What to do in Birmingham this weekend

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Saturday is set to be a lovely day around Birmingham. You can celebrate the weather with some great outside events. Where to find those events though? No worries! Antwon Ervin of Discover Birmingham has the breakdown for some fun events around the Magic City for you!

5th Annual Girls Inc. Cajun Cook-off!

Make plans to attend this casual, family-friendly event featuring a Cajun cooking competition as well as live music in downtown Birmingham’s beautiful Railroad Park (1600 1st Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35233). Enjoy taste-testing all your Cajun favorites including gumbo, etouffee, jambalaya, red beans and rice and more! Your vote will help determine the winner of the cook-off competition.

There will also be fun activities for kids including face painting, a balloon artist and henna tattoos! Last year’s event was attended by more than 900 people, and we’re expecting an even bigger crowd this year. Check out photos from last year’s event by clicking here.

All funds generated by the Cajun Cook-off will benefit Girls Inc. programs that inspire Central Alabama girls to be strong, smart and bold! For more information click here.

Alabama Asian Cultures and Food Festival

When: Saturday April 11th, 10:30 am (opening ceremony) until 4:00 pm.

Location: Zamora Shrine Temple [3521 Ratliff Road, Irondale, AL 35210 – accessible from I-459 via Grants Mill Road exit (27) or I-20 via Old Leeds Road exit (135)]

Admission this year is $8 for adults 18 and over, $5for teens (13-17) and college students, active military, and veterans with ID, and free for children 12 and under.

This year’s Festival begins with the traditional Opening Ceremony: Children’s Chorus, remarks from visiting dignitaries and this year’s Miss Birmingham and Miss Cahaba Valley. Activities begin at 11:00 am. We hope you will delight in and appreciate the performers who will present authentic presentations and colorful costumes from several Asian countries. Again, by popular demand, we have as headliners the members of Matsuriza, internationally known Japanese Taiko drummers from Epcot Center at Walt Disney World. In addition to our long time local friends, Natyananda, Notinee, and Jasmine Dance Ensemble, we will present the Vietnamese “Beast of the Bayou” Lion dancers from Bayou La Batre, Bollywood and Chinese yoga dancers, as well as Sanggar Tari Citra Indonesia (STCI), presented under the auspices of the Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia. The very different sounds of traditional Asian music and rhythms will conjure images of far-away lands, as will the silk embroidered and painted art, ceramics, books, dolls, umbrellas, lanterns, plants, and other items on sale in the Festival Bazaar. An ATM is available in the building, and there will be more credit card stations too.

After their introduction in 2014, there will be even more Asian countries represented by cultural education booths. Business and nonprofit vendors’ booths will also be displayed so you can browse the merchandise offered and learn about products and services available. Foundation Bazaar tables will again be displayed. Children and adults will present many different and colorful costumes during our annual Asian fashion show that appeals to all ages and every photographer in the house. A special exhibition of rare Japanese objects will also be displayed, and you can observe a Nepali Pangoli (made with colored rice) being constructed.

There will also be more interactive educational programs for the whole family, as “kids” from 6 to 99 may again take a “journey across Asia” on a giant map from National Geographic. Guided by experienced master teacher, Bo Garrett, they will learn how vast and diverse the Asian continent is while doing fun activities! A new “Name It and Claim It” map naming activity with prizes and sessions presenting Asian folk tales, myths, stories, and fairy tales from different Asian cultures will be another delight for the small ones.

The colorful display of 20,000 origami cranes that were donated as a peace mobile to the Foundation will again be prominently displayed. It should remind everyone attending of our goal to build an International Friendship and Peace Plaza to be dedicated in honor of Mahatma Gandhi for his efforts to unify people and the influence his ideas about non-violent resistance to injustice had on many influential world leaders. We hope to have it open before the World Games come to Birmingham in 2021.

And, of course food is a major part of this Festival. Again, there will be cuisine offered from at least seven different Asian countries. Sample as you will, and savor the aromas, flavors, and textures of the foods offered. Try new things and discover new favorites. This year you will have the freedom to purchase individual servings of any dish you wish from any food booth, as there will be no pre-prepared plates. Only tokens will be used to purchase food to accelerate service. Pots of Jasmine tea, sodas, and bottled water will be available also. The “Food Court” opens at 11:30 am.

Following tradition, this year’s Miss Birmingham (2015), Susanna Bagwell, and Miss Cahaba Valley (2015), Carson Smith, will serve as hostesses and Emcees for the festival, help direct the Children’s Chorus in the opening ceremony, and be available for photographs with children.

Admission this year is $8.00 for adults 18 and over, $5.00 for teens (13-17) and college students, active military, and veterans with ID, and free for children 12 and under. Food service will be available from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm. A small number of invited restaurants and organizations representing many Asian cuisines will have signature dishes that will only be sold a la carte. $3.00 food tokens and $2.00 green drink tickets will be offered at the Admissions area. No cash will be accepted for food, only tokens: one token for one food serving. You may be as adventurous as you like, sampling dishes you have never tried before. Soft drinks and bottled water will be available for $2.00 (one green ticket) each, and a teapot of hot Jasmine tea with four cups is $4.00 (two green tickets).

For more information click here or here

Woodlawn Street Market

Sat. 11th 10 am- 4 pm

Woodlawn Street Market is an urban street market, in the heart of Historic Woodlawn, conceived for those who are always searching for unique, specialty creations. Visitors can expect merchants selling produce, goods, and prepared food, along with a few home-grown restaurants and retailers. The market will offer Birminghamians a gathering place – a locale for taking in an amazing meal or picking up a few inspiring pieces to add to their collection.

For more information click here.

And don’t forget the Birmingham Barons have kicked off a new season at Regions Field in downtown Birmingham! For a look at the full Barons schedule: CLICK HERE

And for even more events and other happenings around Birmingham check out Discover Birmingham’s full calendar right here.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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