Gulf Coast Festivals & Events in Mississippi, Louisiana & Alabama
From Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest in New Orleans to Riverfest in Vicksburg, the Gulf Coast Region is a spectacular destination for colorful festivals and exciting events. Celebrate the culture, music and history of the Gulf Coast - where the good times roll!
Festivals & Events in Alabama
Alabama is a festive destination where music, art, history and heritage come together in numerous community festivals and events. From the world-famous City Stages 20 music festival in Birmingham to the National Shrimp Festival in Mobile to the many car, art, sports and heritage festivals throughout the state, Alabama offers a plethora of amazing cultural events and spirited adventures for families and friends.
City Stages 20 -
Birmingham - A world-class music festival in downtown Birmingham, City Stages offers the most incredible musical line-up in the South. Held the third weekend in June, City Stages presents more than 125 musical performances on 9 massive stages and performance areas in and around Linn Park in downtown Birmingham for three music-filled days! Visit www.citystages.org.
National Shrimp Festival -
Mobile - Held the second weekend in October, the annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama is one of the nation's leading outdoor festivals. Come experience exciting live music and a retail marketplace with 300 vendors offering arts and crafts, fine arts, and lots of shrimp. Kids enjoy fun activities and create art at the Children's Activity Village. Visit http://www.nationalshrimpfestival.com/index.htm.
Alabama National Fair -
Montgomery - Oct. 3-12 - The Alabama National Fair at Garrett Coliseum features exciting midway rides, main stage entertainment, live music, great food, livestock and sporting competitions, exciting attractions, information and commercial booths, a kids area, and scores of family events and activities. Visit www.alnationalfair.org.
Moss Rock Festival Alabama -
Hoover - This vibrant fall festival is held in the 250-acre Moss Rock Preserve, which offers10 miles of scenic hiking trails, sandstone glades, cascading waterfalls, and challenging rock climbing boulders. Celebrating open spaces, nature, and eco-ideas through art and design, the Moss Rock Festival features artists and artwork influenced by nature and/or made from natural or recycled materials. Enjoy live music on the Crescent Stage or indulge in great food, beer, wine, coffee, and treats at the Café by the Woods. Visit http://www.mossrockfestival.com/.
Indian Heritage Festival Alabama -
Huntsville - Held on the Mountain Park in Huntsville, the Indian Heritage Festival is a popular Alabama annual event. The festival celebrates the Tennessee Valley's Indian heritage that includes the history of the "Five Civilized Tribes" in Alabama - the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole and Cherokee Indians. Participants in Native dress demonstrate their ancestors' skills in sewing, music, cooking and camping. Markets sell Native American items such as feathers, dreamcatchers, animal skins and Indian trinkets. Visit http://huntsville.about.com/library/blindianheritage.htm.
Alabama Shakespeare Festival -
Montgomery - The sixth largest Shakespeare festival in the world, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival attracts over 300,000 visitors every year. Presented year-round in the Carolyn Blount Theatre, ASF features 14 world-class productions, including three William Shakespeare works as well as classic works by playwrights such as George Bernard Shaw, Moliére, Anton Chekhov, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill. Visit http://www.asf.net.
Alabama International Auto Show -
Birmingham - The largest consumer car shows in the Gulf Coast, the Alabama International Auto Show is a dazzling spectacular featuring over 400 domestic and import cars, light trucks, SUV's, Hybrid vehicles and vans from 30 manufacturers - on all levels of the Civic Center. Their Birmingham Automobile Dealers Association is on hand to assist in product education, feature comparisons, safety standards and consumer points of interest on hundreds of makes and models - all under one roof. Visit http://www.carsbirmingham.com/show.html.
Antique & Classic Car Show -
Courtland - Oct. 4 - Held in Downtown Courtland Park, the Antique and Classic Car Show presents a line-up of classic and antique cars in the downtown area, as well as arts & crafts and food vendors and ongoing live music. Visit www.courtlandalabama.com.
