Gear up for holiday festivals in Can’t Miss Alabama

Gear up for holiday festivals in Can’t Miss Alabama
Choose from a variety of outdoor festivals this weekend. (Getty Images)

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Holiday cheer with festivals and celebrations.


Burritt on the Mountain Turkey Pardon

Kick off your Thanksgiving break at Burritt on the Mountain in Huntsville by celebrating the beautiful wild turkey. Special guests are Dingo of 102.1 WDRM Morning Show, District 2 Huntsville Council Member Frances Akridge and DJ Steve Metz of Metropolitan Disc Jockey. Join Mr. Tom Turkey for a Turkey Trot Parade around Burritt Green and Historic Park. Have a cup of hot chocolate, holiday snack and turkey-themed crafts. This year, Akridge will do the honors for Huntsville and “pardon” two turkeys visiting from Step By Step Petting Zoo.The official pardon will take place at noon. Bring your portable chairs and enjoy the city view and Burritt’s large open green Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Flags will be placed in the ground to help groups with social distancing. Tickets are $4 to $10.

Galaxy of Lights

Galaxy of Lights’ 25th anniversary season in Huntsville will look different this year due to health and safety concerns. Explore 2.5 miles of magnificent light displays weaving together holiday themes, classic characters and scenes from the natural world. Expect to be dazzled by walk-thru and drive-thru experiences. Walking Nights is new this year through Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 5:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets for Walking Nights must be purchased in advance for a designated date and entry time. Dog Walking Night is Monday, Nov. 23. Driving Nights is underway through Saturday, Jan. 2 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The Huntsville Botanical Garden is at 4747 Bob Wallace Ave.

Glow Wild: An Animal Lantern Celebration

Get ready for the Birmingham Zoo’s new larger-than-life illuminated experience, Glow Wild: An Animal Lantern Celebration. The celebration is underway through Monday, Jan. 18 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s open MLK Day but closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and Christmas Eve. Guests will be captivated by visually stunning lantern creations of wildlife from around the world. Watch the zoo come alive with hundreds of marvelous animal shapes of all sizes, including pandas, elephants, cheetahs, polar bears and whales up to 30 feet long. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for health and safety protocols. Tickets are on sale at birminghamzoo/glowwild.

Lone Pine Mine

Lone Pine Mine is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Vulcan Park and Museum. The virtual presentation will take visitors back to when mining was a primary industry in Birmingham. This interactive presentation will discuss the history of mining along Red Mountain with a question-and-answer segment. The presentation will be streamed free on Facebook Live and Instagram TV. Lone Pine Mine No. 3 is a small iron-ore mine on the property of Vulcan Park & Museum. In the early 1900s, workers removed iron ore for use in Birmingham’s furnaces and factories. This small mine was operational for a few years but closed before World War I. After being shut for many years, the mine entrance is now open for visitors to peek inside. Visitors will see period-appropriate artifacts and replicas from the time when the mine was in use. Signs provide information about the items and the mine’s history. Can’t make it to the virtual experience? Visit in person seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entrance to the mine is included with general admission to Vulcan Park & Museum: $6 for ages 13 and older, $4 for ages 5-12 and free for children 4 and younger.

Festival of Trees in Dothan

Beautiful trees at Wiregrass Commons Mall will be streamed on Facebook Live. There will be a live window display with live auction items through Thursday, Nov. 19 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Trees will be awarded to the highest bidders. The highest individual bidder will win the most valuable tree plaque. The tree with the most likes will win the most popular tree plaque. The auction item photo gallery is here. Proceeds will benefit Dothan’s foster home. Learn more at Donations are welcomed. Follow along on Facebook.

