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Gulf Shores residents, vacationers take to the beach for biannual tradition

City of Gulf Shores

Hundreds of Gulf Shores residents and day trippers are heading to the beach for a staple summer treat. The city is hosting its second S’mores on the Shore event of the year this Thursday (August 3) at Gulf Place off Gulf Shores Parkway. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m.

Visitors get the chance to toast and enjoy the summer chocolaty treat thanks to firepits organized by local fire officials. Event officials will hand out anywhere from 800 to 1,000 s’mores packets that night while supplies last. A DJ will provide ongoing live music, and children can visit the on-site balloon artist for their own inflatable balloon gift.

The city has held S’mores on the Shore twice a year since 2010. The first event this year was on May 25 for students and families to kick off the summer season. Brigette Reynolds is the special events manager for the City of Gulf Shores. Reynolds said this event has become quite the tradition for the area, and residents look forward to the fireside festivity each year.

City of Gulf Shores

“It has become a tradition for sure,” she said. “We see a lot of our local families that are ending the summer, getting ready for back to school. We choose a Thursday night because that typically is the best time for our residents and local day trip visitors to come down here and enjoy something on our beaches.”

However, Reynolds said it is not just the locals who look forward to this event; it is the summertime travelers and visitors.

“It’s a good mix of residents, day trippers and visitors,” she said. “ We’re right where we like to be with something like this. It’s still comfortable and not in such mass that you can’t enjoy it because crowds are too big. We usually get around 500 to 750 people. It’s families of all ages. We see all ages out there. It’s just impactful in that it’s got a well-rounded feel to it.”

S'mores on the Shore is free, and no registration is required to attend. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs, coolers, food, beverages, umbrellas and tents. Event coordinators will only supply the s’mores packets and firepit equipment.

“We’ve had people bring their own hot dogs and picnic items and use the fire to roast some dogs,” Reynolds said. “Others stay down close to the shore and just enjoy the music. It’s a regular day at the beach in the afternoon on a hot summer day. You can come and enjoy our beach and then take part in the s’mores event after [too].”

Coordinators also recommend that attendees arrive early, as s’mores packets could run out before the event concludes.

Other than free fun, Reynolds said there are several reasons why residents and vacationers should attend S'mores at the Shore this Thursday. For the sentimental type, Reynolds said this event is like something out of a movie.

“People see the movies where they show people around a fire on the beach, yet very seldom do you [have] the opportunity to do that,” she said. “I think just having a fire, even though it's summertime, people are drawn to that. It brings people together. Music is another thing that brings people together. The fact that this has both of those elements [and is] in such a beautiful setting, it's an opportunity to do something that is nostalgic and depicted in various ways that you don't get to do everywhere.”

For families, Reynolds said S’mores on the Shore is a great way to celebrate the people in their lives.

“It's a unique experience on our beautiful beaches that we do safely, and it makes memories,” she said. “We have families that have been coming here now for 13 years with children that have been here when they were four and five years old that are still coming back and enjoying this event. It's an opportunity to start a tradition with your own family and make memories, which I think is what Gulf Shores is about.”

More event information can be found on the City of Gulf Shores’ website. Residents can also visit the city’s website to sign up for email or text notifications and receive the latest on events and happenings in Gulf Shores, including the upcoming Music at Meyer Park event on Aug. 17.

Joshua LeBerte is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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