Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Opens 2016 Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Opens 2016 Amelia Island Chamber Music FestivalFernandina Beach, FL – The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival today announced that cellist Yo-Yo Ma will make his first-ever appearance in northeastern Florida by opening the Festival’s 15th anniversary season on January 14, 2016.

Universally considered one of the world’s greatest cellists, he has made over 90 recordings and received 18 Grammy Awards. Yo-Yo Ma is acclaimed for his extraordinary technique, rich tone and collaborations with musicians from other genres and cultures, which have reinvigorated classical music and expanded its audience.

The January 14 concert is scheduled for 7:30 PM at First Baptist Church, 1600 South 8th Street in Fernandina Beach. Tickets for the general public will go on sale October 1 at www.aicmf.com or by calling 904-261-1779.

Mr. Ma’s performance is made possible in part by CBC National Bank’s Festival sponsorship. Christopher Rex, the Festival’s general and artistic director, said, “We deeply appreciate CBC’s sponsorship, which helped make it possible to bring an artist of Yo-Yo Ma’s international stature to Amelia Island. CBC’s relationship with our Festival extends back 15 years to our inaugural season when the bank became one of our first corporate sponsors. We are truly grateful for CBC’s ongoing support.” Headquartered in Fernandina Beach, CBC operates full-service branches in Beaufort and Port Royal, S.C.

Born to Chinese parents in Paris, Mr. Ma was a child prodigy and at age five gave his first public recital. He later moved to New York with his family and made his Carnegie Hall debut at age nine. He studied at the Julliard School under cellists Leonard Rose and János Scholz. He subsequently sought a traditional liberal arts education to expand upon his conservatory training, graduating from Harvard University in 1976 with a degree in humanities.

One of Mr. Ma’s goals is the exploration of music as a means of communication and as a vehicle for the migration of ideas across a range of cultures throughout the world. Toward that end, he founded in 1998 the Silk Road Project, an arts organization that initially focused on exploring the cultural traditions along the Silk Road, an ancient trading route that linked China with the West. Soon thereafter he established the Silk Road Ensemble, and the group’s first recording, Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet, was released in 2002. The project’s scope subsequently expanded, using the Silk Road as a metaphor for connecting artistic endeavors worldwide and across cultures. He has taken time to immerse himself in subjects as diverse as native Chinese music with its distinctive instruments and the music of the Kalahari bush people in Africa.

About the AICMF
Celebrating its 15th anniversary season in 2016, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival has become one of the most prestigious music events of its kind in the Southeast. The Festival is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Amelia Island Book Festival Announces Steve Berry as 2016 Honorary Chairman

Amelia Island Book Festival Announces Steve Berry as 2016 Honorary ChairmanAmelia Island, FL – With a new format and new venues, there are exciting changes in store for attendees at the upcoming 15th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival, biggest of which is Steve Berry as honorary festival chairman. With more than 15 international best sellers, Berry’s books have been translated into 40 languages with 19 million copies in 51 countries. They consistently appear in the top echelon of The New York Times, USA Today, and Indie bestseller lists.

“I’ve been coming to Amelia Island and its many book festivals for a long time. This year I’m honored to serve in an advisory role and work with the board to make this the best event in the history of the festival,” said Berry.

Berry is no stranger to Nassau County. In 2005, he was awarded the Stellar Award for his outstanding contributions to literacy by the Amelia Island Book Festival.

History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It’s his passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, which led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Berry will appear in Nassau County at several events throughout the three-day Festival slated for Thursday, February 18 through Saturday, February 20, 2016, along with several other New York Times best-selling headliners.

“His guidance in crafting our offerings and helping to entice other well-known authors to appear at our Festival has been invaluable,” said 2015-2016 Festival Chairperson Raffaela Marie Fenn. “He and Elizabeth have graciously offered to run their Master Writers Workshop to help us raise money for our literacy program, Authors in Schools. Replacing our usual Writers’ Workshop this year, the intense four-hour offering has been a huge boon to other communities. We are so very grateful for their generosity.”

With this year’s captivating theme, An Amelia Island Encounter—Action, Thrills and Mystery, the Festival takes on an exciting new format. Residents and visitors alike will have plenty of new attractions and new venues to revel in.