Monroe County Heritage Museum Festivals-
Monroeville - Monroe County Heritage Museums - Hybart House, Vredenburgh Park, Rikard Mill Historical Park, Alabama River Museum, and Burnt Corn Baptist Church - present annual events, exhibits and activities that celebrate the history and heritage of Monroe County. Held in the Old Courthouse Museum and historic Monroeville Square, Heritage Arts Festival (Feb. 25) is a wonderland of crafts, quilts, woodworking, soul food, art, fashion shows, gospel music, and ethic dance performances. The model for the courtroom scene from the book "To Kill a Mockingbird," the Old Courthouse sets the stage every May for the two-act play based on the novel by Harper Lee, a native of Monroeville.Held in the Alabama River Heritage Museum, Alabama River Festival (March 6 -8) presents Creek and Seminole traditions, 1812 frontier camps, river music, food and culture along the Alabama River. Visit www.tokillamockingbird.com.
Spring Azalea Festival
- Mobile - March 1- April 30 - Enjoy the blooms of more than 250,000 vibrant azaleas in an explosion of color every spring. Set throughout the 65 acres of Bellingrath Gardens, the Mobile Spring Azalea Festival presents varieties including Formosa, Encore, Southern Charm, Pride of Mobile, and G.G. Gerbing. Visit www.bellingrath.org.
56th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival -
Fairhope - March 14-16 -Downtown Fairhope is a festival of color when thousands of beautiful azaleas are in bloom. The annual Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival features 250 booths of the finest arts and crafts in the nation with live local entertainment, the Spring Fever Chase, a train show, Outdoor Art Show and classic festival foods. One of the top events in Alabama, the 3-day festival features a prestigious juried art show and incredible live music. Visit www.eschamber.com.
Arts Alive! Hands On! -
Mobile - April 12 - Held in Downtown Mobile's Cathedral Square, Mobile Arts Alive! Hands On presents interactive exhibits that engage you with a first-hand experience of the arts - pottery wheels spin, musicians give lessons and poets teach wordplay. The festival also presents an evening performance by the Mobile Symphony Orchestra. Visit www.mainstreetmobile.org.
Ardmore Renaissance Faire -
Ardmore - April 19-20 - Ardmore Town Park sets the stage for the 6th Annual Ardmore Renaissance Faire - a magical world of music, history, and merriment. Shop the marketplace, indulge in delectable edibles, test your skills in gaming, and cheer on dashing knights engaged in contests of archery, fencing and hand-to-hand combat. The faire marketplace offers a variety of Renaissance merchandise, food and drink. Visit www.ardmore-renfaire.com.
Panoply Arts Festival -
Huntsville - April 25-27 - One of the South's largest arts festivals, the annual Huntsville Panoply Arts Festival is a 3-day arts festival with five performance stages of music, dance performances, a choreography competition, a juried art marketplace, a children's area with make and take activities, the Official Alabama State Fiddling Championship, a 10-minute playwright competition and a global village representing a dozen cultures. Visit www.panoply.org.
Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic -
Decatur - May 24-25 - Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic at Point Mallard Park is one of the largest free balloon festivals in the Southeast, featuring balloon races, glows, kite flying, arts and crafts, car show, live musical entertainment, a food court, and a children's activity area. Visit www.decaturcvb.org.
Hank Williams Festival-
Georgiana - June 6 - 7 - A tribute to Alabama's native son, Hank Williams, the Hank Williams Festival is fun filled weekend of outdoor country music, arts, crafts, and food. Visit www.hankmuseum.com.
