Arts & Crafts, Boats & Yachts, and Going Green

Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

Another fabulous coastal Mardi Gras season has come and gone. Now it is time to turn our attention to our favorite festivals and events in March. From arts and crafts in Fairhope to boats and yachts to tempt us in Orange Beach, March offers lots of great reasons to get out and celebrate.

Annual Arts and Crafts Festival in Fairhope

An Eastern Shore staple for more than sixty years, the Annual Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival takes place this year on March 16, 17 and 18. Vendors and attendees come from all over the country for the fine art, live music, kids’ art & delicious food!

Annual Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival
Annual Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival. Photo from: Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce


The highly anticipated and family-friendly event takes place Friday-Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. On the streets of beautiful downtown Fairhope, festival-goers will find over 230 exhibitors from all over the country offering their wares which include pottery, painting, woodworking, jewelry and more. Each year the event attracts nearly 250,000 visitors to the area, and more than $20,000 in prize money is awarded to winning artists in categories such as Graphics & Drawing, Pottery, Sculpture, plus Best in Show and Merit Awards.

The whole family will enjoy live entertainment throughout each day, and can dine on delicious cuisine from the food court which features a variety of delicious festival fare ranging from homemade ice cream to BBQ and funnel cakes. The shops and restaurants of Downtown Fairhope are open during the festival as well, adding to the variety of food and shopping opportunities available for attendees.

Truly a family-friendly affair, children can spend time at the Kids Art Tent where they can create a masterpiece of their own, such as crayon rubbings, face paintings, bird-house making, modeling clay projects, and more.

For more information about what you’ll find at the 66th Annual Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival, visit

The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show

 Each March, The Wharf in Orange Beach transforms into a boating showcase for more than $150 million in boats and related products at The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show. Get up-close-and-personal with luxury when you set your eyes on fishing boats, sports boats, pontoons, runabouts, and luxury yachts in the water and on land.

Wharf Boat and Yacht Show
Wharf Boat and Yacht Show. Photo from Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism


On March 22-25, 2018, over 135 wet slip boats and yachts will be on display, plus more than 600 trailerable boats on land. Attendees can also view exhibits which highlight the latest products in marine electronics, outdoor equipment, and marine gear.

Now becoming a staple of the Boat Show is the Fighting Chair Competition with the proceeds going directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For only $10 per person, participants take part in a unique battle of tug-of-war while being seated in the Release Marine offshore fighting chairs. Look for this fun competition from 11-3 in the BridgeWalk area.

Other activities to look out for include live music, The Wharf Boat & Yacht Fashion Show, instructional seminars, and marine artist Larry Rackley’s kid’s art classes. Free covered parking, complimentary golf car shuttle service, plus The Wharf’s restaurants and retail shopping round out the experience for a day of family fun.

General admission is $10 a day for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, however The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show offers both locals and military discounts, and kids under 12 are admitted free. Get tickets and more details at

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

Getting access to the luck of the Irish is easy in Coastal Alabama with plenty of parades, pubs and parties! From celebrating in the streets with a green beverage to donning a green dress and running for charity, there is a bounty of merriment to be had this March 17th.

Friendly Sons of St. Patrick
The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick parade in Mobile. Photo from:


Starting with celebrations in Mobile, Alabama is the annual parade in which the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick  wear green blazers and top hats while they parade through downtown Mobile each St. Patty’s Day following Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Also an annual Mobile event – and one in its 72nd year – Callaghan’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Street Party is the kind of event that Mobilians claim must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. With bands playing all weekend long and fabulous food, this street party really is bucket list-worthy.

Other Mobile activities include the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at O’Daly’s Irish Pub, which features the Green Dress Run. This annual 5K run is an out and back certified 5K course that starts downtown and runs through parts of midtown Mobile. Proceeds from the event benefit the Child Advocacy Center of Mobile.

There’s more pub-centered fun to be had on the Eastern Shore where folks can spend the day celebrating with corned beef, cabbage and plenty of green beer at McSharry’s Irish Pub in Fairhope.

If one pub visit isn’t enough for you, then the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl in Gulf Shores is what you need! This long-standing tradition begins at 9:30 am at Papa Rocco’s in Gulf Shores on St. Patrick’s Day, and partakers are led by bag pipers to restaurants, pubs and bars in Gulf Shores for a day of celebration.


Spring Thrills at OWA

OWA’s 21 thrilling amusement park rides will entertain kids, adults and everyone in between. Guests can play it safe on Leap Frog or go big on the Freedom Flyer or Rollin’ Thunder. No matter the age or thrill threshold, there’s a ride for everyone.

