summer fest

Summertime in the Southeast means itâ??s time to take advantage of the region’s many seasonal festivals and outdoor events. Whether you enjoy music festivals, browsing craft and artisan fairs, or just want to consume as much BBQ as your stomach will allow, the following round-ups offer many delightful options, and some great gambling action nearby!

Sunset Festival

Orange Beach, Alabama | Every Thursday thru August 27

Head to this weekly celebration by the beach and feel your blood pressure drop. If Ebeneezer Scrooge were at to Sunset Festival, even heâ??d enjoy himself–itâ??s impossible not to! Every Thursday, downtown Orange Beach transforms into a street festival, complete with live music, lawn games, and lots of local, mouthwatering food. Not sure where to take your date? Looking for a place to go on a family outing? In addition to quality entertainment, Sunset Festival presents a joyous and community-oriented atmosphere, which makes it the perfect destination for either. This is a real local gem!

Gambling Options: Only 40 minutes to the Pensacola Greyhound Track and Poker Room, 1 hour and 40 minutes to Wind Creek Casino in Atmore, Alabama, and 2 hours to Biloxi, Mississippi.



Grassroots Blues Festival

Duck Hill, MS | July 10 – 11

Now in its thirteenth year, The Grassroots Blues Festival celebrates the rich heritage and cultural importance of blues music. Grassroots exists thanks to Project CAM (cultural arts and multimedia), an organization dedicated to preserving and nourishing the blues as an art form. This festival attracts those who truly appreciate the blues and are eager to listen to artists who have shown a mastery of the discipline. Rumor has it that this yearâ??s festival will feature some sort of tribute to the late B.B. King, a blues great who is sorely missed.

Gambling Options: Duck Hill is just under 2 hours from Pearl River Resort in Philadelphia, Mississippi and Tunica, Mississippi.



Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival

Newport, KY | July 10 – 14

The holy trifecta: Bacon, Bourbon and Brews. Held along the riverfront of Leveeâ??s Festival Park, this four-day celebration of the areaâ??s Bourbon distilling and pork industries is an opportunity to really shine. Top-notch food vendors will be on hand, ready to make you salivate, and The Bourbon Society of Greater Cincinnati will hold tastings and discussions with the area’s top mixologists. This is but one of many cultural events set to take place in the Greater Cincinnati area during the weekend of Major League Baseballâ??s Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, which take place on July 13th and 14th at the Great American Ball Park, home to the Cincinnati Reds.

Gambling Options: There are several great gambling options nearby, all under an hour drive. Rising Star Casino Resort (Rising Star, Indiana); Belterra Casino Resort (Vevay, Indiana); Hollywood Casino (Lawrenceburg, Indiana). These are all premium properties with hotels and luxurious amenities, Rising Star and Belterra both have golf courses as well. Downtown Cincinnati has a Horseshoe Casino, and just East of the city is the newly renovated Belterra Park and Gaming Center for live horseracing action and a slot casino.



Forecastle Festival

Louisville, KY | July 17 – 19

At Forecastle, people come together by Louisvilleâ??s scenic Waterfront Park to unwind and let loose for a whale of a good time. Founded in 2002, Forecastle has grown from a neighborhood event to one of the regionâ??s most exciting summer festivals. Forecastle also highlights the best brown liquor in bourbon country with its Bourbon Lodge, an interactive experience more featuring more than 10,000 square feet of bourbon-focused activities and tastings.

Gambling Options: Similar to Cincinnati, Louisville is near several great gambling options including the historic Churchill Downs Racetrack (Check live race dates at Also nearby, approximately an hour to an hour and a half drive, are Horseshoe Casino Southern Indiana, Belterra Casino Resort and Rising Star Casino Resort.


Bay Harbor Fest

Bay St. Louis, MS | July 17- 19 | 228-363- 3547

Southern rock legend Gregg Allman leads a lineup of zydeco, reggae, R&B and country acts at the 3rd annual Bay Harbor Fest in Bay St. Louis. The 3-day festival highlights local and regional music, art and cuisine. A Boaters’ Rendezvous offers VIP viewing just offshore at the Bud Lite Beach Stage. The Kids’ Fishing Rodeo and other activities make the beach fest a family favorite. Plus, Friday and Sunday Art Walk and downtown activities are free. Advance tickets $25, $30 Gate.

Gambling Options: Hollywood Casino Bay St. Louis, Silver Slipper Casino Hotel are both nearby and the Gulfport and Biloxi Casino within a forty minute drive make this a perfect festival to mix music and gaming!




Elvis Week

Memphis, TN | August 9-16, 2015

Each year, the whole city of Memphis for one week in August lives, breathes, and exudes a burning love for Elvis Presley. Elvis fanatics from all corners of the U.S. travel to Memphis during Elvis Week, an eight day-long celebration to honor the King of Rock and Roll. A variety of different events are scheduled to unfold, including a Best Jumpsuit Contest and a candlelit vigil in remembrance of the King.

Gambling Options: Tunica, Mississippi is less than a thirty minute drive where you will find eight premium casinos, multiple golf courses and all of the casino action you would want!



Top of the Hops Beer Festival at The Wharf

Gulf Coast, AL | August 15

If youâ??re all about IPAs and love a good craft beer, youâ??ll be a hoppy camper at Top of the Hops Beer Festival. Upon entry, festival-goers enjoy unlimited two-ounce samplings from 150+ microbreweries around the world. Good food, good tunes, and beer-friendly games like cornhole. Perhaps you could ask for more, but why would you want to?

Gambling Options: This festival is also only 40 minutes from the Pensacola Greyhound Track and Poker Room, 1 hour and 40 minutes to Wind Creek Casino in Atmore, Alabama, and 2 hours to Biloxi, Mississippi.



34th Annual Biloxi Seafood Festival

Biloxi, MS | September 12-13

The Biloxi Seafood Festival is a premier celebration of Gulf Coast cuisine and features a fabulous array of delicious food offerings and vendors selling art and dry goods. This is a kind of heaven for seafood lovers, who will enjoy Biloxiâ??s traditional offerings such as boiled crab and shrimp, catfish po-boys, gumbo, and biscuits. Thereâ??s even a â??Best Gumboâ?? Championship sponsored by the Sun Herald newspaper. You will not leave hungry!

Gambling Options: Wellâ?¦there are several world-class properties to choose from in Biloxi all featuring their own unique characteristics. We highly recommend Beau Rivage Casino Resort, IP Casino Resort & Spa and Golden Nugget Biloxi.


Article by: Erica Block