Tuscaloosa, AL – Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports (TTS) has partnered with the Bama-Q Grilling Series to host Grilling in T-Town on Saturday, July 9th at Druid City Social as an official Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) competition. With the goal of creating more opportunities for family-friendly events that unite the community through food sport, TTS is working with local private chef and traveling food judge Alison Hudnall and experienced food sport promoters, Alabama Coasting and Bama-Q productions, to bring this SCA sanctioned event to Downtown Tuscaloosa.
Admission is free to the public and guests will enjoy food trucks, a sampling tent, local vendors, cold drinks, live music, and a family-friendly atmosphere.
This SCA-sanctioned event and World Food Championship qualifier invites top-tier traveling competitors as a way to promote food sport tourism to the City of Tuscaloosa. Local businesses, organizations, and amateur backyard cooks are invited and encouraged to register to compete as well. The top-performing locals will be recognized and eligible to win special prize packs. The competition will also feature a World Food Championships qualifying event with the best dessert taking home a golden ticket to the World Food Championships Finals in Dallas.
To ensure a level playing field, all steaks for the competition are provided by local sponsor Northriver Cattle Co. and are included in the competitor registration fee. Judging will be completely blind.
Food sport has become a new American pastime. As food sport has grown, various sanctioning bodies have emerged across a large range of cooking styles, methodologies, and categories of food. KCBS, FBA, MBN, IBCA, SCA, PNWBA, WFC are just a few sanctioning bodies that offer both seasoned chefs and everyday cooks a chance to take home a win. With cash prizes up for grabs, many have turned to food sport as a way to monetize a hobby. Each sanctioned competition offers up another opportunity for any competitor to land themselves a spot on a national stage.
1. The River Walk
Disguised behind all of the commotions of Tuscaloosa lies the scenic River Walk. The 4.5 miles of path that runs directly next to the Black Warrior River serves as an ideal spot for picnics, dog walks, or leisurely strolls. Get out of the house, grab a friend, and go enjoy the view!
2. Dreamland BBQ
If you are from Tuscaloosa, or just Alabama itself, you know about this famous spot. Founded in 1958 by “Big Daddy” John Bishop, Dreamland has been a staple in Tuscaloosa’s food scene, serving communities across the state and even the country. You can still visit the original Dreamland location at 5525 15th Avenue East in Tuscaloosa. Pro Tip: Get the banana pudding.
3. Civil Rights Trail
To understand the rich history of Tuscaloosa’s civil rights history, it is crucial to examine the Civil Rights Trail. Many Alabamians are aware of the civil rights history that surrounds our state, but many might not be aware of the important events that took place in Tuscaloosa. The trail has 18 stops that tell of the extraordinary action that shaped this town forever. Visit https://civilrightstuscaloosa.org/trail/ to print your trail brochure.
Downtown Tuscaloosa has maintained its southern charm over the many years of change. Find a stylish outfit at The Pants Store, indulge in a nice dinner at Depalma’s, or sip on a craft cocktail at Sessions Bar. With dozens of businesses, new and old, its streets offer exciting experiences for everyone!
5. Lake Tuscaloosa
Right smack in the middle of Tuscaloosa you can fish, boat, or lie out with your friends at gorgeous Lake Tuscaloosa. This is the perfect spot for a quick, relaxing day trip with your friends or family. With 117 miles of shoreline, you sure won’t run out of room to play!
6. Crimson Tide Football
Alabama football fans have the honor of being some of the loudest, rowdiest fans in all of college football. To be honest, it’s hard to bite your tongue when your team has won 18 National Championships AND you have a larger stadium than Auburn.
7. The Strip
The Strip. Home to Quick Grill, the Yellow Hammer, and of course, Rounders. College kids love it, locals- well, probably don’t hate it too much. This is truly the place to go if you want that thrilling nightlife experience with a hint of college kid energy. Experience the electric energy on the strip that adds such an exciting element to Tuscaloosa!
8. Nicks in the Sticks
Nothing beats family-owned cooking- especially family-owned SOUTHERN cooking. Nicks in the Sticks has been serving the Tuscaloosa community since 1953 and has gone down in history ever since. Even though the venue is quite small, they dish up big flavors. If you have the chance to go, don’t forget to put a dollar bill on the ceiling!
What’s a good ole southern town without a good taproom? Tuscaloosa is home to 3 craft breweries: Loosa Brews, Druid City Brewing Company, and Black Warrior Brewing Company. New to the Tuscaloosa beer scene is The Grocery Brewpub that is set to open in the next few months!
