When it comes to Tuscaloosa it’s easy to find things to do no matter the time of year. Whether it’s attending collegiate athletic events, experiencing a theatrical performance at the Bama Theatre, dancing the night away at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, or spending hours exploring our great outdoors at one of our many parks, lakes, or rivers, our visitors are always welcome with open arms and warm hellos.
Below you’ll find information (and some discount codes!) for eight events in Tuscaloosa, taking place in 2023.
FIDDLE FEST – THE SOUTHEAST FIDDLE CHAMPIONSHIP
About the Fiddle Fest: Held annually on the campus of Shelton State Community College, this family-friendly atmosphere celebrates the rich sounds of bluegrass and its talented musicians. Old-time music and fiddle music have rich histories in West Alabama with many fiddlers such as Dix Hollis, Y.Z. Hamilton, A.K. Callahan, and more connected to the area. Open to the public to enjoy, contestants will compete for over $7,500 in prize money. The Fiddle Fest will feature music from Iron Horse and will also offer arts, crafts, and other activities.
Date: Saturday, February 25, 2023
VISIT TUSCALOOSA HALF MARATHON & 5K
About the Tuscaloosa Half: Now in its 11th year, the Visit Tuscaloosa Half Marathon and 5k will offer runners an exciting 13.1- and 3.1-mile course that traverses the streets of T-Town. Runners will enjoy a sampling of the rolling hills along the Black Warrior River, the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk, portions of The University of Alabama campus (including a great view of Bryant Denny Stadium), and some of the City’s quaint historic downtown neighborhoods. Sign up today for the largest road race in West Alabama, taking place on Saturday, March 25.
Date: Saturday, March 25, 2023
DISCOUNT CODE: Receive $10 off with the registration code VisitTCL
Code expires Saturday, January 14, 2023
About the Tuscaloosa Gauntlet: Join the Alabama Marines Foundation for their 2nd Annual Tuscaloosa Gauntlet obstacle course race. The racecourse is just a bit over the 5k distance (3.1 miles) and will feature 20+ obstacles, include a Marine regulation O-Course. This one-of-a-kind obstacle course race provides every participant a challenge worth celebrating and directly benefits the Alabama Marines Foundation. Check out this video promotion to learn more and register today!
Date: Saturday, April 1, 2023
DISCOUNT CODE: Receive $10 off with the registration code VisitTCL
DRUID CITY ARTS FESTIVAL (DCAF) PRESENTED BY CADENCE BANK
About DCAF: What started as a one-day arts festival put together by a group of Alabama students has become a staple in the Tuscaloosa community over the past decade. DCAF’s goal is to provide a quality arts and music festival, while also educating, engaging, and inspiring both youth and adults about the arts and humanities within the community. Many undiscovered artists who are now in textbooks, galleries, and museums have exhibited at DCAF over the years. Guests can expect a free two-day festival with live music, 70+ artists, and delicious local food.
Date: Friday, March 31 – Saturday, April 1, 2023
TUSCALOOSA MAYOR’S CUP 5K FOR PRE-K
About the Mayor’s Cup: Since 2007, over 1,000 runners, joggers and walkers have joined together each year to support Pre-K in Tuscaloosa through this annual race. Having raised almost $325,000 to provide resources for preschoolers throughout the Tuscaloosa area, the Mayor’s Cup is a simple and fun way for the entire community to get together and get involved in supporting education. This 5k course highlights Downtown Tuscaloosa, parts of The University of Alabama including the Walk of Champions, and historic neighborhoods.
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2023
WEST ALABAMA FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
About the West Alabama Food and Wine Festival: Benefiting the West Alabama Food Bank, the West Alabama Food and Wine Festival showcases the community’s best local restaurants with tasting tables that highlight signature dishes. Wine tastings are also provided by local distributors to introduce trendy and season varietals. After such significant growth in attendance over the years, the 2023 festival will now be held in Historic Downtown Northport. This community festival is great for both residents and visitors and is put together by a wonderful group of community volunteers. Tickets can be purchased online.
