Annual Events and Festivals in Tuscaloosa

festivals and events in Tuscaloosa

Located in the heart of West Alabama, Tuscaloosa is a vibrant community filled with legendary history and an array of annual events. Home to the renowned University of Alabama and situated along the Black Warrior River, the city offers a walkable downtown complete with live music, outdoor spaces to explore, and local restaurants. The City of Tuscaloosa permits over 100 events each year and hosts various annual events including the Druid City Arts Festival, Tuscaloosa Mayor’s Cup 5K for Pre-K, Live at the Plaza, Celebration on the River, and Holidays on the Plaza.

Key Takeaways

  • Tuscaloosa hosts over 100 events annually, making it a hub for cultural and community activities.
  • The city is home to the University of Alabama, adding to its vibrant atmosphere.
  • Key annual events include the Druid City Arts Festival, Mayor’s Cup 5K, and Live at the Plaza.
  • Events cater to a wide range of interests, from arts and music to sports and education.
  • The city’s walkable downtown and scenic outdoor spaces enhance the event experience.

Druid City Arts Festival

festival in Tuscaloosa with arts and crafts

The Druid City Arts Festival (DCAF) is a vibrant celebration aimed at providing a quality arts and music festival while also educating, engaging, and inspiring both youth and adults about the arts and humanities within the Tuscaloosa community. Throughout the years, many “undiscovered” artists who are now in textbooks, galleries, and museums have exhibited at DCAF. For more information, follow the Druid City Arts Festival on social media and visit

Tuscaloosa Mayor’s Cup 5K for Pre-K

5K race event in Tuscaloosa with community and family participation

Race Details

The Tuscaloosa Mayor’s Cup 5K for Pre-K is an annual event that has been bringing the community together since 2007. The 5K course highlights Downtown Tuscaloosa, parts of The University of Alabama including the Walk of Champions, and other scenic areas. Over 1,000 runners, joggers, and walkers participate each year, making it a vibrant and energetic event.

Registration Information

Participants can register online through the event’s official website. Early registration is encouraged to secure a spot and receive a race day packet. The registration fee includes a race bib, timing chip, and a commemorative t-shirt.

Supporting Early Education

The Mayor’s Cup has raised almost $325,000 to provide resources for preschoolers throughout the Tuscaloosa area. This event is a simple and fun way for the entire community to get involved in supporting education. All proceeds go towards enhancing early education programs, making a significant impact on the lives of young children in the community.

Join us in this exciting event to support early education and enjoy a day of fitness and community spirit!

Live at the Plaza

outdoor music festival in Tuscaloosa

If you like live music, you won’t want to miss the Live at the Plaza free summer concert series. Every Friday in May and June from 6pm to 9pm, head to the five-acre Government Plaza park to enjoy live performances from some of the best musical talent in Tuscaloosa. Be sure to bring a blanket or folding chair and your whole concert crew for an evening of music, kids activities, food trucks and fun.

Celebration on the River

festive celebration by the river in Tuscaloosa

Fireworks Display

Celebration on the River is the city’s annual Independence Day party, and it’s a true birthday bash for the USA. This free, family-friendly event at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater includes kids’ activities, live music from the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, and a 9pm fireworks show over the Black Warrior River.

Live Entertainment

The event features live music performances that keep the crowd entertained throughout the day. The highlight of the evening is the performance by the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, which adds a touch of elegance to the festivities.

Family Activities

There are plenty of activities for kids, making it a perfect event for families. From face painting to interactive games, children of all ages will find something fun to do. Don’t miss out on the kids’ activities that make this event a memorable experience for the whole family.

Join us for WAMA Fest as we celebrate the 7th annual Tuscaloosa Heritage Festival at the Tuscaloosa River Market. The event will feature food, live music, and more.

Holidays on the Plaza

festive celebration in Tuscaloosa plaza

Ice Skating Rink

Experience the magic of winter at the ice skating rink in Government Plaza. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, this rink offers fun for all ages. Don’t forget to bundle up!

Holiday Market

The Holiday Market is a must-visit for unique gifts and festive treats. Browse through stalls featuring local artisans, delicious food, and holiday crafts. It’s the perfect place to find that special something for your loved ones.

Seasonal Performances

Enjoy a variety of seasonal performances that capture the spirit of the holidays. From carolers to dance troupes, there’s always something to entertain and delight. Be sure to check the schedule so you don’t miss your favorite acts.

The Holidays on the Plaza event brings the community together in a celebration of joy and togetherness. Make sure to mark your calendar and join in the festivities!

Fiddle Fest – The Southeast Fiddle Championship

fiddle festival in Tuscaloosa

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.

Kentuck Festival of the Arts

art festival in Tuscaloosa

The Kentuck Festival of the Arts is a two-day outdoor juried arts festival that attracts 30,000 visitors to the area. Held annually in October, this event is one of the South’s most prestigious and recognized arts and crafts festivals. For an arts experience unparalleled anywhere, join us the third weekend in October.

Bama Theatre Performances

festive event at Bama Theatre in Tuscaloosa

Theatrical Productions

The Bama Theatre is a cornerstone of the vibrant cultural experiences in Tuscaloosa. From classic plays to modern dramas, the theatre offers a diverse range of productions. Theatre Tuscaloosa’s performance of “Cabaret” is a must-see, transporting audiences back to the 1920s with its captivating storyline and performances.

Film Screenings

In addition to live performances, the Bama Theatre also hosts regular film screenings. These events feature a mix of classic films, independent movies, and documentaries, providing something for every movie enthusiast. The theatre’s historic ambiance enhances the overall viewing experience.