Gulf Coast Ethnic & Heritage Jazz Festival-
Mobile - July 31-August 3 - The Gulf Coast Ethnic & Heritage Jazz Festival features Jazz in the Square with national, regional and local band, an evening of poetry, a jazz music workshop, and a festive jazz jam session at various venues in Mobile. Visit www.gcehjazzfest.com. [Top
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|From the delectable National Shrimp Festival to the International Auto Show, Alabama is home to the country's most exciting events and delicious festivals. In the heart of these festivities, you will find the perfect Ramada Hotel. More than just a place to stay, Ramada Hotels provide warm Southern hospitality and modern convenience. Our charming Alabama hotels provide multitudes of amenities such as high-speed Internet, refreshing pools and state-of-the-art fitness centers coupled with homey comforts including deluxe bedding, complimentary breakfast, and superior service making every stay pleasant and memorable. Factor in our prime locations and value rates, Ramada Hotels is the smart choice for your Alabama vacation.|
Festivals & Events in Louisiana
With 400 exciting festivals and events each year, Louisiana is the festival capital of the world. From crawfish festivals, state fairs and Cajun dances to Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, you'll discover hundreds of events in Louisiana to keep you dancing in the streets, masquerading at extravagant parades, savoring unforgettable Cajun cuisine, and intoxicated by the rhythms of jazz, blues and zydeco. From jambalaya to jazz, Louisiana is a festive vacation destination filled music and amazement.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - Experience the ultimate jazz, gospel, Cajun, Zydeco, rhythm and blues, and rock-n-roll music event at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the New Orleans Fairgrounds. A world-famous musical and cultural event, Jazz Fest features performances by thousands of internationally-renowned musicians - from Santana to Billy Joel to the Neville Brothers - a marketplace with Louisiana and New Orleans arts and crafts, and mouthwatering Creole, Cajun and Crescent City cuisine. Called "the country's very best music festival" by Life magazine, Jazz Fest - in its 39th year -dazzles New Orleans from April 25- 27 & May 1- 4, 2008. Visit www.nojazzfest.com.
New Orleans' Mardi Gras - Famous for its French Quarter, Bourbon Street, spicy Cajun and Creole cuisine and cool Dixieland jazz, New Orleans is home of Mardi Gras - a legendary festival of colorful krewes, playful parades, festive floats, magical music, mysterious masks, and "laissez le bon temps rouler." Since 1857, this fantastic New Orleans carnival has evolved into two weeks of revelry and bacchanalia with hundreds of lavish masquerade balls, street parties, dances, live music and more than 70 extravagant themed parades. Like most passions in New Orleans, Mardi Gras celebrates the city's social and cultural diversity - from the Mardi Gras Indians to the Zulu Parade to the Comus Ball. An official holiday in New Orleans, Fat Tuesday is a day of colorful costumes and amazing parades that has to be experiences at least once in your lifetime! Visit www.mardigrasneworleans.com.
French Quarter Festival - The French Quarter Festival is a free music, food and cultural festival throughout New Orleans' historic Vieux Carré and riverfront over a three-day weekend each April. French Quarter Fest features 250 hours of entertainment featuring more than 150 musical performances on 15 stages throughout the French Quarter at Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Jackson Square, and along Royal and Bourbon streets. Nearly 60 food and beverage booths in Jackson Square, along the waterfront and the U.S. Mint comprise the "World's Largest Jazz Brunch," a signature event featuring authentic local cuisine from renowned New Orleans restaurants. For the kids, St. Anthony's Garden hosts a fun performance and activity area. Visit www.fqfi.com.
Shrimp and Petroleum Festival - Morgan City - Jumbo shrimp capitol of the world, Morgan City celebrates the shrimp and petroleum industry with the annual Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival - the state's oldest chartered harvest festival. Held Labor Day weekend in historic Morgan City -in the heart of the Cajun Coast - the free 4-day festival celebrates a bountiful shrimp harvest, the discovery of "black gold" in the Gulf of Mexico and the people who have worked to provide the area's economic lifeblood for over half a century. One of the country's premiere festivals, this fun family event features live music in the park, parades, fireworks, Cajun cooking, lots of shrimp, children's event and one the largest arts and crafts shows in the South. Visit http://www.shrimp-petrofest.org.