10. The Immense History
While this one post could be a novel, T-Town has been a historical hotspot for centuries! Once the state capital in 1825, Tuscaloosa has been the home to the Creek Indian tribe and the site of a Civil War standoff. Grab a friend and discover the antiquity of Tuscaloosa throughout the many museums and tours offered throughout the town.
11. Kentuck Art Festival
Nothing screams fall in Tuscaloosa like changing leaves, football, and seasonal festivals. For 49 years, the Kentuck Art Center has been the epicenter of creativity for this community. The Kentuck Festival is filled with great music and art pieces from over 270 inspired creatives. While 2020 put a damper on the previous year’s fun, we are hopeful for the new year and the continuation of the spirit of Kentuck!
12. Tuscaloosa Farmers Market
Shop local, eat local, enjoy local. Supporting the Tuscaloosa community has never been easier thanks to the farmers market’s weekly Saturday appearance! Get your weekend fix of artisan bread, farm-fresh vegetables, and fabulous finds from your local small business owners at the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market- but remember to wear your mask!
13. The People
A deadly virus and a couple of tornados. It will take more than that to rock this town to its core! This community has endured so many hardships throughout the years. Yet still, we emerge stronger than ever and proud of the community we have built together! I could think of 1,000,000 reasons why I love Tuscaloosa, but 15 will have to do justice for now!
This weekend is blessing us with spectacular sunny skies, so don’t be afraid to explore the captivating city by foot and soak up the rays. Tuscaloosa’s Civil Rights Trail is the perfect way to spend time with your family and immerse yourself in the rich history of Druid City! With over 15 sites scattered all across Downtown Tuscaloosa, you now have the chance to enjoy the outdoors, spend time with friends and family, and learn about this city’s history.
One of the historically significant sites in town is Foster Auditorium, which was the location of the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door. Despite Governor George C. Wallace’s futile efforts, Vivian Malone and James Hood became the first African Americans to register for classes since the university’s inception. Two incredibly famous sites on the local trail represent the march of Bloody Tuesday, a peaceful protest walking from First African Baptist Church to the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse in opposition to the segregation at the county courthouse. Other prominent locations along the way include Capitol Park, Druid Theater, the Alston building, and many more historically rich locations. A complete list of landmarks with their addresses can be found here, along with historical context and details surrounding each event.
Each landmark on this trail marks extremely important moments that happened in Tuscaloosa. The trail does a phenomenal job of bringing so many beautiful stories to life, whether it be the first black legislator or significant protests that occurred throughout the town. All of these stories come together in the end to paint a picture of Tuscaloosa’s role in the civil rights movement. This trail enables many to share their personal experiences regarding the fight for civil rights, and all of their stories deserve to be heard. The American heroes who marched and fought for their freedom deserve to be remembered and honored.
This trail has become such a vital piece of our country’s past, with its influence spanning far beyond the confines of the Tuscaloosa city limits. So, what are you waiting for? Take time this weekend to spend time with loved ones, enjoy the beautiful weather, and travel back in time to discover the rich history of Tuscaloosa!
Top Five Reasons to See The Nutcracker
This holiday season, come to the Bama Theatre to see our community stage the classic ballet of the Nutcracker at 7pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with shows at 10 am Saturday and 2pm Sunday.
- Warm up with some Russian culture
Composed in the late 1890s in Russia, this classic holiday ballet has been celebrated around the world as a treasure since the 1960s. The elaborate storytelling and focus on the wilds of a child’s imagination can be a welcomed break from the continuing colder winds blowing into town.
- A great reason to escape to the Bama
There’s hardly a local landmark with a perfect blend of history and modern style. the grand dame of theater for Tuscaloosa has an atmospheric theater set in a Spanish courtyard with its original twinkling star lights. You can rest either in the main seats or cozy up in the balcony on the second floor, with a treat from the concession bar.
- See our community showcase their talent
While it’s fun to go see some experienced professionals in big cities knock out another in a thousand of performances, there’s nothing that beats the excitement of seeing people you know show off their hidden talents. This production features locally sourced artists with talent to spare.
- Not far from great food
Going to see a show can mean making a night of it with a great dinner, and exploring your own hometown. Being at the Bama means you’re a simple walk away from some of the best one and only eateries in town.
- Break out those formal clothes
While it’s far from required at these shows to be dressed to the nines, there’s something about the magic of ballet in a grand theater that can be so well suited with a step in clothes. Not to mention these colder days mean it’s time to layer up, and with our warm fall, we haven’t had the chance to show off our winter gear.
No matter what your reasons, you’re guaranteed a great night out with some festive ballet, local talent, and culture in the one&only Tuscaloosa. Find out more information here