You’ve heard of Christmas in July, but Mardi Gras? It’s time for the fourth annual “Mardi Gras in July” this Saturday, July 22, at Fairhope Brewing Co. It’s an annual celebration of our favorite time of year … at a different time of year!

Enjoy cooling off in the oppressive summer heat with Mardi Gras brews such as King Cake Stout, Bubba Likes Moon Pie and Hurricane Wheat, along with a few surprises.

A mere $5 gets you in the door plus a commemorative glass. Great live music begins at 2 p.m. with Bay City Brass Band, Fat Man Squeeze at 4:30 p.m. and Lauren Murphy and the Psychedelics at 7 p.m.

Don’t worry about bringing a covered dish. Food will be available for purchase from Fairhope’s Bean and Bistro as well as the Bleus Burger food truck. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Bay Bites gains momentum
Cooper Riverside Park will be bursting at the seams Wednesday, July 26, for the annual Bay Bites Food Truck Festival. From 5-8 p.m., enjoy offerings from your favorite meals on wheels as well as craft beer from Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewing Co., live music from Roadside Glorious and good, clean fun with lawn games, a dunking booth and vendors in this beautiful setting.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, available through Mobile Baykeeper and the “Bay Bites” Facebook page.

Participating food trucks so far are Bleus Burger, Crabby T’s, Crepe Crusader, Frios Gourmet Pops, Grillbillies BBQ Co. (what a name!), The Kraken Catering Co., Mother Shuckers, Puglies Mexican and Von’s.

(I had some Puglies the other day — get their barbacoa. I can’t wait to try the others.)

This event is hosted by Baykeeper’s Young Advisory Council and continues to grow every year.

Callaghan’s gets statewide award
For the sixth year in a row, the readers of Alabama Magazine voted as you did for the Nappie Awards, crowning Callaghan’s for having the “best burger” in the Best of Bama Awards. I’d not had one in weeks so ordered one at the Phil and Foster CD release party to be sure. I think they got it right.

Congratulations, JT and crew! Don’t change a thing.

Gumbo Academy time
You must act fast! It’s time once again for the class you’ll love to eat at Bettie Champion’s Gumbo Academy. Made possible with a grant from the Alabama Arts Council, this two-part class includes a lecture portion and a hands-on cooking class, after which students take home their own gallon of gumbo.

Identical lectures will be held Monday, July 24, and Tuesday, July 25, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Government Street United Methodist Church located at the corner of Broad. You’ll get an hour of history, preparation instruction and informational handouts including the tested recipe. The cooking part of the class will be done in pairs at dates to be determined.

Cost is $75 per student; all you need to bring is a gallon-sized stockpot. For more information call Bettie at 251-458-1570 or email