Date: Sunday, April 30, 2023
KENTUCK FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
About Kentuck Festival: Kentuck has a rich 52-year history as a nationally known crossroads of creativity and community. The two-day festival has its roots in folk art and features 270+ artists, live music, spoken word, activities for children, folk and contemporary craft demonstrations, food trucks, and local craft brews. This festival has been claimed as one of the “Best of Bama 2022” events by Alabama Magazine and has been featured in publications such as the Smithsonian Magazine, Southern Living, and more! Located in Downtown Northport, this is a festival that you just don’t want to miss.
Date: Saturday, October 14 – Sunday, October 15, 2023
AHSAA SUPER 7 STATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
About Super 7: Bringing the best Alabama high school football athletes to Tuscaloosa! The Alabama High School Athletic Association Super 7 State Football Championships are one of the most exciting and highly anticipated sporting events in the state. Over the course of three days, the final two teams from each of Alabama’s seven classifications will compete to be crowned as the new state champions, and in 2023 it’s taking place in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Date: Wednesday, November 29 – Friday, December 1, 2023
Below are additional resources to help you keep up with all of the fun events happening in T-Town.
- – Visit Tuscaloosa Events Calendar
- – The University of Alabama Athletics Calendar
- – Bama Theatre Calendar
- – Theatre Tuscaloosa Calendar
- – Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Concerts
- – Druid City Music Hall Concerts and Events
- – Kentuck Events and Workshops
COMMUNITY ART NIGHTS:
Tuscaloosa and Northport’s art scene continues to grow. While there are many galleries and events throughout the year, each community is home to a monthly art night featuring artists, live music, local food, and more.
- – Kentuck hosts Art Night the first Thursday of each month.
- – The First Friday Art Walk is hosted the first Friday of each month at various locations in Downtown Tuscaloosa.
While this is just a highlight of events taking place in 2023, there really is no such thing as a timeout in Tuscaloosa County. Seated in the heart of West Alabama, the area offers something for sports enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, history buffs, foodies, and for the artists at heart. Ready to plan your next trip to Tuscaloosa? Request a visitor guide today!
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!
Arts and Entertainment
Thursday Concerts on the Rooftop is featuring One Horrible Family this week! Originally a larger band formed two years ago, this group preferred a more intimate trio. All music students at the University of Alabama (one a former student), the group is capable of really any genre but performs mostly R&B, 80s music, and jazz. With most of their experience being in larger bars in Tuscaloosa, they are excited to relax at the Lookout for a night of rhythm and soul. The fun starts at 6 pm, and you do not want to miss this!
Jump into the holiday spirit with the arts at the exclusive Christmas Open House at Kentuck’s Gallery Shop! Enjoy 10% OFF IN-STORE AND ONLINE! Join the holiday fun at Kentuck’s Christmas Kickoff Open House from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, November 7, and from 12 to 4 pm on Sunday, November 8. Support local artists this holiday season and find unique gifts for all of your loved ones! Use code CHRISTMASOPEN2020 for 10% off our online shop!
Fun for the Youngsters
On Friday Para will be hosting Kids Night Out at 5:30 pm at the McDonald Hughes Community Center! The Kids Night Out event will keep the kiddos busy for 3 hours of educational and recreational fun! Pizza, juice, and dessert will be available for all participants to enjoy throughout the event. There will be swimming so make sure to pack swimwear, dry clothes, and a towel. Life jackets will be provided when needed. Registration for this fall fling is available here.
The Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa is hosting Sweater Weather on Saturday from 9:30 am- 4 pm. CHOM is a beloved local gem where children explore, create, and discover every time they visit. When they say “hands-on” they really mean it! Learning through play is what our exhibits are all about. This special seasonal extravaganza will include autumn weather science, leaf color experiments, and fantastic fall wreaths! All of these engaging activities are included in admission.
At 7 am this Saturday the farmers market will be open and ready to safely serve you! Handmade treasures galore awaits at the Rivermarket until 12 pm. From scented bath bombs to handmade woodwork you are bound to find something that piques your interest at the farmers market. Face coverings are required for all who wish to go inside and shop and social distancing will be in effect.
