SB NOTE: These suggestions are all made with social distancing and safety precautions in mind, and each event is subject to change depending on COVID in each location. Please look at websites and social media for updates, and check the most up-to-date CDC guidelines for the latest safety recommendations.

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With the first month of the new year coming to a close, we welcome February and all of the fun it brings. From an oyster festival and hot air balloons to a chocolate-themed race, there is no shortage of fabulous Southern events taking place this month. We hand-selected some of our top picks for where to go and what to do, so get out and (safely) enjoy!

Valentine's Balloon Festival in Fredericksburg, TX, a Southern event in February 2021

Take an unforgettable hot air balloon ride through the Texas Hill Country. Image: The Victory Cup

12 Southern Events & Happenings: February 2021

Throughout February: Celebrate Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Here are links to several southern cities with multiple opportunities and events to learn more and celebrate the richness of Black America and understand the struggle and fight for equal rights: Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta, and Nashville.

February 3, 2021: Be My Valentine Paint N’ Pour – Hendersonville, NC

Enjoy a fun Valentine’s Day activity with your significant other or friends at Burntshirt Vineyards’ Valentine’s Paint N’ Pour event. Tickets include all the necessary crafting materials and a complimentary glass of rosé. Doors open at 4 p.m., and painting begins at 4:30 p.m. The vineyard asks that groups sit together at the socially distanced tables provided. A bar is also onsite for beer and wine sales. Tickets are $25 for wine club members and $30 for non-members. burntshirtvineyards.com

February 5, 2021: Auction of Items from Julia Reed’s Estate

Julia Reed was known for her writing talent. Not only did she author two books, but she was also a contributing editor for Newsweek and Vogue. She was also known for her style, love of the Mississippi Delta, and generous heart. In her final days, she set up the Julia Reed Charitable Trust and arranged for her belongings to be auctioned off the begin funding this trust. Items from her estate will be auctioned off by Neal Auction on February 5. 2021. Follow them on Instagram for details: @nealauction

February 12 & 13, 2021: 5th Annual Von Brewski Beer Festival – Huntsville, AL

Sample local and international craft beers at the 5th Annual Von Brewski Beer Festival! Enjoy beer tastings, live music, and pre-made pretzel necklaces. This year, the festival is separated into four events, with each one lasting three hours and limited tickets available for social distancing purposes. Early bird tickets to each event are $40, or $50 at the door, and each one includes a souvenir beer cup. Non-sampling tickets are also available for $15. You must be 21+ to attend. vonbrauncenter.com

February 12 – 14, 2021: Valentine’s Balloon Festival – Fredericksburg, TX

Visit the Texas Hill Country for an unforgettable, weekend-long romantic experience! Enjoy a helicopter or hot air balloon ride accompanied by live music, a champagne toast, unlimited oysters, and complimentary rosé. The event is capped at a limited number of guests, so purchase your tickets sooner rather than later. General admission tickets start at $20 and go up to $250 for a VIP experience. eventbrite.com

February 12, 2021 – March 14, 2021: Dogwood Arts’ Virtual House & Garden Show – Knoxville, TN

The Dogwood Arts Virtual House & Garden Show showcases top vendors specializing in home improvement, gardening, interior design and more. Attendees can also register for virtual expert sessions via Zoom, where they have the opportunity to ask questions specific to their particular project. The show is free to attend and begins at 10 a.m. on February 12. dogwoodarts.com

February 13, 2021: Love Chocolate Half & 10K – Savannah, GA

Join in on this chocolate-themed half marathon and 10K race through Savannah’s beautiful Southbridge neighborhood, and earn your chocolate as you run! Hot chocolate, fondue-style treats, and a festive finish line make this an ideal Valentine’s Day weekend event. The race starts at 9 a.m. on February 13. Tickets are $30 for the 10K and $45 for the half marathon. runsignup.com

RELATED: A New Look at Old Savannah: 48 Hours in The Hostess City

February 13, 2021: 2nd Annual Mardi Gras Bar Crawl on King Street – Charleston, SC

Experience Charleston’s best Mardi Gras party of the year! Grab a friend and some beads and head on over to King Street. Check-in is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Brick Tavern, where you pick up your scorecards and start your crawl. Enjoy Mardi Gras drink specials, and get your scorecard marked at each participating location. Each bar offers a COVID-friendly outdoor space. Tickets start at $19, and a portion of all ticket sales support Going Places, a local Charleston charity. eventbrite.com

February 13, 2021: Oyster Fest – Atlanta, GA

Take part in this seafood celebration at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park! Enjoy steamed, fried, and raw oysters, plus fried shrimp and chicken baskets for non-oyster fans. Additionally, the event offers cold beer, cocktails and live music. Masks are required for entry and when you’re not eating or drinking. The festival begins at 3 p.m., and tickets start at $15. This event is 21+. parktavern.com

February 15 – 19 2021: 15th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival – Beaufort, SC

Attend the 15th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival! For the past 25 years, Beaufort has served as the backdrop for over 20 major motion pictures. This Southern event celebrates aspiring filmmakers and showcases films of different genres. Enjoy five entertainment-filled days of movie watching amongst the picturesque backdrop of the Carolina Sea Islands. Tickets start at $10. beaufortfilmfestival.com

RELATED: 6 Historic Southern Theaters Worthy of Recognition

February 20, 2021: 7th Annual Houston Creole Heritage Festival – Houston, TX

Celebrate Creole culture at the 7th Annual Houston Creole Heritage Festival! Guests can enjoy live music, local vendors and an assortment of flavorful food from Houston’s top-rated food trucks as they peruse Midtown Park’s green space. This family-friendly festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 12-17. Kids 12 and under are free. houstoncreolefest.com

February 20, 2021: 32nd Annual Sandestin Gumbo Festival – Sandestin, FL

Visit Sandestin to experience this winter festival favorite! Sample a variety of gumbo at the 32nd Annual Sandestin Gumbo Festival. The festival features Gulf Coast restaurants, live music and family-friendly activities. In addition to delicious gumbo, the event also includes a Bloody Mary competition, where guests have access to some of the best Bloody Marys on the coast. The festival starts at noon, and general admission tickets are $40. sandestingumbofestival.com

Cheers to a new month!

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To see even more great events, visit our Happenings page.