Ballyhoo Fest March 5-6 at Gulf State Park –
Ballyhoo Fest March 5-6 at Gulf State Park
By Eloise Thomley
It’s almost time for Ballyhoo! Ballyhoo Festival is a unique blend of art and cultural exchange, and it will take place March 5-6 at Gulf State Park, 20115 State Park Road, Gulf Shores. With over 80 vendors, visitors will have the opportunity to view some of the best original arts and crafts in the Southeast. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 6.
In addition to fine arts, the Ballyhoo festival will share the culture of the Poarch Creek Indians, the only federally recognized tribe in the state of Alabama. PCI’s Cultural Director will provide a historical account of the tribe and describe the significance of each tribal dance. The Poarch Creek (pictured) will perform an original tribal dance in ceremonial dress at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 5.
On Sunday, March 6, Early Americana music will be presented in the form of a fiddle/banjo competition, sponsored in part by FloraBama and the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival. Fiddle and banjo players will compete all day and warm up in different areas of the park before hitting the stage. At 3 p.m. there will be a special performance by the Cotton Pickin’ Kids, an Alabama family of three brothers and three sisters, ages 11-19, who all play different instruments and specialize in bluegrass music .
Bring your lawn chairs or sit on the soft grass surrounding the Wind Creek stage. Our performers always appreciate a large crowd. The master of ceremonies for March 5 and 6 will be Darwin Singleton of Channel 15 (NBC), Mobile.
Kid’s Korner will have art projects for children and the Wind Creek stage will feature The Destinations (pictured), Rollin’ in the Hay and Emily Stuckey and Amanda Donald. Visitors will enjoy live art demonstrations by renowned Meridian artist Greg Cartmell. The food will be plentiful and the friendly hospitality of the fun-loving Coastal Alabama locals will make visitors want to spend the day.
Parking will be at Gulf State Pier, Gulf State Lodge and Gulf State Pavilion. Park Rangers will be on hand to provide direction and assistance. Attendees can drop off guests at the park entrance, then park in one of the parking lots and walk across the bridge to the festival. All disabled parking spaces will be available inside the festival grounds. Shuttles will be available at the Gulf State Pavilion.
The Ballyhoo Festival is an event of the non-profit Gulf Coast Arts Alliance, whose office and gallery are located at 225 E 24th Ave., Gulf Shores, Al. This event is assisted by Gulf Shores-Orange Beach Tourism and the Alabama State Department of Tourism, and Alabama State Parks and Recreation.