Busy at the Beach | The Gulf Coast Shines With Year Round Festivals and Attractions

The Gulf Coast is the host with the most, year round. Check out these exciting festivals and get-togethers for all ages.

World Food Championships

Photo courtesy of the Gulf Shores CVB

LuLu’s Mardi Gras Celebration and Boat Parade, Fat Tuesday (February), www.lulubuffett.com
A colorful family-friendly boat parade begins with a day of costume and music on the water at LuLu’s.

Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party, last full weekend in April, www.florabama.com
An excuse to party on the beach at the Flora-Bama means throwing a dead fish across state lines for charity. The Gulf’s biggest event!

Hangout Music Festival May 19-21, 2017 www.hangoutmusicfest.com
Listening to your favorite bands with your toes in the sand is what Hangout is all about. This massive music festival on the beach features dozens of top acts in the lineup every year.

Endangered sea turtles hatching season, May to October, www.alabamaseaturtles.com
The Gulf hosts nesting grounds for three species of sea turtle found only here. Volunteer with Share the Beach to help the little ones thrive in this sensitive ecosystem.

Alabama Coastal Birdfest, October, www.alabamacoastalbirdfest.com
Take part in a variety of birding excursions and educational outings throughout the premier birdwatching areas of the Gulf Coast.

Annual National Shrimp Festival, second full weekend in October, www.myshrimpfest.com
300 vendors, music, and fresh Gulf shrimp prepared anyway you can think of make this a can’t miss festival.

Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival, Nov. 4-12, 2017, www.frankbrownsongwriters.com This music event is headquartered at the Flora-Bama with nearly 200 renowned songwriters performing in live music hotspots from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to neighboring Perdido Key and Pensacola, FL. The intimate shows allow for stories behind the songs to be told by the songwriters themselves.

World Food Championships Nov. 8-14, 2017 www.worldfoodchampionships.com
The largest competition in food sport, where finalists gather in Orange Beach to compete for the ultimate food crown and a share of $300,000. Gather to watch the competition and eat from numerous food trucks as well as VIP seated areas.

Coastal Christmas event series, beginning Thanksgiving www.alabamacoastalchristmas.com
Christmas is huge in Alabama, and the Gulf Coast is no exception. Don’t miss Winter at the Wharf, the Merry Market, the annual lighted boat parade, the Gulf Shores Christmas Parade and Beach Celebration, and the Santa Drop at Flora-Bama, where St. Nick skydives down to the beach for photos, food, holiday treats and Christmas carols.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for RTX Traveler Magazine, based in Asheville, NC. His favorite RTX destinations are on the beach: Orange Beach, Alabama, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. .

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