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Cultural Festivals
Year of Alabama Small Towns And Downtowns Celebrations
UFO Days, a Chicken and Egg Festival, an Interstate Mullet Toss and a Coon Dog Cemetery Celebration are a few of the offbeat and quirky celebrations to experience during the Year of Alabama Small Towns and Downtowns. In addition to these unique festivals, 215 cities and towns will host Great Alabama Homecoming events this year. Here is a list of unique events that will take through October.

Mayberry Days in Graysville, July 10
Graysville, the city which calls itself “Alabama’s Most Progressive Town,” hosts an annual Mayberry Days festival to celebrate the legacy of television’s “Andy Griffith Show.” Complete with Barney Fife and Goober look-alikes, a squad car and more, the Jefferson County event takes place in July. It features entertainment and a parade. (205) 674-5643, www.graysvillecity.com

Okra Festival in Burkville, August 28
Festival goers describe it as “a big family party,” where people return year after year to celebrate. Okra is of African origin and is a versatile vegetable that may be enjoyed boiled, battered, pickled or fried, or used in soups, stews and gumbo. The festival began in 2000 and soon became unique in its ability to attract people of all races, who interact with the locals in love and friendship. (334) 324-0555 or (334) 652-1206.

UFO Days in Fyffe, August 28
The annual Unforgettable Family Outing (UFO), held in late August, capitalizes on the town’s famous history when townspeople spotted unidentified flying objects or UFOs over the area. Giant hot air balloons are the centerpiece of the two-day event that also features hour-long rides across Sand Mountain, arts and crafts vendors and entertainment. (256) 623.2222, ext. 3, www.fyffecitylimits.com

Alabama Butter Bean Festival in Pinson, September 3-4

Participants in this festival dedicated to a vegetable can attempt the “World Record” of cooking the largest pot of beans. The family-friendly event includes a Super Kidz Zone, car show, children’s parade, Tail Waggin’ pageant, Mr. & Miss Butter Bean pageant, golf tournament, fashion show, 5K race and 1-mile fun run, greased pig contest, butter bean recipes, live entertainment and cornbread cooking contests, (205) 572-2041. www.butterbeanfestival.com.

Crenshaw County Annual Peanut Boil Festival in Luverne, September 4-6
Dubbed “The World’s Largest Peanut Boil,” this annual festival is held every fall. Tons of peanuts are boiled and bagged by the Crenshaw County Shriners Club during the event. Since 1970, the Peanut Boil has become a Labor Day weekend tradition for people within a 60-mile radius of Luverne. (334) 335-4468, www.crenshawcounty.net.

Coon Dog Cemetery Labor Day Celebration in Tuscumbia, September 6

Each Labor Day, the Tennessee Valley Coon Hunter’s Association hosts a celebration at the cemetery to remember faithful coon dogs, and to enjoy buck dancing, a liar's contest, music and barbecue. More than 200 graves are freshly decorated for the event. (800) 344-0783. www.colbertcountytourism.org.

Alabama Frog Level Festival in Fayette, October 1-2
The event includes frog jumping contests, the Miss Frog Level contest, vendors, music, antique cars and trucks, and the Syrup City Run. Fayette was formerly known as Frog Level. The name originated from the fact that the town sits just above the flood level of the river “right down on the level with the frogs.” The festival celebrates two unique aspects of the town’s heritage, frogs and syrup. The Syrup City Run spotlights Fayette’s history as home of the Golden Eagle Syrup Company since 1929. (205) 932-4587, www.fayetteareachamber.org.
For a comprehensive Alabama Calendar of Events, call (800) ALABAMA. For a list of the Great Alabama Homecoming celebrations, visit www.alabamahomecoming.com.
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