SEC BeachFest On Alabama Coast

Knowing how much fun it can be when opposing fan bases get together with plenty of alcohol to discuss upcoming football games, who would want to miss the latest from the Southeastern Conference and a few marketing agencies? They are calling it SEC BeachFest and one good thing about it is it will be in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

One could bet Alabama Coach Nick Saban can't wait to get to the coast on Aug. 23-26, just before the start of practice, to take part in town hall discussions with fans and ESPNU broadcasters. Saban is one of three SEC coaches, all of them with national championships, who will participate. He'll be joined by Les Miles of LSU and Gene Chizik of Auburn.

There will also be some retired coaches, including national championship winners Gene Stallings of Alabama, Vince Dooley of Georgia, and Phil Fulmer of Tennessee. Former Auburn Coach Pat Dye (Memo to self: bring extra pants) will also participate.

The announcement promises "Legendary players will also be in attendance to mingle with fans and alumni alike."

The event is being produced by Atlanta-based sports marketing agency MELT and FishBait Marketing of Charleston, S.C., in conjunction with Venture Group of Gulf Shores and Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism (CVB).

Other fun things include:

• ESPNU will host its SEC preview show from Gulf Shores, and broadcast talent will host events along the beach.

• The Coaches Trophy will be on display for fan photographs.

• Live music featuring legendary Southern performers the B-52s and Dr. John.

• Golf scramble for fans.

• FanZone will include family and kids' activities like a sand castle building competition, sports clinics with Legendary SEC Coaches, beach games, beach volleyball, touch football with SEC legends, a 5k run and one-mile fun run and waffle breakfast.

• Concert at The Wharf.

The activities will take place at various locations in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Local merchants, restaurants and lodging providers will also be included in the festival. Tickets for the weekend are $25 and are available at or through participating merchant partner promotions.

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