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.

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!

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!