Photo by Larry Gay.
Moss Rock Festival
Children take part in activities at a previous Moss Rock Festival.
Walt Stricklin loves festivals. He loves the people he gets to meet. He loves the art.
But he loves the Moss Rock Festival especially, because when he’s there, he can show one of his pieces to someone, then point.
“And I can say walk about 200 yards in that direction, and you’re in the middle of what I’m showing you,” he said.
Stricklin, a Hoover artist who designs his photography into two-dimensional pieces he calls “scapes,” spent one day each week for a year at the 350-acre preserve accumulating a lot of his art.
“I took a year and challenged myself to go out every week to see how it changed,” he said. “It was incredible.”
During the Moss Rock Festival Nov. 7–8, Stricklin’s art will be on display on Artist Row, a city of white tents boasting thousands of pieces of art, many of which are inspired by nature or made from natural materials.
The eco-friendly festival draws about 15,000 visitors each year, and Jennifer Whisenant, president of the festival’s board of directors, said there are many reasons why.
“The whole event is just really unique,” she said. “Over the past 10 years, it has really grown and been a neat thing for our community. Each year we keep adding new components.”
The event’s offerings will include an Eco-District where visitors can find new eco-friendly ideas, products and companies. One new component will be displays by the Blazers BEST Robotics team of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s engineering department, who will demonstrate their inventions in an obstacle course.
“Students are going to be doing those demonstrations, and that’s going to be pretty cool,” Whisenant said.
Another new feature is that Hoover’s Tameron Honda and Tameron Hyundai dealership will also have green vehicles to look at, ride in and drive.
And as part of the +DESIGN area, a tiny house model will be on display to showcase compact living.
Stricklin said the eco focus of the event is one thing that makes it great.
“I love the inclusiveness of the festival,” he said. “It’s not just an art festival; it’s a green festival.”
But it’s something else too, Whisenant said. “It’s a fun, fun, fun event.”
She said participants always love the beer garden, which is set up to let visitors taste beer from 17 craft beer brewers, almost all from the local area and other places in Alabama.
A SmartLIVING Market will offer organic and locally made products, samples and food education. A Sweetery will showcase caterers from around the area with goods to sample and buy. The WonderKid Art Studios will guide children in fun, nature-related activities.
And as usual, the event isn’t just active for the kids.
Cahaba Cycles will host bike rides through the neighborhood Saturday at 10 a.m and 2 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. for visitors who bring or ride their bikes to The Preserve.
The Alabama Geocachers Association will have geocaching hunts at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Friends of Moss Rock Preserve will lead guided hikes at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. both days. The earlier one is an introduction to Moss Rock Preserve. The later is a 2-mile backcountry tour.
Admission to the festival is free. For more information, visit mossrockfestival.com.
Moss Rock Festival
- Nov. 7-8
- Moss Rock Preserve