GENERAL INTEREST

Making of the Mardi Gras Trail
Historic Mobile Preservation Society and historian Ann Pond take us through a virtual preview of the Mobile Mardi Gras Trail. Thursday, Feb. 9, at 6 p.m. Free for HMPS members, $10 for nonmembers. Call 251-432-6161.

Distinguished Lecture Series
The University of South Alabama Gulf Shores campus, 19470 Oak Road W. Thursday, Feb. 9, at 6:30 p.m. To register, call 251-460-7200 or visit www.usacontinuinged.com.

Chamber of Commerce meeting
Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 9, beginning with a 5 p.m. reception. Program at 6 p.m. followed by an after-party featuring The Mulligan Brothers. For tickets call 251-431-8606.

ODWA king cake contest and party
Bake king cakes to be judged by Lagniappe’s cuisine editor, Andy MacDonald. Evening includes February general meeting and music from Bayou Rhythm. St. Mary’s School, Feb. 9, 7-8:30 p.m.

Mobile Welcome Center grand opening
Help celebrate the grand opening of the new Welcome Center for visitors to Mobile! Friday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the History Museum of Mobile. 251-973-6166.

Youth Weekend of Prayer
At the St. Elmo Seventh-Day Adventist Church Friday, Feb. 10, 6:30 p.m. and BASS Memorial Academy students on Saturday, Feb. 11, 9:30 a.m., ending at Hearin-Chandler YMCA at 6:30 p.m. for swimming, basketball, pizza, games and fun. Free and open to the public. Call 407-541-7231.

Fairhope Arbor Day
Saturday, Feb. 11, at 10 a.m. at the Coastal Alabama Community College campus. Tree seedling giveaway following the main program, lasting until supplies are exhausted. Also, free mulch will be available at the city warehouse at 555 S. Section St. Call 251-929-1466.

Books and Boots
Historic Blakeley State Park inaugurates its Alabama Authors Day in a free program with a narrated bus tour of the Civil War battlefield followed by talks by four recently published local writers. Saturday Feb. 11, beginning at 9 a.m. Visit blakelypark.com.

Cudjoe Lewis Memorial Dedication
A portrait-bust of Cudjoe Lewis, the last-known surviving member of the last-known slave ship to reach the United States, will be revealed and dedicated on Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. at Union Missionary Baptist Church, 506 Bay Bridge Road, Mobile. Call 251-456-6080.

Valentine’s dinner dance
Second annual “Be My Valentine” dinner dance featuring the Mobile Big Band Society. Three hours of big band favorites, dancing and a dinner buffet, 7-10 p.m., Battleship Memorial Park. For tickets visit eventbrite.com.

Spotlight: A Gulf Coast Talent Showcase
Presented by Distinguished Young Women, this is an audition for a talent showcase for grades 1-12 to win money for your school. Visit gulfcoastspotlight.com to enter.

Rabies clinic
The Mobile County Health Department provides low-cost rabies shots for cats, dogs and ferrets during a weekend clinic. This Saturday’s clinic is at Pet Supplies Plus, 803 Hillcrest Road, 1:30-3:30 p.m. The cost of the rabies vaccine is $8. Call 251-690-8823.

Police Citizens meeting
The Mobile Police Citizens Community Relations Advisory Council will hold a community meeting for citizens of District 2 next Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 5:30 p.m. Aimwell Baptist Church, 500 Earl St. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Community blood drive
The city of Fairhope will host a community blood drive on Friday, Feb. 10, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the public utilities warehouse at 555 S. Section St. The bloodmobile will be parked near the mechanic shop.

League of Women Voters luncheon
Halie Jones, assistant director of substance abuse services, will be the speaker Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 11:30 a.m. at the Mobile Marriott, 3101 Airport Blvd. Please RSVP to Jane Gordon at 251-402-3321.

Winter Wednesday at Bellingrath
Bellingrath’s Winter Wednesday sessions are held each week through Feb. 22 in the Magnolia Room. “Ancient Forests of Alabama” with Dr. Brian Axsmith will be held Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 10:30 a.m. Call 251-973-2217, ext. 111, to register or email [email protected].

Dauphin Island Boardwalk Talks
Boardwalk Talks are held the first and third Wednesday of each month at 11:15 a.m. at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, 101 Bienville Blvd. Call 251-861-2141.

Midtown Optimist Club
Join Midtown Optimist Club every Wednesday at noon for lunch at Azalea City Golf Course. Call 251-348-3542.


Toastmasters

Do you want to learn how to deliver a speech like a pro or gain leadership skills to advance your career? Toastmasters International meets regularly at six locations in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Visit www.toastmasters.org for more information.


FUNDRAISERS

Joy of Life Mardi Gras Ball
Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Saturday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m. at Fort Whiting, Mobile. For tickets and info visit joyoflifegulfcoast.org.

Valentine’s Day benefit concert
Katya Grineva, world-renowned pianist, performs a special benefit concert at Bangkok Thai Cuisine on Feb. 14 from 6-8:30 p.m. The performance will benefit the USA Meditation & Mindfulness Club and the Meditation Center of Alabama. Tickets at www.katyagrineva.weebly.com.


