Amelia Island, FL – What began as a family picnic and boat race in 1964 has evolved into a weekend celebration honoring Fernandina Beach and her deep rooted history in the shrimping industry. Join us on May 2, 3 and 4, 2014 for the 51st Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Presented by Publix Supermarkets, as we transform historic, downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida into a festive weekend of history and art! Enjoy a fully juried art show with over 300 artisans competing for over $7,500 in cash awards. There will be fine arts and crafts, over 50 antique dealers, contests throughout the festival for kids of all ages, live musical entertainment, scores of playful pirates, and a Kids Fun zone with activities, entertainment and food, but best of all, admission is FREE for the entire festival!
Imagine the variety of dishes cooked up by our local food booths that are ALL non-profit organizations. Your taste buds will be tempted by a wide variety of white shrimp, Fernandina’s little treasures of the sea. Will you choose the Fried Shrimp, Boiled Shrimp, Shrimp Pizza, Shrimp Pie, Shrimp Quesadillas, or perhaps you are daring enough to enter the Shrimp Ice Cream Eating Contest?
Amelia Island’s downtown merchants hold a sidewalk sale all day Friday, May 2nd until the Festival officially opens at 6:00 pm. Live music and Opening Ceremonies start the festivities at the main stage, the Kids Fun Zone opens Friday evening, and all of the food, sponsors, and exhibitor’s booths located at the waterfront will be open. The fun continues until 10:30 pm with live music suitable for dancing, the Miss Shrimp Festival winner will be crowned, and there will be a Pirate Invasion followed by a fantastic fireworks show.
Saturday the fun grows larger with the addition of all of the vendors and exhibitors booths opening all the way down the eight block length of Centre Street. From 8th Street to the waterfront, and one block out in both directions, from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm, you will be amazed at the quality and variety these vendors offer. Several contests will be held including the Little Pirate Contest and Best Beard Contest, there will be a Pirate Invasion and local, regional and national musical acts performing on the waterfront stage, as well as more entertaining acts in the Kids Fun Zone.
Sunday, the festival is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm with the addition of the Best Decorated Boat Parade and the Blessing of the Fleet at the waterfront. Tasty shrimp dishes keep your lips smacking, while great live bands get those toes tapping!
Other events surrounding the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival include the local’s favorite event, the popular Pirate Parade held downtown on Thursday, May 1st, at 6:00 pm. There is also the McArthur Family YMCA 5K Fun Run on Saturday morning held at Main Beach by the Atlantic Ocean.
The easiest way to get to and from the festival is to take advantage of our shuttle service, Park and Ride. This is staffed by charitable organizations. Simply park at the Fernandina Beach High School for a nominal donation, and then catch the free, air conditioned shuttle bus to and from the festival grounds.
Always held the first weekend in May, the Southeast Tourism Society has named the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival a Top-20 event for the past twelve years! For more information please visit www.ShrimpFestival.com.