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Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant Seeking Contestants

It is time for the Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival’s Scholarship Pageant. Sponsored by The Hampton Inn & Suites, Amelia Island, the pageant is open to high school level juniors and seniors, currently attending public, private, alternative and home schools. Continue reading

Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Announces Baptist Medical Center-Nassau as Presenting Sponsor


(Pictured, L to R)
John Scherer, Sponsorship Director, 2017 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival
Ed Hubel, President-Baptist Medical Center-Nassau
Warren Harrison, Chairman, 2017 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

AMELIA ISLAND, FL – The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Committee is pleased to announce that Baptist Medical Center-Nassau is the “Presenting Sponsor” of the 54th annual festival being held May 5 -7, 2017, in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach. Continue reading

Shrimp Festival 2016 Slide Show

If you missed the 2016 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, or just want to relive some of the wonderful moments, check out this fantastic slide show by Peggy and Helmut Albrecht.

Wondering the festival from the Pirate Parade on Thursday, through the final performance of the Swingin’ Medallions on the Riverfront Stage late Sunday afternoon, the Albrechts were snapping pictures of people, art, animals, food, entertainers, shrimp boats and just about everything else you will find in Fernandina Beach on the first weekend in May each and every year.

Here is the show… enjoy!

Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival from Slices of Life Photostudio on Vimeo.

2016 Shrimp Festival Pirate Parade Winners

2016 Shrimp Festival Pirate Parade Winners(Click to enlarge image)

Here are the winners for the 2016 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival’s Pirate Parade:

Grand Marshal – Captain Speedy

Commercial or Commercially Sponsored Non-Profit
3rd Place – #103 – Quality Health Care of Fernandina
2nd Place – #62 – Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
1st Place – #38 – Amelia Gentle Dentistry

Non-Profit or Civic Organization
3rd Place – #36 – Newcomers Club
2nd Place – #21 – St. Mary`s Pirates Club
1st Place – #49 – Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville

Walking Group
3rd Place – #45 – Nassau County Special Olympics
2nd Place – #17 – Miss Kate`s Pre K
1st Place – #27 – Bean`s School of Dance

Band or Performing Unit
3rd Place – #111 – Yulee Marching Band
2nd Place – #57 – Fernandina Mighty Pirates High School Marching Band
1st Place – #30 – The Hillard Flashes Marching Band

Vintage/Unique Vehicle
3rd Place – #110 – The Shriners
2nd Place – #50 – Wells Fargo
1st Place – # 94 – Isle of Eight Flags Jeep Club

Special Effects – Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc.

2016 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Contest Winners

 2016 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Contest WinnersDo you want to know who won the contests during the 2016 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival?

Here are this year’s winners:

Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant

Sponsored by the Historic Harbor Front Hampton Inn & Suites
Miss Shrimp Festival: Jade Beasley
1st Runner up: Kate Walker
2nd Runner up: Ellie Crews
Miss Congeniality: Rachel Sheppard

Ice Cream Eating Contest

Sponsored by Cold Stone Creamery
18 years and over
1st Place: Dillan Clements
2nd Place: Alex Vrancic

12 to 17 year-olds
1st Place: Mac Batton
2nd Place: Siara Lockwood

6 to 11 year-olds:
1st Place: Adrian Duncan
2nd Place: Coral Trotter

Pirates in Training (5 and under)

Sponsored by Mason’s Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc.
1st Place: Miley Barnes
2nd Place: Rileigh Pickles
3rd Place: Madison Nettles
1st Place: Jack Wilson
2nd Place: Daxley Turner
3rd Place: Camden Hart

Little Pirates (six years and over)

Sponsored by Mason’s Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc.
1st Place: Kate Martin
2nd Place: Autumn Grasham
3rd Place: Lydia Gass

1st Place: William Reschke
2nd Place: Ethan Watts
3rd Place: River Plungis

Best Adult Pirate Costume Contest

Sponsored by SearchAmelia.com
adultpirate-winners-20161st Place:Hunter Tomlin
2nd Place: Mike Foley
3rd Place: Thea Seagraves

Topsy Smith Memorial Beard Contest

Sponsored by the Marina Restaurant
1st Place: Ed Kilmer
2nd Place: Joe Craft
3rd Place: Al Johnston

Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Contest

6th Place: Ricky Brown, Beau Rivage
5th Place: Carl Canova, Ashlee Michelle
4th Place: Speedy Tortensen, Miss Alena
3rd Place: Maynor Solarzona, Michaela Dawn
2nd Place: Gerald Miller, Forgiven
1st Place: Barry Woods, Island Girl

Swim in Challenge Butter at this year’s Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

Swim in Challenge Butter at this year’s Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp FestivalAs demand grows for real foods made with quality ingredients, it is no wonder that 100% real Challenge Butter is the largest selling brand in the West, and is moving east at a rapid pace. With more than 450 family owned dairies, the company understands dairy farming as a way of life, and in Fernandina Beach, shrimping is a way of life.

Challenge Butter is hoping to butter us up April 29th, 30th, and May 1st when they provide 500 pounds of butter for use during the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. That is enough butter to fill up THREE Olympic size swimming pools! Free of growth hormones, Challenge Butter is now available at Walmart, Harris Teeter, and Winn Dixie grocery stores.

Here is their recipe for Spicy Honey Butter Shrimp. This recipe is quick and easy and rivals even the best Chinese take-out. Ready in less than 15 minutes, this may be the perfect recipe to entertain your guests over the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival weekend.

½ cup (1 Stick) Challenge Butter
1 Tablespoon grated, fresh ginger
3 Clovers garlic, finely chopped
1½ pounds large, raw, peeled, wild caught shrimp
1 Teaspoon Hibachi Seasoning (or salt and pepper to taste)
¼ Cup of honey
¾ Teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons minced, fresh chives

1. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter until sizzling then add ginger and garlic, stirring with a wooden spoon until the garlic is softened and the ginger is aromatic.
2. Toss shrimp, hibachi seasoning (available in the Asian section of most grocery stores), honey, and red pepper flakes into butter and cook just until the shrimp begins to turn pink all the way through.
3. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon, transfer to a serving platter.
4. With a wooden spoon, quickly stir the honey butter mixture remaining in the pan until bubbling. This will caramelize it slightly. Drizzle thickened honey butter mixture over shrimp.
5. Garnish with fresh chives. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Challenge butter products are gluten free, and Kosher approved and certified. For more information, please visit challengedairy.com.

Who Designed the 2016 Shrimp Festival T-Shirt?

Who Designed the 2016 Shrimp Festival T-Shirt?Mike Barnard is the artist who designed the 2016 T-shirt artwork for the 53rd Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. From his earliest years, Mike knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up… Luke Skywalker. With an early passion for paint and drawing, his parents put him into art classes early and he kept at it though college earning a degree in illustration in 1998 from the Columbus College of Art & Design, in Ohio. After mundane jobs in the corporate world of design and layout, he took a leap of faith and moved to Florida landing a career as art director with one of the biggest and best screen printing companies in the country.

Mike is an award winning artist from Ormond Beach, Florida, and he runs a booming freelance illustration company called Sunburn Designs. He specializes in custom artwork for rock bands, celebrities, large scale events, restaurants, and even the small business owner. He has done work for Topps, Disney, and a number of commissioned pieces for private collections. If you have ever purchased a T-shirt from a Florida restaurant, or at Bike Week, you too, may own a piece of his art. Mike also designed the artwork for the 2014 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival.

Married to the love of his life, Lori, they have a daughter named Alora who will be eight this year.
The call for submissions for the official Shrimp Festival T-shirt design is announced each fall, and the winning artwork will be used on apparel, tote bags, Tervis Tumblers, and marketing and advertising pieces. The artwork must be original and other parameters are set such as the dates, the use of the eight flags, and the proper festival name and location, such as “Fernandina Beach, Florida”.

Designs are selected based on originality, theme, use of color, overall appearance, and commercial viability. For more information on the 2017 design, please keep an eye on ShrimpFestival.com.
For more information about Mike, or his artwork, please visit SunburnDesigns.com.

Contests Galore at Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

jason-poppy-trophyThe Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival offers a wide variety of entertainment and activities, but they also offer a handful of specialty contests and participating in one of them may be idea for someone you know. Marie Cumberland is the Shrimp Festival’s Contest Director and she has been working hard preparing for all of these fun contests.