Special Events

The Bama Theatre is not just about plays and films; it also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. From community art nights to live music performances, there’s always something happening at this iconic venue. Be sure to check the Bama Theatre calendar to stay updated on upcoming events.

Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Concerts

concert at an outdoor amphitheater in Tuscaloosa during a festival

Upcoming Shows

The Tuscaloosa Amphitheater hosts a variety of concerts throughout the year, featuring genres from rock and country to pop and jazz. Check the official website regularly for the latest lineup and schedule updates.

Ticket Information

Tickets for concerts at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater can be purchased online, at the box office, or through authorized ticket vendors. Early bird discounts are often available, so be sure to buy your tickets in advance.

Venue Amenities

The amphitheater offers a range of amenities to enhance your concert experience, including:

  • Comfortable seating
  • Concession stands with a variety of food and beverages
  • Accessible facilities for all guests

Enjoy a night of music under the stars at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, where every seat offers a great view of the stage.

Community Art Nights

community art festival in Tuscaloosa

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.

Interactive Art Projects

Art enthusiasts can engage in various interactive art projects during these nights. From painting to sculpture, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Art Night is our monthly, community-wide, free event that celebrates art and artists.

Local Artist Showcases

Local artists have the opportunity to showcase their work to the community. These events often include exhibition openings and studio tours, providing a platform for artists to gain recognition and for the public to appreciate local talent.

Live Music and Food Trucks

The atmosphere is always lively with live music performances in the courtyard and a variety of food trucks offering delicious local cuisine. It’s a perfect evening out for families and friends to enjoy together.

Each event is free and open to the public, making it an accessible and enjoyable experience for everyone.

University of Alabama Homecoming

University of Alabama homecoming parade in Tuscaloosa

The University of Alabama Homecoming is a time-honored tradition that brings together students, alumni, and the Tuscaloosa community for a week of celebration and school spirit. Homecoming Week is filled with events and festivities leading up to the big game, creating an electric atmosphere on campus and around town.

Parade and Pep Rally

The Homecoming Parade is a highlight of the week, featuring colorful floats, marching bands, and spirited student organizations. The Pep Rally, held on the Quad, is a chance for fans to show their support for the Crimson Tide and get pumped up for the game. The bonfire on Friday night adds to the excitement, lighting up the night sky and bringing everyone together.

Homecoming Game

The Homecoming Game is the pinnacle of the week, drawing fans from near and far to cheer on the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Quad becomes the main hot-spot for game-day tailgating, with fans setting up tents and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. Main roads around campus and the stadium are closed a few hours before kickoff, allowing the campus to cater to walkers and creating a pedestrian-friendly environment.

Alumni Events

Homecoming is also a special time for alumni, who return to Tuscaloosa to reconnect with old friends and relive their college days. Various alumni events are organized throughout the week, providing opportunities for networking, reminiscing, and celebrating the enduring spirit of the University of Alabama.

Tuscaloosa Farmers Market

festive farmers market in Tuscaloosa with local produce and community gathering

The Tuscaloosa Farmers Market is a vibrant hub for the community, located on the banks of the Black Warrior River. It’s the perfect place to find fresh, seasonal produce and connect with local farmers and artisans.


Tuscaloosa is a city that truly knows how to celebrate life, community, and culture. With over 100 events permitted each year, there’s always something happening to bring people together. From the vibrant Druid City Arts Festival to the festive Holidays on the Plaza, Tuscaloosa offers a diverse array of events that cater to all interests and ages. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the city’s welcoming atmosphere and rich calendar of events ensure that there’s never a dull moment. So, mark your calendars, gather your friends and family, and come experience the magic of Tuscaloosa’s annual events and festivals. We look forward to seeing you there!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some annual events in Tuscaloosa?

Tuscaloosa hosts various annual events including the Druid City Arts Festival, Tuscaloosa Mayor’s Cup 5K for Pre-K, Live at the Plaza, Celebration on the River, and Holidays on the Plaza.

When is the Holidays on the Plaza event?

The Holidays on the Plaza event is scheduled from Wednesday, November 29 to Friday, December 1, 2023.

Where can I find a list of events happening in Tuscaloosa?

You can find a list of events happening in Tuscaloosa on the Visit Tuscaloosa Events Calendar, The University of Alabama Athletics Calendar, Bama Theatre Calendar, Theatre Tuscaloosa Calendar, and Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Concerts page.

What types of activities can I do in Tuscaloosa year-round?

In Tuscaloosa, you can attend collegiate athletic events, experience theatrical performances at the Bama Theatre, enjoy concerts at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, or explore the great outdoors at local parks, lakes, and rivers.

Where is the Visitor Center located in Tuscaloosa and what are its hours?

The Visitor Center is located at 1900 Jack Warner Pkwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401. Its hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am to Noon, and it is closed on Sunday.

What is the Druid City Arts Festival?

The Druid City Arts Festival is an annual event in Tuscaloosa that features art exhibitions, live music performances, and food and craft vendors.

How can I find kid-friendly events in Tuscaloosa?

You can search for kid-friendly events in Tuscaloosa by visiting local event websites and filtering events by category such as ‘Kid-friendly’ or ‘Great for groups.’

What is the significance of the University of Alabama to the Tuscaloosa community?

The University of Alabama is a renowned institution located in Tuscaloosa. It contributes to the community’s vibrancy with its legendary history, collegiate athletic events, and various cultural and educational activities.

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