Gulf Shores may be known mostly for its beautiful white-sand beaches and gorgeous gulf waters, but it's also acclaimed for its delicious seafood and sense of community. The two latter traits are what visitors will find when they attend the Annual Low Country Boil at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo each February.
Thanks to the Gulf Shores snowbirds and their respective clubs from their home states, more than a thousand people will come together this year to raise money for the zoo while enjoying a fantastic Southern meal. The event began when one so-called "snowbird," Ken Krouse of the Wisconsin Sno-Bird Club, approached the zoo asking how he could help support it. With zoo staff, he organized the first boil, which sold 560 tickets to snowbird clubs from 11 states.
The event continues to grow in popularity - last year ticket sales climbed to 920, and this year organizers expect to sell more than 1,100. Although the boil is organized by the zoo and participating Snowbird Clubs, it's a community effort, as well. Blalock Seafood & Specialty Market in Gulf Shores donates the shrimp and sausage for the delicious meal, and Burris Farm Market in Loxley, Alabama, provides the beans, corn, potatoes, onions and lemons.
In addition to helping the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo - "The Little Zoo That Could" - continue to thrive, the boil provides a fun opportunity to socialize and puts forth a great menu, making it a popular addition to your winter stay in a Gulf Shores condo or house. Guests can even watch the spectacular cooking operation run by Krouse and his crew of 90 workers. Guests may even choose dessert, since Flipper's Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar in Orange Beach provides their Eddie Boy's Homemade Ice Cream.
Tickets to the boil are available through participating Snowbird Clubs.