Snowbirds Leave Lasting Trails of Good Works on Alabama Gulf Coast

Each year, thousands of winter guests flock to Alabama's beaches in search of warmer weather and a sense of community.

Gulf Shores Beach seagullThese winter guests, affectionately called snowbirds, give back to the beach community and have become a vital part of Gulf Shores

and Orange Beach through events like BratFest and the annual snowbird show at South Baldwin Community Theatre. Talk to anyone who staffs civic groups or churches, and you'll find much appreciation for what our winter visitors contribute during their annual migration to warmer climates.

2015 marks the 17th year for the Snowbird Bratfest. Ten snowbird clubs host the event to raise money for the Orange Beach, Fort Morgan and Gulf Shores fire and rescue departments. This year's event will be at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 7 in the parking lot behind the Erie Meyer Civic Center in Gulf Shores. Get there early, because the Brats go quickly!

The snowbird theatre group at South Baldwin Community Theatre presents a play each year to packed houses that enjoy the talents of visiting actors, directors, behind-the-scenes artists and crews who dedicate a large percentage of their winter visit to the show. This year's snowbird show, Neil Simon's “The Sunshine Boys,” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11-14 and Feb. 18-21 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 15 and 22. Money raised from the performances goes to SBCT, and winter visitors usually also undertake a service project at the theatre. Past endeavors have included redoing the men's and women's dressing rooms and improvements to the green room and backstage areas.

All-you-can-eat pancakes, plus sausage, milk, coffee and juice will be served during the 16th Pancake Breakfast, benefiting Gulf Shores Fire/Rescue Association, held from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14 at Erie Meyer Civic Center. Snowbird clubs from 10 states team up for the benefit.

For more events hosted by our annual winter guests, visit the snowbird events calendar

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