Dear TBEX: TBEXtras


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, good home-training and 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 Arts Festival

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! Arts Huntsville 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 will be held April 28, 29 and 30.

Panoply’s 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.




Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater Presents Pinocchio

Friday, April 28 – Sunday, April 30, 2017
Von Braun Center Playhouse
(TBEX host venue)

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:



Biergarten at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. beginning March 16, 2017, and through October, 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:


Maria Howard Weeden Exhibit

September 2016-September 5, 2017
The Burritt Mansion

Burritt on the Mountain is excited to once again showcase the life and work of Huntsville artist Maria Howard Weeden at the Burritt Mansion. Many of Miss Weeden’s stunning watercolor portraits will be on display, along with additional watercolor and oil paintings, pencil sketches, illuminated poems, her four published books and copies of her poems in the historic regional black dialect. Burritt is proud to hold the largest publicly owned collection of her paintings.

Admission to the mansion is included in the regular admission prices, ranging from $8 – $10. There is no admission charged for toddlers age 2 and under.




Huntsville Museum of Art

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:




Huntsville Botanical Garden’s Purdy Butterfly House

Purdy Butterfly House

May 2017 – September 2017

This beautiful, soaring 9000 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:


Neighborhood Earth 

9 – 5 PM
U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Neighborhood Earth transports visitors to the surface of our closest planetary neighbors with cutting-edge cinematic techniques and projection technologies. Using hands-on advanced technology, guests assemble rockets with 3D-printed parts, simulate the Orion Capsule’s reentry to Earth, discover the weight differences on other planets, and learn from interactive holograms. Neighborhood Earth, produced in conjunction with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Flying Fish Exhibits, incorporates artifacts from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center vaults to tell the stories behind mankind’s exploration of the universe, asking guests to question what the future of space exploration may hold for humanity.



WhistleStop Weekend

Friday, May 5-Saturday, May 6, 2017
Historic Huntsville Depot-Downtown Huntsville

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:




Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Presents Video Games Live

Saturday, May 6, 2017
7:30 P.M.
Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, Von Braun Center
(TBEX host venue)

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:


Clint Black Concert

Thursday, May 4, 2017
7:00 – 9 P.M.
Von Braun Center
(TBEX host venue)

See country music star Clint Black live in concert at the Von Braun Center.

To purchase tickets, click here.


These ARE the Droids You Are Looking For

hosted by HAL5

Thursday, May 4, 2017
7:00 – 8:30 P.M.
Straight to Ale Brands

Join HAL5 for a special presentation at a special location to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars. Wayne Neumaier of A7L Props will be presenting “These ARE the Droids You Are Looking For” in the former school gymnasium turned into a brewery in Straight to Ale at Campus 805.

Mr. Neumaier will bring his own creations, R2-D2 “Goddard” and BB-8 “Weir” for a special interactive presentation on the construction and operation of his droids. Enjoy an adult beverage (or not) while a master builder of props and costumes shows off some of his creations. Stick around after the talk for an intergalactic party to close out the night with cosplay, craft beer and live music by local nerd band Foot Pound Force. All ages are welcome, and May the 4th be with you!


Jim Parker’s Songwriters Series

Friday, May 5, 2017
5:00 – 6:30 P.M.
Von Braun Center

Jim Parker hosts the Songwriters Series featuring hit songwriters in the round at the Von Braun Center (VBC) in Huntsville, AL. Please check here for the latest schedule. For more info contact

WHEW! And that’s just the beginning! We hope this helps 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


Fleet Feet Sports Cinco De Mayo Fun Run

Friday, May 5, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Come enjoy a 3 or 5 mile fun run with Mexican food, refreshments afterwards, and a giveaway! All paces welcome.


Guided Monte Sano History Hike with Bruce Martin

Saturday, May 6, 2017
Monte Sano State Park

(9 miles / Difficult)

Take of tour of MANY historic Monte Sano sites with Bruce Martin. Hear about the Lily Pond, O’Shaugnessy home site, Chalybeate Springs, the CCC camp, the Tavern and Hotel Monte Sano, Cold Spring, Tollgate Road, the Monte Sano Railway, and end at the Land Trust’s Three Caves. Bring a sack lunch, water, camera, flashlight, and hiking sticks (if preferred.) State Park entry fees apply.

Directions:  Google Map: 5105 Nolen Avenue

Huntsville Botanical Gardens Butterfly Release

Saturday, May 6
10:30-11:30 AM or 1:00-2:00 PM
Anderson Education Center & Purdy Butterfly House

Help repopulate the Purdy Butterfly House by releasing live butterflies in the morning, afternoon, or both!  We’ll begin this program with a brief presentation in the Anderson Education Center classroom followed by time spent in the butterfly house enjoying an environmentally safe restoration of our indoor butterfly population!  This event will provide a memorable photogenic opportunity for all!
Member $5, Non-member $6.50, Under 3 $0

Matt Adams Master Illusionist


Sunday May 7, 2017
5:00 – 6:30 P.M.
Huntsville Botanical Gardens Grand Hall

Matt’s family-oriented illusion show called Connections has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people around the world!
Matt performs impossible levitations and predictions, mind reading with an animated drawing, and even an illusion that takes place within the hands of the audience members themselves! Garden Members can mingle with Matt and enjoy walk around magic prior to the show.
Adult tickets $20; Children tickets $10.


Treasure Hunt at Gold Mountain

May 11, 2017 – September 3, 2017
Burritt on the Mountain- The Historic Park

Stake your claim on all the fun! Hunt for treasure at this exciting, interactive adventure that comes to life on March 11. Experience the Alabama Gold Rush of 1829 as you “arrive” on the stagecoach, shop in the General Store for provisions, build a cabin out of child-size faux logs, pan for gold in the sluice, get hands-on experience with  daily chores, and much, much more. Clues are given along the way so you can find “gold nuggets” along with tons of fun. This adventure, geared for children ages 3 to 11, will provide hours of family fun and learning while presenting the rough and tumble life of a prospector and the early history of Alabama.

The Weeden House Museum Tours


May 1, 2017: 3:00-5:00p.m.
May 2, 2017: 9:30a.m.-4:30p.m.
May 3, 2017: 3:00-5:00p.m.
May 4, 2017: 12:00-3:00p.m.
May 6, 2017: 10:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

Bring your TBEX badge for a complimentary tour of the Weeden House Museum at any of the times listed above!





Which iHeartHsv blogger wrote this?

Leslie Walker

Leslie Walker, Certified Hospitality Specialist or CHSP, attended the University of Alabama-Huntsville as an electrical engineering major before beginning her career as a hotelier and has stayed in the hospitality industry ever since. She is a wife to her husband Steve and mother to two girls, Avery and Bailey. Keeping with family tradition, she currently resides in Huntsville. You can reach Leslie by phone at 256-551-2380, or by e-mail at



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