Arts and Entertainment
The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa
Like many college towns, Tuscaloosa has more cultural opportunities than other cities of comparable size. In addition to the standard movie theaters and restaurants and an occasional concert, Tuscaloosa also boasts performing arts troupes and annual festivals similar to those you would find in major metropolitan areas. A rich historical heritage has left Tuscaloosa with several quality museums and historic monuments. Whatever your interest, there is something in the local arts and entertainment scene to suit you.
Tuscaloosa features a wide variety of annual festivals and events that are ideal for the entire family. The following is a brief description of some of the events held each year in the Tuscaloosa area. Kentuck Festival of the Arts – This weekend arts and crafts fair typically held in late October brings more than 30,000 visitors annually to Kentuck Park in downtown Northport. Hundreds of contemporary and folk artists – from painters to photographers to sculptors to blacksmiths – display and sell their works from the Kentuck “tent city.” The festival also includes performances by folk musicians, a children’s activities area, and a specialty foods area. www.kentuck.orgHeritage Week – During one weekend in the spring (usually in April), the homes of Tuscaloosa’s Historic District hold open houses. The public is invited to take guided tours of the homes in this unique link to Tuscaloosa’s past. Sakura Festival – Tuscaloosa celebrates its ties with Japanese sister city Narashino during this month-long event held in March. Dickens Downtown – During one night in early December, downtown Northport transforms itself into mid 19th-century England. The shops sell unique Christmas gifts while the townspeople dress in the Victorian style. Period music and a visit from Father Christmas are among the highlights. Christmas Afloat – Every year just before Christmas, the Black Warrior River is decorated and lit up for a parade of boats and a fireworks display.
Moundville Archaeological Park – Moundville was occupied by Native Americans from approximately 1000 A.D. to 1450 A.D. Eight hundred years ago, it was the largest city in North America. Museum of Natural History – The Museum is located in Smith Hall and displays exhibits about Alabama’s natural diversity. Gorgas House – The Gorgas House was the first structure built on the campus. It now houses antiques and Gorgas family memorabilia. Paul W. Bryant Museum – This museum features memorabilia from the life and coaching years of Paul W. Bryant and from other moments in Alabama football history. Westervelt Warner Museum of American Art – The Warner Museum is operated by the Jack Warner Foundation. The facility open to the public, and features an impressive collection of American art.
Tuscaloosa features one movie theater that shows first-run films and special events, the Cobb Hollywood 16 & IMAX, located on Old Greensboro Road next to the corner of Skyland Blvd. and I-359 (205-248-8212). Also, University Programs shows second-run and classic films free of charge on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights throughout the school year at the Ferguson Theater. In addition, the Bama Theater in downtown Tuscaloosa shows classic films from time to time.