Fest For All - Downtown Baton Rouge - May 3-4 - Celebrate the arts while shopping the original artwork of 80 local/national juried artists and enjoying fun, food and music. A 30-year Baton Rouge tradition, the weekend outdoor arts celebration features an exceptional representation of fine arts and crafts, artist demonstrations, kid's art activities in the Children's Village, live music from blues to classical, performing arts, and Louisiana cuisines. FestForAll is presented along historic oak-lined North Boulevard - one of the most beautiful settings in the South. Visit www.artsbr.org.
Mandeville Seafood Festival - The Mandeville Seafood Festival - July 4 -6 - features over 20 food booths serving fresh seafood dishes and mouthwatering local cuisine. The exciting event also has live musical entertainment on two stages - from Cajun to Rock & Roll - arts & craft and antique booths, Children's entertainment tents, family rides, contests and the annual fireworks show. Visit www.seafoodfest.com.
Southern Breeze Wine + Culinary Festival - Baton Rouge - The Southern Breeze Wine + Culinary Festival features boutique wines, gourmet food and Gulf Coast culture in a sophisticated and entertaining weekend event. This year, the Southern Breeze Wine + Culinary Festival visits Baton Rouge, celebrating the lifestyle and culture of the Gulf Coast. Taste and learn about fine wines from all over the world in a setting that is relaxing and invigorating. Speak with world-famous chefs, award-winning wine makers and the world's top leisure and lifestyle companies.
Blooming on the Bricks - Natchitoches - March 8 - Held in the Downtown Historic District of the Natchitoches Riverbank, this annual event offers a speaker's series on various gardening and landscaping topics, exhibitors, entertainment and lots of Louisiana fun. Call (877) 238-7502.
Cajun Hot Sauce Festival -
New Iberia - April 3 -6 - Held at the SugArena @ Acadiana Fairgrounds, the Cajun Hot Sauce festival features a jambalaya Cook-off, live entertainment, music, arts & crafts, a carnival, great food, refreshments and spicy family fun. Visit www.sugarena.com.
Louisiana Crawfish Festival - Chalmette - March 29-30 - Held at the Chalmette Fairgrounds, the Lousiana Crawfish Festival features crawfish dishes, live music, rides, family fun and Louisiana Crawfish Queen Pangeant. Visit www.louisianacrawfishfestival.com.
Jambalaya Festival - Gonzales - One of the largest festivals in Louisiana, the Jambalaya Festival in Jambalaya Park features fun activities that highlight the heritage and cultures of the Acadiana region, including live music, stage shows, and carnival fun. The highlight of this May event is the jambalaya cooking contest, with entrants vying for the title of "World Jambalaya Cooking Champion." Visit www.jambalayafestival.org.
Mudbug Madness Festival - Shreveport - May 22 - 28 - One of Louisiana's largest and most popular Cajun festival, the 6-day street festival in downtown Shreveport features three stages of foot-stomping live music with renown Cajun, Zydeco, Blues, Jazz rock and pop artists, mouth-watering Cajun cuisine, raucous contests, fun family activities, a Kids on the Bayou area, and a gumbo of sights and sounds. Visit www.mudbugmadness.com.
Sunshine Festival - Donaldson - October - Held at the Louisiana Fair Grounds, the Sunshine Festival features and old-fashioned carnival atmosphere with scores of fun activities, live entertainment, a carnival, a midway with rides for kids, Cajun food, historic displays and exhibits, regional food, the world-famous Cajun & Creole Cook-off, and the competitive Hot 'n Spicy Political Cook-off. Join the free fun and experience the colorful history of Donaldsonville - Louisiana's second Acadian settlement. Visit www.sunshinefestival.org.
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Festivals & Events in Mississippi
Celebrate the culture, history, music and beauty of the Magnolia State at 400 outstanding events that happen throughout Mississippi each year. Arts and crafts, music, and crawfish festivals and Civil War re-enactments are all part of your fun-filled vacation experience.
