off your weekend with a tremendous start!

Run it

The Tuscaloosa Half Marathon is this Saturday at Government Plaza and Downtown Tuscaloosa! The start time for the race is 7 a.m. Ideally located, runners get a sampling of the rolling hills along the Black Warrior River, the jaw-dropping Tuscaloosa River Walk, portions of the University of Alabama campus, and some quaint downtown neighborhoods. The participants will have plenty of room to spread out and fully enjoy the event! 

Hoppy Easter

From 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday Children’s Hands-on Museum will be hosting an Easter extravaganza like no other! Get egg-cited and hop on down to CHOM for extraordinary egg science experiments and other cool crafts!

Are you looking for some pre-Valentines Day festivities to get your weekend rolling? Tuscaloosa has everything you need to make you say “Cheers to the Weekend!” As we can all agree, Fridays are the start of a little escapism! Here are a few tidbits of inspiration:

Alabama Basketball

The Tide is still rolling for another weekend! Catch the Crimson Tide challenge the Georgia Bulldogs this Saturday, Feb.13th, at the Coleman Coliseum. Want to watch the game in person? Tickets will be available in the lobby 1.5 hours before the start of the 2:30 CST game. For those who can’t attend or are taking health precautions, you can tune into the SEC Network from the comfort of your home to watch the Tide reign!

Outdoor Live Music

In need of a little relaxation after a long day’s work? The Lookout Rooftop Bar located in Hotel Indigo is the place for you to unwind while enjoying great local acts! Live Music Thursdays are back in business, kicking off with singer Megan McMillan on Feb. 11th. Get your live music fix while also enjoying the Lookout’s wide array of craft cocktails and beers! Just remember, the Lookout Rooftop is smoke-free and pet friendly, and practicing all social distancing protocols to offer you a fun night out!

POSTPONED UNTIL NEXT WEEK: Maybe you’re busy on Thursdays, not feeling the sports atmosphere, and you love music! You and your buddies can head to the Buddy Powell Pavilion this Saturday, Feb.13th, for a socially distant live music performance! The Second Saturday Outdoor Music Series is taking place from 1 pm to 4 pm. Catching local artists and bands in the open air is a great way to get out-and-about while being safe. Don’t forget your mask and chairs!

Mardi Gras at CHOM

There ain’t no party like a Mardi party- right? Even though the traditional Mardi Gras festivities have been postponed this year, that doesn’t mean our community isn’t finding ways to celebrate! Mardi Gras at the Children’s Hands-On Museum is taking place this Saturday, Feb.13th, from 9:30 am to 4 pm. All activities are included with general admission, but remember to wear your mask, or else you won’t get any beads!

Chronicles of the Arctic

Looking for an activity to keep your little ones happy this weekend? Head to the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum for an Arctic winter surprise! The Chronicles of the Arctic Exhibit is being held for the remainder of February. Explore the wilds of the beautiful and dangerous North through the stories and accomplishments of the past as well as come face-to-face with a Reindeer and Caribou! Mask protocols and sanitation efforts are being enforced to ensure the safety of you and your family! For more exhibit information, click here.

Written by: Olivia Nonnengard

Happy New Year! We are thrilled to welcome in 2021. Events are trickling in slowly, but surely as our city adapts to the new norms and you can find events for the whole family this weekend!

Tuscaloosa Farmers Market
Start your day off right with a cup of coffee and a basket of locally grown produce! The Tuscaloosa Farmers Market takes place on Saturday from 7 am until 12 pm. Featuring fresh, locally grown produce; grass-fed meats; unique artisan crafts; and an Alabama authenticity that cannot be replicated, the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market has something for everyone! Support your local farmers and artisans by shopping local.

Static Shock at Children’s Hands-On Museum
Looking for a perfect activity for your children (ages newborn to 13)? Look no further than the Children’s Hands-On Museum’s “Static Shock” event! Open from 9:30 am to 4 pm, CHOM offers three floors of fun with 26 unique exhibits to play in. This Saturday, children can experiment with static electricity, take on the circuit board challenge, and demo a Van de Graff generator! This event will be socially distanced and have a visitor limit.