All proceeds from ticketed events go to support the Authors in Schools program, which for more than 11 years has been bringing an author to each school in the county, and buying those authors’ books for the students to create a memorable, engaging, full-circle experience highlighting the importance of the written word.

“We invite everyone to be a part of this endeavor, to support the Authors in Schools Program, as well as all the opportunities for the entire community and our visitors to celebrate life-long learning through books,” says 2015-2016 Festival Vice Chair Shiela Fountain.

Mark your calendars, check out the website www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org, and stay tuned for more exciting news and improvements.

The Amelia Island Book Festival is a not for profit 501(c)3 Corporation seeking to open up the world for people of all ages by promoting and celebrating literacy through books. With a mission to promote life-long learning though fostering an appreciation for books, we provide quality events featuring authors in engaging venues.

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AI Jazz Festival Names Scholarship Winner

Les deMerle with talented Ryan Duncan

Les DeMerle with talented Ryan Duncan

18 year old Ryan Duncan, a gifted saxophonist from Jacksonville, will be honored with a college scholarship from the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, it was announced today by AIJF Artistic Director Les DeMerle. A four year member of the Florida All State Band while attending Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts, Duncan will accept the festival’s annual award during a special “All That Jazz” concert/show on September 20, 7:00 – 10:00 PM, at the Amelia Community Theatre at which he will also perform with the Dynamic Les DeMerle Band featuring vocalist Bonnie Eisele. For his university training, Duncan plans on joining the highly regarded music program at the University of North Texas.

“We could not be happier with this choice,” said DeMerle, “and we have no doubt that Ryan will make a strong name for himself in the jazz world ahead.” Although primarily an alto saxophonist, Duncan has proven to be equally proficient at tenor and baritone sax as well. He first began to play alto while at Fishweir Elementary School in Jacksonville and continued through Lavilla Middle School prior to entering Douglas Anderson. Given guidance from his older brother Howard, Duncan has been greatly influenced by such alto sax icons as Charlie Parker, Phil Woods, Sonny Stitt, and Cannonball Adderley. Notable trumpeters have also made their mark. “I’ve listened to and learned a lot from Clifford Brown and Nat Adderley records too,” he said. After undergraduate work at UNT, where he hopes to add Composition to his skills, Duncan plans to attend graduate school. “Currently, I am interested in playing professionally in a military band or teaching saxophone at the university level,” he added.

“All That Jazz” in September will offer a unique concert for area jazz enthusiasts. “For the first time, Bonnie and I will be presenting a show that is primarily derived from our cruise ship performances,” said DeMerle. Having recently returned home from several months of cruise contracts, most recently on the Oceana Riviera, where they visited European ports such as Monte Carlo and Portofino, DeMerle said that the band is in top shape musically and they look forward to a night of well-paced music, comedy, and ultimately lots of fun. “The ACT is a terrific facility and it will give us the opportunity to create a dazzling program similar to what you might see on Broadway or in Las Vegas,” he said. Along with Eisele the show will feature DeMerle on drums, Steve Strawley-trumpet, Don Zentz-sax and flute, Clarence Hines-trombone, Doug Matthews-piano, Ernie Ealum-bass, and Sammy Rodriguez-percussion.

2015 Performance Program

Now in its 12th year, the AIJF will take place at various locations in Fernandina Beach, FL from October 4-11, and will kick off with its annual free concert in Amelia Park on Sunday, October 4, with U.S. Navy Band Southeast TGIF. It will continue October 7 with Jump Jive & Wail, a tribute to classic dance oriented swing music featuring the Dynamic Les DeMerle Little Big Band and spirited vocalist Eisele, a Latin Jazz Night October 8 that will showcase the sizzling hot, award winning, and internationally famous Trio Caliente, both at Sandy Bottoms. 2015 headliners will be guitar legend Larry Coryell, October 9 and jazz vocalist extraordinaire Kevin Mahogany, October 10 at the Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation. Additionally, the always popular late night jazz jams with AIJF’s 2015 musicians will follow the headliner sets on October 9 and 10 in the Omni’s Verandah Restaurant at Racquet Park. The festival will end on a swinging note Sunday, October 11, with a Dixie to Swing Jazz Brunch, featuring former Ray Charles saxophonist, Al Waters with DeMerle’s Jazztet at David’s Restaurant.