Jubilee Jam - Downtown Jackson - June - One of the most music-packed festivals in the South, Jackson's annual Jubilee JAM features a stupendous lineup of popular, alternative and R&B bands mixed with local music on two stages. The jammin' festival has featured nationally known musicians such as Counting Crows, James Brown, The Black Crowes and Ludacris. Enjoy a taste of Mississippi with a variety of foods, such as crawfish and funnel cakes, and the Mississippi Artists Village. Visit www.jubileejam.com.
Mal's St. Paddy's Parade and Festival - Downtown Jackson- March 17, 2008
-Downtown Jackson turns green for fun loving Irish celebration. Mal's St. Paddy's Parade & Festival
weekend includes live music concerts, dances, runs, children's activities, great food and refreshments, and a colorful
parade that attracts thousands of spectators from across Gulf Coast. Sweet Potato Queens, the Krewe of Kazoo, the O'Tux
Society, Shamrock Gator Society and the Rude Boys gather to create humor and merriment. Visit www.halandmals.com.
16th Annual Mississippi Coast Coliseum Crawfish Festival - Biloxi - April 17-27 -
One of the top 200 events in the country and recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the top 20 events in the
Southeast, the Annual Mississippi Coast Coliseum Crawfish Festival is an exciting event on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that
features delicious food, lots of crawfish, spectacular rides, music, challenging games and unique vendors. Visit www.mscoastcoliseum.com.
Riverfest - Vicksburg - April 18-19 - A spring festival in Historic Downtown Vicksburg,
Riverfest features block after blocks of river artisans, world foods and lively music - classic rock, country-western,
rhythm and blues and contemporary soul music. The 2-day street festival also features an arts and crafts show, street
performers, children's activities, rides, food booths, wonderful side-walk booths with downtown merchants, and a BluzCruz
Marathon from Madison Parish Port to Vicksburg Front. The Arts and Crafts Festival features over 150 crafters displaying
original art work, photography, wood work, iron work, clothing & toys, painted furniture, jewelry, pottery and unique
handmade items. Visit www.riverfestms.com.
Crossroads Film Festival - Jackson - Presented at venues throughout Jackson, the
Crossroads Film Festival is a four-day celebration of local, national and international film and video. The festival
features a film and video competition for features, short film, student films, documentaries and experimental projects, as
well as pecial seminars, events and evening galas. Visit www.crossroadsfilmfest.com.
Natchez Spring Pilgrimage 2008 - Natchez Historic District - Tour the antebellum
homes of this historic old river city and experience the beauty and splendor of Natchez in the springtime. 2008 celebrates
the 76th anniversary with special events and activities. Visit www.natchezpilgrimage.com.
Natchez Powwow at Grand Village - Natchez - March 29 - 30, 2008 - The
Natchez Powwow at Grand Village is a family celebration of the Native American culture and heritage that draws Native
Americans from all over the region for native dance competitions, music and arts and craft demonstrations. Visit
Natchez Festival of Music/Natchez Blues Festival - Natchez - Enjoy a
month long celebration of music that presents everything from Opera to Broadway and Jazz. Some of the country's top
performers in entertainment come to Natchez in May to join in the music and merriment. Held in May in Memorial Park, the
Natchez Blues Festival draws big name jazz entertainers to this charming, historic city. Visit www.visitnatchez.com.
Great Mississippi River Balloon Race - Natchez - October - The Great Mississippi River
Balloon Race is a colorful spectacle with dozens of hot-air balloons soaring above Natchez. Enjoy live music, regional food,
a fireworks extravaganza over the Mississippi River, a children's village and the balloon "glow" when
pilots turn on the gas jets at night. Visit www.visitnatchez.com.
Arts Heritage Festival - Hattiesburg - March 29 - The 3rd annual Arts Heritage
Festival is a celebration filled with southern fun and flare. Festivities include live entertainment, local food,
children's activities, concerts, and many arts and crafts booths in downtown Hattiesburg.
