Let the good times roll with spring events on Alabama’s beaches

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Mardi Gras parades kick off event lineup from February through May

GULF SHORES AND ORANGE BEACH, ALA. – Mardi Gras, which originated across Mobile Bay in Mobile, Alabama, takes on a family-friendly vibe in Alabama’s beach destination as the Carnival season kicks off a dynamic spring event lineup. The following major events take place in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach from late February through May 2017:

Mystical Order of Mirams Mardi Gras Parade
Date: Feb. 24
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Orange Beach; begins on Perdido Beach Boulevard at Wintzell’s Oyster House (24131 Perdido Beach Blvd.) and ends at Highway 161

Mystics of Pleasure Mardi Gras Parade
Date: Feb. 25
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Orange Beach; begins at Wintzell’s Oyster House (24131 Perdido Beach Blvd.) and ends at Perdido Dunes (27070 Perdido Beach Blvd.)

The Wharf Kid & Pet Mardi Gras Parade
Date: Feb. 27
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: The Wharf at Palm Plaza (23101 Canal Road, Orange Beach)

The Wharf Main Street Mardi Gras Float Parade
Date: Feb. 27
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: The Wharf (23101 Canal Road, Orange Beach)

Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade

Date: Feb. 28
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Begins on Highway 59 at Clubhouse Drive and ends at the Gulf Shores Public Beach

Orange Beach Mardi Gras Parade
Date: Feb. 28
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Begins on Perdido Beach Boulevard at Wintzell’s Oyster House (24131 Perdido Beach Blvd.) and ends at Highway 161

LuLu’s Mardi Gras Boat Parade

Date: Feb. 28
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Begins on the Intracoastal Waterway at The Wharf (23101 Canal Road, Orange Beach) and ends at LuLu’s (200 E. 25th Ave., Gulf Shores)

Ballyhoo
Date: March 4
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Waterway Village (225 East 24th Ave., Gulf Shores)
Website: GulfCoastArtsAlliance.com
Phone: 251-948-2627
Admission: Free
Details: Featuring fine art, live music, performing arts, petting zoo, local cuisine and more in Gulf Shores’ entertainment district

Festival of Art
Date: March 11-12
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Coastal Arts Center (26389 Canal Road, Orange Beach)
Website: OrangeBeachArtsFestival.com
Phone: 251-981-2787
Admission: Free
Details: More than 100 artists will present a variety of mediums during this juried art festival; event will also feature musical entertainment, live art demonstrations, kids art alley, food trucks and more; public parking will be located at The Wharf (23101 Canal Road, Orange Beach) with a shuttle running for $5 per person for all day service

C Spire Concert Series presents: Luke Bryan with Brett Eldredge and Brett Young
Date: March 17-18
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: The Amphitheater at The Wharf (23325 Amphitheater Drive, Orange Beach)
Website: ALWharf.com/Amphitheater.php
Phone: 800-745-3000
Admission: $39.75-$79.75
Details: “Kick the Dust Up” with Luke Bryan as he presents the “Kill the Lights” tour with special guests Brett Eldredge and Brett Young

The Wharf Boat & Yacht Show

Date: March 23-26
Time: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: The Wharf (23101 Canal Road, Orange Beach)
Website: WharfBoatShow.com
Phone: 850-348-1498
Admission: $10 for adults; free for children 12 and under
Details: Largest in-water boat show display along the upper Gulf Coast showcasing the latest offerings from Southeast boat manufacturers and dealers, including approximately 135 in-water vessels, more than 450 trailered boats on land as well as the hottest marine electronics, fishing tackle, engines and outdoor equipment

The Original German Sausage Festival
Date: March 25
Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Elberta Town Park (13052 Main St., Elberta)
Website: ElbertaFire.com/Sausage-Festival
Email: 251-986-5805
Admission: Free
Details: German music, traditional German food (including 7,000 pounds of secret recipe sausage) and approximately 250 arts and crafts vendors; benefiting the Town of Elberta Fire Department