In addition to online, tickets may be purchased at the UPS Store, 1417 Sadler Road, in the Island Shopping Center, or at the AIFBY Chamber Of Commerce, Gateway to Amelia, A1A and Amelia Parkway. A not for profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the Les DeMerle Amelia Island Jazz Festival distributes proceeds toward its scholarship program to fund college educations for aspiring jazz musicians. For more information, schedules, and tickets, please visit the website: www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com or contact the Festival Hotline at (904) 504-4772. Email address: info@ameliaislandjazzfestival.com

Sister Hazel to Perform at Fernandina’s Tailgate Classic

Sister Hazel to Perform at Fernandina's Tailgate ClassicKick off football season beach-style with Fernandina Beach’s Great Southern Tailgate Classic on August 21-22. Packed with live music and celebrating the best of football season in the South, the fun starts on Friday night and continues through Saturday, leading up to a performance by alternative rock favorite Sister Hazel.

Host hotel Residence Inn Amelia Island is offering a special package including two night’s stay in a spacious suite, two weekend event tickets ($50 value), free parking, free island shuttle & complimentary hot breakfast buffet. (Plus, just in case you need more time to tailgate, their new outdoor kitchen features two large grills alongside a fire pit, hot tub spa, and pool.)

You won’t want to miss:
-Friday night’s pep rally event kickoff featuring local bands and Colorado’s The Motet, a world-class improvisational funk band
-Saturday’s tailgate cooking demonstrations on the hour from 11am – 3pm
-The chance to earn points for your school by showing off your skills in Knockerball, cornhole, giant pong, dizzy punt, and other games
-Kid’s Zone activities for the younger fans and a Cool Zone for everyone
-Dancing on Saturday afternoon to the high-energy sounds of festival favorites Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band and New Orleans’ Dumpstaphunk
-Enjoying singer-songwriter Marc Broussard, a second-generation Louisiana musician known for his “Bayou Soul” style
-The team Spirit Pep Rally leading up to Sister Hazel taking the stage at 7:30 on Saturday night
-Tickets are on sale now, priced at $25 and good for the entire weekend. For more information and the full event schedule, visit greatsoutherntailgateclassic.com and the Great Southern Tailgate Classic Facebook page.

Friday – August 21, 2015
5:00pm – Gates open
5:30pm – 6:30pm – S.P.O.R.E. performs
6:30pm – 7:00pm – Rock-paper-scissors championships
7:00pm – 9:00pm – The Motet performs
9:00pm – Event concludes

Saturday – August 22, 2015
10am – Gates open
10:30am – 11:30am – Drumline showdown opening round
11:30am – 12:30pm – Rusty Shine performs
12:30pm – 1:00pm – Dizzy punt challenge
1:00pm – 2:30pm – Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band performs
2:30pm – 3:00pm – Drumline showdown finals
3:00pm – 4:30pm – Dumpstaphunk performs
5:00pm – Cornhole championships
5:00pm – 6:30pm – Marc Broussard performs
6:30pm – 7:30pm – Team spirit pep rally
7:30pm – 9:00pm – Sister Hazel performs
9:00pm – Event concludes

(Other fan interaction events to be held throughout the day. Stay tuned for updates for updates.)

For more about places to stay and activities to enjoy on Amelia Island, visit ameliaisland.com.

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2015 Rendezvous Film Festival is Almost Here

 2015 Rendezvous Film Festival is Almost HereRendezvous Film Festival is a nine day International Film, Music, and Interactive Gaming Festival held on Amelia Island, Florida June 5th through 13th, 2015. The nine day festival will feature over 200 Indie film screenings from more than 30 countries, a gaming expo, several music concerts, including CMA Artist Shane Wooten on June 11th, film panels, and several Red Carpet Premieres.

Proceeds to Benefit “Make A Film Foundation” Make A Film Foundation grants film wishes to children with serious or life-threatening medical conditions, helping them to create short film legacies by teaming them with noted actors, directors and writers. Learn more at www.makeafilmfoundation.org

RENDEZVOUS FESTIVAL FILM TICKETS:
-$5.00: All Film Screenings, The Film/Lunch Series, and all programing before 7pm and midnight screenings. Valid one per screening.
-$10.00: 7pm or later screenings: Opening Night/Red Carpet Film Screenings. Valid one per screening
-$85: ALL FILM PASS: Good for all 9 days of film screenings
-$300: VIP PASS: Good for all 9 days of film screenings, events, concerts, and 2 Free Marani Vodka Drinks each night.

