Spring is a busy time of year here at Lagniappe World Headquarters. We have our grubby little hands in a lot of stuff. So I wanted to give you all the inside scoop/more info on three of our biggest events that are already underway or coming up this month. We hope you are as excited about them as we are.

Since none of us is getting any younger, let’s get to it!

It’s Nappie time!

Yes, it’s Nappie time. Yes, already. The voting in the Nappie Awards nomination period started a little earlier than usual this year on March 28. It will run through April 17. We just needed a little more turnaround time between the nomination period and finals so we can make sure all of the finalists are notified. Plus, tabulating it all is a pretty grueling process.

The finals will begin on May 16 and run through June 10. The winners will be announced in our July 18 issue and the Nappie Awards ceremony will be on July 20 at the Saenger Theatre.

We love all of the excitement the Nappies generate each year, and we are still amazed just how much our readers’ choice awards have grown over the years.

In the first year, we had just a handful of categories. The ceremony was so small we handed out everything in the back room of Café 615 and the certificates awarded to the winners featured a photo of an obese Elvis impersonator (for some reason — still not sure why). There are still a few floating around town in all their kingly glory.

In some ways we miss those days, because as it has grown over the years, we have definitely experienced the pains that go along with that. But we have continually tried to address those issues.

For instance, this year we have cut some of the categories because both the ballot and the ceremony had just gotten way too long. It shouldn’t take half of your workday to fill it out. And we only rent the Saenger for one night, not the whole weekend. We know everyone wants a category and it’s hard for us to say no, because we feel everyone deserves recognition no matter what they do. That’s what we love about the Nappies. But it had just gotten ridiculous. So we cut some categories that didn’t get a lot of votes and/or didn’t get a lot of promotion.

Also, we used to allow readers to vote as many times as their hearts desired. We figured if someone was really that fired up to vote that many times, then by all means, we should let them. But that too had gotten out of hand, so we limited it to voting once an hour the past couple of years and this year to just once per day.

While we know these changes have upset some people, we hope the process overall is much better for everyone. And remember, it’s supposed to be fun. Like fat Elvis impersonator kind of fun. So in that spirit, head on over to votenappies.com and get to votin’!

SouthSounds Mobile Bay and New Southern Music Showcases

Lagniappe has been thrilled to partner with SouthSounds Music Festival the past three years to present what we think is one of the coolest parts of the festival, the Mobile Bay and New Southern Music Showcases. Admittedly, we are a bit biased. But they really are the coolest.

So what’s this all about, you ask? On Saturday, we have six new acts from our area each play a 20-minute set in front a panel of music industry professionals. The local acts chosen this year are: G’mar Poett, Kayla Cox, Kayland Knight & Trex, Paid to Pretend, Red Clay Strays and Summerlyn Powers.

The panel will pick their favorite of those six and that band will get to play in the New Southern Music Showcase on Sunday. The New Southern Music Showcase features five of the best bands from all over the Southeast who are playing the festival, along with the winner of the Mobile Bay Music Showcase. This year’s bands are: Airpark (Nashville), Blackwater Brass (Ocean Springs), Glass Mansions (Columbia, South Carolina), I’MAGENE (Destin), and Love Moor (Birmingham). They will also each play a 20-minute set. It’s like a sampler platter of the festival!

The winner of the New Southern Music Showcase will win a great prize package from the showcase sponsors, including three days of studio time at Studio H20 with the legendary Rick Hirsch (of Wet Willie fame, among others), a $500 gift card to Picker’s Paradise, a gig at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, a $200 gift card to Callaghan’s, a $200 gas card and a feature in Lagniappe.

Past winners of the New Southern Music Showcase were Motel Radio (New Orleans) and local act Yeah, Probably, who won both the Mobile Bay Showcase and New Southern Music Showcase last year.

The Mobile Bay Music Showcase will be Saturday, April 14, from 12-3 p.m., and the New Southern Music Showcase will be Sunday, April 15, from 12-3 p.m. Both showcases are on the Lagunitas Stage behind The Merry Widow and admission is free. For more information, visit www.southsoundsfest.com.

Mobile Bay Restaurant & Cocktail Week

We barely get to catch our breath from SouthSounds before our next event begins. Lagniappe will present the 2nd annual Mobile Bay Restaurant & Cocktail Week, April 18-24. Restaurant weeks in other cities are huge, and we are so excited to replicate it here. So far, we have more than 30 restaurants throughout Mobile and Baldwin counties participating and expect more to sign up.

Each restaurant chooses one of three fixed-price menus and offers dishes from their establishment: 1) $35 per person or $70 per couple; 2) $12.50 per person or $25 per couple; or 3) Special Pricing (restaurant will determine their own price). Some feature their classics, while others come up with a menu created especially for the week.

To put the cocktail in cocktail week, some establishments are doing a $7 craft cocktail as well. Remember, Uber and Lyft are your friends.

This is such a great way to try restaurants you have never been to before or reacquaint yourself with ones you haven’t been to in a while. And a great excuse for date night with your friends, so have your people call their people and get to planning!

For more information on Mobile’s tastiest event, check out mobilebayrestaurantweek.com. Just make sure to buy some new stretchy pants!