18 New Reasons to Love MGM

18 things that give you lots to look forward to in Montgomery this year.

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New Year, New MGM? This list of 18 new openings, initiatives, and events gives us lots to look forward to this year!

In January 2018, digitally savvy travelers will be able to hop online to book a stay in the home of literary legends F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Located on the site of the F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum in historic Old Cloverdale, an AirbnB has been established where lovers of literature and the jazz age can unplug. Photos by Jonathon Kohn.

 

Since Alabama is home to the original Mardi Gras, it’s only fitting that the Capital City get the party started with a block party featuring Rebirth Brass Band, to kick off the season! Grab your beads and your appetite for the annual Cajun cook-off from noon – 2 benefiting Valiant Cross School. Get tickets and more info here.

Blount Cultural Park is the most picturesque of places to appreciate spectacular art from a show at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to world class works of art at The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art. In 2018, a sculpture garden will create an entirely new way to take in the scenery, featuring a design by Barganier Davis Sims Architects Associated and will feature both changing exhibitions of sculpture by contemporary artists from around the Southeast and the United States, as well as carefully chosen pieces that will relate to the museum’s impressive permanent collection of American art. The space will also allow for outdoor studio space, food service, and specialized event areas. Keep an eye on their web site and Facebook page for an opening date.

It’s finally time to get your hands on the newest animal encounter at the Montgomery Zoo! This year the highly anticipated Sting Ray Bay opens for eager kiddos to get their hands wet and learn about these fascinating creatures!

The craft beer community will get a new spot to feed their craving for hand crafted local beer and a tasty slice when Common Bond and their house-mates at Bibb Street Pizza open this year. A slice off the old pie, the pizza spot comes via the well-loved creators of Little Italy in Auburn, and will be opening in a matter of weeks, with the brewery expected shortly after. Read the latest update from the Montgomery Advertiser to be in the know.

We got a preview of the newly transformed 1920s era Kress Department Store at the holiday pop up, but expect to see the doors officially swing open with the first tenants: Prevail Union Montgomery Coffee shop, The Chop Shop Barbers and More Than Tours. Stay tuned for future block parties and innovative activations of the street as the year continues. http://kressondexter.com/

The former Regions Bank building in historic Cloverdale is being converted into Vintage Café, with an opening scheduled for early 2018. With a space designed by Tom Blount, who helped create Alabama Shakespeare Festival, this neighborhood café will be open daily from 7AM – 5PM, offering indoor/outdoor seating, a drive-thru and walk-up window for both specialty coffee, tea and a variety of food choices. The team behind the cafe, Vintage Hospitality Group is made up of Owner Jud Blount, Executive Chef Eric Rivera, and General Manager Bryan Wooden, who combined have 45 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry and are known for their flag ship restaurant Vintage Year located across the street.

This annual race updated their appeal a few years ago, focusing on giving more bang for the buck with some truly awesome swag. This half marathon and 5K takes runners through some of Montgomery’s most beautiful neighborhoods and past many of the city’s most famous landmarks. Featuring live entertainment for both racers and supporters, the Montgomery Half Marathon is one of the top road races in the South. Register today!

 

Once a farmer’s field where the Wright Brothers created the first commercial Flight School, this vital Air Force Base is place where the thought leaders of the United States Air Force and international officers come to learn, exchange ideas and build the future of Air Power. Maxwell Air Force base will celebrate 100 years in Montgomery this summer with a huge family friendly block party celebration inviting all members of the community to celebrate and honor this special history in Montgomery.

 

Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays, my friend! This celebration of the most beloved of street food brings together a wide assortment of tacos from the state’s favorite local taco joints, restaurants and food trucks, along with plenty of refreshing beer and margaritas to go with. The event is held at “The Yards at Western Rail” a 40-acre venue in a reclaimed train shed and yard and easily one of the most Instagram-able events of the year! For more information, follow Lightning Line on Facebook.

 

Since 2006 this event has welcomed book lovers to Alabama’s premier literary event. Thousands of people gather for author readings, book signings, writing workshops and more all in the picturesque setting of Old Alabama Town. Find all the authors and special events as they are announced on their web site and Facebook page.

Justice for All – the Legacy Museum & National Memorial for Peace and Justice – Opens April 28, 2018
The memorial, located on a six acre park, is a sacred space for reflection on racial terrorism in America, and the museum, located close by, will use interactive media, sculpture, film, and exhibits to immerse and educate visitors. Reported on by the likes of The New York Times, The Washington Post, Esquire, and The New Yorker, these two incredibly powerful new experiences will be open to the public for the very first time and are expected to draw thousands for the opening as well as for years to come. Ticket information here.

Join the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra as they kick-off the summer with the Jubilee Pops Concert. This outdoor concert takes place at the Alabama Archives and History Building Lawn in Downtown Montgomery, Alabama and is free and family friendly.

Flying High – Direct Flights from MGM to DCA Begin June 7

Cash in those travel points and book your seat now for a quick hop to the Nation’s Capital! This brand new flight provides an easier, faster trip for the large number of business travelers coming and going to DC from Montgomery, and comes just in time for that summer vacation with the kids! Book your flight and #flymgm

 

Coinciding with Alabama Restaurant week, this culinary celebration gives visitors the opportunity to discover new restaurants, dishes and drinks. Featuring amazing deals at some of Montgomery’s best restaurants. For more information, follow the EatMGM Facebook page or go to www.eatmgm.com 

 

Summer will be drifting away, but eager paddlers won’t take that sitting down! The second annual Gun Island Chute Stand Up Paddle Race will bring some very balanced athletes to the Alabama River in a new addition to the beloved Dragon Boat Festival weekend. Thousands will browse  goods from local exhibitors and artists and enjoy live music and food from local vendors. Get all the details here.

Stargaze Under a Symphony of Sound – Broadway Under the Stars – September 2018 


One of the signature signs of fall in Montgomery, this annual outdoor pops concert from the Montgomery Symphony is held lakeside at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Enjoy Broadway classics and relax on blankets and lawn chairs while you nosh on a picnic.


Over 100 wineries offer tastings, making the most of Montgomery’s beautiful riverfront park on an early fall afternoon. The event is made complete with live music, food vendors, and discounts on on-site wine purchases. Follow Montgomery’s Events Department on Facebook to find out the 2018 date and ticket info.

And one to grow on…
Power Player: TechMGM – Montgomery’s Technology Initiative

Montgomery’s technology economic development strategy hit some major benchmarks in 2017, from the 100 Gig upgrade of the Montgomery Internet Exchange, to the opening of CoWerx 46 tech co-working and training space, to the first InnovateAFITC Hackathon with the Air Force. The December announcement of an Innovation Center in partnership with the Air Force positions the city to accelerate the strategy, so keep an eye out for more news on this throughout the year. Techmgm.com is a great place to go for the latest in technology resources and news for Montgomery. 

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