Birmingham Children’s Theatre

Birmingham Children’s Theatre (BCT) presents “E.L.V.E.S.: The Experience,” written by Sina Skates and directed by Alex Ungerman. The show is a live, interactive, Zoom-centered performance for young audiences that is equal parts story and activity. Up to 10 kids at a time will embark on a treasure hunt around their own homes to help collect items needed to save the North Pole. With a little help from parents, participants will find special items in hidden locations in a brand new, one-of-a-kind BCT experience. While working together to help the elves save Christmas, children will have a chance to connect with other kids in a special interactive performance that will spark imagination and bring magic home for the holiday season. The show runs from Nov. 27 through Dec.13 and is recommended for children ages 5 to 12. Tickets are $25 but will be offered at the special rate of $15 for the first weekend. Show times vary by date but are available at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Gadsden’s Hardin Center
It is now free to view art exhibitions at the Hardin Center in Gadsden. Exhibitions pairing works by two landscape painters opened last week. New York artist Martin Weinstein uses acrylic paint on layers of floating acrylic sheets that are stacked to form a single image of great depth. The perspective of the image changes as the viewer moves. Maryland artist Stephen Estrada uses oil on canvas to capture coastal scenes. His work features spectacular images of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. The exhibitions are on view in the Chan Gallery until Dec. 30. Visitors may view the art exhibitions and the Hardin Center’s 72-foot-long railroad table model of Gadsden in the 1940s for free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays. The art gallery and model railroad are closed on weekends. Donations are welcomed. The Hardin Center and Imagination Place are at 501 Broad St. For more information, call 256-543-2787, extension 38.

Holiday Show at OWA

Las Vegas’ longest-running and most-awarded tribute show is ready to celebrate the holidays. The all-new “A Merry Country Christmas at OWA Theater” will pay tribute to country music royalty, including Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire and Elvis Presley Friday, Nov. 20 through Sunday, Jan. 3. A dynamic, blockbuster opening number begins the festivities with the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s rendition of “Jingle Bells.” For the big finale, the Legends band brings music memories to life with a sensational tribute to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve in Sarajevo” (“Carol of the Bells”) and the entire cast will join them and perform “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Corrie Sachs returns by popular demand to ask “Why Haven’t I Heard From You” during her impeccable portrayal of Reba McEntire and once again serve as the host of the evening. Stacey Whitton is “Gonna Getcha Good” with her uncanny performance as Shania Twain, and will transform to return as Martina McBride, proving that “Independence Day” is good any time of year. Garth Brooks promises that the holiday show “Ain’t Going Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)” as Shawn Gerhard makes a triumphant return to the OWA Theater stage. Elvis is back in the building, as Leo Days will have a “Blue Christmas” without you this holiday season. The theater has developed robust safety measures for all areas  that focuses on visitor safety and the health of staff and cast members. For tickets or other information, go to or visit

Movies under the Stars

Dothan Leisure Services will host Movies Under the Stars Friday, Nov. 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Rip Hewes Athletic Complex. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, family and friends and plan to socially distance out on the field or in the stands while watching “Playing with Fire.” Preview the movie here. Admission is a minimum of one canned good per person, and the food collected will be donated to the Wiregrass Area Food Bank. Proceeds from concessions will go to the therapeutics program. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 6 p.m. In the event of rain, the movie will be canceled. The venue is at 1701 Stadium St. in Dothan. Call 334-673-4803 for more details.

Magic City Half-Marathon

This year’s Magic City Half-Marathon & 5K will be virtual on Sunday, Nov. 22. Register here. If you are already registered, simply click the register button and you will be presented with several options on how to handle your entry. The event has grown from a small local run to Alabama’s premier fall running event. More than 2,100 racers competed in 2019. The event will benefit the Ruben Studdard Foundation for the Advancement of Children in the Music Arts and is the fall focus event for Girls on the Run of Birmingham. The Magic City Half-Marathon weekend features long-sleeved race T-shirts, post-race craft beer and one of the best finisher medals in the business.

Beer Garden Trail in Hoover

Moss Rock Festival’s Beer Garden spotlights a selection of breweries on the cutting edge of the craft beer industry. The ninth annual craft tasting event in Hoover will present beer aficionados a diverse experience, but in a new way amid coronavirus. Taste your way around the area’s first Beer Garden Trail with local and nearby breweries through Monday, Nov. 30. Patrons will get the opportunity to sample more than 45 craft brews. Sixteen area breweries are being featured as tasting stops on the 2020 trail. The commemorative glass pickup spot will be at Whole Foods Market on U.S. 280 in the cheese department. Your Beer Garden Trail ticket also provides entry to Moss Magic.

Virginia Samford Theatre

“Frozen Junior,” the enchanting modern classic from Disney, is based on the 2018 Broadway musical and brings Elsa, Anna and the magical land of Arendelle to life onstage. The show features all of the memorable songs from the animated film, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, plus five new songs written for the play. A story of true love and acceptance between sisters, “Frozen Junior” expands upon the emotional relationship and journey between Princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. With a cast of beloved characters and loaded with magic, adventure and plenty of humor, “Frozen Junior” is sure to thaw even the coldest heart. The final show is Sunday, Nov. 22. Tickets are $15 with socially distanced seating. Learn more at

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