Things are buzzing here in Tuscaloosa! Spring has sprung, the flowers are blooming, and the events are poppin’! We have an eclectic lineup for this weekend so follow along so you can be sure to hit the hot spots!
The Buzz About Bees Exhibit
A new exhibit is flying to the Alabama Museum of Natural History! The Buzz about Bees is a collaborative exhibit with the Alabama Museum of Natural History, the West Alabama Beekeepers Association, and the UA Bee Club. The exhibit focuses on the honey bee and features a live beehive that gives visitors an inside look at the honey bees’ honey production and social structure. Head over to view the exhibit that opens Thursday, April 22nd, to get a chance to learn about these incredible creatures!
Stand Up Comedy at Half Shell
Stand Up Tuscaloosa is hosting their very first Comedy in a Half Shell show this Friday, April 23rd starting at 7:30 pm. Acts feature comic “Casio” Matt Mitchell from NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Jay Leno, MTV, and Rick and Bubba as “Casio Kid”. Birmingham’s Peter Davenport who is a cohost of the Goulash Podcast with Chris Ivey will also perform!
Step Into The Rainforest at CHOM
Step into the rainforest this Saturday, April 24th at the Children’s Hands-On Museum! You and your little one can learn how to make a terrarium, learn about venus fly traps, and rain forest animals! All activities are included in admission. For more information on location and hours, visit its website here.
A Rockin’ Radio Show
Love radio rock hits? Like a capella harmony? Then this is the event for you! The hits brought to you in a unique format, live on stage this Saturday, April 24th! The Dixie district chorus champions, present rock radio hits in 4 part harmony with a presentation that will remind you of the great days of radio. To top that off, the classic Bama Theatre is the backdrop for this one-time-only event. Get your tickets fast as seating is limited. You won’t want to miss this!
Piccolo Concert with Kim Scott
Here’s another live concert to get excited about! Amazing piccolo soloist Kim Scott will be attending her live concert this Sunday, April 25th, for a sure-to-be fantastic performance! She is so excited to have the chance to feel the energy of a crowd, and is hoping to see you at Government Plaza from 4 pm! Don’t forget this family-friendly event is also FREE to the public!
Live at the Plaza Concert Lineup
The City of Tuscaloosa has scheduled the musical acts highlighting the diverse musical offerings of Tuscaloosa area for the fourth annual Live at the Plaza concert series in Government Plaza every Friday night in June and July.
Each week’s free concert will run from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature a local band in the family-friendly atmosphere of Government Plaza, adjacent to the downtown Intermodal Facility parking deck behind City Hall.
The scheduled acts, which are subject to change, are:
June 1: John Wilson Band
June 8: Orange Constant
June 15: Jake Austell (of the J’s ) Trio and then 4G
June 22: Druid City Songwriters and then Mulligan Brothers
June 29: Lamont Landers Band
July 6: The Kemistry Project
July 13: Alabama Blues Project and then Earl “Guitar” Williams
July 20: Corey Nolan and then Plato Jones
July 27: Tim Few and then Sweet Home Symphony
New this year is the addition of exhibitor space on Government Plaza during each concert. Local non-profits, organizations and retailers are encouraged to rent exhibitor space for just $25 at each performance. Food trucks and catering vendors may also apply to serve at each performance. Food vendors and exhibitors may apply at tuscaloosa.com/latp.
This year’s shows will coincide with the downtown entertainment district. Under the new entertainment district, alcohol can be purchased from participating restaurants and bars within and on the district boundaries and taken to Government Plaza and other areas within the district, which includes several surrounding blocks.
To hear music from local Tuscaloosa artists like Lamont Landers, check out our Spotify playlist below.
We’re gearing up for another great weekend in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! Kick off with The Rude Mechanicals as they put on a free show! Now until Saturday at 7:30 PM you can catch Tuscaloosa’s Summer Shakespeare company present the bloody tragedy “Macbeth” at Manderson Landing. The Rude Mechanicals shows are intended to be family-friendly, with no overt blood or other graphic representation. However, “Macbeth” does contain sword fights, ghosts and other scenes that might be frightening for younger children. In the case of rain, they will be performing at Allen Bales Theatre!
Friday is going to be funky at Government Plaza as “Live at the Plaza” continues! With local favorites Plato Jones taking the stage, the plaza is in for a treat. Plato Jones is a local four-piece band from that combines blues, funk, southern rock and rock and roll to make them one of the most popular local/area bands! Since their debut in January 2005, the band has played hundreds of fraternity, sorority, clubs, private parties and festivals in and around Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida!
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.
