March 23 – 24 • Malaga Inn, 359 Church St.
What better way to begin the spring music season than with this two-day music event in the courtyard of the historic Malaga Inn. Saturday opens with Fat Man Squeeze followed by performances by Sam Doores+Riley Downing and The Tumbleweeds and Hurray For The Riff Raff. The night continues with Spirit Family Reunion, jam band pioneer Col. Bruce Hampton and an end-of-the-night tribute to the late Levon Helm.
Roosevelt Collier's Gospel and Blues Brunch will start on Sunday beginning at noon, followed by shows by Ryan Balthrop, Cedric Burnside, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Honey Island Swamp Band and Papa Mali and Friends will close out the weekend at 7 p.m. with a performance featuring members of Galactic and Dirty Dozens Brass Band. In addition to music on the main stage, there will be a side stage for local songwriters and impromptu sessions. Two-day passes are $50 each, and single day passes are $30 each.
Southsounds Music Festival
April 12 – 14 • Downtown Mobile
The second annual festival showcases the finest in southern music featuring artists from Mobile, Birmingham, New Orleans, Nashville, Memphis and beyond. Notable acts include Grayson Capps + Lost Cause Minstrels, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Pollies, Banditos, Ryan Balthrop, El Cantador and more. Find artists at any of the participating venues including Alabama Music Box, The Blind Mule, Callaghan's Irish Social Club, OK Bicycle Shop, Haberdasher and Alchemy Tavern. The VIP package including two wristbands costs $100.
Hangout Music Fest
May 17 – 19 • The Hangout, 101 E. Beach Blvd., Gulf Shores
The bands just keep getting better and better. Add a little sand and sun, and there's no place else I'd rather be. This year's lineup includes Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Bassnectar, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Imagine Dragons, Ellie Goulding, The Black Crowes and more talent than I can even begin to list. General admission three-day passes are available for $229 each.
Dauphin Island Gumbo Festival and Cook-off
March 22 – 24 • 515 Lemoyne Dr., Dauphin Island
5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Fri.; 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sun. On Friday night, learn the art of cooking gumbo from demonstrations by top area gumbo experts and enjoy gumbo sampling paired with performances by local musicians. Saturday, start the day by attending the arts and crafts festival, then enjoy gumbo samples beginning at 11 a.m. and live music at 11:30 a.m. by Marc Broussard and Bonerama with special guest Ryan Balthrop. Sunday, hit the beach for a party including Battle of the Bands, a sandcastle contest, beach volleyball, children's activities and more. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the gate. Tickets for children ages 6 – 12 are $5. Click here to purchase.
Azalea Trail Foodie Fest
March 23 • Mobile Civic Center, 401 Civic Center Dr.
8 a.m. – 6 p.m. The best Gulf Coast cuisine will be the highlight of this all-day event featuring local and regional chefs, restaurants, caterers and culinary programs. The festival will include live entertainment, a beer and wine garden, cooking demonstrations, culinary arts presentations, a marketplace featuring the latest foodie products and more. Admission is free.
Baldwin County Strawberry Festival
April 13 – 14 • Loxley Municipal Park, 4198 Municipal Park Dr.
Dozens of food vendors, live entertainment, arts and crafts, classic car show, and last but not least, the crowning of the 2013 Little Miss Strawberry Queen. Proceeds benefit Loxley Elementary School and the Association of Retarded Citizens of Baldwin County.
The Afterlife Series
Through March 30 • Eastern Shore Art Center, 401 Oak St., Fairhope
In this series by Bill White, a collection of photographs and sculptures address the themes of transformation, renewal and timelessness. The sculptures use wood that was harvested after hurricanes in Texas.
April 12 – 14 • Downtown Mobile
5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sat., Noon – 5 p.m. Sun. The weekend begins on Friday night with food, crafts, music and more at LODA Artwalk followed by a screening of short films from past SOAL film fest producers. Saturday, enjoy interactive exhibits throughout the day as well as an art fashion show and a concert by the Mobile Pops. The festival concludes on Sunday with exhibits and music as part of the South Sounds Music Festival.
Lucy Fine: The Silkscreen Prints
April 19 – June 16 • Mobile Museum of Art, 4850 Museum Dr.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tue. – Sun. The work of California artist Lucy Fine captures the dynamic nature of human relationships as well as the tranquility and beauty of the environment. Museum admission is $10 for adults and $6 for students.
April 11 • Mobile Civic Center Theatre, 401 Civic Center Dr.
7:30 p.m. A traveling ensemble cast from the University of Alabama’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents a riveting rendition of the well-known musical, based on Edna Ferber’s novel. The production tells the story of three generations of show folk on the Cotton Blossom, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students and children.
May 17 – 19, 24 – 26 • Chickasaw Civic Theater, 801 Iroquois St., Chickasaw
7:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat.; 2 p.m. Sun. King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and the noble vision of Camelot come to life in this reprise of the classic tale about nobility and love. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.
Wait Until Dark
May 24 – 26, May 31 – June 2 • Joe Jefferson Playhouse, 11 S. Carlen St.
8 p.m. Fri. and Sat.; 2 p.m. Sun. Despite suffering major damage following the destructive Christmas Day tornado, the playhouse will welcome back patrons with a production of the Broadway thriller, “Wait Until Dark.” Written by Frederick Knott and directed by Rick Miller, the play's exciting combination of mystery and suspense will have you on the edge of your seat. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and military and $10 for students with valid ID.