Second Saturday Outdoor Music Series 
Round out your Saturday with some socially distanced live music! This event takes place at the Buddy Powell Pavilion from 1 pm until 4 pm with the lineup as follows…
1 pm: MHC & The Biscuit Cannons
2 pm: MarK Ultras Thought Police
3 pm: Susy & Andrew
The creators of this event series have asked people to please bring their own chair or blanket, wear a mask, and socially distance themselves!

We have a lot going on throughout the upcoming winter months and are excited to share more. Give us a follow on our social media pages (@visittuscaloosa) for more announcements and future events. We can’t wait to see you around Tuscaloosa!

December has arrived in Tuscaloosa and there are tons of fantastic things to do all around town to safely celebrate the holiday season together with friends and family! Don’t let the chilly temperatures deter you from all there is to do safely around town! From art shows and exhibitions to holiday celebrations, this upcoming weekend is full of holiday cheer and good times. See below for a list of a few local happenings around town perfect for family get-togethers, date nights, or more!

First Friday & Art Night

First Friday is still rolling through the holiday season and will be hosted throughout Downtown Tuscaloosa on Friday, December 4th throughout the evening. The First Friday Art Walk is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to enjoy fabulous works of art with friends and family while enjoying the backdrop of Downtown Tuscaloosa. Visit the First Friday website to learn more about participating art studios and admission information!

Christmas Tree Lighting at the Courthouse

The annual lighting of the Tuscaloosa Christmas tree at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse will be happening the night of December 4th at 6 p.m. Information about the Christmas Tree Lighting Event can be found in their press release available here.

Super 7 State Football Championships

Friday will be the final night of the 2020 Alabama High School Super 7 State Football Championships, featuring the championship matchups of the 4A, 2A, and 6A divisions of high school football teams. These teams have battled their way to the opportunity for glory inside Bryant-Denny Stadium and will be giving it their all! For more information about the competing teams and ticket information, visit the Super 7 website specific to the Tuscaloosa event.

8×8 Holiday Art Show

This weekend, Tuscaloosa is home to the Fifth Annual 8×8 Holiday Art Show, an art show developed to support local Tuscaloosa-area artists. This art show has an interesting twist, however! All available artwork is required to be 8×8” and is sold at a retail price of $88! 100% of the proceeds go directly to local Tuscaloosa artists! This year’s art show will take place on the evening of December 4th and 5th and requires ticketed admission for entry – visit the ticket page of the 8×8 Holiday Art Show for more information. In addition to the in-person art show, the 8×8 Holiday Art Show will also be hosting a virtual marketplace where patrons can browse through art pieces and make purchases from the comfort of their own homes! 

We have a lot going on throughout the upcoming fall months and are excited to share more. Give us a follow on our social media pages (@visittuscaloosa) for more announcements and future events. We can’t wait to see you around Tuscaloosa!

Thanksgiving at Chuck’s Fish

It is Thanksgiving week, and Chuck’s Fish is gearing up for their most important event of the year: the Chuck’s Fish Thanksgiving Feast. Chuck’s celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday each year by opening up shop on Thanksgiving Day and providing free meals all afternoon to those who are in need and those that just don’t feel like cooking. They have provided over 3,000 meals in the last two years and are not going to let COVID-19 ruin their holiday spirit. If you don’t need a free meal, you can donate to their cause when you pick yours up! Even though the dining room will be closed for this year’s Thanksgiving Feast, Chuck’s will still be offering to-go, drive-through, or walk-up (takeaway) orders for all who need a Thanksgiving meal. In addition to providing meals for the community, Chuck’s will also be taking donations that will benefit Habitat for Humanity! Chuck’s Fish is located at 508 Greensboro Avenue and will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 11 AM until 3 PM, but check the Chuck’s Fish Tuscaloosa Facebook page for more information throughout the week.

