Saturday, June 5, 2010
The show must go on...
WHEN? Saturday · June 5, 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
WHERE? Fairhope Alabama
…and it did for the first ever Bald Eagle Bash to celebrate the return of the Bald Eagle to the Weeks Bay area.
The Weeks Bay Foundation hosted the event.
Even though the weather did not cooperate for this outdoor festival, the party for preservation was a good one. When the first torrential rain (accompanied by high winds and lightning) was over and the sun came out, NEW GROOVE cranked up and entertained the diners and the dancers. People did not allow the weather to dampen their spirits. A group of people started doing a line dance to the band’s music and eventually had the female vocalist out in the muddy parking lot hoofing it with them, or I should say leading them.
I was reminded of the optimistic lyrics of the Irving Berlin song sung by Ethel Merman and found at least three versions of it on YouTube. I liked this one the best.
The event was held at the new waterfront Tonsmeire Weeks Bay Resource Center (old Lulu’s location) at the Fish River Bridge on U.S. Highway 98 in Fairhope. The unique taste of coastal Alabama seafood prepared by local restaurants was under the resource center’s building, which was where most early arrivals took refuge from the rain. Each restaurant served up their top Alabama Wild Shrimp recipe to vie for Peoples’ Choice honors. At one point I let the Grand Hotel people know that drops of rain had totally obliterated their big jar where people were supposed to put their votes. One could no longer even read the restaurant’s name.
The event was well attended and was a great party with great food, great music, and, best of all, a great cause. It raised funds to continue the Foundation’s mission to protect the natural resources of coastal Alabama while supporting the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Even though the rain made it quite an “adventure” as some described it, it was a great success in terms of attendees and funds raised. It was obvious that many who came out had a great time.
America’s national symbol, as well as many other natural wonders are under continuous pressure due to habitat loss and increased human disturbance. Concerted efforts to protect wetlands and nesting sites will ensure the continued existence of the Bald Eagle as well as other creatures. The Foundation has been successful in preserving lands that provide critical habitat for many species of plants and animals.
Sponsors for this year’s event were:
Bayshore Title Co., Inc.
Coastal Land Trust
Dr. Michael Houston
Eat Alabama Wild Shrimp
Faulkner State’s Gulf Coast Culinary Institute
Hampton Flooring and Design
Michael & Cindy McBrearty
Michael and Debbie Quinn
Miller’s Grand Events
Rodney Hubble/Force 5 Walls, Inc.
Russell Thompson Butler & Houston, CPAs
Safe Harbor Financial/Jim Byrd
South Baldwin Regional Medical Center
Southern Capital Services, Inc.
Stephen Baker/Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Stone, Granade & Crosby, PC
The Conservation Fund
Volkert Environmental Group, Inc.
The ten participating restaurants were troopers and served their delicious cuisine to those attending with a pleasant smile as if every day they cooked while drops of water fell on them. All of us need to support these restaurants and let them know we appreciated their spirit and their food.
Big Daddy’s Grill
Blue Marlin Restaurant (winner of Peoples’ Choice honors)
Felix’s Fish Camp Grill
Saltwater Grill at The Grand
Tin Top Restaurant and Oyster Bar
Wash House Restaurant
Wintzell’s Oyster House
Postscript on June 6: My clothes were still wet when I checked them on the line on the screened porch so I just threw them in the washing machine for a short load. No wonder I felt like I looked like a drowned rat!