April is bursting with wonderful events and one Loxley tradition has plenty to offer. The 28th annual Baldwin County Strawberry Festival is set this Saturday and Sunday, April 11 and 12. Entry is free and attendees will be treated to arts and crafts, live music, an antique car show, a dozen or more food vendors and a carnival, all of which will be presided over by the newly crowned Little Miss Strawberry and her court.

Of course the best part of the event is the chance to get down on some strawberries. Loxley Municipal Park has hosted the festival for years on the second weekend of April. Entertainment begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. both days.

Proceeds from the delicious gathering benefit Loxley Elementary School and the Association of Retarded Citizens of Baldwin County (ARCBC). For more information on this event including a live music schedule as well as how you can run for Little Miss Strawberry visit www.baldwincountystrawberryfestival.org.

St. Mary’s Crawfish and Bluegrass offers best lineup and ticket deals
I had not had any crawfish this season until this week. I managed to go to three different crawfish boils, purchase a new cooker, and make plans for my own. You could say I have the fever. I always get the fever when St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus Crawfish and Bluegrass Extravaganza is just around the corner!

When you can’t get enough crawfish head to my favorite event held this year on Saturday, April 18 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic School. Thousands of pounds of some of the best crawfish I’ve ever had are usually enough to take home a plate or two. Top that off with a lineup of bluegrass that is arguably the best we’ve ever assembled.

Fat Man Squeeze has played every year except the debut and will start this one off. Delta Reign is on fire and Pat Murphy plans on igniting a banjo. The Deluxe Trio is making its debut appearance and is one of my favorite bands. I catch them weekly. They’ve begun to notice me in the audience and I am waiting to be served with a restraining order. Oh, the things I would do for a lock of Phil’s hair. Bringing up the rear is everyone’s favorite, Rollin’ in the Hay, the equal of which you will not find.

Of course the crawfish are the centerpiece, but don’t neglect the gumbo, hot dogs, Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream, and Fairhope Brewing Company. Bring canned goods for the Bay Area Food Bank can drive. All proceeds from this fundraiser go toward Catholic Social Services “Legacy for the Future.” Picker’s Paradise Guitars has donated a beautiful Alvarez Guitar to be raffled off at the event.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the gate. High school students 13-18 years of age with a valid ID or driver’s license are $15. Kids 12 and under get in free, as do World War I veterans. Find these tickets at Zoghby’s Uniforms, Mobile Popcorn, or the St. Mary offices. Online you will find them at brownpapertickets.com/event/1358702 or visit www.stmarymobile.org.

USA Children’s and Women’s hosts second Local Goodness
Last year’s event was amazing. I expect this year to be even better. USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital is having their second annual Local Goodness fundraiser Sunday, April 19. This farm-to-table event runs from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Alabama Cruise Terminal, and showcases local chefs with local seafood, meats and produce along with local art and music.

This fundraiser helps provide women and children of our region with the highest quality healthcare. It’s a worthy cause, and though tickets are $150 per person last year’s event was such a hit you won’t grumble about the extra bucks. Live music from Fat Man Squeeze puts the “farm” in farm-to-table. The casual feeling of amazing food and the amenities of the cruise terminal set the mood for fun!

For tickets call 251-415-1636 and for sponsorship opportunities call Beth Mattei at the same number or email bmattei@southalabama.edu. We will see you there.

Zea’s announces Christini wine dinner
Zea’s announced a wine dinner coming up Wednesday, April 22. This four course meal features the wines of French Distributor Jean Francois Christini paired with what sounds like an amazing meal.

A sneak peak at the menu shows a poached pear salad with gorgonzola paired with Le Lys Semillon, crawfish and shiitake ragout with honey citrus cream vol au vent with Le Lys Rose’, medallion of quail with escargot duxelle with roasted sweet potato and sauce Perigourd beside Costes du Chateau Feret-Lambert. Dessert course is a cappuccino torte with Le Lys Rouge.

Christini is a joy to listen to, and guests will come away much wiser. The cost is $50 per person, and seating is limited. Zea’s is located at 4671-A Airport Blvd. Call for reservations at 251-344-7414.

Casino Night shaping into quite the event
As if the crawfish and bluegrass weren’t enough, St Mary’s is gearing up for their Casino Night. Saturday, May 2 is the date for “An Evening in Paris.” The tables will be hot and you may get to see our own Rob Holbert as a dealer.

Dine al fresco at the “Café du Mustang” with cuisine from Alec Naman of Naman’s Catering, Regina Flores of Regina’s Kitchen, David Calametti of Bistro Escoffier, and John Weichman from the former Italian Fisherman.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, $25 for seniors, and “special dinner” tickets are $100 for two with a chance to win $10,000. Proceeds benefit St. Mary’s Catholic School. Call 251-433-9904 or visit www.stmarymobile.org for more information.

Until next time, recycle!