Souvenir City Celebrates 65th Anniversary

Souvenir City Celebrates 65th Anniversary
Souvenir City is a family owned tradition since 1956 and open seven days a week. | Image by

The original Souvenir City in Gulf Shores celebrated 65 years in business on July 1 with a ribbon cutting in its iconic shark’s mouth entrance, recently reported. The Coastal Alabama Business Chamber presented a proclamation proclaiming July 1 as Souvenir City Day. Owner Clyde Weir and members of the Weir family joined guests including Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft and city council members, Coastal Alabama Business Chamber members, Gulf Shores City Schools cheerleaders and tourists. In 1959, Weir took over the gift shop, which his mother had opened in her former restaurant location. In 1979, Weir purchased his mother’s interest in the store and began purchasing the surrounding land, ultimately purchasing the whole block. The shark at the entrance of the store was Weir’s response to competition moving in just south of Souvenir City. While at a gift show in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Weir saw a shark at a miniature golf course and was inspired to build a shark’s head large enough for guests to walk through. The shark ultimately grew to 50 feet long. In 1986, the store burned to the ground, but the concrete shark remained. When the store was rebuilt, the shark grew to 70 feet. It remains one of the strongest draws for photo opportunities at the beach.

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