Can’t Miss Alabama: Holiday attractions include fun water sports and other festivities
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Can’t Miss Alabama: Holiday attractions include fun water sports and other festivities

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Safely celebrate the holiday with a variety of activities for all to enjoy.


Downtown Gadsden First Friday

Kick off the Labor Day weekend Friday, Sept. 2 as Downtown Gadsden hosts the popular First Friday event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Events are free to attend. Classic cars will fill parking areas and interior lanes on Broad Street. Live music will emanate from locations on the sidewalk. Food vendors will have cool drinks and tasty treats. Downtown retail shops, restaurants and entertainment will stay open late to welcome attendees. Entertainment will include Little Elvis at Second and Broad, Damascus Road at Third and Broad, Matt Harvey Band at Fourth and Broad, Valley Road at Fifth and Broad and the Anniston Line Dancers in the 600 block. Following First Friday, the Summer Concert Series at the amphitheater wraps up with Tyme, a band playing ’60s and ’70s classics. The concert is 9 p.m. to 10.30 p.m., and cushions and coolers are welcome. The guidelines for First Friday include no pets, no personal coolers or glass containers, no skateboards or roller blades and no advertising or fundraising. For additional information, visit Follow along on Facebook.

Wake Jam

Gravity Island Watersports at OWA in Foley will host its first wakeboarding competition Sept. 2-3. The two-day event will feature categories for kids, beginners and masters battling it out for the top spots on the podium. Those entered in the Open and Masters divisions will compete for more than $2,000 in cash prizes. Guests can relax and enjoy OWA’s walkable amenities, including Tropic Falls Theme Park and Indoor Waterpark, and the Downtown OWA entertainment district with a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options. The Wake Park at Gravity Island is the southernmost cable park in Alabama and offers an encouraging environment for the sport. Wake Jam provides a non-intimidating yet exciting opportunity for riders to show off their talent and stretch their skills while competing for cash and prizes.

Follow this link for the complete list of event rules, regulations and registration instructions. Visit the website for upcoming shows.

Wakeboarding competitions are Sept. 2-3 at Gravity Island Watersports Wake Park at OWA in Foley. (contributed)

OWA Labor Day Car Show and Fireworks

OWA in Foley has a full lineup of events to celebrate Labor Day weekend. The Labor Day Car Show is Saturday, Sept. 3 featuring more than 100 classic cars spread out throughout the streets of Downtown OWA. Plan to spend the day and enjoy kids’ activities, live music and a fireworks show. Registration for the car show opens at 6:30 a.m. with the show beginning at 9 a.m. Closing out the event, the awards ceremony will be at the OWA Island Amphitheater at 4 p.m. with trophies for every decade from the 1920s to now. The fun continues throughout the weekend with kids’ activities, including complimentary hand-print T-shirts and an interactive scavenger hunt throughout retail and dining locations in Downtown OWA. Live music takes center stage on OWA Island with Brandon Giles kicking off the party Saturday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. and The Chee Weez tribute band continuing the celebration at 8 p.m. Live music returns on Sunday, Sept. 4 with the Gulf Coast Saxophone Ensemble performing at the Downtown OWA Splash Pad at 3 p.m. OWA Island will showcase the talents of Colby Swift at 5 p.m. and Austin Forman at 7:30 p.m. The fireworks show at OWA Parks & Resort is Saturday, Sept. 3 at 8:50 p.m. The patriotic show, timed with music, can be seen throughout the entire property.

Hours and dates for all Labor Day weekend events are subject to change.

Detailed information and a full schedule of events can be found online at

Alabama State Parks

Have big fun on the last holiday of the summer. Alabama State Parks offer campsites, resort parks, mountain biking, trails and zip lining.

Accommodations include:

State park amenities and attractions include:

Don’t forget to check out the golf courses: The General at Joe Wheeler State Park, Eagle’s Nest at Lake Guntersville State Park and The Oaks at Oak Mountain State Park.

Visit the website to learn more about Alabama State Parks.

Tannehill Labor Day Celebration

Gather the family Monday, Sept. 5 for Alabama’s largest Moon Pie eating contest and a chance to win prize money. There will be barbecue to eat, carnival rides and festival fun to enjoy. Registration is 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Ashley Circle. The contest begins at 1 p.m. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is at 12632 Confederate Parkway in McCalla.

Email [email protected] or call 205-477-5711 for more information.

Labor Day at the Birmingham Zoo

In celebration of Labor Day, the Birmingham Zoo will be open Monday, Sept. 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The zoo will offer discounted admission to first responders and health care workers with a valid ID or badge and up to four guests at $12 each Sept. 3-5.  For upcoming events at the Birmingham Zoo, click here.

Alabama Audubon Labor Day Bird Walk

Join Alabama Audubon for its annual Labor Day event celebrating the life and legacy of Birmingham birder Russ Bailey. Over the years, Bailey dedicated countless Labor Days to impromptu field trips in pursuit of southbound migrants, a tradition that continues with this great beginner bird walk to the greenway along the Cahaba River at the Trussville Sports Complex – a fully paved, mile-long path with benches along the way. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Trussville Senior Center parking lot (504 Cherokee Drive, Trussville). Birds should vary from migrant and resident songbirds to herons along the creek and hawks soaring overhead. Bring your binoculars, plenty of water, snacks, insect repellent, rain gear, sunblock and seasonally appropriate attire. All ages and abilities are welcome. Registration is required.

In the event of questionable weather, call 205-807-8055 for an update.

Red Mountain Entertainment

Weekend shows include:

  • Sept. 1 – Korn and Evanescence, Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Pelham.
  • Sept. 2 – Parker McCollum with Frank Foster and Corey Smith, The Wharf Amphitheater in Orange Beach.
  • Sept. 2 – Kem with Stokley and Leela James, Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.
  • Sept. 2 – The Doobie Brothers, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre in Pelham.

For upcoming shows, visit

The Doobie Brothers will perform at Oak Mountain Amphitheatre Sept. 2. The Grammy award-winning rock band is on the road for their 50th Anniversary Tour. (Jason Kempin / Getty Images)