The Alabama State Fair 2013 festival is an annual event that was originally held in Birmingham, but now is hosted in Pelham (which is a Birmingham suburb). This year’s festivities expect over 100,000 in attendance.
Expected Attendance: over 100,000
Dates: August 30 – September 8, 2013
Location and Alabama map:Alabama State Fair 2013 festival 1000 Amphitheatre Road Pelham, Alabama 35124
History of the Alabama State Fair festival
Pelham is the venue for the annual Alabama State Fair 2013 festival.
The Alabama State Fairgrounds are located in West Birmingham, adjacent to the Five Points West shopping area.
The State Fair Arena and Exposition Building covers a combined total of 110,000 square feet. The 117-acre fairgrounds were acquired by the City of Birmingham in 1947.
For many years, the grounds were home to the Alabama State Fair.The grandstand (now BIR) was home to both automobile and harness racing, as well as shows and concerts. The statue of Vulcan, which is now a Birmingham landmark atop Red Mountain, was originally displayed at the Fairgrounds, either whole or in pieces during its construction.
The state fair discontinued regular use of the facility because of poor attendance and high crime in the adjacent neighborhood. The Alabama State Fair Authority went bankrupt, and was dissolved sometime around the year 2001. No state fair has been held on a regular basis since; an effort to revive the state fair again in 2008 took place at the Verizon Wireless Music Center in nearby Pelham. (The “Alabama National Fair” in Montgomery is unrelated.) In 2009 there was an Alabama State Fair.
“Kiddieland,” a small amusement park located at the Fairgrounds, was a popular attraction for many years but closed in the early 1990s. A “Mikado” steam locomotive, #4018, which once worked on the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway was displayed on the grounds from 1952 to 2009. It has since been relocated to Sloss Furnaces.
During the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s, the Fairgrounds were used by Police Commissioner Bull Connor to imprison arrested demonstrators when the city’s jails were full.
The Fairgrounds have also been used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a disaster outreach event.
Former Fairgrounds manager Tom Drilias resigned in 1999 following a dispute over unpaid bills at another festival he ran, and was later the subject of an article in the Chicago Tribune reporting a series of legal problems. Birmingham International Raceway was located inside the gates of the Fairgrounds; it was demolished in January 2009, to make room for the construction of a natatorium and indoor track and field facility.
The Alabama State Fair 2013 festival should be even better than past years, expect a great show. More information on the concert line-up coming soon!