BLISTUR, ALTERNATIVE ROCK CONCERTBLISTUR, ALTERNATIVE ROCK CONCERTTickets are $20.00
Catch Blistur, a rock band from Jacksonville, FL performing all original songs, live at the Dog Star Tavern. Doors open at 7:30pm, the bar will be open through-out the concert.
Dog Star Tavern
10 North 2nd Street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 from 8:30 PM to 11:30 PM (EDT)

JOHN KING, COUNTRY MUSIC CONCERTTickets are $20.00
Sheffield’s at the Palace
117 Centre St
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM (EDT)

SHANE WOOTEN BAND, COUNTRY MUSIC CONCERTTickets are $20.00, $35.00 VIP
The Shane Wooten Band is a Nashville recording artist that brings a high energy Country music show. Performing live on Amelia Island during the Debut of the Rendezvous Film Festival June 11th at 8pm. Doors open at 7pm, bar open through-out the concert..
Sheffield’s at the Palace
117 centre street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
Thursday, June 11, 2015 from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM (EDT)

For more information visit http://www.rendezvousfestival.org/.

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NYT Best Selling Author Mary Alice Monroe Luncheon

NYT Best Selling Author Mary Alice Monroe LuncheonThe Amelia Island Book Festival is presenting a Book Festival Luncheon, in partnership with the Book Loft, featuring New York Times best-selling Author Mary Alice Monroe on Tuesday, June 2, from 11:30 to 1:30.

The luncheon takes place at the Amelia Island Plantation’s Ocean Club where Mary Alice Monroe will unveil her new book, The Summer’s End, part three in her Low-country Summer Trilogy.

Ticket holders will enjoy a delicious meal in a beautiful setting, have an opportunity to hear and visit with this hugely popular author, and receive an autographed copy of her new book, all for price of $42.95 per person.

The bestselling author of nearly two dozen novels, several non-fiction titles, and children’s books, Monroe’s body of work reflects her commitment to the natural world through literature. She is a featured speaker at both literary and conservation events. Her books, which are sold worldwide, have achieved several bestseller lists, including the New York Times, SIBA, and USA Today. Monroe was awarded the South Carolina Center Book Award for Fiction and the International Book Award for Green Fiction. In May 2014, she was awarded the Career Achievement Award for mainstream fiction by RT Book Reviews, Southwest Florida’s Distinguished Author Award, and the South Carolina Book Festival Literary Excellence Award.

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It Took Weeks to Edit 2015 Shrimp Festival Images

It Took Weeks to Edit 2015 Shrimp Festival ImagesIt takes weeks to edit the thousands and thousands of pictures and video shot at the 2015 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival.

Local photographer, Helmut Albrecht, of Slices of Life Photo Studio, has an outstanding seventh, or maybe eighth natural sense when it comes to capturing time… it is indeed a gift. And as it turns out, his wife Peggy, has quite an eye for photography, too!

Nearly a month after the Shrimp Festival, Helmut was able to finish putting together his Shrimp Festival 2015 slideshow.

Here is the slideshow:

Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival 2015 from Slices of Life Photostudio on Vimeo.

Enjoy!

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1st Annual Fernandina Pirate Festival Needs a Logo

pirate-festival-fernandina-contest2015

pirate-festival-fernandina-contest2015The Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc., a local nonprofit, is hosting the first ever, inaugural Fernandina Pirate Festival October 9th, 10th and 11th, 2015.

Festivities begin with Pirates marching, from the Veteran’s Memorial on Atlantic Avenue to 2nd and Ash Streets, parade style, where pirates from all over the region will muster for opening ceremonies.

Saturday and Sunday, the Atlantic Avenue Recreational Center grounds will be home to the festival with family friendly entertainment, music, vendor tents, food booths, educational exhibits and more.

Saturday evening brings the Pirate’s Ball. A ticketed event that includes a southern feast, costume contest and dancing to live music inside the Recreational Center.

The Fernandina Pirate Festival will conclude Sunday afternoon with closing ceremonies.