On Saturday, April 29, 2016, there are two Pirate Costume Contests for those under 18 years of age held in the Kid’s Fun Zone on Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach. While Singer Songwriter Ray Stevens may dress up his tots in “silver buckled slippers” and tight, shiny pants, you would do well to adorn the little one in your life with an eyepatch, a hook, a sword and a parrot. Dress up the youngsters and bring them to the stage in the Kid’s Fun Zone. Sponsored by Mason’s Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc., registration begins at 9:00 a.m., and the contests start at 10:00. Depending on the age of the entrant, little contestants will enter either the Pirates in Training Contest (ages 5 and under) or the Little Pirates Contest (ages 6 and up).

Do you know someone with an irresistibly, touchable beard? The Marina Restaurant is sponsoring the 49th Annual Topsy Smith Memorial Beard Contest. Bring your full beard, goatee, chin strips, balbo, soul patch, chin curtain, or any other style of beard to the Riverfront Stage on Saturday, registration begins at 11:30, with the contest scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Marie will find volunteers from the audience to touch, caress, and pet beads of the contestants and together they will declare a winner.

At 1:30 p.m. it is time for the adults to compete in the resurrected, Best Dressed Pirate Contest. Back by popular demand, and sponsored by SearchAmelia.com., this G-Rated event invites those willing to show off their finest attire from the corsair’s closet. Buccaneer’s boots, a raider’s rapier, and marauder’s medieval mainstays are all acceptable accessories in the Best Dressed Pirate Contest. Prizes are cold hard cash! The winner takes home $100.00, 2nd place is awarded $50.00, and the third place winner walks away with $25.00. Marie will begin accepting registrations at 12:30 p.m. at the Riverfront Stage.


ice-cream-eating-contestSunday, May 1, 2016, offers the Annual Ice Cream Eating Contest, sponsored by Amelia Island’s Cold Stone Creamery. Divided into three age categories, 12 and under, and 13 to 17 year olds, try to be the first one in their age group to finish a Mine size container, which is 16 ounces of ice cream. Those competing in the 18 year old and above category will have to polish off a 32 ounce tub or Ours sized ice cream. This fun-to-watch contest could have you eating large amounts of ice cream with a miniature sized spoon made for sampling the ice cream. You’ll get messy, you’ll get full, and you’ll likely get a brain freeze! Five mystery flavors are layered in the contestant’s cups, and in the past have included cotton candy, mint, sweet cream, or even coffee, but one thing is for certain… the top layer will be a tasty frozen layer of shrimp flavored ice cream. This contest will be held at the Riverfront Stage at 3:30 p.m. and Marie will begin accepting registrations at 2:30.

Whether you plan to enter, or just plan to watch, the contests at the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival are entertaining indeed.

The Shrimp Festival is held in historic, Fernandina Beach April 29 – May 1, 2016. There will be food booths, a dedicated and newly expanded Kid’s Fun Zone, nearly 400 booths of arts, crafts, and antiques, fireworks, Pirates, Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Parade, and live musical entertainment featuring a Chicago Blues Night on Friday and a free Gin Blossoms concert on Saturday.
Admission is free. For more information, please visit ShrimpFestival.com.

Shrimp Festival’s Family Appreciation Night

Shrimp Festival's Family Appreciation NightThis year, the 53rd Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is offering a Family Appreciation Night in the Kids’ Fun Zone. On Friday, April 29, 2016, the youngsters in your life can get unlimited rides with the purchase of a $20.00 wristband. If this sounds like too much fun, you will still be able to purchase individual ride tickets. The wristband is good from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and includes the following amusements: a kid sized Ferris Wheel, Wipe Out, a Stunt Jump, a Rock Wall, a Bungee Jump, Orbitron, the Giant Slide, Jurassic Adventure, Ocean Adventure, and Pony Rides.

