By Leslie Walker, CHSP, Convention Sales Manager
Huntsville-Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, host sponsor of TBEX North America 2017
Believe you me, TBEX and the Huntsville-Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau have any number of adventures and events to keep you on your toes while you’re in the Rocket City! But, should you decide to arrive a little early, stay a little later or just plain sneak away for some alone time, you’ll find plenty more fun to get into all on your own. However, our proper southern upbringing tells us we wouldn’t be good hosts if we didn’t at least try to point you in the right direction. With that being said, here is the beginning of a list that will continue to grow over the coming months. A list of all the additional performances, festivals, oddities and good ol’ local fun happening around Huntsville outside of your regularly scheduled merriment. A little thing we like to call…TBEXtras!
Panoply is the Southeast’s premier arts weekend where Huntsville’s innovative spark shines through in a festival of art, music and more in downtown’s Big Spring Park (across from the TBEX host hotel, Embassy Suites.) Day passes to the festival are only $10 and weekend passes are $18; kids 12 and under get in free! ArtsHuntsville is excited to offer complimentary passes to registered TBEX attendees who arrive early to the conference; simply contact Leslie Walker at the Huntsville Convention & Visitors Bureau for more details.
Panoply 2017 – April 28, 29 and 30.
Panoply 2017 hours are:
Friday, April 28 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 29 from 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 30 from 12:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Von Braun Center Playhouse (TBEX host venue)
Friday, April 28 – Sunday, April 30, 2017
Directed by Kevin O’Brien
An original script by Peter-John Sligting, Schuyler Howie, & Penny Ewing. Based on the Story by Carlo Collodi.
From the moment the wooden puppet Pinocchio comes to life until he becomes a real boy for rescuing his father from the great fish, the excitement never ends. Join the Blue Fairy and her friends as they lead the audience through the tale of the boy whose “nose” grew.
For more information, visit Let The Magic Begin
Biergarten at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. beginning March 16, 2017 through October 2017
Visit the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Saturn V Hall in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration for the German Biergarten, featuring authentic German cuisine.
Enjoy the festive atmosphere with imported and domestic beers and delicious wines from the German region. It’s family-friendly and leashed dogs are welcome on the Apollo Terrace and in Apollo Courtyard. Admission is free, and food and beverages are available for purchase.
To support our local community, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is featuring a nonprofit organization each week, and a portion of food sales that evening will be donated to the organization.
For more information, visit The Biergarten’s website
Located in Big Spring Park (across from the TBEX host hotel, Embassy Suites)
The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design
March 19 – June 18, 2017
Within the American home and workplace, chairs are usually regarded as simple, utilitarian objects that provide seating and a modicum of comfort. The Art of Seating offers a fascinating historical survey of artistic, technical and engineering developments in American decorative styles. The exhibition includes more than 40 distinctive chairs selected from the Jacobsen American Chair Collection, and also takes the viewer into the design studio through patent drawings, documented upholstery, artist renderings and multimedia presentations.
Selections offer a stylistic journey in furniture with showstoppers by Frank Lloyd Wright, John Henry Belter, the Herter Brothers, the Stickley Brothers, Isamu Noguchi, Frank Gehry, and others. The exhibition also features contemporary designs by some of the biggest manufacturers such as Knoll, Herman Miller, and Steelcase. Through this exhibition, the chair emerges as a complex artistic invention that embodies American ingenuity in design and reflects a variety of socio-cultural, economic and political values.
Encounters: Beth Edwards
April 9 – July 16, 2017
The latest exhibition in this long-standing showcase for outstanding regional contemporary art focuses on the surrealistic paintings of this celebrated Memphis artist. In her creative practice, Edwards approaches her recent subjects of enlarged flowers and animated landscapes from the viewpoint of a still life painter who has been long involved in the domestic realm and with common objects. Edwards has been particularly fascinated by the way in which certain toys exemplify both the animate and inanimate spheres of existence. Moreover, she is interested in the particular cultural connotations of toys, such as in what ways they imprint cultural perspectives upon children.
Our Living Past: A Platinum Portrait of Music Makers
April 23 – July 2, 2017
For 35 years, photographer Tim Duffy has immortalized Southern musical heroes and the world in which they live, not only through the photographs he takes, but also through his Music Maker Relief Foundation, which promotes and supports the enduring tradition of Southern roots music. Our Living Past celebrates this distinctive regional sound through 25 iconic images of living blues musicians, supplemented by an array of related musical instruments and ephemera. Duffy’s images are mad with the distinctive wet-plate collodion process, an early photographic method that includes tintypes. The images are printed using the platinum/palladium process, which provides the greatest tonal range of any printing method using chemical development.
For more information, visit the Huntsville Museum of Art website
Purdy Butterfly House
May 2017 – September 2017
This beautiful, soaring 9,000 sq. ft. natural stone and steel beam structure overlooking the entrance pond is home to thousands of native butterflies, tadpoles, frogs, button quail, turtles and other critters. Waterfall, ponds, streams, lush vegetation and flowering plants invite visitors to experience this varied and colorful collection of flora and fauna.
The Purdy Butterfly House is open May through September annually. Garden admission fees include entry into the Purdy Butterfly House.
For more information, visit the Huntsville Botanical Garden website
Historic Huntsville Depot – Downtown Huntsville
Friday, May 5 – Saturday, May 6, 2017
Is it possible to imagine a better summer night in Alabama than one spent at WhistleStop – a weekend filled with BBQ competitions and great music?
At WhistleStop Weekend, located on the grounds of the Historic Huntsville Depot, grill masters from across the region gather to compete in both amateur and professional divisions while visitors gather to enjoy the BBQ, wings and sides, vote in the People’s Choice Awards, take part in the Alabama Corn Hole Championship and, of course, listen to some of the best live headliners each night.
While the whole festival is kid-friendly, the Kid’s Zone in particular has tons of activities for little ones to enjoy and children aged 8 to 14 can participate in their own Kid’s Q cooking competition!
Best of all, the proceeds of WhistleStop benefit local education programs, including EarlyWorks Children’s Museum.
For more information, visit the Whistlestop Weekend’s website
“Video Games Live”
Mark C. Smith Concert Hall at Von Braun Center (TBEX host venue)
Saturday, May 6, 2017 (7:30pm)
Video Games Live is an immersive concert event featuring music from the most popular video games. The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and guests will perform along with exclusive video footage and music arrangements, synchronized lighting, solo performers, electronic percussionists, live action, and unique interactive segments to create an explosive entertainment experience.
If you or someone you know is into video games, you won’t want to miss this highly-acclaimed, one-of-a-kind concert—and yet Video Games Live is also a fantastic experience for non-gamers!
Video Games Live is created and produced by industry veteran and world-famous video game composer, Tommy Tallarico.
For more information, visit the Huntsville Symphonic Orchestra website
This is just the beginning! We hope these TBEXtras help get you started with your travel planning for TBEX North America 2017 in Huntsville, Alabama. Once again, we will continue to update this information as new events are added to the calendar. Remember, you can always stay on top of Huntsville happenings by visiting our website. Stay tuned at get ready to #iHeartHSV!