Are you going to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, or Perdido Key? For an extra way to enjoy your beach vacation, consider attending one of the area’s many fun events and festivals!
The stretch of beach from Gulf Shores all the way to Perdido Key covers little more than about 20 miles. No matter where you stay along that stretch of coast, all of the events below will be just a short drive away. Even going from Gulf Shores all the way to the Naval Air Station, home of the Blue Angels, isn’t a terribly long drive.
Each event is listed in the month in which it usually occurs. In some cases, such as the annual Blue Angels air show, the month is subject to change from year to year. To get current dates and details for any of the events listed, just click the link provided.
- Sparks After Dark, The Wharf, Gulf Shores, Alabama
Weekly fireworks May through August. Fireworks, live music, and a multitude of fun activities for all ages at The Wharf.
There is almost always something happening at The Wharf! For a complete schedule of all the bands, events and activities at this fabulous venue see The Wharf Event Schedule.
- Blue Angels Practice Shows, April through November
The Naval Air Station is located just a few miles east of Perdido Key. From there all the way to Gulf Shores beach goers can often catch glimpses of the Blue Angels making practice runs. To know when to be on the lookout, check the link above for the current year’s practice schedule.
- Flora-Bama Polar Bear Dip, Alabama/Florida State Line
Get your costume and go for your first ocean dip of the year on New Year’s Day! It’s a free event, and if you can’t take the frigid water they won’t force you.
- Flora-Bama Chili Cook-Off, Alabama/Florida State Line
Even the beach gets cold in winter, so this is a great event whether you enter the cooking competition or just come to enjoy a hot bowl of chili. Even better, 100% of the proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society. (For TONS more Flora-Bama events see below.)
- Orange Beach Festival of Art, Canal Road in Orange Beach, Alabama
Free fine arts festival – A celebration of visual, performing, musical and culinary arts with more than 100 artists providing plenty to see, hear, touch, and taste.
- The Wharf Boat & Yacht Show, Orange Beach, Alabama
Not your average boat show! This amazing event has been dubbed the top boat-buying show in the northern Gulf area. Whether you’re shopping or just dreaming, enjoy over $100 million in boats both wet slip and on land, along with live music and all the usual fun atmosphere of The Wharf.
- Waterway Village Zydeco & Crawfish Festival, Gulf Shores, Alabama
Crawfish, local food vendors, music, arts & crafts, and children’s activities, plus a 5K run.
- Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, Foley, Alabama
Balloon flights, glows, and tethered rides, food vendors, children’s activities, entertainment, arts and crafts displays
- The Hangout Musicfest, Gulf Shores, Alabama
3-Day weekend of pop, rock, rap & dance music and much more. Click the link for info on the complete Hangout experience.
- S’mores on the Shore, Gulf Shores, Alabama
A family friendly event with live music, campfires, and all the makings for s’mores. Bring your blankets, chairs, and all the kids!
- Annual Corn Festival Car Show, Foley, Alabama
Car show including vintage to modern with numerous specialty categories, arts & crafts, food vendors. A charity event benefiting the Camp Seale Harris Southeastern Juvenile Diabetes Education Services.
- Blue Angels Pensacola Beach Air Show, Pensacola Beach (date subject to change from year to year)
Blue Angels air show plus civilian stunt planes performing over the beautiful Gulf Coast beach and water. You need to plan ahead – Get tips here.
- Independence Day Celebration, Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier, Gulf Shores, Alabama
Fireworks display celebrating the 4th of July,
- Blue Marlin Grand Championship, The Wharf, Orange Beach, Alabama
This annual event is the finale of the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Series. The weigh-in is said to be such a sight to behold that this tournament is a must see even for non-fishermen.
- August is the one month that just doesn’t seem to have any big events. Of course, kids from kindergarten to college age are headed back to school this month, so it’s logical that there’s a pause before the fall activities begin.
- Orange Beach Freedom Fest, Orange Beach, Alabama
Fairly new on the scene (beginning in 2021), this all-American event includes everything you’d expect at an old fashioned freedom celebration – food, a benefit concert, parade, car show, keynote speaker, arts & crafts and special activities for the kids.
- Annual National Shrimp Festival, Gulf Shores, Alabama
3 day festival featuring music, art, and of course tons of shrimp. Includes lots of other activities and events such as a 10K/5K Run, Sand Castle Contest, and Singing for Scholarships.
- Flora-Bama Oktoberfest, Alabama/Florida State Line
Enjoy beer, brats, sauerkraut, German potato salad, live music and competitions. (For TONS more Flora-Bama events see below.)
- The Original German Sausage Festival, Elberta, Alabama (north of Orange Beach)
Wide range of German foods plus American favorites, arts & crafts, carnival rides, music and entertainment for children and adults. Fund raiser benefiting Elberta Volunteer Fire Department and the town.
- Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show, Pensacola Beach, Florida (location subject to change)
This air show was moved to Pensacola Beach for the year 2021 due to COVID restrictions at the Naval Air Station. For details and location of the current year’s show click link above.
- Annual National Shrimp Festival, Gulf Shores, Alabama
This long-time Gulf coast tradition features fabulous food, amazing art, and live music that ranges from country to jazz and everything in between. In addition to shrimp you can enjoy a huge variety of both seafood and non-seafood dishes.
- Flora-Bama Annual New Year’s Eve Bash, Alabama/Florida State Line
If you love to party, you’ll enjoy this annual sell-out event. Your ticket price includes both a dinner buffet and breakfast buffet, plus a night of music and fun to ring in the New Year. (For TONS more Flora-Bama events see below.)
Events Occurring Multiple Times During Summer
Located right on the Alabama/Florida state line is the famous (or infamous!) Flora-Bama Lounge. In addition to the events listed above, the Flora-Bama has its own full calendar of annual festivals, parties, competitions, and various other events, including:
- Polar Bear Dip
- Super Chili Bowl Cook-Off
- Flora-Bama Annual Beach Run/Walk
- Flora-Bama Annual Easter Sunday
- Mulleet Man Triathlon
- Mullet Swing Golf Classic
- Interstate Mullet Toss & Beach Party
- Miss Memorial Day Bikini Contest
- Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo
- Flora-Bama’s Freedom Run
- 4th of July Party
- Miss Flora-Bama Bikini Contest
- Bulls on the Beach Rodeo
- Boozy Bee Contest
- Halloween Costume Contest
- Frank Brown Songwriter’s Festival
- Flora-Bama’s Annual Thanksgiving Potluck
- Santa Drop at the Flora-Bama
- Annual Christmas Potluck
- Make It To The Line Run & Walk
- Flora-Bama’s New Year’s Eve Bash
The Super Chili Bowl Cook-Off and the Make It To The Line Run & Walk are charity events benefiting the American Cancer Society and the local Secret Santa Fund, respectively. For details on all the Flora-Bama events listed above see:
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