ARTS

LoDa Artwalk
Join downtown art galleries, institutions, studios and unique shops as they open their doors and welcome you inside to see beautiful artwork, sample delicious food and hear the sounds of the LoDa Artwalk. Friday, Feb. 10, 6-9 p.m. in the Lower Dauphin Street district.

Mobile Mystery Dinners
A performance of “The Mardi Gras Murder of Montague Charlington” will take place Sunday, Feb. 12, at 5:30 p.m. at Mobile Carnival Museum. Tickets include dinner and unlimited wine. Advance reservations are required; visit mobilemysterydinners.com.

Killer Beaz
Azalea Manor hosts Killer Beaz on Tuesday, Feb. 14, for two shows, 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets include the comedy show and dinner. Visit killerbeaz.com.

“Ripcord”
This hilarious new play runs until Feb. 12. Friday and Saturday curtain at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Theatre 98 in Fairhope. For tickets, visit thearte98.org.


MUSEUMS

“Cirque du Mardi Gras”
Join Alabama Contemporary Art Center for “Cirque du Mardi Gras,” a one-of-a-kind cirque experience for all ages. Performances run through Feb. 14. For tickets, visit venardoscircus.com.

Faces of Africa
The History Museum of Mobile is proud to announce its upcoming exhibit, “Faces of Africa: a Mystical View of Tribal Heritage,” beginning Friday, Feb. 10, through Monday, July 31. Call 251-208-7420.

“Drugs: Costs and Consequences”
The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and the Drug Enforcement Administration team up to present a powerful interactive exhibit of the effects of drugs on individuals and society. Through August. Visit exploreum.com.

Fairhope’s Founding
There is quite a story behind Fairhope’s founding in 1894. Learn more about it at the Fairhope Museum of History, 24 N. Section St. The museum is open daily (except Sunday and Monday) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 251-929-1471.

Little Discoveries
Outside the Box: This “Little Discovery” in the Exploreum’s Wharf of Wonder, aimed at children 6 and under, explores how innovation and creativity can lead to a world of possibilities starting with a simple cardboard box. Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Call 251-208-6893 or email [email protected].

Thursdays at MMoA
Every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Mobile Museum of Art offers free admission to all visitors. No reservations are necessary. MMoA is at 4850 Museum Drive. Call 251-208-5200.

SPORTING EVENTS/ACTIVITIES

Battle of Mobile Bay 5K
Saturday, Feb. 11, at 8:30 a.m., the Battle of Mobile 5K race will be held at Fort Gaines. Sponsored by the Port City Pacers, proceeds from the race go to support historic Fort Gaines. For registration and other race info, check out www.pcpacers.org.

SFEEF Gator Chase
Saturday, Feb. 11, at Five Rivers. Certified 5K at 8 a.m., fun run at 9 a.m. Benefits the Spanish Fort Education Enrichment Foundation. Call 251-604-3728 or 251-895-1854.

Gulf Coast Half Marathon

Fifth annual half marathon and 10K, beginning and ending at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores with a loop in Gulf State Park. Saturday, Feb. 11, 7 a.m. Visit rungulfshores.com.

Bridge lessons
The Mobile Bridge Center offers free bridge lessons each Tuesday at 6 p.m. at 1510 University Blvd. Arrive a few minutes early to register. Call the Bridge Center at 251-666-2147, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

New Year’s Resolution exercise classes
Palmer Pillans Middle School has new exercise classes: yoga, Guts, Butts & Thighs, Guns & Buns, Ab Attack and Yoga Tone. Call 251-463-7980 or visit communityactivitiesprogram.com.

Dance classes
Palmer Pillans Middle School offers new dance classes: Beginning Ballroom, Beyond Basic Ballroom, Dance Fit Line Dance, and beginner and intermediate Belly Dancing. Call 251-463-7980 or visit communityactivitiesprogram.com.

Holy yoga
Tamara William leads lunchtime holy yoga at The Steeple on St. Francis every Wednesday. Cost is $15. Participants will connect with Christ in mind, body and spirit. Call 251-656-3269.

Ballroom dance
Azalea Ballroom Dance Club hosts dances with live music the second and fourth Tuesday of every month; 7-9:30 p.m. at Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center, 1717 Dauphin St. Email [email protected], call 251-623-9183 or visit www.azaleaballroomdanceclub.com.

Ballroom dance
The Moonlight Chasse Ballroom Dance Society hosts dances the first and third Monday of every month, 7-9:30 p.m., at Fitzpen Place, 11247 State Highway 31 (Spanish Fort). Email [email protected].


WORKSHOPS

Money management
Seminar on how to develop spending plans, money management skills and other goal-setting techniques. Monday, Feb. 13, 6-7 p.m. Register at Lifelines/Consumer Credit Counseling office, 705 Oak Circle Drive E., Mobile. Call 251-602-0011 to register in advance.