Enjoy free, interactive shows all evening with Rick Hubbard and his Kazoobie Band, and JuggleSTUFF with Ben Mathews. Rick Hubbard has been providing positive family entertainment for over ten years and audience involvement is key to this delightful entertainer. Whether he is performing on guitar, banjo, steel drum, or another instrument, his act features, “Kids Appearing on Stage” or “KAOS” as Rick calls it. Ben Mathews JuggleSTUFF offers a unique experience for kids of all ages to take a chance and learn to juggle with cool toys. During the show Ben will break out knives, or perhaps flaming torches giving a fabulous performance while reminding us all, “Don’t try this at home.”
The expanded Kids’ Fun Zone is located at Central Park, on Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach, just steps away from the historic district. Park and Ride shuttles will be available Friday evening at Fernandina Beach High School located at 435 Citrona Drive.

In addition to the rides, amusements, and shows by Rick and Ben, Saturday, April 30th the Kids’ Fun Zone also offers the Little Pirates Contest (ages six and up) and the Pirates in Training Contest (under five years) beginning at 10:00 a.m. There will be a presentation by the dancers of Bean’s School of Dance at 11:00, and at 3:30 you can “Learn to be a Pirate” with members of the Fernandina Pirates Club.

On Sunday, May 1st, Pak’s Karate Academy will take the stage at 11:00 a.m. followed by “Learn to be a Pirate” at noon, and again at 3:30 p.m.

The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival will be open along the riverfront on Friday, April 29th from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m with plenty of food booths featuring wild caught shrimp. Join us for Opening Ceremonies, the Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant, the sound of Chicago Blues with Mud Morganfield and Gitlo Lee, an Invasion of the Pirates, and fireworks on Friday evening.

All of downtown Fernandina Beach becomes a festival on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., where you can peruse nearly 400 exhibitor booths lining the historic streets from Ash to Alachua Streets, and from Eighth Street to the riverfront.

At the Riverfront Stage on Saturday, there will be a beard contest, Invasion of the Pirates, an Adult Pirate contest, Musician Dominic Gaudious, and the Gin Blossoms in concert at 4:30 p.m. Sunday brings the Laying of the Wreath Ceremony, the Blessing of the Fleet, and a Shrimp Boat Parade to the riverfront. There will be an ice cream eating contest and a performance by the Party Band of the South, the Swingin’ Medallions.

There is NO admission fee to the festival, so we hope you will join us as we celebrate shrimp in Fernandina Beach, the Birthplace of the Modern Shrimping Industry.

For more details, please find us on facebook or visit ShrimpFestival.com.

Where will you Watch the Pirate Parade on Thursday Evening?


Click image to enlarge

Where will you be watching the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival’s Pirate Parade? There is plenty of sidewalk and you can bring a lawn chair, but one of Amelia Island’s newest restaurants is offering their First Flag Parade Party. The Patio Place, located at 416 Ash Street, is located directly on the parade route and they are raising money and toys for Marine Corp Reserve Toys For Tots with this fun event. Check out the flyer for more details, simply click on the image and a larger version will open up.