Also available on Saturday is an Intro to Vinyasa Workshop at the Yoga Bliss Studio. Vinyasa is a form of active yoga that involves different postures in consecutive succession to offer a more balanced bodily effect. Yoga is an activity that is diverse in its styles and Vinyasa yoga is considered to be one of the most dynamic styles you can enjoy! Yoga Bliss is located on Queen City Avenue and hosts several classes a week, including many similar introduction classes for all yoga beginners! For more information about the Vinyasa Workshop, visit the Yoga Bliss Facebook event page.
The House Plant Collective bus will be making a special appearance at Druid City Brewing on Sunday from 2- 5 pm. At House Plant Collective the mission is to create Birmingham’s first mobile plant store while providing the community education needed for the plants to thrive. Shop plants, grab a beer, and enjoy your serene Sunday supporting local!
Will Baggett & Jamie Hoven
Thursday is the new Friday in Tuscaloosa! Begin your the weekend with the EW Pub Run and Kentuck Art Night on Thursday evening. First Friday Art Walk is also this weekend along with the Bama Gymnastics team at Coleman Coliseum. Get out and enjoy this fun-filled weekend with family and friends. Tuscaloosa has declared downtown an entertainment district on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m. Now it’s easier than ever to grab your favorite libation and explore the local art scene. Follow the Downtown Ttown Entertainment District on Facebook for more information.
EW Motion Therapy is hosting a “Pub Run” starting at their clinic on Thursday, March 1, at 6 pm. From the clinic, the course travels down University, around the Quad, and back for a 3-mile run. Extreme runners can also choose to complete the course twice for a longer 6-mile run. Drink tickets are provided and are good for one free drink of choice at Black Warrior following the run. Reward yourself for a job well run by picking yourself up a free cold one!
Kentuck Art Night
Kentuck Art Night is a monthly celebration of art and artists from the local community. Join us at the Kentuck Art Center in Downtown Northport this Thursday night from 5 pm to 8 pm in celebrating these artist’s masterpieces. This event is free and open to the public!
• The Museum Gallery will feature artwork from the Juneau Family from Scott, LA. Organic and whimsical pieces of artisan jewelry created by the mother-daughter artist team, Suzanne, and Angelique Juneau will be displayed bright folk art sculptures and furniture created out of steel and aluminum by the father-son team Pat and Andre Juneau.
• The Teer Gallery will host a showcase of didgeridoos hand-crafted by William MacGavin. He will also be playing the didgeridoo in the Courtyard of Wonders for guests of Art Night while they browse the pop-up shops and enjoy free pizza from our cobb oven.
First Friday Art Walk
First Friday is a local favorite. Downtown Tuscaloosa will transform into an entertainment district on Friday night. First Friday is completely free, and the galleries can’t wait to host you. Grab a drink and take a stroll through our magnificent galleries, such as the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, Harrison Galleries, The Paul R. Jones Museum, O’Connor Art Studios and Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy. Visit firstfriday.com for offerings and hours as they vary by location. This event generally begins at 5:30 and runs to 8 or 9 depending on location.
Alabama Gymnastics vs. North Carolina
The Crimson Tide gymnastics team knows how to put on a show, and Friday’s match against North Carolina will be no different. The Tide will perform at 7:30 in Coleman Coliseum after a huge road win at Auburn last weekend. The atmosphere at gymnastics meets makes it the perfect place to kick off the weekend with your family and friends. Visit rolltide.com to purchase tickets to this exciting matchup. #FridaysAreForGymnastics
The first weekend of the month is always a big arts and culture weekend in Tuscaloosa, and this month has even more to experience than usual! The Tuscaloosa Heritage Festival kicks off Thursday and goes through Saturday, so check out this special music, film, and dance festival that is unique to Tuscaloosa. Kentuck Art Night and First Friday will have tons of beautiful works of art on display for you to enjoy. The Cadillac Three is back in town, and it’s a show you don’t want to miss. While you’re enjoying the local art scene on Friday, grab a drink from your favorite bar because Tuscaloosa will be an entertainment district until 10 pm. Don’t forget to tag us at @VisitTuscaloosa in your social posts while you are exploring the arts and culture scene, and use #FirstFridayTuscaloosa.
