How important is clean air and water to you? Well it’s more important to Mobile Baykeeper, and to keep that program running we celebrate their annual Bay Bash Oct. 23. The event lasts from 6–9 p.m. at Five Rivers and will showcase at least 15 local artists who have their fingers on the pulse of Mobile Bay. The donated pieces will be part of the silent auction that focuses on what it is like to live here. It’s art that displays the essence of our waterways.

There will be live music and fresh gulf seafood prepared by local restaurants as well as a martini bar and other adult beverages. Cross your fingers for prizes such as fishing trips and sunset cruises. Saints tickets and hotel stays have also been donated to the cause, and all proceeds from this event will benefit the mission of Mobile Baykeeper, which is to protect and preserve Mobile Bay watershed, Alabama’s waterways, and coastal communities.

Act now. Tickets may be purchased at www.mobilebaykeeper.org or at the door at a price of $35 for members and $50 for non-members that includes a membership.

10th annual Balloon Glow lights up Bellingrath

Bellingrath’s balloon glow is Oct. 25

Bellingrath’s balloon glow is Oct. 25

Holidays aren’t the same without Bellingrath Gardens, and the Halloween season is no different. One of my favorite events of the year is happening Oct. 25 from 4:30–7 p.m. The annual Balloon Glow turns 10 this year and is a great way to celebrate the beauty of Bellingrath Gardens in the fall.

Kids can trick or treat over 35 businesses throughout the gardens as the burners light up the hot air balloon (weather permitting). But don’t fill your bellies with loads of candy. Save that for the ride home. Smoking Gringos, Geaux Boy and Foosackly’s will be on site with their food trucks slinging the best grub these grounds have ever seen.

The USA cheerleaders will be on hand, as well as the Jaguar mascots South Paw and Miss Pawla. Tickets are only $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 5-12. Consider this a safe and fun way to get in a Halloween practice run.

Greater Gulf State Fair hits The Grounds this week

Celebrate the Coast is the theme of this year’s Greater Gulf State Fair coming this weekend, Friday, Oct. 24, and lasting through Sunday, Nov. 2. Expect an “Arts Alive” exhibit along with nautical-themed attractions such as a live shark encounter, the largest sea lion traveling exhibit in North America, pet a live stingray and have fun in the Sandbox Creation Station.

Of course there will be rides galore, but the biggest attraction is the food! Fair fare is a great excuse to get your body ready for a Thanksgiving throw-down. Candy apples (the red, with or without nuts) are far superior to caramel apples, which are far superior to funnel cakes, which are way better than fried snickers which are sweeter than saltwater taffy which is more of a bargain than cotton candy which I prefer to nutty bars.

Long story short I’ll be grabbing a corn dog and a red candy apple while checking out the Yo Gabba Gabba characters and the Octonauts. Word is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be in attendance, but there is no way I’m going to 1035 Cody Road to eat pizza. Entrance is $8 for adults, $4 for the kids.

IHOP offers free Scary Pancake

Halloween will be a special day at IHOP. From 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. kids 12 and under will be treated to a free Scary Pancake! Don’t freak out. It’s a strawberry nose with whipped topping for eyes and mouth, but kids can decorate their own with kandy korn and mini Oreos.

House That Delicato Built coming to Italian Fisherman

Tuesday, Nov. 4 is the next installment of the Italian Fisherman’s wine dinner series. This one is titled “The House That Delicato Built,” and begins at the usual 7 p.m. start time. I’m sure it will please every palate with lobster cakes, chicken picatta, grilled salmon, dry rub baby back ribs, fresh fruit, and international cheeses. Then, of course, there is the wine. Every course features a different adventure with more notes than a symphony.

The price is an all-inclusive $60, so act fast before it fills up. And this one will fill up. Call 251-478-2881 for reservations for this event.

Hangout Oyster Cook-off Sunday Brunch to be a hit

We have discussed the Craft Beer Kickoff, the Tasting Tickets for the oyster cook-off, the celebrity chefs and judges, but the Hangout’s Oyster Cook-off Nov. 7-9 closes with a big bang. The Seventh Annual Cook-off finishes with a Sunday brunch that is guaranteed to get you riled up.

The Hangout’s first ever brunch will feature recipes prepared by cook-off chefs, so I can’t sneak you a peek at the menu just yet. There will be a “build your own bloody Mary bar that features Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix and plenty of football games on the big screens all day long. The event begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $25 per adult and $10 per child. Visit www.hangoutcookoff.com to purchase tickets and stay updated over the next couple of weeks.

Recycle the rubbish, not last year’s unwanted candy!