Here is the parade line-up:
(subject to change without notice.)
Fire Dept.
Sheriff`s Dept.
Florida Forrest Service
Fire Rescue Honor Guard
Florida Public Utility
Residence Inn
Vietnam Veterans Chapter 1088
City Commissioners
Fantastic Gymnastics
Miss Kate`s Pre K
Early Impressions and the Vibe
Amelia Island Blues Society
Supervisor of Elections
St. Mary`s Pirates Club
Miss Shrimp Festival Contestants 2016
Team Stingrays
Westec Marina
Bean`s School of Dance
Pak`s Karate Academy
Trail Life Troop 555
The Hilliard Flashes Marching Band
City Commissioner
Nassau Council on Aging
Newcomers Club
Little Women of Fernandina Beach
Amelia Gentle Dentistry
Boys and Girls Club of Nassau County
Boy Scout Troop 152
Royal Amelia Dance Academy (Kinder Studio)
Savannah Grand
Big Brothers, Big Sisters
Amelia Island Montessori School
Nassau County Special Olympics
A Chance to Dance
McArthur Family YMCA
Brave Like Bronson, Inc.
Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville
Wells Fargo
Grand Marshal –Captain Speedy
Kayak Amelia
Baptist Medical Center
Amelia Island Turtle Watch
Overhead Garage Doors
Florida State College Jacksonville Nassau Center
Fernandina Beach High School
Home Depot
Summer House Realty
Kathy Burns for Superintendent
Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
K Bay 106.3
Ritz Carlton
A1A Solar
Charlie Cofer for Public Defender
Marine Corp, League Everett P Pope Detachment #1017
United Daughters of the Confederacy
A Janet Lynne Salon
Visit Florida
Justin Taylor for County Commissioner
Flotilla 14 – 1 US Coast Guard Auxiliary
Sounds on Center
Habitat for Humanity
Hot Paws
Tim Peak for County Commissioner
Beckham Vision Center
VIP Dog Salon
Riptide Watersports
Mc Donald`s
Kraft Tennis Partners
Amelia Musical Playhouse
Salvation Army
Order of the Eastern Star – Fernandina #55
Rick Keffer
POP Warner
Red Bones Bakery
Fairy Tails Mobile Grooming
Janet Adkins
Horizon Electric
8 Flags Jeep Club
Rotary Club
Nassau Bowling Center
CBC Bank
First Coast Pediatric
Maritime Museum
Carlos Stay for Tax Collector
Angel Watch Home Care
Mosquito Authority
Quality Health of Fernandina
Danny Fullwood
Friends of Fernandina Skate Park
Matt Shirk for Public Defender
Donner Horner for State House
Campaign for Wes White
Cub Scout Pack 583
Yulee Marching Band
Clerk of Courts
Amelia Island Museum of History
Camping World of Jacksonville
Jimmy Dubberly
Ron Anderson Chevy Buick GMC
American Heritage Girls – Troop 1327
Joe Zimmer
Sheri Treadwell Campaign
Elm St. Little League Girls Softball
Maritime Museum
Fernandina Pirates Club

Shrimp Festival’s Antique Show 2016

Shrimp Festival’s Antique Show 2016 The older I get, the more I seem to appreciate antique furniture and vintage jewelry, and the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival offers an amazing display of vendors on Saturday and Sunday in the festival’s Antique Show. You’ll find furniture, nautical items, jewelry, dolls, plates and other collectibles. These exhibitors offer true antiques and vintage products. Reproductions and new retail items are not permitted. Many of these vendors have been coming to the Festival for 10, 15, and 20 years. Some come from as far away as Maryland, and Key Largo, Florida, just to participate in the show.

You could spend days looking at all of the items sold in the antiques section of the Shrimp Festival. There will be quilts, fossils, sharks teeth, glassware, pottery, beads and vintage jewelry, and the old wood carvings and folk art are amazing.

spoon-bracelet-by-harmony-in-designOld silverware and gemstones are transformed into wearable art as seen in the picture of the spoon fish bracelet by Jim and Lia Harmon of Harmony in Design. Depression glass, old photography equipment and vintage fabric items will also be up for sale.

Antique and vintage items are great when you are looking to decorate your home or office, or add to an existing collection, but do you know the difference between antique and vintage? In 1930, the United States passed a law defining antiques as an item produced prior to the year 1830. This was to help people distinguish the difference between vintage, reproduced, and antique items. However, that law became outdated and was changed in 1966 to simply define antique as an item that was at least 100 years or older. There are some conditions that were added to clarify repairs and restorations. Vintage items refer to items that are at least 20 years old. For example, an item from the 1950s would be vintage, not an antique.

Adding an antique, or a piece of vintage furniture, will add warmth, and conversation to your space, but how do you know what to look for? If you find a piece that sparks your interest take a closer look. Look at how it is made. Look for chips, cracks, stains or breaks. Do these imperfections add character or is your “find” about to fall apart? Ask the seller if they know the history of the piece. If you select a piece that requires alterations such as refinishing or reupholstering, keep in mind those endeavors can become costly and they would diminish the value of a truly antique piece.

Old pieces will look old. It’s a good idea to look in the crevices of the wood for dust and debris, use a flashlight if you need to. Older pieces are constructed with old fashioned hardware. Furniture will be held together with nails and not staples. If an item is handmade, the dovetail cuts won’t be perfect.

Talk to the exhibitors. Folks that travel to sell their wares at festivals love to meet other people and you will find they are have a wealth of knowledge they are willing to share, after all, this is the business they are in.