 

Thanksgiving Hours Blog

Finding a place to eat around the holidays can truly be a Nightmare Before Christmas, but we have you covered! For Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s day, we have compiled a list of restaurants in and around Tuscaloosa and provided their adjusted hours of operation in response to the holiday season. Visit the 2020 Tuscaloosa Restaurant Holiday Hours blog on our website to determine the best place to visit for a holiday meal, just in case! Stay tuned to the restaurant’s websites and social media pages for more up-to-date information.

 

Holidays on the River (Ice Skating) 

Wintertime has returned to the Black Warrior River, which means that Holidays on the River is back open for everyone to enjoy! Holidays on the River is an ice-skating rink located at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, open to the public from now through January 18th. For health and safety, this year the ice rink is limited to 50% capacity, hand sanitizing stations are located conveniently throughout the area, and guests are kindly asked to wear a mask at all times while enjoying the ice rink and related festivities! Visit the Holidays on the River website to learn more about Ticket Rates and special celebrations held at the rink throughout this holiday season!

 

Gameday

Don’t let the holiday season distract you too much from what time of year it is: the Iron Bowl! The Alabama Crimson Tide will be facing off against the in-state rivals, the Auburn Tigers, this Saturday at 2:30PM in Bryant-Denny Stadium, hosting College GameDay for the second time this season. It is important to note that masks are still required for entrance into the stadium and there will be procedures in place to keep fans physically distanced from each other for safety! You can also download the UA Gameday mobile app for up-to-date information about safety, traffic/parking, and more. We will see you there Saturday when the gates open up at noon!

 

Local Businesses for Black Friday

After all the craziness of the Thanksgiving holiday, there is nothing better than put yourself right back into more craziness for Black Friday! If you are browsing through Midtown Village, don’t miss out on Vintage Cotton Boutique and Alumni Hall. If you are walking through Downtown Tuscaloosa, you can’t miss The Locker RoomEffie’s Inc., or Pause; Boutique to name a few. All around Tuscaloosa, local stores will be open for all your holiday shopping needs, however, this year will look a little different. It is important to remember to wear a mask at all times and keep hand sanitizer close while shopping on Black Friday!

 

The holiday season is in full swing here in Tuscaloosa! This weekend you can enjoy live entertainment while you ice skate at Holidays on the River, experience Christmas Around the World at the Children’s Hands-On Museum, Bowl with Santa at Bowlero, and enjoy Tuscaloosa’s night-life with Christmas parties all over town!

A Kip Tyner Christmas

‘Tis the season of Christmas classics! Join City Councilman Kip Tyner this Friday for an evening of live entertainment and Christmas cheer, hosted by the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater and Holidays on the River. Come celebrate with family and friends while enjoying live performances, ice skating, music and more! You can buy tickets to ice skate at holidaysontheriver.com. This event will be fun for the whole family!

Christmas Around the World at CHOM!

On Saturday, find out how different cultures celebrate Christmas Around the World at the Children’s Hands-On Museum! There will be special games and crafts throughout the museum that explore different regions of the world. The Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa creates an environment where children can explore, design, and discover every time they visit. When you hear “hands-on,” they really mean it! Learning through play is what the exhibits are all about, and kids are encouraged to touch, feel, and play in the displays. Three floors of fun wait for families and offer newborns through 13 year old’s a space perfect for them.

Bowl with Santa

Bowlero is a new bowling ally in Tuscaloosa that features fresh lanes, a state-of-the-art arcade, a huge bar, and an incredible menu. This Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. you can enjoy all of the amenities Bowlero has to offer and meet Santa! Catch the man himself while he’s in Tuscaloosa to map out his route!

Christmas Parties in Tuscaloosa

If you’re in the mood to celebrate, you’re in luck! You can find Christmas parties all over Tuscaloosa, all weekend long. Here is a list of bars you can find them at:

Jingle Bar: Pop-Up Holiday Happy Hour Experience
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
1831 Christmas Party
Tab & the Mojo Rockin’ Country Christmas
Roxy’s Holiday Party

We have a lot going on throughout the upcoming fall months and are excited to share more. Give us a follow on our social media pages (@visittuscaloosa) for more announcements and future events. We can’t wait to see you around Tuscaloosa!