Spring Garrison Living History Day
Date: April 8
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Fort Morgan State Historic Site (110 State Highway 180, Gulf Shores)
Website: Fort-Morgan.org
Phone: 251-540-7127
Admission: $7 for adults; $5 for seniors (65 and up); $5 for students (over 12); $4 for children (6-12); free for children under 6 and active military or veterans with military ID; $18 for a family of four
Details: Historical interpreters will demonstrate drills troops would have practiced in 1861 during the Civil War; infantry and artillery demonstrations will take place throughout the day

Waterway Village Zydeco & Crawfish Festival
Date: April 15
Time: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: Waterway Village (225 E. 24th Ave., Gulf Shores)
Website: GulfCoastArtsAlliance.com/Zydeco-and-Crawfish-Festival
Phone: 251-968-1172    
Admission: Free for festival
Details: Devour lip-smacking crawfish while dancing along with some of the South’s best zydeco bands and exploring dozens of arts and crafts vendors; children’s activities, crawfish races, 80-foot shrimp boat, 5K and 1-mile fun run and more

Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party
Date: April 28-30
Location: Flora-Bama (17401 Perdido Key Drive, Pensacola)
Website: FloraBama.com
Phone: 850-492-0611
Admission: $15 to toss mullet (includes t-shirt); cover is $10 for adults 21 and up and $15 for ages 13-20 (only 21 and up after 6 p.m.)
Details: Mullet Toss competition entails tossing a mullet (fish) from a 10-foot circle from Florida into Alabama; multiple age categories for children and adults; celebrities tossing at noon each day; live music, food and other fun activities; benefiting local youth charities, including the local school education and prevention program from the Community Drug & Alcohol Council, Inc.

Bama Coast Cruise

Date: April 28-29
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: The Wharf (23101 Canal Road, Orange Beach)
Website: BamaCoastCruise.com
Phone: 251-224-1000
Admission: Free
Details: Classic cars lining Main Street at The Wharf with vendors, music, door prizes, cash drawings, grand prize giveaway car and more

Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival

Date: May 5-6
Time: 2-10 p.m.
Location: 18507 U.S. 98, Foley
Website: GulfCoastBalloonFestival.com
Phone: 251-943-5590
Admission: Free
Details: More than 30 hot air balloonists from across the country will color the sky; activities include balloon glows each night, entertainment, food vendors, arts and crafts vendors and the Disc Connected K-9 Frisbee Dog Show at various times

NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship

Date: May 5-7
Location: Gulf Shores Public Beach (101 Gulf Shores Parkway)
Website: NCAA.com/Championships/Beach-Volleyball/NC
Admission: TBA (tickets go on sale in March)
Details: Cheer on the best women’s collegiate beach volleyball teams in the country during the second year of this NCAA-sanctioned championship; youth and adult tournaments and clinics will also be taking place throughout the weekend

Orange Beach Billfish Classic
Date: May 17-21
Location: The Wharf Marina (4830 Main St., Orange Beach)
Website: OrangeBeachBillfishClassic.com
Phone: 251-402-8190
Registration: OrangeBeachBillfishClassic.com; weigh-in viewing free to the public
Details: Part of the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Series, which consists of five high-profile tournaments in the Gulf of Mexico

Hangout Music Festival
Date: May 19-21
Location: Gulf Shores Public Beach at The Hangout (101 E. Beach Blvd.)
Website: HangoutMusicFest.com
Admission: $289 for general admission; $1099 for VIP; $1599 for Super VIP; $50 for Thursday Kickoff party at The Hangout
Details: Major acts include Mumford & Sons, Twenty One Pilots, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, Major Lazer, Weezer and DJ Snake for a weekend of music across multiple stages on the beach

Visit GulfShores.com/Events for a full calendar of events. For more information on this family beach destination, visit GulfShores.com and OrangeBeach.com.