Fill Your Calendar with a Variety of Amazing Gulf Shores Activities
2018 in Gulf Shores offers something for everyone and one-of-a-kind events that will earn a permanent spot on your calendar.
It takes something special to pull you away from the white-sand beaches and it happens in the form of festivals, plays, music, history, sports, the Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party, and the grandiose sight of 10,000 pounds of shrimp at the famous Annual National Shrimp Festival.
Here are some events we’re looking forward to this year:
Bring the whole family for a day packed with kid-friendly fun! The Orange Beach Seafood Festival has something everyone in the family can enjoy – seafood, arts and crafts vendors, music, a car show featuring antique classic and hot rod vehicles, and a
Kids Zone and children’s performance pavilion. The event is the primary fundraiser for the Orange Beach Sports Association, which supports youth sports in Orange Beach.
March 10 – 11
For over forty years, the Festival of Art has been a rite of spring! This free event celebrates an extraordinary amount of visual and fine arts and crafts, including work by glass artists, potters, painters, sculptors, watercolorists, textile artists, and wood artists. The event will also hold a kid’s art alley, a culinary arts court featuring local fare and a music and songwriter’s stage. Public parking is located at The Wharf in Orange Beach and shuttles will be provided for $2 each way. No public parking will be available on site.
The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show offers the largest in-water display of any boat show along the upper Gulf Coast. It will showcase the latest offerings from boat manufacturers and dealers throughout the Southeast.
In-water displays will allow prospective buyers to test drive the boat of their dreams before taking advantage of on-the-spot financing. Last year there were over $90 million in boats and marine products for display, including more than 135 in-water vessels and an additional 450-plus boats displayed on land.
Plan ahead for this usually sold-out spectacular of virtually every type of vessel from luxury yachts and sport fisherman to center consoles, cruisers, pontoons, and runabouts.
It isn’t just a visual feast for fisherman. Visitors can get their hands on the hottest marine electronics, fishing tackle, marine engines, and outdoor equipment as numerous exhibitors showcase the cutting edge in marine gear and personal watercraft.
The Flora-Bama’s Interstate Mullet Toss & Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party is legendary. Participants in a variety of age brackets throw a dead mullet over the state line of Florida and Alabama to see who gets the farthest. It’s no fish tale. Hotels book months in advance as people travel from all over the country to see this unique event.
The Interstate Mullet Toss is always held the last full weekend in April. Whether you are tossing or watching, this weekend-long party shouldn’t be missed!
May 4 – 5
Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a hot air balloon!
The Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival welcomes more than 30 hot air balloonists from across the country. Enjoy the floating works of art as they grace the skies of South Baldwin County on Friday and Saturday at dusk and dawn (balloons are not visible during the day).
Guests enjoy free, fun entertainment featuring something for every member of your family. Make sure to “catch” one of the shows by the Disc Connected K-9 World Famous Frisbee Dog Show. Crafters, artisans, and retailers provide plenty of options to make this a great time to not only look up, but look all around.
June 3 – 5
Think you are the “reel” deal? Prove it at the “funnest” fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast. The Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo is a multi-species, recreational, and competitive fishing tournament featuring 40 categories with 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place prize packages for each category. A portion of the FBFR ticket sales will be donated to Operation ReConnect – a nonprofit organization geared to providing combat veterans with well-deserved family vacations.
June 8 – June 10
Cheer on the Girls of Summer! USA Softball of Alabama swings its way through town to play for the youth national qualifier tournament.
6/19 – 6/23, 6/26 – 6/30, 7/3 – 7/7, 7/10 – 7/14, 7/17 – 7/21, 7/24 – 7/28
If you are looking for pure, unbridled love of the game turn off ESPN and check out the kids ranging from 7 to 14 years-old in the Global World Series. The best travel teams in the nation compete in a National Pastime on pristine diamonds.
If Shark Week is too low-energy or you want to do something to balance your binge-watching, join hundreds of runners for this 4-mile race. Each participant wears a flag football belt and during the beach portion of the race, “sharks” will try to steal the flags. Bite back with opportunities to recover stolen flags.
The Southern Tow Expo and Beach Bash is a combination trade show, training and business seminar where you can learn and grow all while having a great time at the beach. This show is designed to help improve your business, look at the newest innovations available, and complete important training. Highlights of the weekend include deep sea fishing with prizes for the Biggest Fish, Smallest fish, and Most Seasick and a Friday night Beach Bash.
September 7 – 8
Gulf Shores is bullish about big fun on the beach. Bring the family to the Annual Bulls on the Beach for two nights of action-packed bull riding. The high-energy, rock-and-roll rodeo will feature professional bull riders from across the Southeast. You will also have the chance to grab the (mechanical) bull by the horns! A portion of proceeds from this event will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
October 11 – 14
The Gulf of Mexico is known around the world for its seafood and this festival celebrates its delicious bounty. The famous National Shrimp Festival attracts over 300,000 people. It hosts an eclectic collection of musical entertainment, which fills the air with tunes daily.
The tasty crustaceans and their under-the-sea brethren are the highlights of the festival. Local and regional vendors line the boardwalk at the public beach with mouth-watering delights. Due to the generous sponsors Organized Seafood Association of Alabama, Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission, and Wind Creek Casino, 10,000 pounds of shrimp per day will be prepared by some of the area’s best chefs in their award-winning recipes and given away for people to sample throughout the event.
Paintings, sculpture, jewelry, and arts and crafts round out a must-do Gulf Shores staple with something for everyone!
November 7 – November 11
Do you spend more time watching the Food Network than cooking? Do you refer to celebrity chefs by their first name?
The World Food Championships is where you may not only find the next Rachel Ray, but you can smell the mouth-watering aromas and taste some of the creations. The World Food Championships is the largest competition in Food Sport, where grand champions of previous events convene for a chance at winning the ultimate food crown and a share of hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money. It is also the springboard for many up and coming culinary stars and home cooks. Since its debut, WFC has given birth to 30 TV food stars, awarded more than $1.5 million in prize money, garnered more than 5.7 billion media impressions, and connected 150+ food brands with food fans, food bloggers, and food media. Come check out the place that gave birth to “Food Sport” by providing a level playing field, a fair judging system, a creative culinary fest, and a process that allows the culinary elite to show their chops and earn the respect they deserve.