But, to get the ball really rolling, the Pirates need a logo for the event. Be as creative as you’d like, but please keep the following information in mind:

-The name of the club is Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc
-This is a family friendly event
-This is the 1st event
-The name of the event is Fernandina Pirate Festival

What does the winning artist receive? Well, since they are Pirates they have promised not to draw blood from the winner, but to honor the winning artist and a guest at the Pirates Ball on Saturday night. And of course, what all good pirates really want are “bragging rights” – so the winning artist will get those, too. As a non-profit, they hate to promise too much, but don’t be surprised if they plunder a few more prizes for the winner.

All artist entries must be sent to info@FernandinaPirates.com or mailed to Fernandina Pirates Club, P.O. Box 17243, Fernandina Beach, FL 32035. (Emails are answered by a volunteer, please be patient as the email is NOT checked on a daily basis.)

All submissions must be received or post-marked by midnight on June 30, 2015.

To learn more visit www.FernandinaPirates.com.

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2015 Wild Amelia Nature Festival

2015 Wild Amelia Nature FestivalEco-Tours: Friday May 15 through Sunday May 17, 2015.
Explore the Wild Side of Amelia by foot, kayak, segway, and sailboat. Some tours are just for kids. Some tours are free! Reservations required.

Eco-Expo: Saturday May 16 at the Atlantic Rec Center:
30 exhibitors – businesses and organizations offering information on living in harmony with nature; StarLab Planetarium with views of the stars over Amelia (and a look at Amelia from space); passport program for kids (with prizes); Kids Niche, hands-on nature activities, face painting, touch-tank, animal exhibit by Jacksonville Zoo; live music; Silent Auction; food… something for the whole family.

Come help celebrate the green anole, Wild Amelia’s critter of the year, and take home a tee shirt with a perky green anole.

For more information, please visit www.WildAmelia.com or visit us on facebook.

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2015 Miss Shrimp Festival Winners

2015 Miss Shrimp Festival Winners

Click image to enlarge

The 2015 Miss Shrimp Festival scholarship pageant, sponsored by The Hampton Inn and Suites Harbor Front, was held on Friday night, May 1, 2015.

Just over a dozen Nassau County junior and senior high school girls competed for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship.

Winning Miss Congeniality was Miss Baily Wall.

Kate Walker was the 2nd Runner-up

Megan Combs was the 1st Runner-up

… and Miss Zoe Stein in the new, 2015 Miss Shrimp Festival, replacing the 2014 winner Miss Graham Jewel.

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Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Winners 2015

Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Winners 2015The 2015 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival was held under near perfect weather conditions, shattering past attendance records.

The Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Winner for 2015 are as follows:

First Place went to Captain and Owner Jeff “Trapper” Parrish and the 72-foot Jet Stream out of Fernandina Beach, Florida.

Captain Parrish’s First Place prizes included $1,350 cash, a $500 fuel allowance, a quality 11 inch knife provided by Rhineland Cutlery, and a commemorative plaque.

shrimp-boat-winner-12nd Place went to Judge. A 78-footer from Townsend, Georgia, run by Captain Randy Cuthrell and owned by Jack Gore.

3rd Place winner was the Miss Alena, from Brunswick, Georgia. This 90-foot beauty is captained by Michael Thompson, Speedy Tostensen owner.

4th Place went to Captain Marty Collins of the 91-foot Forgiven of South Port, Florida, owned by Gerald Miller.

5th Place was secured by Captain Tommy Williams and Capt Jack. A 78-foot shrimp boat from Brunswick, Georgia, also owned by Speedy Tostensen.

6th Place went to the 98-foot Miss Carolyn Louise of Jacksonville, Florida. The ship’s captain and owner is Lee Vogelsons.

Also participating in the Boat Parade was Captain Lindsey Parker and the GA Bulldog, a 72-foot research vessel owned and operated by the University of Georgia Marine Extension/Sea Grant Program.

Other prizes included:
2nd Place
$600 Cash
Try Net provided by Burbank Sprots Nets
Quality nine-inch knife by Rhineland Cutlery

3rd Place
$350 Cash
Try Net provided by Burbank Sprots Nets
Quality nine-inch knife by Rhineland Cutlery

4th Place
$250 Cash
Quality nine-inch knife by Rhineland Cutlery

5th Place
$150 Cash
Quality nine-inch knife by Rhineland Cutlery

Additional boats received a seven-inch knife from Rhineland Cutlery.