Rollin' Thunder at OWA
Rollin’ Thunder at OWA. Photo from:


The rides at OWA are fabulous, but so are the dining options. Get your March Madness fix (and some fantastic fare) at Groovy Goat, which offers the largest screens for sports in the area. Nearby, Wahlburgers serves up Whalberg family favorites like Sloppy Joes, Mac ‘n Cheese, and plenty of burgers, of course! After lunch or dinner, step back into the ‘50s, and get your sweet fix at Hershey’s Ice Cream Parlor.

Get your park admission tickets at

Art Takes Center Stage in Mobile

Superb artistic displays are par for the course in Mobile. Experience classical music and ballet as they come to life through the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Mobile Opera and Mobile Ballet Company this spring.

Mobile Symphony Orchestra
Mobile Symphony Orchestra. Photo from:


If you’re looking for a culturally enriching night out on the town, look no further than Mobile’s displays of performing arts. The Mobile Symphony Orchestra  features talented musicians, including a Grammy-award winning cellist, performing famous symphonies by Mahler, Beethoven, Mozart, Shostakovich, and more.

The Mobile Ballet Company will close out its season on Saturday, March 3rd and Sunday, March 4th, with a stunning performance of Shakespeare’s beloved classic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while the Mobile Opera will present their Winter Gala Concert in February and Puccini’s La boheme in March.

Weeks Bay Plantation

Located in Fairhope, Alabama, Weeks Bay Plantation is an organic farm and so much more. From blueberry picking and live music to water skiing and working farm tours, visitors find a one-of-a-kind, all encompassing organic experience.

Weeks Bay Plantation, Fairhope
Weeks Bay Plantation, Fairhope. Photo from:


Weeks Bay Plantation specializes in organic berries, and from April through June, visitors can pick their own blueberries. Picking times are from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm with the exception of Harvest Nights, which begin at 4:00 pm and feature live music and food trucks. Other events include farm-to-table dinners, weddings and even spending the night on the farm.

For information on events and berry picking, visit

Spring in Bloom in South Mobile

This spring, enjoy the blooms of more than 250,000 lively azaleas in an explosion of color throughout the 65-acres of Bellingrath Gardens and Home. Hydrangeas, Easter lilies, fuchsia, cape daisies, delphiniums, and more will also be featured.

Azaleas on Mirror Lake at Bellingrath Gardens.
Azaleas on Mirror Lake at Bellingrath Gardens. Photo from: Bellingrath Gardens and Home


Once the azalea watch is winding down, the roses become the star of the show. In April, be sure to tour the award-winning Bellingrath Rose Garden during its first bloom, which features more than 2,000 plants representing 75 varieties. Roses are also available for sale in the Gift Shop during this time, so onlookers can take a piece of Bellingrath back home. The roses will continue to bloom throughout spring. For more information, be sure to visit

Cast Your Line in North Baldwin County

 The most touted fishing spots by anglers in North Baldwin County include Stiggins Lake, Holly Creek, Mifflin Lake, and Dixie Landing, but the number of places for anglers to reel in a big one goes much further.

Dixie Landing
Dixie Landing. Photo from North Baldwin Chamber


One of those places is Live Oak Landing, which is adjacent to the Mobile Tensaw Delta. This popular launch spot is well known to fishing (and largemouth bass) enthusiasts. Live Oak also plays host to several fishing piers as well as a pond where anglers can fish under the shade of oaks and Spanish moss.

Other popular boat launches include Hubbard’s Landing, Boatyard Landing, Cliff’s Landing, and Dixie Landing.

To obtain a fishing license, visit  or call 1-800-848-6887.

Orange Beach Festival of Arts

Known to some as Coastal Alabama’s first rite of spring, the Orange Beach Festival of Arts is a celebration of visual, performing, musical and culinary arts on Wolf Bay.

Orange Beach Festival of Arts
Orange Beach Festival of Arts, a spring favorite. Photo from Orange Beach Festival of Arts.


Taking place in 2018 on March 10th and 11th, this free festival offers more than 100 artists who display their crafts in a variety of mediums including oils, acrylics, pottery, wood, glass, jewelry, metal, photography, and more. The beautiful location on the shores of Wolf Bay will showcase the brand new 10,000 square foot Coastal Arts Center gallery.

From 10:00 am – 5:00 pm on Saturday and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Sunday, festival-goers will also find live music and entertainment on two stages and food vendors galore! Sunday’s events will also include a Kid’s Art Alley.

For more information, visit

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