"Life is better here"

Welcome to the City of Orange Beach's
community newsletter. 

Vol. 5, Issue 52


From the beach to the bay and everything in between, the City of Orange Beach wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas! 


Holiday Closings

During the 2022 Christmas holiday in Orange Beach, all non-essential city offices will be closed on Friday, December 23rd and and Monday, December 26th. City offices will also be closed on Monday, January 2, 2023 in observance of New Year’s Day. For both holiday weeks, the residential trash routes will run as normal, with no changes.
Latest News

Be prepared for the bitterly cold temperatures that are expected Friday and through the weekend. There is now a Hard Freeze Warning in our coastal area. Take steps to protect your water pipes and ensure that people, animals, and sensitive vegetation will have ready access to warmth this holiday weekend. Be sure to be mindful of proper space heater safety as well.

Follow the U.S. National Weather Service's Mobile bureau at and local TV meteorologists for the latest and most up-to-date information.




Due to the frigid weather, outdoor public restrooms throughout the city will be closed beginning this afternoon and reopen early next week. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Restrooms that will be closed include the following:

  • Waterfront Park restrooms near the Kids Park and the pier
  • Alabama Point Public Beach Access
  • Cotton Bayou Public Beach Access
  • Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail restrooms near the butterfly garden and the one at the Rosemary Dunes trailhead

Portable restrooms will still be available at the Shell Lot Public Beach Access, Romar Beach Public Access, and at the Catman trailhead.

'Light Up Orange Beach' winners announced

Congratulations to the first-place residential winner of the Orange Beach Garden Club's annual "Light Up Orange Beach" Contest: Ted Melancon and Heidi Webb, 27178 Blue Marlin Drive, (Walker Key).

Click on the image below to watch a video of the winning display on the Orange Beach Garden Club's Facebook page

The commercial winner is Summerchase Condominiums, 28500 Perdido Beach Blvd.

Others recognized in the residential category include:
  • Robb and Pam Reese and Rick and Audra DeBlieux - north and south corners of Washington Blvd. and First Street.
  • Starlin and Lisa Lanier, 4620 Starboard Lane (Captain’s Cove).
  • Shawn Clemons, 26077 Marina Road.
  • Brigid Steed, 26282 St. Lucia.
  • John and Audrey Shields, 28331 Canal Road.

PLEASE SLOW DOWN! The city is having a lot of problems with people speeding through the East Canal Road construction area. The work zone speed limit is now posted as 25 mph. Please slow down for the safety of everyone, especially the construction workers.


After more than two years of being closed due to severe damage by Hurricane Sally, the pier at Orange Beach Waterfront Park is open. The 400-foot pier on Wolf Bay had to be completely rebuilt. Black Diamond Construction handled the work. 

Diving into the history of the Waterfront Park, the property was first purchased from the Campbell family in late 1998.  After that plans were drawn for the new park and construction began in early 1999.  The park officially opened in July 2000.  

The purchase of the property came the year after the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce (now known as Coastal Alabama Business Chamber) sponsored a weeklong fact-finding trip along the west coast of Florida to visit other Gulf Coast communities. The trip included city officials from Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Baldwin County officials, business leaders and a representative of the state highway department.  

The same question was posed to every community that was visited: "If you could go back 20 years in your existence, what would you do then that would impact today?"  

Every community was very willing to share its growth and development plans. The one thing they all noted they would do differently was buy every piece of waterfront property they could in order control growth and also offer opportunities for residents and visitors to access the water in their communities. The construction of Waterfront Park allowed that access here in Orange Beach.

Over the years the Waterfront Park and Pier have allowed residents and visitors an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Wolf Bay. In that time many weddings and family reunions have been hosted in the park. The first wedding to be held on the pier was that of Randy and Lori Fitzgibbons on September 29, 2000. Mother of the groom, Jeanne Fitzgibbons, became a city employee in late 2002 and shortly thereafter became the contact person for events and gatherings at Waterfront Park. 

“It has been my pleasure to have some wonderful conversations with people over the years and schedule their event,” Fitzgibbons said. “I remember the planning that went into working out the details of using a 'public' place to hold a wedding. It is doable, you just have to realize the limitations and work within them.” 

The pier is also the backdrop to numerous weddings held each year at the adjacent Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. 