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What to do at the 2015 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

What to do at the 2015 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp FestivalThe 52nd Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, presented by Publix, will be held in Fernandina Beach, Florida, May 1 – 3, 2015, with a Pirate Parade at 6:00 PM, on Thursday, April 30th.

There will be a fantastic sidewalk sale in downtown Fernandina Beach, beginning at 10:00 AM on Friday, May 1st, and hosted by the merchants of the Historic Fernandina Business Association. The Shrimp Festival officially opens at 5:30 PM with live musical entertainment by the band DRB.

From 6:00 to 10:00 PM, the expanded Kids Fun Zone will be open at its new location at Central Park, in the 1200 block of Atlantic Avenue. There will be several activities such as a rock climbing wall, Zippy Pets, a giant slide, and a power jump. There will be vendors, an art show, food booths, ponies, puppets and much, much more. Rick Hubbard’s Kazoobie Show and Ben Mathews JuggleSTUFF will be entertaining kids of all ages with shows held throughout the evening.

From 5:30 to 10:30 PM, the downtown waterfront offers live music, and colorful pirates. Tasty dishes like a low country boil, crab cakes, grilled shrimp, Cajun shrimp, fried shrimp, and other seafood dishes will be cooking in food booths operated by local non-profit charities to satisfy your cravings. Opening ceremonies will be held at 6:30 on the main stage, followed by the popular Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant and the Pirate Parade Awards. After the sun has set you can dance in the street while the band plays familiar songs, and peruse the booths located near the harbor like Action News, Coca Cola, the Shrimp Festival merchandise tent, or check out what the Pirates have displayed in their booth this year. You won’t want to miss taking a tour of the University of Georgia’s “Georgia Bulldog”, a fully operational shrimp boat. But be prepared for mayhem, because at 9:30 the Invasion of the Pirates takes place immediately before the spectacular fireworks show. The party continues until the festival closes at 10:30.

On Saturday morning at 9:00 AM, the Kids Fun Zone and the waterfront vendors are joined by over 350 booths full of fine arts and crafts, and antiques. These additional booths can be found lining all of Centre Street, and a block north and south on every cross road, from the waterfront’s railroad tracks to Eight Street.

At 9:30 the Fernandina Beach High School Jazz Ensemble will take the waterfront stage, and in the Kids Fun Zone, The Pirate in Training (ages 0 to 5) and the Little Pirate Contests (ages 6 and up) begin at 10:00. The dancers from Bean School of Dance with perform at 11:00.

Bring your bearded friends to the waterfront stage at 10:30 and encourage them to enter the 48th Annual Topsy Smith Memorial Beard Contest. At 11:00, Fresh From Florida and Georgia Grown will be offering a Cooking Demonstration by Celebrity Chefs Justin Timineri (Florida) and Holly Chute (Georgia). At noon, beware, for those Fernandina Pirates will invade Amelia Island and storm up Centre Street.

The afternoon brings a new and promising voice in country music to the waterfront’s main stage with Bryan Mayer performing at 1:00 PM. Dominic Gaudious, a passionate artist on both the twelve string guitar and the Australian Didgeridoo, will play a short set at 4:00, just before The Edgar Winter Band takes the stage at 4:30. Co-sponsored by the Amelia Island Blues Festival, the Shrimp Festival Committee, Northeast Florida Blues Society and RockTenn, you will likely recognize Edgar Winter’s hits Free Ride and Frankenstein. This rock and blues legend will play until the festivities end at 6:00 PM on Saturday.

Sunday begins with the Kids Fun Zone, the waterfront, and all of the arts, crafts and antique booths opening at 10:00 AM for your pleasure. In the Fun Zone Pak’s Karate will offer a demonstration at 11:00, or you can Learn to be a Pirate at 3:30 with the Fernandina Pirates Club. Performances continue throughout the weekend by Rick Hubbard’s Kazoobie Kazoo Show as well as JuggleSTUFF with Ben Mathews.

Sunday’s waterfront entertainment includes Back From the Brink, a bluegrass and country band at 11:00 AM, and local cover group, Decades Band, takes the stage at noon. River activities begin at 1:30 with the Blessing of the Fleet, the Laying of the Wreath and the Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Contest. The party band of the South, The Swingin’ Medallions perform from 2:30 to 3:30, but during their break at 3:30 the Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Eating Contest takes place, where contestants race each other to finish a variety of ice cream flavors including shrimp ice cream. The Swingin’ Medallions hit the stage again at 4:00 for another exciting set and the 2015 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival official closes at 5:00 PM on Sunday.