The National Physique Committee National Qualifier “Clash at the Capstone” is back this weekend! This Saturday the bodybuilding competition will take over the Bama Theater and you will be able to see the fittest people from across the southeast! The NPC Clash at the Capstone will also include the Mr. Tuscaloosa Bodybuilding Championship and the Ms. Tuscaloosa Bikini & Figure Titles. The Clash will be held July 1st, 2017 at The Historic Bama Theatre. Tickets sold at the door will be cash only.
You can wrap up your weekend Sunday evening at Black Warrior Brewing Company. Not only are they now pouring the One & Only Pale Ale, but they’re also hosting Jerry Robbins for some live smooth jazz and blues! There is no better way to put a bow on the perfect weekend than with smooth jazz and a One & Only beer!
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!
There have been some incredible weekends in Tuscaloosa recently and this one is no different! Kick your weekend off at Green Bar this Thursday as they play host to “The Hollows”! When the first notes reach your ears, whether from a sweet and breezy mandolin, a whiskey-tuned banjo, or an unrepentant guitar, it will seem to you that the sound of The Hollows is uniquely New York: a contradictory, harmonic melting pot that takes all of its roots, twists them around, and produces something else, something new. This scruffy ensemble of multi-instrumentalists might just as soon swap glockenspiels, trumpets, and harmonicas as plug in a squawking electric guitar or an airy, spacey synthesizer. The result is a veritable junkyard of instruments and musical personalities, a carnival on wheels, a one-man band in six bodies that owns the stage with all the mobile, rhythmic ease of a seasoned railroad gang!
Keep the music going this Friday at the Government Plaza in downtown Tuscaloosa for “Live at the Plaza” featuring Tarred & Feathered! A perfect event for families and friends alike, it will be complete with great music, delicious food, and tasty drinks! Tarred & Feathered is a cover band made up of old buddies who love playing live music together and have unique ways of covering the old & new favorites with a raw but full sound. With three-part harmony, they ensure their covers never fall flat!
Get ready to rumble on Saturday as the Druid City Dames host their first ever home bout in Tuscaloosa! Roller Derby is surely a sight to see and if you’re unfamiliar with it, here is a brief description: Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track. Gameplay consists of a series of short matchups (jams) in which both teams designate a jammer who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams attempt to hinder the opposing jammer while assisting their own jammer—in effect, playing both offense and defense simultaneously. Head out to the Super Skate on McFarland Blvd and watch the ladies of Druid City Dames as they look to take down the Southern Harm Derby Dames!
If roller derby isn’t quite your cup of tea, you can catch Tyrese as he performs at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater! In 1998, his self-titled album went platinum with the singles Nobody Else, Lately, and Sweet Lady, earning him his first Grammy nomination for the Best R&B Male Vocal Performance! He became busy with TV and film roles before releasing other popular albums in between 2002 and the present. He is also an accomplished author, and will be releasing his third book soon! This soul filled Amphitheater is the place to be this Saturday so don’t miss out!
Finally, wrap up your weekend with Band of Brothers Brewing Co. as they host “Trucks by the Tracks”! All of the local food truck favorites like Local Roots, Archibald & Woodrow’s BBQ, SouthFresh Mobile Catfish Kitchen, Pastor’s Kitchen, Get Mix’d and more! great beer, live music, and good company – who could ask for more?
Haven’t you always wanted to visit the famous German Oktoberfest? Fabulous beer, pretzels and sausages, live music and an amazing spirit – sounds awesome, right? Then here’s some good news: You don’t have to travel to Germany anymore to attend a Volksfest because the one and only Tuscaloosa is hosting the second annual German Volksfest at Government Plaza! Not in October, but on April 22nd! From 12 pm to 6 pm, you are welcome to join a culture festival full of fun and togetherness. We present you five reasons why you shouldn’t miss this unique event.
1. Authentic German Beer and Food
If your first association with a German Festival is beer – don’t be ashamed to think like a cliché, because at the Volksfest beer is indeed the star of the festival! The local breweries Black Warrior, Druid City Brewing and Band of Brothers are creating a recipe for an authentic German Altbier and will also be serving other German-inspired brews. The local German café and bakery Edelweiss will support the festival with specialties like pretzels, sauerkraut, and bratwurst! Everything will be served in a big Biergarten tent – all authentic!
2. Arts and play
Alongside the Biergarten tent, there will be many other highlights all over Government Plaza. A petting zoo, an obstacle course, inflatables and face painting are provided for the little ones! Furthermore, artists will be exhibiting and selling their arts and crafts. Paintings, jewelry, decoration – the variety of arts is amazing! Stroll around the booths and find the perfect piece you have always been looking for!