Through the years, Waterfront Park has served many purposes, including being home to Sail Camp from 2001 to 2003 under the leadership of the Point Yacht Club. The city took over Sail Camp in 2004 and continued using Waterfront Park through 2011. After that the program was moved to its new home at the Wind & Water Learning Center, where it continues today.

The pier was destroyed by Hurricane Sally in September of 2020, exactly 20 years after its opening. The new pier is an exact replica of the original construction with a few minor modifications that will help maintenance personnel in maintaining the structure.

In 2002, the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association recognized Waterfront Park with the Outstanding Facility Award for cities with populations under 15,000.  It is noteworthy that the opening of the new pier comes exactly 20 years from the time of that award. 

Life is a little better in Orange Beach now with the popular pier reopened.  


School is out for the Christmas holidays. Students return to school on Wednesday, January 4th.

See the full school calendar on the Orange Beach City Schools website


Congratulations to Chris Pearson on his commitment to the University of Houston. The Mako footballer's signing this week came on the heels of earning MVP honors for the South squad in the 64th AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Classic last weekend, and then being named to the All-State Team by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. For the Makos, Pearson was a running back, safety and returner. 

Another Mako is also making big moves! Congratulations to Claire Atkins on her cross country/track and field commitment to the University of Mobile!


Makos Academics, Arts & Athletics Club

Mako Masquerade Ball and Drawdown set for Feb. 4

MAAAC's Mako Masquerade Ball and Drawdown will be held on Saturday, February 4th at 6 p.m. at the Orange Beach Event Center. The 2023 Masquerade Ball will have entertainment by Fly By Radio and catering by Wolf Bay. Tickets are available online at for $75 per person. A single ticket includes one drawing. A table for 10 is $1,500 and includes 12 drawings and a bottle of champagne. It will be a $7,500 drawdown jackpot!


Follow all of the latest happenings at Orange Beach City Schools on the Orange Beach City Schools Facebook page

Orange Beach City Board of Education 

Upcoming scheduled meetings and/or work sessions:

  • Thursday, January 12, 2023, 4:30 P.M. Work Session followed by 5:30 P.M. Regular Meeting in Council Chambers
  • Thursday, February 9, 2023, 4:30 P.M. Work Session followed by 5:30 P.M. Regular Meeting in Council Chambers
Find more information on the Orange Beach City Schools website at

School Websites

Orange Beach Elementary School:

Orange Beach Middle/High School:


Find all of the latest school news on Facebook at: 

If you're in town next week, be sure to stop by the Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum, behind City Hall. While Museum Curator Eric Daily is on vacation, former Museum Director Gail Walker Graham is taking a break from retirement to be a museum guide. The museum will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 27-29, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Gail's roots run deep in Orange Beach. Her great-grandfather James C. Callaway built the community's first schoolhouse in 1910, and that building now serves as the museum. Watch the video below as she talks about the old schoolhouse. With her family ties to Orange Beach dating back to the early 1800s, Gail always has a wonderful story to share about the early days of Orange Beach. She retired in December 2017, after 22 years with the city. 
Retired Museum Director Gail Walker Graham discusses how Orange Beach's first schoolhouse came into being in 1910 thanks to her great-grandfather James C. Callaway.
Update on Beach Renourishment Project

The City of Orange Beach, City of Gulf Shores and Gulf State Park's joint beach restoration project has been delayed until Fall 2023 due to unexpected delays in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's environmental review process.

This critical project is designed to rebuild local beaches and the dune protection system, which were significantly damaged in Hurricanes Nate and Sally. Work was originally anticipated to start this winter; however, FEMA authorization required to begin the project has yet to be granted. We are hopeful that we will receive approval to begin procurement of a contractor in the spring, which would allow work to begin after the summer season.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue working with FEMA to obtain all necessary approvals.

For more information about the beach renourishment project please reach out to the following contacts:

City of Orange Beach
Phillip West, City of Orange Beach Coastal Resources Manager

City of Gulf Shores
Mark Acreman, City Engineer

Gulf State Park
Billy Pope, Communications & Marketing Section Chief
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Copyright 2022 | City of Orange Beach | All rights reserved.

City of Orange Beach 
4099 Orange Beach Blvd.
Orange Beach, Alabama 36561

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