Your best bet is to be prepared by doing a little homework if you are considering an expensive purchase. Read books on Depression glass, or look at auction sites for specific items you may be interested in, such as an antique pie safe. With a price range from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars, my novice shopping skills and budget would restrict me to purchasing an imported reproduction pie safe for $49.95. But, even if you are no expert in antiques or vintage merchandise, shopping those items at the Shrimp Festival is still a lot of fun and this year I’ll be looking for old shop signs, nautical items, and of course, vintage jewelry.


Terry and Carol Bodeker
Port Charlotte, FL
Antique glassware, pottery
Vintage jewelry, collectibles

Barbara and Frank Charboneau
Bushnell, FL
Small collectibles

Quoc Boa Chaw
Melbourne, FL
Antique ceramics, glassware, jade

Laura Czarnecki
Holly Hills, FL
Vintage collectibles, jewelry

George Diaz
Jacksonville, FL
Fossils, shark teeth

Christine & Christopher Dillon
Fernandina Beach
Antiques, folk art, wood carvings

Karen Eberly
Gainesville, FL
Vintage kimono, jackets
Jewelry, textiles

Janis Gager
Orlando, FL
Beads & collectibles

Jim and Lia Harmon
Harmony in Design
Middle River, MD
Antique silverware & gemstones
Made into unique wearable art

Randy Jesper
Dunnellin, FL

Elizabeth Kiefer
Spring Hill, FL
Quilts, pottery, beads, jewelry

Paul Luczynski
Coconut Critters
Key Largo, FL
Antiques, glass, pottery

Ann McDaniel
Zephyrhills, FL
Antiques, collectibles, jewelry

Sue McDaniel
Pinellas Park, FL
Depression glass, pottery,
Old cameras

Marilyn Meredith
Meredith’s Antiques, Inc
Deerfield Beach, FL
Antiques, vintage collectibles
Silver jewelry

Arlene Minschel
Island Treasures
Fernandina Beach, FL
Antiques, collectibles, nautical

Debra Moffat
Jacksonville, FL
Antiques, recycled jewelry

Ronni Nagel
Jacksonville, FL
Handmade vintage fabric
Pillows and bags

John Netcher
Olde Tyme Antiques
Jewelry, nautical, glass, pottery
Art, small furniture

Genie O’Brien
Newberry, FL
Rocks, stones, fossils, jewelry

Victoria Pierce
St. Petersburg, FL
Jewelry, furniture, smalls

Tania Sante
Umatilla, FL
Men and women collectibles

Sandra Smith
Zephyrhills, FL
Antiques, collectibles

Bridget Zelnick
Groveland, FL
Antique glass, china

Shrimp Festival 2016 Entertainment Line-up

shrimp-at-the-festivalThe entertainment schedule has been confirmed for the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival coming to historic Fernandina Beach April 28 – May 1, 2016. Come for the arts, the crafts, the food, the antiques, the Kids Fun Zone, the Pirates, the official T-shirt and souvenirs, the free concerts, the shrimp boats, the demonstrations, or just come to people watch, the Shrimp Festival offers something for everyone!

The activities kick-off with a Pirate Parade held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, 2016. Sponsored by the Fernandina’s Residence Inn Marriott on Sadler Road, this year’s parade theme is, “Celebration of All American Shrimp.” If you arrive hungry, Memorial United Methodist Church will be having their annual Spaghetti Dinner on North Sixth Street, in Maxwell Hall from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m., dinner for adults is $8.00 per plate, and $5.00 for children.

Friday’s activities begin early with the Historical Fernandina Business Association’s Annual Sidewalk Sale. Downtown merchants are marking deep discounts and you should take advantage of this great sale!

Friday evening, the expanded Kids Fun Zone, located at Central Park on Atlantic Avenue, is celebrating Family Appreciation Night. Purchase a Ride-All-Night wrist band for $20.00 and rides are included from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. This is a family night of fun with rides, activities and interactive entertainment featuring shows by Rick Hubbard’s Kazoobie Show and JuggleSTUFF throughout the night.

