Each January, we get to do one of our favorite things all year long: partner with al.com/Huntsville Times on the Downtown Huntsville Awards featuring Downtown Project of the Year and Event of the Year. Since we started the collaboration five years ago, the competition has become stronger and stronger as more new projects and events find their way to the city center each year.
Past award winners have included some of the most dynamic projects and most unique events in the Southeast which is not a surprise because Downtown Huntsville draws regional quality investment and ideas throughout the year. This year is no exception with a great roster of event and project nominees. Let’s take a quick look at each one.
Project of the Year Nominations
AC Hotel by Marriott
As the first piece of the $100 million plus City Centre at Big Spring development, the AC Hotel beautifully frames the southwest corner of Big Spring Park. The Downtown Huntsville AC Hotel is also the first AC opened in the state. The sleek new concept offers a new type of lodging in the market and will also include iconic food and beverage options overlooking Big Spring Park.
The Martin Bar & Bistro
Located in the heart of Downtown, The Martin offers amazing food and beverage with an equally great view of Washington Street. The open-air, second floor design uses garage doors and other unique design elements to bring a great new place to gather in the city center.
Relocating to Northside Square, Domaine South has expanded to offer fantastic bistro food in addition to its stellar collection of retail wine as well as wine and craft beer by the glass. Add in one of the coziest patios in Downtown and its easy to see why Domaine South has become a great new destination on the Downtown Square.
Located less than a mile from the Von Braun Center, InnerSpace is a family-owned brewery just east of Campus No. 805. It’s galactically themed beers and interior design combine to create an easy-going atmosphere with a geeky-chic vibe. And, of course, the beer tastes (inter)stellar!
In Bloom Downtown
Expanding from their 5 Points location, In Bloom Downtown anchors the corner shop at Clinton Row with beautiful flowers and an expansive gift and décor selection. Focusing on unique and often local items, In Bloom Downtown provides one of the most interesting shopping experiences in the city center.
Event of the Year Nominations
Downtown’s fast-growing bicycle culture is the big beneficiary of the Tweed Ride each November. The slow ride event includes a variety of stops at local businesses for themed experiences such as afternoon tea. While not mandatory, riders are also encouraged to dress stylishly for one of the most eclectic experiences in Downtown Huntsville.
Tangled String Fest
The former Spring Fest event was relocated, rebranded, and reconceived as Tangled String Fest in Big Spring Park East. The outdoor music event features a wide variety of music types as the collaboration between Tangled String Studio and Yellowhammer Brewery re-introduced a live music festival to the heart of Downtown.
The city center was aglow with holiday floats and parade participants as the collaboration between 96.9 and the Von Braun Center provided Downtown guests with a happy holiday parade. Winding past holiday features like Skating in the Park and Tinsel Trail, the Downtown Christmas Parade is the only nighttime parade in the Rocket City which only enhances the event’s festive lights.
Downtown is the epicenter of the Huntsville craft beer scene with the Downtown Craft Beer Trail and many other local craft beer experiences. One of the most popular has become the Von Brewski beer festival at the Von Braun Center. This winter brew festival features a large collection of beer and other food and beverage with the big benefit of being indoors where the weather is always 75 degrees and Sunny in the VBC’s South Hall.
Hunt + Gather
The 2nd Annual Hunt + Gather saw the return of one of the state’s most interesting artisan gatherings. With an emphasis on unique maker wares and selections, Hunt + Gather has become a Downtown destination for artisans from throughout the region.
Microwave Dave Day
Named after local music icon Microwave Dave, the Sunday afternoon and evening event brought a fun festival experience to Washington Street in June. With a full slate of talented musicians, the event also raised money for the great work being done by the Microwave Dave Foundation.
As you can see, the nominees all enhance the overall Downtown experience. If you’d like to learn more, visit our friends over at al.com to vote, or join us at the 2019 DHI Annual Meeting and Downtown Awards by purchasing tickets here: downtownhuntsville.eventbrite.com