There are plenty of Alabama events and festivals in Alabama to attract visitors
year round. One of the major, and perhaps surprising, events in Alabama is Mardi
Gras. You may think this originated in New
Orleans, but the celebration of this period before Easter actually began
in Mobile. It's one of the most
popular Alabama festivals with more than twenty festive parades and carnival
balls, receptions and other festivities, and plenty of booths offering regional
foods. Mardi Gras was first celebrated in Mobile in 1703, making it the oldest
of all festivals in Alabama and one of the oldest in the country.
Speaking of shrimp, another of the popular festivals in Alabama is the annual National Shrimp Festival, held in October on the beautiful beaches of Gulf Shores. As many as 200,000 food lovers choose to travel to Alabama for this extravaganza of regional cuisine and dining, arts, and entertainment. There are Alabama festivals celebrating southern cuisine and products, and an important state product is peanuts (this is George Washington Carver territory). More than half of the peanuts sold in the United States are grown in a small area around Dothan. The nation's largest peanut festival is held here every fall, and it draws more than 120,000 visitors.
Browsing garage and yard sales is a popular activity throughout the United
States, and one of the Alabama events that draws participants and visitors from
across the country is the "World's Longest Yard Sale." Every August, businesses
and individuals set up tables and tents along a stretch of 654 miles of Route
127 through Alabama, Tennessee,
and into Ohio. Many people take
days to follow the entire route, and lodging is available in countryside cabins,
small hotels, and bed and breakfast inns. Camping is also available all along
the route. This is one of the events in Alabama that provides a great way to
see more seldom visited parts of the region, and possibly pick up some bargains
at the same time.
Gardens and horticulture are important in the state, which is known for Alabama festivals centered around different blossom seasons. While beautiful Bellingrath Gardens and Home (south of Mobile) is open year round, many visitors decide that when to go to Alabama is from March 15 through April 5, when more than a quarter of a million azaleas burst into bloom. There are also festivals in Alabama that celebrate the blooming of jasmine, camellias, roses, chrysanthemums, and more. The Governor's Mansion in Montgomery offers guided garden tours in May and October.
The state also boasts exciting events in Alabama for those who like speed,
racing and other sports. The only time there aren't major NASCAR races on the
500 miles of track at Talledega
Speedway is in January. In May, you can attend the Honda AMA Superbike Championship
in Birmingham. The prestigious
Nationwide Tour Golf Championship takes place in October on the Robert
Trent Jones Golf Trail. Football is king in the state, and the hotly contested
Alabama versus Auburn game is played in Tuscaloosa.
These Alabama events draw hundreds of thousands of visitors, and are often televised