Celebrate. All Year Long!

There is always something fun going on in the Shoals. Whether you are interested in history, music, film, or art, the Shoals has a festival or celebration for every interest and every season.

Helen Keller Festival
Celebrating the Legacy of Tuscumbia-born Helen Keller, this festival includes nightly performances of William Gibson’s award winning play, The Miracle Worker, live music, and art vendors from around the country. (June)

W.C. Handy Music Festival
As the temperatures soar, the Shoals gets ready to party. This 10-day festival, which honors “Father of the Blues” and Shoals native W.C. Handy, welcomes musicians from all over the world. Every day, different musical artists perform around the Shoals area. Whether you’re a fan of classical, gospel, rock’n’roll, or the good ole blues, there will be something to suit your taste. (July)

George Lindsey Film Festival
This festival, started in 1997 by UNA Alumnus George Lindsey who is most famous for his role as Goober Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show, welcomes participants from all over the globe. Every March, the Shoals looks forward to different movie screenings, as well as panel discussions led by film industry professionals. The festival’s past guests have included Oscar winners Billy Bob Thornton and Ernest Borgnine.

Arts Alive
Held during May in downtown Florence’s Wilson Park, this celebration of local and national art includes a juried art show featuring artists from around the United States. Artists also set up booths to sell and display their works. Visitors can browse from dozens of different vendors selling paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and hand-crafted furniture.

Alabama Renaissance Faire
With the nickname the “Renaissance City,” Florence appropriately hosts the Alabama Renaissance Faire and Feast the last weekend of October. The Faire, which draws about 40,000 visitors each year, features authentic Renaissance food, costumes, and music to take visitors back in time.

Trail of Tears Motorcycle Remembrance Ride
Every third weekend in September, motorcycle enthusiasts from around the United States gather in the Shoals to honor the legacy of Native Americans who were forcibly removed from their homes to live on government reservations. The ride, which starts in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and ends in Waterloo, is the same route Native Americans were forced to take during the Trail of Tears.

Sam Phillips Music Celebration
This one-day concert event celebrates legendary music maker and Shoals native Sam Phillips, who is known for discovering musical legends such as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. (October)
Sam Phillips Celebration Facebook Page

Spirit of Freedom Celebration
Held every July 4th in McFarland Park, this event celebrates Independence Day to the fullest. With the Tennessee River as a backdrop, enjoy live music, food vendors and a spectacular fireworks show at the end of the night. A perfect celebration for friends, kids, and families!

Held in St. Florian, which is located just north of downtown Florence, Oktoberfest hosts a variety of activities. Check out antique cars and tractors or stroll through to take a look at local vendors. The festival offers a wide selection of domestic and German beer—a staple of any Oktoberfest.

Oka Kapassa: Return to Coldwater
Every September, Native American tribes from all over the Southeast gather in Tuscumbia’s Spring Park to celebrate and share their heritage and culture with Shoals residents and visitors. The festival, which features storytelling, dancing, singing and art, ends with an authentic Native American torch lighting ceremony.

Rogersville Bluegrass Festival
Held during July at Rogersville’s Recreation Park, this three-day festival features an array of bluegrass musicians, as well as craft booths, a shade tree band contest, prize giveaways, and food vendors. Be sure to bring a lawn chair because you’ll definitely need it after a long day of dancing.

Franklin County Watermelon Festival
Only a short drive away, Franklin County’s Watermelon Festival, held in Russellville every August, is a great way to experience an old-time country fair. Featuring a car and truck show, music, and an old-fashioned watermelon seed-spitting contest for the kids, there’s plenty for every one to do.

UNA Front Porch Storytelling Festival
For two days in May, listen as nationally renowned storytellers entertain with their tall tales. There’s even a riverboat cruise and ghost stories at night!

featured articles

10 Fun (and Free) Things to Do in the Shoals

The Shoals is one of the most affordable cities to visit in Alabama, but for budget conscious travelers the area offers many activities that won’t cost a penny. If you want to see the Shoals and still have some cash in your pockets, here are ten free things that will give you a feel for our beautiful area.
Read More »


With plenty of lakes, golf courses, and outdoor areas—the Shoals has plenty of activities to keep sports and outdoors enthusiasts entertained. So enjoy a championship game or take a swing at one of our area’s award-winning golf courses.
Read More »

For the Kids (and Adults Too)

There are plenty of things to do as a family in the Shoals. This area prides itself on being one of the best places to bring a family. Not only are there plenty of parks in our area, we also have a wealth of museums that are educational and kid-friendly.
Read More »

Other Attractions and Activities

From a variety of architectural treasures to historical museums and exhibits—the Shoals has activities and attractions that are as varied as the four cities that make up the area.
Read More »


Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, music lover, or just enjoy sightseeing—the Shoals offers a variety of ways to experience our local culture.
Read More »