3. Live Music
No Festival without matching music! The amazing entertainer Wolfgang Moritz will perform Traditional German “Volksmusik” on stage. Moritz sings and plays two instruments – at the same time! Born in Germany, he brings authentic traditional looks and sounds to the Volksfest. There will be another German-themed band on stage playing Oktoberfest- and folk music: The Oom-Pahsters are a demanded polka band that has played at comparable events all over the United States. Both acts will be entertaining the folks for 3 hours each at the open-air stage on Government Plaza!
4. Family Event
As previously mentioned, the Volksfest provides a lot of fun for the whole family. Besides the great offers for adults and entertainment for kids in an own children’s area, this festival even has its focus on the elderly people. The event is a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz, whose headquarter is located Stuttgart, Germany – Home of the original Volksfest – and FOCUS on Senior Citizens of Tuscaloosa County. So grab your whole family and come over to spend a day full of music, fun, and culture at the Tuscaloosa Volksfest!
5. Good Purpose
The Volksfest is also a fundraising event; the proceeds benefit FOCUS on Senior Citizens of Tuscaloosa County, which is a non-profit organization that offers activities and services for local residents 50 and older. The admission for the Volksfest will be $15 for regular tickets and $50 for VIP tickets that include a festival t-shirt, a souvenir beer mug, and beer tokens. Children 12 are admitted free. Thus you can enjoy a wonderful day of German Culture and help a good cause at the same time. Prost!
Written By: Katharina Horvath – Intern
Food Trucks at the One and Only Live at the Plaza!
Food trucks we know have been a hit in big cities for years, but what about in small college towns like Tuscaloosa? I’ve had my share of meals on wheels in places like New York City and New Orleans, but recently I had my first experience with a food truck here in my hometown, and it was delightful. Leaving work at Tuscaloosa Tourism near the River Market one Tuesday, I saw people lined up in the parking lot for Local Roots, a food truck and a fairly recent addition to the city that specializes in a southern menu, featuring locally farmed ingredients. It was lunchtime, I was hungry, and I decided to give the truck a try.
The quaint menu impressed me. The options were few but all sounded delicious. I walked up to the truck window and ordered chicken tacos and fries with aioli. In less than five minutes I had my food, fresh and piping hot. I was pleasantly surprised with how tasty (and not at all greasy!) my meal was, eating the fries as I drove to my next obligation, thinking about how fast and flexible the food truck industry really is.
I had a fantastic first experience with Local Roots, and I plan on trying more Tuscaloosa food truck fare this Friday night at Live at the Plaza. The free concert series hosted each summer Friday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. features local bands and local food trucks for an inexpensive and fulfilling start to the weekend. This week JoJo’s Food Trunk, Tea Town and Archibald and Woodrow’s are the food trucks serving the event. Be sure to check out Tuscaloosa’s one and only line of mobile food this week at Live at the Plaza.
Follow their travels on social for a quick bite!
Written by: Karley Fernandez, TTS PR Intern
Live at the Plaza
Live at the Plaza is a simple idea. Open the door to Tuscaloosa’s music scene. With live concerts held for free in the Government Plaza on Friday evenings, locals and tourists alike gather under the infamous summer sunsets of the Tuscaloosa sky to enjoy live music. People can bring food, drinks, blankets, pets, or whatever they feel will make the experience more enjoyable as they soak up some summer sounds. Concertgoers are allowed to bring alcoholic beverages as long as they drink them during the concerts time. The concert runs from 6pm to 9pm starting on the first Friday in June, ending on the last Friday in July.
Built on the long history of Fiddle competition in West Alabama, The Black Warrior River Fiddle Fest at the Government Plaza hosts a 14 division competition of Alabama’s Fiddlers on June 10th from 5-7pm and June 11th from 10 am. Saturday at10am will have the Senior Fiddle, Small Frye Fiddle, Guitar, Junior Fiddle, Banjo, Bluegrass Bands, Adult Fiddle, Buck dancing. Finals in Junior,Adult and Senior Fiddle and Bluegrass Bands.
All ages can gather to prove their fiddling finesse against each other for monetary prizes. The music wont stop with just the fiddle, competitions between mandolin, Guitar, banjo, Harmonica, Dulcimer, bluegrass bands, and even Buck Dancing will be judged. Come out and watch talent tussle on stage, and enjoy the southern style of the fiddle.
Second Saturday Sidewalk party
The Avenue Pub is hosting a Summer block party under the Tuscaloosa Entertainment District on June 11th from 2-8pm. Free sliders, $3 bud pints, live music, and drinks to go in Temerson Square. This event will be held every second Saturday this summer with food, drinks, and music. Starting in May, lasting to August