Fall is for Festivals!

Festival Season Blog Graphic

Festival Season is Almost Here!

The fall season will be here before we know it and it’s one of our area’s best-kept secrets. The crowds are gone, the weather is cooler and the fun festivities abound! Here are a few of our favorite events for Fall 2019!


September 7th
Brett/Robinson Triathlon

Enjoy a beautiful gulf swim and a fast, flat bike and run course at a great venue! The Brett-Robinson Alabama Coastal Triathlon and it’s little sister, the Coastal “Tri-It-On” Triathlon, will be sponsored by Brett-Robinson and hosted by The Hangout for the 13th time in 2019. Enjoy a perfect race setting with the Gulf of Mexico, main staging area, finish line, packet pick up, pre-race dinner and post-race party all in one spot, at The Hangout! It’s a 1950’s beachside hangout brought back to life in the same location.

37023677872_e1d7f9e2d1_zOctober 2-5
Alabama Coastal BirdFest

Always the first full weekend of October, birders know the Alabama Gulf Coast is a prime spot to see birds during the fall migration, and since 2004, BirdFest has attracted visitors from more than 27 states and Canada—many returning multiple times.

Join us on Oct. 2 – 5 for the 16th annual Alabama Coastal BirdFest, a birding and nature festival, and experience many opportunities to see birds, alligators, wildflowers, dolphins, and other wildlife, and learn about their habitats! Plus, we will offer workshops at 5 Rivers Delta Center.

BirdFest showcases great bird-and nature-watching spots all around Baldwin and Mobile counties, including Fort Morgan, Dauphin Island, Weeks Bay, Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Bayou La Batre, Forever Wild Grand Bay Savanna, Gulf Shores and more. BirdFest is a great adventure no matter your level of birding experience.

The Bird & Conservation Expo is our free, family-friendly event that takes place at the Halstead Amphitheater on the grounds of Coastal Alabama Community College (formerly Faulkner) in downtown Fairhope, with exhibits, a raptor show, snake show, kids’ activities, and more.

BirdFest Trip Schedule will be available July 1
Registration will open August 12 at 9 am
Registration will close September 21 at 4 pm

37925088981_69e6e32549_zOctober 10-13
Annual National Shrimp Festival

The 48th Annual National Shrimp Festival will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10. Questions related to the festival should be addressed to the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber office at 251-968-6904 or by going to www.myshrimpfest.com.

Savor fresh from the Gulf seafood at the 48th Annual National Shrimp Festival during this four-day event from October 10 – 13 that attracts over 300,000 people. This year the festival will play host to more than 100 hours of musical entertainment featuring a lineup of national, regional and local acts. There will be musical acts to please all palates, including blues, Motown, southern rock, jazz, zydeco, and country. The music plays daily Thursday through Sunday.

Food is another highlight of the festival with 50 local and regional vendors lining 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 at different tasting times that will be posted on the outside of the sponsor tent.

Activities this year include Second Annual Little Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant and Singing for Scholarships.

Second Annual Little Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant: each age group will have a crowned queen, 1st runner-up, and a three-princess court that will be introduced and reign at the 48th Annual National Shrimp Festival’s Coastal Alabama Business Chamber Stage on Saturday, October 12, 2019.

Singing for Scholarships will be a competition where high school singers from seven local schools will compete in elimination rounds to find out who will receive scholarships. Scholarships will be awarded to the top three contestants.

Families can enter the Annual Sand Sculpture Contest on Saturday. Kids can take part in a myriad of activities in the newly relocated Children’s Activity Village, including face-painting, karaoke and much more.

Runners and walkers can enter the 10K and 5K races to help work off some of the great food at the festival. All net proceeds of the Run will be donated to Coastal Baldwin Education Enrichment, benefiting the local Gulf Shores and Orange Beach public schools.

Art lovers will have almost 200 booths of fine art and arts and crafts vendors from which to choose. Car lovers will have a chance to preview many of the new Chevrolet models that will be on display.

38213881506_f28145f6f7_zNovember 1-2
The Hangout Annual Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend

Craft Beer Festival will be held Friday, November 1 from 6 -11 p.m. Enjoy tastings of dozens of craft beers and live music. The all-inclusive ticket includes samples from all of our craft brewers and live entertainment all night long. Admission is included with VIP tickets. Taste beers from over 60 beers from over 30 breweries. Tickets are available for the advance price of $40. Your ticket includes specialty beers from all of our craft brewers, live music and our Brew B’que featuring a great lineup of chefs cooking up some of the best BBQ you’ve ever tasted!

At the Oyster Cook-Off, sample oysters from dozens of chefs and restaurants from across the country. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from the best with cooking demonstrations and workshops throughout the day. Tasting tickets are available for purchase to use in exchange for oysters during the Oyster Cook-Off. Pre-sale tasting ticket booklets are $30 for 15 tickets. Tasting tickets do not include admission. Tasting tickets cannot be used to purchase beverages or for purchases at The Hangout Restaurant. Unused tickets have no cash value. Cook-Off begins at 11 a.m.

Don’t miss your chance to take part in the oyster shucking contest. Plus, cheer on contestants during our Bloody Mary Invitational. Admission is $10, children 12 and under are free. Tasting tickets will be available for purchase to sample oysters. Pre-sale tasting ticket booklets are $30 for 15 tickets. Tasting tickets do not include admission.

Best Tasting Tailgate: don’t miss a minute of the gridiron action. Watch your favorite team in one of our sports viewing lounges.

Demos and Workshops learn from nationally recognized chefs performing demos and workshops throughout the weekend. The Southeast’s hottest chefs will compete in three categories for the best oyster, and you will have the chance to taste them all. Included with Cook-Off admission.

North American Oyster Showcase stop by the North American Oyster Bar to find your favorite oyster. Taste fresh varieties flown in from seven regions: the Pacific Northwest, New England, the Maritimes, British Columbia, the Mid-Atlantic, Baja Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico.

The Cook-Off isn’t only about oysters. Head over to the main stage for live music from throughout the day, Saturday, November 2. The best part? These concerts are included with your Cook-Off admission.

Photo Credit: FloraBama.com

Photo Credit: FloraBama.com

November 7-17
Frank Brown Songwriters Festival

This annual songwriters and listeners event runs from November 7 – 17, 2019 across multiple venues at different times. To be sure you don’t miss one of your favorites, please be sure to research venues and times at the event website.
Festival attendees enjoy an up-close and personal concert experience and are often able to learn the stories behind the songs as told by the original author. Venues of all kinds welcome the nearly 200 songwriters that come from around the country and around the world.

The festival is dedicated to the late Frank Brown, who was night watchman at the Flora-Bama for 28 years, and whose moral values, integrity, and strength of character still endure. During this festival, Grammy Award-winning songwriters and the up and coming stars of tomorrow come into the spotlight to perform original songs in multiple locations in beautiful Perdido Key and Pensacola, Florida and Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Whether you are looking for a “listening room” experience, a pleasant dinner and music venue, a family-friendly musical adventure or a gritty roadhouse, FBISF has a place for you. Most venues are free to attend; a few charge a modest cover at the door. The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival has consistently been named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society.

If you are planning to stay with us during this time, keep in mind the best dates to book to save a little dough. Our Beach Budget Dates are August 10th – 29th and September 2nd – October 4th. Winter rates start on October 5th. You’ll also want to check out our specials page under Hot Deals! We look forward to seeing you this fall!