Elvis Presley Festival - Tupelo- June 6 - 8 - The 10th Annual
Elvis Presley Festival, held in the birthplace of the King of Rock and Roll - celebrates the musical heritage of Tupelo, the
town that shaped the boyhood years of our country's most legendary cultural icon. The streets of downtown Tupelo are
transformed into a swinging festival with live blues, country, rock n' roll, and alternative Rock music, Elvis tribute
artists, great Southern food and good times. Visit www.tupeloelvisfestival.com.
Deep Delta Festival - Rolling Fork - May 3 - The Deep Delta Festival celebrates the rich
history of the South Delta and its roots in the Blues. The annual festival features live Delta Blues music, great food, fun
games and shopping. Visit www.deepdelta.org.
Bluegrass on the Creek - Tylertown - May 15 - 18 - This
wonderful three-day bluegrass festival draws music lovers from an eight state area. The covered arena features 11 bluegrass
bands and free Jambalaya. Visit http://www.walthallchamber.com/SWEC.html.
32nd Annual St. Paul's Seafood Festival - Pass Christian - May 29 - June 1
- This fun Gulf Coast event includes a 5K and one-mile run, arts and crafts, games, children's rides, a silent
auction, and of course fresh and fabulous Gulf Coast seafood.
Delta Jubilee - Clarksdale - June 6 -7 - The Delta Jubilee is an exciting family
event featuring live music, a carnival, arts and crafts, a pet show, a fishing rodeo, volleyball and horseshoe tournaments,
a fabulous fireworks display and a giant barbecue cooking contest. Visit www.clarksdale-ms.com.
80th Annual Biloxi Shrimp Festival & Blessing of the Fleet - Biloxi - May 30 - June
1 - During this fun Gulf Coast festival, decorated boats parade in front of the Biloxi Diocese's
Bishop who asks a blessing for a bountiful season. On land, the festive party features a Shrimp Festival with delicious
food, music and family fun. Visit www.biloxi.ms.us.
Annual Blues & Heritage Festival - Pascagoula - This Gulf Coast festival features
family entertainment two big stages with blues and gospel music under a covered pavilion, plus arts and crafts and great
27th Annual Biloxi Seafood Festival - Biloxi - Sept. 20-21 -Highlighting Biloxi's diverse community and rich history, this amazing festival offers arts & craft,
vendors, live entertainment, children's activities, a gumbo contest, and a feast of seafood. Visit
Crab Festival - Bay St. Louis - July 4-8 - Head down to the
Mississippi Coast and feast on crab specialties, boiled and fried seafood, Cajun, barbecue, and New
Orleans dishes. The Crab Fest also features games, arts and crafts, live music and fireworks.
7th Annual Cajun, Country, Swamp Pop Music Festival - Gulfport - October 3
- 4 - One of the Gulf Coast's finest events, this fun weekend festival is jammed packed with
live entertainment, featuring Cajun, Country & Swamp Pop music - a mix of Cajun, Creole, rhythm & blues,
rockabilly, hillbilly, and rock-and-roll. Check out over 100 old cars, numerous vendors, big fun and tasty food.
12th Annual Cruisin' the Coast -
Biloxi - One of the biggest events in Mississippi,
Cruisin' the Coast draws car enthusiasts from all over North America. Drive to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and showcase or
cruise a variety of antique, classic and hot rod automobiles at stops along the Coast in Ocean Springs, Biloxi,
D'Iberville, Gulfport, Long Beach, and Bay St. Louis. Visit www.cruisinthecoast.com. [Top
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|Whether mesmerized by the original features offered at the Crossroads Film Festival or enchanted by the twanging banjo rifts of Bluegrass on the Creek, Mississippi is a premier destination for nationally acclaimed festivals and events. Surrounded by these popular events, you will find a Ramada Hotel that is perfect for your event stay. Our stylish hotels are an eclectic blend of southern hospitality and modern convenience providing lifestyle amenities such as state-of-the-art meeting space, fitness center and high-speed internet. Enjoy creature comforts including deluxe bedding, refreshing pools and complimentary deluxe breakfast. Add in factors such as close proximity to all the festivals and incredible value rates, Ramada Hotels is an easy choice for your Mississippi vacation.|