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Can’t Miss Alabama: BCRI turns 30, Mobile International Festival, Galaxy of Lights and more

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Get a head start on planning exciting weekend entertainment.


Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 30th Anniversary Celebration

The community will celebrate the struggle for human rights in Birmingham and across the world. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) has selected Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of Medgar Evers, as this year’s recipient of the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award. The award and other honors will be presented Friday, Nov. 18 during BCRI’s 30th anniversary celebration. On Saturday, Nov. 19, the “Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See” exhibit will be open for viewing. The exhibit runs through Sunday, Jan. 8. Learn more about in the festivities at Alabama Power is among the supporters of the event. Read more about the Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award here.

A young girl contemplates Rosa Parks at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Students attending free field trip programming will have the opportunity to visit the award-winning, Smithsonian-affiliated museum. Junior Ranger book activities will encourage visitors near and far to engage interactively with the exhibits. (contributed)

Handel’s Messiah

The Alabama Civic Chorale will present its 75th annual performance of Handel’s Messiah with soloists and orchestra Sunday, Nov. 20, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The chorus will be composed of singers from local churches and from around the state. In the spirit of Handel’s giving to the Foundling Hospital – England, donations will be accepted at the program for toys, new clothes, books, diapers and formula for infants and young children. Early arrival is suggested for seating. The nursery will be open for children ages 5 and younger. The performance is free. The program will take place at  Riverchase United Methodist Church in Hoover. Visit to learn more.

Mobile International Festival

Meet people from more than 70 countries at the 39th annual Mobile International Festival, Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mobile Fairgrounds. Festivalgoers will enjoy cultural exhibits, taste foods from 21 countries, shop for unusual gifts and be delighted by international entertainers. Follow this link for the complete lineup. For more information, contact or call 251-285-5003. The fairgrounds are located at 1035 Cody Road.

The Mobile International Festival is a celebration of food and culture from around the world. (Keith Necaise)

Dothan Native American Festival

The inaugural Native American Festival will be Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Landmark Park in Dothan. Activities include Native American flute music from Blue Bear Flutes, drumming, singing, dancing, flint knapping, wagon rides, Dutch oven cooking, bowl carving, fabric dyeing, making corn dolls and herbal remedies, foraging, crafts, archery demonstrations and storytelling. Browse the vendors for Native American jewelry, apparel, arrowheads and tools. Children can enjoy pony rides and learn traditional Native American dances and drumming. Bring your picnic. For ticket information, visit the website. Follow along on Facebook.

Galaxy of Lights in Huntsville

Explore the elaborate lights at the Huntsville Botanical Garden through Saturday, Jan. 1. Galaxy of Lights offers guests the chance to share in the annual tradition and make memories. Between walking nights and driving nights, new features at this year’s Galaxy of Lights include a 150-foot tunnel of lights, comprising 40,000 channels of light; lighting effects in and around the Damson Aquatic Garden; a display of 96 light poles, each 10 feet tall, programmed to dance to music in the Van Valkenburgh Daylily Garden; more than 300 colorful floodlights that emphasize the garden’s natural features and landscape; more than 10 illuminated swings spread throughout the experience; and a professional photo opportunity in the garden. For tickets and information, visit Link here for the complete holiday schedule. The venue is at 4747 Bob Wallace Ave.

Enjoy the light display and other traditional holiday scenes at Galaxy of Lights. (Huntsville Botanical Garden)

Red Mountain Entertainment

Upcoming shows include: 

  • Nov. 18 – Warren Zeiders, Iron City in Birmingham.
  • Nov. 19 – Warren Zeiders, Mars Music Hall in Huntsville.
  • Nov. 21 – Eagles Hotel California 2022 Tour, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

For more shows, visit redmountainentertainment.

Magic City Half-Marathon and 5K

Have a fantastic run in the heart of Birmingham at the 12th annual Magic City Half-Marathon, 5K, 1-mile fun run/walk for all ages Sunday, Nov. 20. Participants get T-shirts, post-race beer and finisher medals. Proceeds benefit the Ruben Studdard Foundation for the Advancement of Children in Music Arts and Girls on the Run of Birmingham. Click this link for registration and ticket information. The running events take place near Regions Field at 1401 First Ave. S.