BayFest 2013 has come and gone, and it was eventful in many ways, both positive and negative. A recent press release from the BayFest committee described it best as “one of the most challenging years thus far.” The possible threat of Tropical Storm Karen forced organizers to restructure the entire festival, which was not an easy task.

“We have faced many challenges, but thanks to countless volunteers and the festival’s many sponsors, we were able to keep this year’s event on track,” said BayFest President/ CEO Robert O. Bostwick, Jr. “The economic impact to the city, county and region is great, therefore we took every precaution to keep festival-goers safe and also insure a positive return to the community.

Part of the festival’s emergency restructuring involved doing away with the smaller stages that featured a plethora of local and up-and-coming musical acts. However, the fact that these acts were not able to perform at BayFest 2013 did not go unnoticed by BayFest organizers. They promised to give those who were scheduled to appear on these stages “first priority” for BayFest 2014.

In spite of this shake-up, BayFest once again pulled in the crowds with Saturday night acting as the festival’s apex. A multitude of people filled the streets of Downtown Mobile through both the beautiful weather on Friday and Saturday and the dreary rain on Sunday. Currently, the BayFest committee is waiting patiently as the attendance and economic impact reports are prepared, but those in attendance will agree “Alabama’s Largest Music Festival” was as memorable as ever.

The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) is a non-profit group with the sole purpose of acting as stewards to coasts all over the nation, including the Alabama Gulf Coast. On Thurs., Oct. 24, they will hold their “Halloween Costume Party and Membership Drive” at The River Shack on DIP. The public is invited to dress up in the Halloween attire and join them for an evening of festivities, including a costume contest with a pair of Costa sunglasses for first prize.

Gretsch Lyles & the Modern Eldorados will be providing the evening’s entertainment. With equal parts of old school country and rockabilly, this band should create the perfect atmosphere for this philanthropic event. Tickets are $25, which includes both music and beer. Visit www.ccaalabama.org for more info.