GULF SHORES, AL and ORANGE BEACH, AL--(Marketwired - February 05, 2014) - As spring fever sets in, Alabama's Gulf Coast will welcome a variety of family-friendly events from athletic competitions and boat shows to music, food and art festivals to satisfy visitor interests. Check out the following major events occurring from March through May 2014 along Alabama's 32 miles of white-sand beaches.
Get in touch with your inner artist at the Orange Beach Festival of Art. Held at the Coastal Arts Center at Orange Beach and Waterfront Park from March 8-9, festival goers will have the opportunity to celebrate visual, performing, music and culinary arts with more than 90 artists' work on display. This free festival will also include the Kid's Art Alley, live music and a culinary arts court showcasing local food. Public parking will be located at The Wharf, and shuttles will be provided for $2 each way. No parking will be available on site. For more information, visit www.orangebeachartsfestival.com.
The Wharf's C-Spire Wireless Concert Series -- which features performances in a 10,000-seat outdoor amphitheater in Orange Beach -- kicks off with back-to-back concerts on March 14 and 15 with Jason Aldean and special guests Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr. Tickets for the 2014 Night Train Tour range from $59.75 to $73.10. Due to popular demand, limited tickets are available. This concert serves as the kick-off for Concerts at the Coast, a Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism initiative to showcase the area's caliber of live music performances throughout the year along Alabama's beaches. To purchase tickets, go to www.amphitheateratthewharf.com.
The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show will take place from March 27-30 featuring more than $90 million in boats and marine products, including more than 125 wet slip boats and yachts and 250 trailerable boats on land. Other highlights include children's art classes led by a marine artist, a fashion show, exhibitor displays, seminars, live music and a special invitation only Thursday night event. Show hours vary per day, and admission is $7 per adult with children 12 and under admitted free. This event is pet-friendly. Visit www.wharfboatshow.com for more information.
Celebrate wellness by participating in The Color Run at The Wharf in Orange Beach on April 5. Deemed the "happiest 5K on the planet," The Color Run douses participants with colored cornstarch throughout this untimed event, creating a colorfully fun environment for individuals of any fitness level. To sign up or learn more, go to www.thecolorrun.com/orange-beach.
Avid birders will not want to miss the Hummer Bird Study Group's spring bird banding session
from April 5-13 at Fort Morgan State Historic Site. Alabama's Gulf Coast serves as a critical stopover point for migratory birds, and one of the hotspots for viewing various bird species is at Fort Morgan State Historic Site. The birding group mans two bird banding stations that open before dawn each day and close each afternoon, depending on the flow of birds. Birders are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, binoculars and a birding field guide to view and explore the spectacular wildlife. No pets are allowed; parking is limited and fees apply. For more information, go to www.hummingbirdsplus.org.
Step back in time during Fort Morgan State Historic Site's 7th Annual Confederate Garrison Living History Day
on April 12. Confederate historians, re-enactors and history buffs will gather for the continuation of the site's commemoration of the Civil War 150th anniversary as re-enactors portray the life of the garrison during the spring of 1864. Artillery and infantry demonstrations will occur throughout the day. Admission will be charged. Go to www.fortmorgan.org for more details.
Join Flora-Bama for the 18th Annual Mullet Man Triathlon on April 19. The triathlon consists of a 1/4-mile swim in the Gulf of Mexico, 17-mile bike segment and 4-mile run. Race divisions, separated into age categories of 39 and under and 40 and up, are as follows according to weigh-in at registration packet pick-up: Athena division for women weighing 145 pounds or more; Clydesdale division for men weighing 200 pounds or more; Super Clydesdale division for men weighing 225 pounds or more; Fat Tire division for men and women riding a Fat Tire or mountain bike; and First Timers division for men and women who are first time triathletes. Flora-Bama will host a post-race party complete with food, drinks and live music. For further information, contact Cheryl Lange at the Flora-Bama at 850-492-0611 or 251-980-5118 or go to www.florabama.com.
Race to the Gulf Shores Sportsplex for the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships from April 25-26. The SSAC is comprised of schools and universities in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee and is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) division I conference. Visit www.ssacsports.com for more information.
The 5th Annual Bama Coast Cruise, presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts, will take place at the Orange Beach Events Center at The Wharf from April 25-26. This free event will showcase beautifully restored classic cars along with a parade cruise, various exhibitors and vendors, door prizes, cash drawings and much more throughout the weekend. New in 2014 is a 60-foot drag race. For more information, visit www.bamacoastcruise.com.
The legendary Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast's Greatest Beach Party celebrates 30 years of fish flying through the air from April 25-27 at the Flora-Bama. With celebrity tossers at noon daily, the competition generates many good laughs for a good cause. A portion of the proceeds from each fish tossed will be donated to area youth charities, including a local Community Drug & Alcohol Council, Inc. program. Additionally, kick off the weekend early by participating in the Mullet Swing Golf Classic at Lost Key Golf Club on April 23 at 11 a.m. Learn more at www.florabama.com.