Kentuck Art Night
This Thursday night Feb. 1, at 5 pm head to historic downtown Northport for a fun night for the whole family. Kentuck Art Night is a monthly free event that includes: an exhibition at Kentuck Art Center, Kentuck Studio Artists have studios open, pop up shops in the Courtyard of Wonders, a food truck, live music, Downtown Northport artists’ studios, champagne for Big Dog and Fire Ant members of Kentuck, wine, snacks, and cob oven pizza.
First Friday returns this week to kick off 2018. The galleries involved can’t wait to showcase their amazing works of art to the community. First Friday is completely free, and some of the galleries will be serving hors d’oeuvres for you to enjoy while you admire their masterpieces. While you’re enjoying the local art scene, grab a drink from your favorite bar because Tuscaloosa will be an entertainment district until 10 pm. Taking a stroll through downtown Tuscaloosa is the perfect way to kick off the weekend. Galleries on the Art Walk include The Arts Council and The University of Alabama Galleries at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, The Paul R. Jones Gallery, Harrison Galleries, O’Connor Art Studios and Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy. Visit firstfridaytuscaloosa.com for offerings and hours.
The Cadillac Three is an American Southern rock group consisting of Jaren Johnston, Kelby Ray, and Neil Mason. They have toured with many big-name artists and bands such as Florida-Georgia Line. Catch them at Druid City Music Hall on Saturday, February 3rd at Druid City Music Hall! Doors open at 7:30 pm with music starting around 8:30. Visit ticketweb.com to grab a ticket to this awesome concert.
Tuscaloosa Heritage Festival
The Tuscaloosa Heritage Festival is a three-day celebration promoting diversity and cultural sensitivity, in the areas of film, music, and dance. These exciting cultural events will include food vendors, craft vendors and more. The West Alabama community will be able to participate in a “Rep Your Heritage” Film Challenge and Spiritual Dance Competition as well as the Africana Film Festival. The festival is Thursday, Feb. 1 through Saturday, Feb.3.
Alabama Women’s Basketball Game
Watching the Tide play basketball is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. The Crimson Tide women’s basketball team takes on the Arkansas Razorbacks Sunday in Coleman Coliseum. Tip-off is at 1:00 p.m., and this conference game is sure to be a good one!
This weekend is packed with fine arts in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! Tonight you can head across the river to Kentuck for their Art Night! This event will serve as the official opening reception for Chris CHUB Hubbard’s show “20 Years of Heaven and Hell: Current Works and a Look Back”! Not only that, but there will be pop-up shops for local artists, demonstrations, cob oven pizza, and live music! Art Night has been a staple for the first Thursday night of each month!
On Friday, it’s downtown Tuscaloosa’s turn with the First Friday Art Crawl! Galleries, studios, and businesses across downtown will be open and participating in the art crawl including Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, Harrison Galleries, and Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy. First Friday is completely free to everyone and is filled with excitement! There will be live music at different venues and some incredible works of art!
On Saturday morning you can swing by the Tuscaloosa River Market for the Farmer’s Market! Vendors set up ripe red tomatoes and famous Chilton County peaches. Musicians sit propped up against the door, playing guitars as you walk in, and local Food Trucks, bakers, artists, and craftsmen gather here to sell their gourmet grub, fresh-baked yeast rolls, homemade jams and jellies and hand-carved cutting boards.
If you’re more of a music person, head over to Government Plaza for the concert series “Live at the Plaza” where the Matt Jones Trio will be playing! Matt Jones is a local artist who beautifully paints pictures with words through melody over the landscape of his southern roots. With an arsenal of original and cover music, he’s surely an act you won’t want to miss!
Finally, wrap up your night by heading to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater for Soundgarden! Soundgarden achieved its biggest success with the 1994 album Superunknown, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart and yielded the Grammy Award-winning singles “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman”. As if you need another reason to attend, VH1 ranked Soundgarden at number 14 in their 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock!
We have tons more going on so check out our great upcoming events, and follow us on our social media pages (@visittuscaloosa) for more announcements and events. Tell your friends and we can’t wait to see you around the One and Only Tuscaloosa!
Written By: Barrett Elder – Digital Media Specialist