Admission to the festival is FREE!

Parking is available on Friday at Fernandina Beach High School, 435 Citrona Drive, for only $10.00. This includes a free, air-conditioned shuttle ride to and from the festival from 6:00 to 11:00 PM.

Parking is available at both FBHS and Southside Elementary School, 1112 Jasmine Street, on Saturday and Sunday, for $10.00, shuttle fee included. Saturday shuttle hours are 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM, and Sunday from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

Parking is also available at Buccaneer Field, South 11th Street and Beech Street, for $10.00; this is within walking distance of the festival and the Kids Fun Zone.

For more information please visit ShrimpFestival.com.

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2015 Shrimp Festival Street and Parking Lot Closures

2015 Shrimp Festival Street and Parking Lot ClosuresPublic Notice: FESTIVAL NOTICE OF STREET & PARKING LOT CLOSURES

EFFECTIVE FOR SHRIMP FESTIVAL: The following street and parking lot closures will be effective this week in order to set up for the Shrimp Festival: City Waterfront Parking Lot A and B will be closed from Midnight, Wednesday, April 29th until Midnight, Sunday, May 3rd. City Waterfront Parking Lots C, and D, the Library Parking Lot and the parking lot at 2nd and Alachua will be closed to unauthorized vehicles from Midnight, Thursday, April 30, 2015 until Midnight, Sunday, May 3rd.

Beginning at 5:00 PM Friday, May 1st, there will be NO PARKING on the streets and public parking lots of the downtown Centre Street Business District (bordered by Ash and Alachua Streets, from 8th Street to the waterfront). This area will remain closed to parking until Midnight, Sunday, May 3rd, in order to finish clean up and street sweeping. Signs will be posted throughout the downtown area and unauthorized cars will be towed.

Any vehicle issued a Festival Parking Permit must fill in the information requested and prominently display the hang tag on the rear view mirror. Vehicles which park improperly, but display a hang tag with no information, will be subject to towing, at owner’s expense. Thank you for your cooperation.

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Rosa Adams Grand Marshall of the 2015 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

Rosa Adams Grand Marshall of the 2015 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp FestivalAll images are courtesy of Ms Rosa Adams.

In November, 1963, a well-educated woman from Kentucky, Rosa Adams, the full-time supervisor of the Marina Welcome Center located in Fernandina Beach, was invited to attend a meeting where shrimp boat owners felt they could create something larger than a simple shrimp boat race. With her experience in public relations, that idea has grown into an annual festival with over 150,000 visitors expected in 2015. The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, always held the first weekend in May, celebrates its 52nd annual event May 1 – 3, 2015.

The original founders of the Shrimp Boat Festival were Chairman Melvin Dougherty, Co-chair Billy Burbank, Photographer Karl Holland, and Publicity Chairman Rosa B. Adams.

This year, the Shrimp Festival Committee, along with the community, will show Rosa Adams their heartfelt appreciation by recognizing her as the 2015 Grand Marshall. The festivities begin when she takes her place at 6:00 PM, riding in the Pirate Parade on Thursday, April 30th, the traditional kick-off to this amazing weekend in Northeast Florida.

Having served on and off of the Shrimp Festival Committee for over 20 years, listening to Miss Rosa reminisce of the earliest days of the Festival took me back in history. At the time of the inaugural Shrimp Festival you could purchase a man’s short sleeved dress shirt for only $2.99 at Partin’s on Atlantic Avenue, and a one pound can of Maxwell House coffee was just 48 cents at Food Fair.

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The teepee shaped Marina Welcome Station was a joint venture of the Florida Development Commission and the City of Fernandina Beach. The only state-staffed and maintained marina welcome station in the world, at the time, this was the first marina stop in the state if you were heading south. Employed by the Florida Development Commission, she welcomed the mariners with clean showers, tourism brochures, up-to-date maps of the waterways, and samples of Florida’s famous orange juice. This was a time when electronic communications consisted of the teletype machine, and NOAA weather reports came from the Jacksonville airport weather office at Imeson Field.