2015-miss-shrimp-festivalThe official Opening Ceremonies will be held Friday evening on the Riverfront Stage at 6:00 pm, with the distribution of scholarships to the winners and runners-up of the Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant by Hampton Inn & Suites, Amelia Island “Historic Harbor Front Hotel”, beginning at 6:30. Enjoy sponsor booths, a marine exhibit, tour a real shrimp boat, and feast on delicious fare from a variety of food booths, all operated by Nassau County’s non-profit organizations, located on the waterfront all evening. At 7:15 the Pirate Parade Awards will be given and then Chicago Blues Night comes to Amelia Island! Presented by the Amelia Island Blues Society, Mud Morganfield (the son of Muddy Waters) will take the stage at 7:30. At 9:00 there is the exciting Invasion of the Pirates as they come booming up the river and take over the stage, followed by a brilliant presentation of fireworks at 9:15. Stick around; after the fireworks the Blues Man of the South, Gitlo Lee, will take the stage until the festivals activities end at 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 30th, brings the opening of nearly 400 arts, crafts, antique, and food booths throughout the downtown area from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Kids Fun Zone will be open all day with shows by Rick Hubbard, and JuggleSTUFF, with the addition of the Mason’s Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Pirate in Training Contest (ages 5 and under) and the Little Pirate Contest (ages 6 and up) at 10:00 a.m. At 11:00, the dancers from the Bean School of Dance will delight audiences, and at 3:30 the Fernandina Pirates Club will help the youngsters, “Learn to be a Pirate”.

On the Riverfront Stage the Fernandina Beach High School Jazz Ensemble performs at 10:00 a.m. and you’ll be dancing in the streets to the band DRB at 11:00. At 12:30, bring your beards to the 49th Annual Topsy Smith Memorial Beard Contest, sponsored by The Marina Restaurant, and at 1:00 p.m. those gnarly Pirates will invade once more. You are encouraged to put on your best pirate attire and enter the G-Rated, Best Adult Pirate Contest, sponsored by SearchAmelia.com (Yep, that’s us!) at 1:30, and then enjoy the amazing, combined sounds of the guitar and the didgeridoo, by Dominic Gaudious at 4:00 p.m. The Contest Registration Booth, located at the Riverfront Stage, will open one hour prior to contests held in the riverfront area.

Gin-Blossoms-PHOTO BY_ Sakiphotography-shrimp-festivalThe Gin Blossoms take the Riverfront Stage for a FREE concert at 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon and will have you dancing and singing along to their Top 40 Hits like Hey Jealousy, Follow You Down, ‘Til I Hear it From You, Found Out About You, and Allison Road. Festivities end at 6:00 p.m.

A full day of fun is expected from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the all of the exhibitors and vendors returning on Sunday. The Kids Fun Zone will be open all day with more performances of the Kazoobie Show and JuggleSTUFF. Pak’s Karate Academy will offer a demonstration at 11:00 a.m. and the kids will delight as they “Learn to be a Pirate” at noon, or again at 3:30 p.m.

randy-cuthrell-wreath-search-ameliaThe Riverfront Stage will offer a Sunday Morning Celebration at 11:00 a.m., and at 1:30 all eyes turn to the river for the Blessing of the Fleet, Laying of the Wreath, and the Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Parade and Contest. The Party Band of the South, the Swingin’ Medallions will take the stage at 2:30, with a Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Eating Contest (think shrimp ice cream), and Shrimp Boat Awards at 3:30. The Swingin’ Medallions will take the stage for another set at 4:00, and play until the festival ends at 5:00 p.m.

The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is easy to find, just come to Amelia Island in Northeast Florida and follow the signs to Park and Ride, where you can find easy, stress-free parking for only $10.00 per carload, and then catch a free, air-conditioned shuttle to and from the Shrimp Festival.
For more information, find them on facebook or visit ShrimpFestival.com.

Radko Ornament for 2016 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

Exclusive Radko Ornament for 2016 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp FestivalThe 2016 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Christmas ornament, designed by The Christopher Radko Company, is now available at The Christmas Shop on the River in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida.

This year’s ornament, “Pierre Corsair” is an exclusive design, and part of a collectible set of ornaments with shrimp, pirates and other sea-worthy creations created just for the Shrimp Festival!

