One of Birmingham’s most popular events is coming up—the Magic City Art Connection, now in its 36th year. The annual festival is always held during the last weekend in April at Birmingham’s Linn Park downtown. The event takes place Friday—Sunday when the park is transformed into a fresh and vibrant artistic hotspot and a juried art event awards prizes in a number of categories. Featured during the festival will be more than 200 locally and nationally known artists, music, dance, kids’ art experiences, sculpture installations, food, special tastings and more.
Something for everyone—especially Kids
The beauty of the Magic City Art Connection is that it offers a little something for everyone and a chance to truly experience the community spirit that Birmingham provides. The festival is divided into four quadrants with one, the Imagination Festival, being solely dedicate for children. You’ll find free hands-on arts and crafts directed activities that children can create and take home. The Imagination Festival also hosts a stage for performances and music throughout the event. Workshops are offered each day by artists, and representatives from the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Children’s Theatre, Birmingham Education Foundation, Alabama Environmental Council and AMOR—Alabama Multicultural Organization. There’s even a parade each day. Best of all, kids 15 and under are admitted free!
Those who love art will find the other three quadrants filled with distinctive art creations for sale in the areas of jewelry, painting, fiber, clay, furniture, glass, metalwork, 2D and 3D Mixed Media to name a few.
One featured award-winning artist is Bethanne Hill, whose visual creations and iconic explorations of regional folklore featuring Southern landscapes are influenced by her love of primitive art, specifically Australian Aborigines and their way of mark making. Find her at booth 386 and see what you think!
How did this Magic City Art Connection achieve being named one of the Best Festivals according to readers of Birmingham Magazine and AL.com’s Best of Birmingham annual poll? Perhaps it’s because of a combination of music and food offered in addition to all the fun artistic activities going on. A wide variety of food vendors set up shop at Park Place on the southern end of Linn Park during the event. This year they include: City Bowls 2, Magic City Sweet Ice serving Italian ice and gelato, Pazzo Big Slice Pizza, Porky’s Pride Smoke House, Rae Rae’s Catering, Sorelle, Taco Morro Loco, and everyone’s local favorite for popsicles, Steel City Pops.
Need a break from art collecting? Stop in and enjoy the intimate live music stage in the Park Place Café. Local talent will be featured throughout the weekend. To see the schedule, click here. So, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy some great live music.
Something for everyone—especially Grown ups
But that’s not all. Both Saturday and Sunday, foodie lovers who want to explore a variety of tastes, cocktails and beverages can purchase separate tickets to the exquisite Corks & Chefs. Held each day from Noon—3 p.m. in a large tent adjacent to the festival, Corks & Chefs offers an explosion of flavors and the place where food from Birmingham restaurants is paired with wine, craft beer, spirits, cocktails, and special tasting seminars and demos, all inside the downtown contemporary art festival.
Saturday restaurant partners include: Brick & Tin, Carrigan’s Public House, Eli’s Jerusalem Café, Freddy’s Wine Bar, Habitat Feed & Social, Nabeel’s Cafe & Market, Ocean, and Tropicaleo to name a few.
Sunday offers: Arrington at Pursell Farms, Chez Lulu, Continental Bakery, EastWest, Roots & Revelry, Root to Tail, The Essential, The Southern Kitchen & Bar, and Yo’ Mama’s.
So there’s something to tickle just about anyone’s taste buds. But plan to preorder tickets, this is always a sellout event. Tickets can be ordered here.
Why call it Magic City Art Connection? Good question. Birmingham is called The Magic City for a very good reason—once the three main ingredients for making iron were discovered near, railroad lines were built, industries grew and the city’s rapid growth earned it the nickname it holds today, the Magic City. That magic continues to be expressed today through the lens of the Magic City Art Connection festival.
April 26 through the 28, 2019: Magic City Art Connection
710 20th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Street parking is available near the festival. Additional event parking can be found here.
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students (with I.D.) and free to children 15 and under. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Visit www.magiccityart.com for more information or to order advance tickets.
Drive time from The Retreat at Mountain Brook: Approximately 15-17 minutes.