Hugh Stone of Standard Oil would tell people, “Stop at the welcome center in Fernandina Beach and ask for Rosa Adams and you’ll get the best information.”

1972-award-rosa-adamsBefore Adams involvement in what was locally known as the “Shrimp Boat Festival”, Fernandina Beach was virtually unknown, except for a few business leaders in Jacksonville. Ruth Brown, executive secretary of the Fernandina Beach Chamber of Commerce once wrote, “We feel most fortunate to have a lady of Mrs. Adams caliber to work with in our joint endeavors to promote tourism in the Fernandina Beach area and in the State of Florida as we feel that she is symbolic of public relations in its best form.”

Once she began promoting the area and it’s Championship Shrimp Boat Races on television, radio, and print media, both nationally and internationally, wealthy developers, and businessmen in Tallahassee, began to take notice of Fernandina Beach… “And the rest”, they say, “Is history.”

In 1972, Miss Rosa received a plaque, shaped like the state of Florida that read, “Presented with deep appreciation to Rosa B. Adams for untiring effort and outstanding contributions to Eight Flags Shrimp Boat Races by Fernandina Beach Chamber of Commerce.” Mrs. Adams’ professional and personal contributions have been recognized widely by a variety of civic organizations and clubs in Florida and the U. S.

Married to the late Don Adams, Miss Rosa’s most important duty was that of wife and mother. The couple raised three children working shoulder to shoulder with the most highly respected people, locally and around the world. Taught as children to treat all people in a fair and equal tone, the couple retired in 1995.

Of herself she wrote, “Ms. Rosa Adams, the writer, was born during the Great Depression in the foothills of Kentucky, crying, naked, wet and hungry.”

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Celebrity Chefs Cooperative Cooking Demo at Shrimp Festival

Celebrity Chefs Cooperative Cooking Demo at Shrimp FestivalExecutive Chefs from Florida and Georgia’s Departments of Agriculture Offer Cooking Demonstration at the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

The executive chefs from Florida and Georgia’s Departments of Agriculture, Justin Timineri and Holly Chute, respectively, will be offering a joint cooking demonstration during the 52nd Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival at 11:00 am, on Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Justin-timineri-Florida-chefInternational Culinary Ambassador Chef Justin Timineri, representing the State of Florida and the “Fresh From Florida” brand, is a certified executive chef, author, and television personality. In 2006 he won the Food Network Challenge, Great American Seafood Cook-off, in New Orleans where he held the title of having the country’s best domestic seafood dish.

Justin’s responsibilities include promoting Florida’s many outstanding commodities and he has participated in many high profile events around the world such as the 2012 Olympic Games in London where he showcased Florida’s cuisine to medal winners and Olympic legends at the USA house. He has been the event chef for NASCAR, PGA, and the Kentucky Derby.

Most recently Chef Justin can be seen nationally on the Cooking Channel where he is a guest on several episodes on Emeril Lagasse’s new TV show “Emeril’s Florida”. He is also the resident chef on the award winning television series “How to do Florida”.

Justin was raised in Florida and his straight forward approach to cooking relies on simple ingredients combined with fresh seasonal produce.

holly-chute-Georgia-ChefExecutive Chef Holly Chute represents the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the state’s largest economic sector. She serves as a liaison between Georgia’s farmers/producers and the food service industry. Chef Holly is one of the most visible faces of the popular “Georgia Grown” program and appears regularly at festivals and community events.

Executive Chef of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion under six administrations, one political observer remarked, “Georgia Republicans and Democrats can agree on at least one thing: Holly’s cooking.” She has welcomed foreign heads of state, former US presidents, Supreme Court Justices, and members of England’s Royal family with her southern style that showcases Georgia’s fresh, agricultural products. She has cooked alongside many celebrity chefs including Cat Cora, Todd English and Paula Deen. Of her many honors and accolades, she considers Jeff Foxworthy’s request for a doggy bag (to take home extra fried chicken) to be a most memorable achievement.

On May 2, 2015, Chefs Timineri and Chute will share their collective expertise in a cooking demonstration during the Shrimp Festival. You won’t want to miss this spectacular culinary event featuring selective dishes of fresh, wild-caught, local shrimp. The event takes place at the waterfront in historic, Fernandina Beach, Florida. There is no admission fee to attend.

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