Southern Makers 2017 found us in a new city, a new venue, and a few new additions to our celebration! Despite storms earlier in the week and high temperatures, the weather held out for us all weekend and the viaduct at Sloss Furnaces was the perfect retreat from the mid day heat.
The festivities got underway Friday night at Pepper Place Market with a one-of-a-kind dining experience featuring the culinary delights of 5 southern chefs and special guests Natalie Chanin and Mike Wolfe. The food and drinks were delicious and the company divine! The dinner was a perfect introduction to the weekend festivities at Sloss.
Attendees lined up early outside the 19 feet tall x 32 inch wide custom made, salvaged wood entrance. The gates opened at noon and the crowd poured in, ready to enjoy the offerings of around 100 makers. Event goers were able to sample goods, participate in demonstrations, and interact with some of the most talented artists and makers from throughout the state of Alabama. Maker booths and tents were lined up both sides the length of the viaduct. One end of the viaduct supported one of this year’s new features, a craft beer garden, while the other end was home to live musical performances as bands took to the makeshift stage to entertain the crowd.
Another new feature this year was the addition of graffiti artist Moses Pressnell. Moses painted the side of this trailer Saturday and Sunday during Southern Makers. This beautiful work of art is titled “Fly First”. You can follow Moses and see more of his incredible art on Facebook at facebook.com/mosespressnellart.
The other new addition was the Urban Arts Dance Competition and Demonstration sponsored by Alabama Dance Nation. Watching the highly talented dancers battle it out for the big prize was highly entertaining! And… we can’t forget about the concert Saturday night at Avondale Brewery by Single Lock recording artists including John Paul White and Mia Dyson.
Coming through a jam packed weekend, we have to take this opportunity to say a heart felt THANK YOU!! There is no way we can name everyone by name without leaving someone out, as it took a countless number of people to pull off an event of this magnitude. Every single person who played a part in this event, large or small, was needed and appreciated. Our thanks goes out to all of the Makers, Sponsors, those who have worked tirelessly over the past year to help plan every aspect of this event, the Southern Makers and Southern Accents Team, our venues; Sloss Furnaces, Pepper Place Market and Avondale Brewery, the Volunteers, the Chefs, Brewers, the Security and those involved from the City of Birmingham who helped make this happen, and of course our media sponsor Garden & Gun Magazine. Most importantly, we want to thank the attendees! Without you, all the effort would be in vain. We realize your time is precious and we appreciate you choosing to spend some of it with us!
We’ll be posting photos on our social media accounts in the coming days so keep watch! We also want to see YOUR photos! Please post your photos from this past weekend and tag us with #southernmakers2017 or @southernmakers.
The demonstrations throughout the weekend were a huge success! Casting artists from Sloss Furnaces, pizza making with Bill St. John and broom making with George Jones were but a few of the crowd pleasing demonstrations!
The VIP lounge was hopping all weekend as VIP ticket holders were treated to culinary delights and refreshing drinks in the decked out air conditioned tent!
The Pine Hill Haints returned this year, along with other musical guests, to entertain the crowds.
The Beer Garden was a popular new feature as craft beers from over a dozen Alabama brewers were offered throughout the weekend.
Happy faces from makers and guests alike were common under the Sloss Furnaces viaduct! We hope to see you all again next year!!