Pierre Corsair, blown from clear tempered glass, is injected with liquid sterling to give the ornament its luminescence. Hand painted details include Amelia Island’s eight flag history detailed on the ship’s wheel Pierre clings to. Careful attention is given to the delicate nature of his traditional pirate hat and accompanying head scarf. Pierre’s blue eyes sparkle and his rosy cheeks are reminiscent of Kris Kringle, though his jacket is green with golden trim. His red sateen pants are neatly tucked into his rugged black boots and the entire ornament is adorned with the fabulous trim and glitter giving the ornament its signature Radko “sparkle”.

Each Christopher Radko glass Christmas ornament is handmade using molds carved by hand. Craftsmen use the same process used during the Renaissance period in molding, glass blowing, lining with silver, painting and finishing the ornaments by hand to deliver the finest glass ornaments. It takes several weeks and an entire team of artists to create a Radko ornament.

The Christopher Radko brand of ornaments is synonymous with quality and craftsmanship, and this year’s Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival exclusive ornament is a fine family heirloom.

The ornament sells for $74.99 and can be shipped for only $10.00 more. Pierre Corsair is available exclusively at all five Christmas Shop locations including the Christmas Shop in the Market and Christmas Shop on the River in Savannah, Georgia; the Christmas on the Harbor in Hilton Head, South Carolina; A Charleston Christmas in Charleston, South Carolina, and of course the Christmas Shop on the River located at 202 Centre Street in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

For more information about these limited edition ornaments, or to order yours, please call (904) 261-0747.

Gin Blossoms to Headline Shrimp Festival on April 30, 2016

Gin Blossoms to Headline Shrimp Festival on April 30, 2016

PHOTO BY_ Sakiphotography

The Gin Blossoms will be headlining Saturday’s entertainment at the 53rd Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival in Fernandina Beach, Florida, and will take over the Riverfront Stage on April 30, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. This free concert will have you dancing and singing along to popular hits from the 90’s such as “Hey Jealousy,” “Allison Road,” “Until I Fall Away”, and “Found Out About You.” While grunge and hair band genre superstars were taking over the airwaves, the Gin Blossoms emerged with a lighter than alternative rock sound known as “jangle-pop” and found homes in four different radio formats rocketing the band into success, and a fan favorite on MTV.

Taking their name from a caption on a W.C. Fields photo, the Gin Blossoms have toured over 25 different Countries including a five city tour of Iraq in 2010. “It was so much fun to entertain our troops. It’s really insightful to see firsthand how our troops live in a combat zone. It really helped to broaden my understanding on the sacrifices they make to protect us at home and abroad. I hope all Americans understand how important it is for us to extend our thanks,” says Robin Wilson, lead vocalist of the band.

The bands fusion of Pop, melodic rock, Folk and Country elements took the airwaves by siege, making the band an MTV playlist hostage for almost a decade and the group a natural 90’s mainstay. From their breakout album through today, Robin, Jesse, Bill and Scotty have sold over 10 million records and are one of the most in demand bands. “We’re entertaining and we have chops,” says Wilson, “but it really comes down to the songs. The reason we’re still here is that we have good songs. When young musicians ask me for advice, ‘what’s the best thing to do to further my career’, I always say, ‘Write good songs.’ It always comes down to that.”

The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival kicks-off Thursday, April 28th with a 6:00 p.m. Pirate Parade in downtown Fernandina. The festival is open from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Friday evening with a dedicated Kids’ Fun Zone at Central Park. Amelia Island’s riverfront welcomes Chicago Blues with a performance by the son of Muddy Waters, Mud Morganfield. You can also enjoy food booths, a tour of the Georgia Bulldog shrimp boat, marine displays, sponsor booths, the Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant, a Pirate Invasion, Fireworks, and Gitlo Lee – the Blues Man of the South.

Saturday’s hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and nearly 400 vendors will display fine arts and crafts, and antiques. There will be contests, Pirates, an incredible line-up of entertainment, and of course, plenty of shrimp cooked lots of different ways. The festivities continue on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the Laying of the Wreath Ceremony, the Blessing of the Fleet, and a Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Parade.

Consistently rated by “Sunshine Artist Magazine” in the top 100 North America best events, visit ShrimpFestival.com for more information.