Fernandina Beach, FL – Shrimp Pie, Shrimp Twisters, Shrimp Quesadillas, Fried Shrimp, Boiled Shrimp, Shrimp Pizza, are you hungry yet? Visit Fernandina Beach on beautiful Amelia Island on May 4 through May 6, 2012 for the 49th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Presented by Publix, and treat yourself to a feast of the sea and lively entertainment in this historic seaport village, known as The Birthplace of the Modern Shrimping Industry.
Pirates roaming the Atlantic are just one of Amelia Island’s tales that come to life at this year’s Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, celebrating all things shrimp since 1964, catching them, cooking them, eating them and even drawing them. The Southeast Tourism Society has named the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival a Top-20 event ten times. This year’s line-up of fine arts and antiques, delicious food and lively entertainment is sure to live up to that distinction. Arrrrr!
Festivities Begin Friday Night
Catch fantastic bargains during the Downtown Merchants Sidewalk Sale all day Friday as the fine arts and antique show doesn’t open until Saturday. The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, presented by Publix, officially kicks off at 6:00 p.m. on Friday evening, May 4, when food booths, entertainment and activities open at the Riverfront and Kids Fun Zone only. The Opening Ceremony officially starts the festivities at 6:30 p.m. on the Riverfront Stage, followed by the Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant, Music and a Pirate Invasion, with Fireworks scheduled for 9:45 p.m.
Fine Arts & Crafts and Antiques
On Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., when not feasting on shellfish, visitors can enjoy the works of over 300 award-winning artists and craftspeople and their creations in watercolor, acrylics, oils, sculpture, metal, photography, pottery and more, all fully juried to qualify for entry into the show. Best of Show will receive a $1,250 cash prize. Selected as a Top 200 Outdoor Art Festival in the U.S. by Sunshine Artist Magazine, the festival also boasts an excellent showing of fine antiques and collectibles, about 75 booths, including furniture, Depression glass, jewelry, crystal and coins. Student artwork from all public and private schools in Nassau County are displayed, with awards for outstanding pieces given by local businesses.
Food and Music
What would a Shrimp Festival be without shrimp? Seafood and shrimp dishes abound, all prepared with a local flair and flavor by dozens of volunteer organizations from Fernandina Beach and Nassau County. The treats for the taste buds and eyes are rivaled only by musical performances from regional and local acts that will fill the seaside air with the sounds of jazz, pop, rock, folk, and country. Beach music will be provided by our house band, the ever popular Swingin’ Medallions, who will perform on Sunday afternoon.
See colorful pirates swordfight, loot and plunder in the streets after they invade the festival by a pirate shrimp boat, a throwback to the days when Amelia was ruled under foreign flags. A “Blessing of the Fleet” and the “Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Parade and Contest” on Sunday will entertain guests at the Riverfront. Contests include Adult and Little Pirate Contests and Best Beard Contest on Saturday, and a Shrimp Ice Cream Eating Contest on Sunday. Get with the spirit of the festival and entertain the family in the Kids Fun Zone with activities for all ages and entertainment throughout the weekend provided by Rick Hubbard’s Kazoobie Show and JuggleSTUFF, among others. And, don’t forget to tighten the wooden leg, Black Beards, and join the YMCA 5K run on Saturday morning. Later, bring the crew to the Shrimp Festival Putt-Putt Tournament at Main Beach on Saturday night.
Join the locals for the pre-festival Pirate Parade, presented by Residence Inn, Amelia Island, to be held on Thursday, May 3 at 6:00 p.m. as it takes over Centre Street in downtown Fernandina Beach to the theme of “Shrimping through the Years” Pick Your Favorite Decade. Creative craftsmanship will abound with the imaginative floats and unique entries vying for “Best of Parade” honors.
There are truly memories to be made for everyone at this storied festival. For a complete listing and schedule of events for the 49th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Presented by Publix, visit www.shrimpfestival.com.
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