This week, the magic extends beyond the football field in the Magic City Classic set to kick off this weekend. It’s touted as the No. 1 Classic of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities.If you’re planning to attend the 77th annual Magic City Classic, the annual gridiron clash of the Alabama A&M Bulldogs versus the Alabama State University Hornets kicks off Saturday, Oct. 27 at 2:30 p.m. at Birmingham’s Legion Field. Jermaine “FunnyMaine” Johnson will be this year’s game emcee.
If you’re looking for activities in addition to the game, there will be plenty of action off the field, as well.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the Magic City Classic events with plenty of celebrity punch:
- A Classic kickoff honoring Mayor Randall Woodfin happens at the Birmingham Museum of Art Wednesday, Oct. 24 starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available via Eventbrite. Proceeds benefit the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Scholarship Fund.
- The Battle of Choirs from Alabama A&M and Alabama State happens Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Sardis Missionary Baptist Church at 1615 Fourth Court West starting at 6 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
- Thursday, Oct. 25 starting at 5 p.m. Railroad Park hosts the Classic Kickoff block party. General admission tickets are $35. This event will include fashion shows, alumni call-outs, and live entertainment by artists such as Grammy-nominated Alvin Garrett, Just a Few Cats featuring Logan the Entertainer and Yung Vokalz. National recording artists Keke Wyatt and Faith Evans will also join in the activities.
- Big Daddy Kane and Biz Markie headline performances at 1st and 23rd (2300 First Ave. North) Thursday, Oct. 25. Doors open at 8 p.m.
- Birmingham native and nationally known comedian and syndicated radio talk show host Rickey Smiley brings the Rickey Smiley Morning Show Live to the BJCC Concert Hall, 2100 Richard Arrington Blvd., Friday Oct. 26 starting at 5 a.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
- Game day kicks off Saturday, Oct. 27 beginning at 8 a.m. with the Magic City Classic Parade in downtown Birmingham. This year’s Ambassador is Don Cheadle. The high-profile actor has ties to Birmingham through the Birmingham-based Woke Vote organization. The parade happens rain or shine and admission is free. Fox 6 Birmingham will broadcast the parade, which begins at the corner of 18th Street North and Seventh Avenue North.
- Just as popular as the game is the tailgating that takes place before kickoff. It starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 at Legion Field. Fans get in some social networking, while enjoying great food and musical hits with local DJ’s and live performances led by 8Ball & MJG.
- Saxophonist Mike Phillips will perform the national anthem at the game and the highly anticipated battle of the bands takes place at halftime
- Immediately following the game, the Classic will continue a recent tradition – a postgame concert. This year’s entertainment will feature Bessemer native Gucci Mane (born Radric Delantic Davis). Admission to the concert is included in the game ticket.