These past few months have brought about several changes to life as we know it, and Birmingham’s favorite events are no exception. From going virtual to providing socially distant settings, events across the country have shown incredible innovation, creativity and tenacity in the face of a global pandemic. While we had braced ourselves for the cancellation or postponement of some of Birmingham’s most anticipated fall events, thankfully, the teams behind them had better ideas. Here are five Birmingham events that have adapted in innovative ways to bring you unique and enjoyable experiences.
5 Birmingham Events You’ll Want to Attend, Fall 2020
Sidewalk Film Festival at the Drive-In
Birmingham’s beloved annual film celebration, the Sidewalk Film Festival, has revamped its format to fit the ever-changing times. From August 24 through August 30, film lovers have the option to view four different screens from the comfort (and safety) of their vehicles. “Though we are heartbroken that the current public health crisis has forced us out of the historic theater district — our beloved neighborhood of more than 21 years, as well as our brand new Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema — we are so thrilled that we have been able to develop an exciting alternative,” says Executive Director of Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema, Chloe Cook. “The 2020 Fest, presented by Regions Bank, will offer more than 150 films over a full week, allowing Fest attendees to see some of this year’s very best new independent films, as well as some incredibly fun and drive-in appropriate throwbacks in a safe and socially distanced environment.” Hosted at The Grand River Drive-In at The Backyard of the Outlet Shops of Grand River, we are so excited that the Sidewalk Film Festival is back for another incredible year and, dare we say, better than ever. For films being shown, ticketing costs and more, check out the Sidewalk website.
A Night of Big Stars benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters
The team at Big Brothers Big Sisters says the show must go on! For the ninth year in a row, A Night of Big Stars takes place in the Magic City. Littles in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program are set to take the stage virtually and perform a one-of-a-kind show on December 3, 2020, at 6 p.m. “In March, when we realized we would need to cancel our fundraising events or at least move to a virtual setting, we began brainstorming ideas,” says Anna Harris, Chief Development Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters. “At the time, one of our board members had been to a drive-in and realized that if people are in their cars, they will remain socially distant. We thought this would be the perfect way to raise money for the youth we serve and still allow our supporters to have a much-needed night out.” Guests can enjoy dinner in their cars while enjoying a virtual evening of drive-in fun at Pepper Place. Attendees can also enjoy an incredible live and silent auction. But our favorite part of this event? All proceeds raised help Big Brothers Big Sisters and their amazing mission of creating and supporting one-to-one mentoring relationships with Birmingham youth. To learn more about the event, purchase tickets or sponsorship packages and more, visit anightofbigstars.com.
Virtual Concerts at the Alabama Theatre
One of the hardest-hit industries in Alabama has been entertainment venues. Since the Safer at Home policy was instated on March 18, venues like the historic Alabama Theatre have had to close their doors and cancel countless events. These landmarks, including the Alabama Theatre, the Lyric Theatre and many more small event venues, desperately need the communities’ support to survive. The team at the Alabama Theatre began streaming live performances from their stage via Facebook Live, reaching viewers in their living rooms and encouraging them to donate here. Follow the Alabama Theatre on social media to see their upcoming virtual concerts.
Birmingham Arts Drive-In
In July, the Alabama Ballet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Alys Stephens Center, Red Mountain Theatre Company and Opera Birmingham joined together to bring the community two art-filled evenings at the Birmingham Arts Drive-In. The weekend provided a fun, family-friendly activity that was enjoyed from the safety of attendees’ cars. For folks who weren’t swift enough to reserve a spot, Avondale Brewing Company hosted a viewing party in their outdoor space, which was streamed on YouTube and Facebook. These performances were a true gift to the Birmingham community, and we loved seeing everyone come together — from a socially safe distance, of course. If you missed the event, you can check out the YouTube video HERE. And stay tuned to these arts organizations’ websites for more virtual events being planned.
4th Annual Birmingham Taco Fest
The pandemic can’t hold back the highly anticipated Birmingham Taco Fest. Throughout September, set out on the Taco Fest Taco Trail. This free, interactive expedition highlights the best spots in Birmingham to get authentic tacos coupled with hard-to-beat specials and prices. Additionally, the Fest is giving away fantastic prizes on their social media accounts each day. “The Taco Trail came together because we felt that this year we needed to try and support our community in any way we could,” says Taco Fest Taco Trail Director Keri Lane. Traditionally a one-day festival benefitting Bare Hands Inc., Taco Fest has adapted to the changing times in hopes that it can still be a successful fundraiser for their outreach — Bare Hands Art Club at the downtown YWCA of Central Alabama. Learn more about this year’s event HERE.
We encourage the community to rally around all the amazing organizations working overtime to bring fun and safe events to the Magic City. Stay healthy, Birmingham, and enjoy all the city has to offer during these unprecedented times!
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