Another installment of the Concerts at the Coast program takes the stage on April 26 with Darius Rucker and special guests Eli Young Band and Corey Smith
performing. Held at The Wharf as part of its C-Spire Wireless Concert Series, tickets for the True Believers tour range from $29.50 to $53.50 and may be purchased at www.amphitheateratthewharf.com.
Serving up highly competitive action, the top female student-athletes from across the country will hit the white-sand courts at Gulf Shores Public Beach from May 2-4 for the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships. Camera crews from CBS Sports will be on hand to televise the action, which is free for spectators to witness first-hand. Hundreds of junior teams are also set to compete. Visit www.avca.org for all the details.
Meanwhile at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex, more than 1,500 high school athletes from across the state will be competing from May 2-3 in 17 events at the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSSA) State Track Championship for boys and girls. Visit www.ahsaa.com for more information.
Refuel a competitive spirit at the LA Gumbo Festival set for May 8-11 at The Wharf in Orange Beach. Watch as the team -- led by University of Alabama and Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower -- attempts to surpass its Guinness Book of World record for the largest pot of gumbo. Also, see which team, ranging from individuals with family recipes to professional chefs, cooks up the best gumbo goodness. Discover more about the weekend festivities or enter the competition at www.gumboforlife.com.
Refresh your palette at the Waves of Wine Festival on May 10. Held at Caribe The Resort, the afternoon features more than 170 wines, hors d'oeuvres from local restaurants, three live bands, hourly wine cruises around the bay and custom wine glasses and bags for festival goers. Savor the details at www.wavesofwine.com.
Reel in a monster good time at the Orange Beach Billfish Classic at The Wharf May 14-18. As the first event of the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Series, the event is also a vital fundraiser for the Billfish Foundation and the Coastal Conservation Association raising more than $500,000 for conservation efforts. Learn more at www.orangebeachbillfishclassic.com.
Approximately 35,000 music fans will rock to the sounds of headliners The Black Keys, The Killers, Jack Johnson and a reunited Outkast for the 5th Annual Hangout Music Festival
from May 16-18. New to this year's event is a sixth stage, redesigned Alabama Gulf Seafood Outdoor Courtyard, fashion village of pop-up boutiques and beachside wedding chapel. Weekend tickets retail for $229 while VIP and Super VIP tickets offer swimming pool views of the main stage or a 24/7 concierge, respectively. Tickets and all details may be found at www.hangoutmusicfest.com.
Keep the momentum going by attending the 2014 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Outdoor Track & Field National Championships from May 22-24 at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex. Individual qualifiers from NAIA schools will compete in various events from runs and relays to pole vaults and hammer throws. Jump to www.naia.org for complete details.
Anglers will take to the Gulf waters for the 37th Annual Mobile Big Game Fishing Club (MBGFC) Memorial Day Tournament May 23-26. Headquartered at Orange Beach Marina, tournament registration is $250 per angler with at least four anglers in a boat more than 32 feet and three anglers for those vessels 32 feet and under. The weekend features a dinner and kick-off party presented by Gulf Coast Hatteras, weigh-ins on Saturday and Sunday from 5-8 p.m. and a Monday morning championship breakfast. Learn more or register at www.mbgfc.com.
Come sail away with the legendary rock recording artists Foreigner, Styx and special guest Don Felder on May 25 at 7 p.m. at The Wharf during its C-Spire Wireless Concert Series. Tickets for the Soundtrack of Summer Tour range from $20 to $59.50 and special gold circle tickets for $99.50. To purchase tickets for this Concerts at the Coast event, go to www.amphitheateratthewharf.com.
Join historical interpreters dressed in period United States Army uniforms as they lead special guided tours during Fort Morgan's Memorial Day Tribute, which will be May 26. Additional activities include artillery, small arms and other demonstrations that show all that military garrisons have faced at Fort Morgan. Also, learn more about this fort as it approaches its 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay in August. Admission will be charged. Discover more at www.fortmorgan.org.
Celebrate the Alabama Park System's 75th anniversary at the Gulf State Park Memorial Day Luau
on May 26. The beachside luau will also feature activities for kids, nature programs and food. Visit www.alapark.com/GulfState for additional information.
For more information on this family beach destination and to view a full schedule of events, visit www.gulfshores.com or www.orangebeach.com.
The Color Run, deemed the "happiest 5K on the planet," takes place on April 5, 2014 at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Ala. for a second year.
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism
Caption: The Orange Beach Events Center at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Ala. is set to host the 5th Annual Bama Coast Cruise, presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts, from April 25-26, 2014.
Credit: Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism
Caption: Approximately 35,000 music fans will rock to the sounds of headliners The Black Keys, The Killers, Jack Johnson and a reunited Outkast for the 5th Annual Hangout Music Festival from May 16-18, 2104 in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Credit: Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism
About Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism:
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism serves as the official destination marketing organization for the Cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in addition to the unincorporated area of Fort Morgan. To learn more about the whole different state of discovery on Alabama's 32 miles of white-sand, visit either www.gulfshores.com or www.orangebeach.com. This convention and visitors bureau is an accredited Destination Marketing Organization (2012-2016) and is an official corporate sponsor of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
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