Celebrating the island’s heritage as the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry (and recognizing its colorful history as a pirate port,) the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival 2019 is almost here. Here's what's new and how you can experience it.
The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is just weeks away, and the (56th) annual event keeps getting better. The Festival takes place May 3 - May 5, with the Pirate Parade kicking off the fun on Thursday, May 2. There's still time to book a room
and be a part of the fun.
Here are a few things to look forward to this year:
Fridays Opening Ceremonies will crown a new Miss Shrimp Festival at the annual Scholarship pageant and have you groovin' in the streets to North Florida's favorite dance band, The Band Be Easy. Then, Arrr you ready for the Invasion of the Pirates? Always a crowd favorite on Friday and Saturday nights, members of the Fernandina Pirates Club take their shenanigans from the sea and back to shore in a black powder stand-off on the Amelia River. Ending the Friday night festivities are heart-stopping FIREWORKS.
The McArthur Family YMCA is inviting all of our community and their friends to participate in the 25th Annual Shrimp Festival 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, May 4th at 8am. Starting at Main Beach and with four events to choose from: a 5K Run or Walk, a one mile Katie Caples Youth run and a ½ mile Popcorn run, the whole family can enjoy a healthy activity and later experience the festivities of the Shrimp Festival.
The Kids Fun Zone has moved to Central Park (Atlantic Ave at 11st. St.) so more fun could be added. Just 3 short blocks from the main festival area, the Kids Fun Zone is jam packed with games, rides, activities, the school art exhibit, and even kid friendly food. Lots of fun for the whole family. Friday evening is LOCAL APPRECIATION NIGHT.
Speaking of fun ... What is a festival without contests? In addition to Miss Shrimp Festival pageant, various contests will be held throughout the weekend and visitors will have the opportunity to win awards of their very own. Some of these include: Little Pirates/Pirates in Training, Best Beard, Best Adult Pirate, and ice-cream eating contests. On Sunday's Shrimp Festival conclusion The Blessing of the Fleet and Laying of the Wreath will immediately be followed by the Decorated Shrimp Boat Contest.
The festival’s food booths offer a wide selection including fried seafood plates, low country boil, shrimp gumbo, shrimp pie, grilled shrimp, Cajun shrimp, garlic shrimp, popcorn shrimp, shrimp salad, and more. Plus Italian sausage and fair-type food including sugar-powdered funnel cakes. Eat for a good cause! All food booths are run by a local, Nassau County, Florida non-profit, fundraising.
80s folk-rock favorites, Firefall ("You Are the Woman," "Goodbye, I Love You," "Strange Way," "Mexico," "Just Remember I Love You."), along with 70s country-rock group POCO ("Crazy Love," "Heart of the Night," "Call it Love," "Keep on Tryin'," "A Good Feeling to Know") will perform on the Riverfront stage, Saturday afternoon while Sunday afternoon brings out "The Party Band of the South" The Swingin' Medallions ("Double Shot of my Baby's Love," "Hey Hey Baby") performing two sets to an always enthusiastic crowd.
Find a new treasure in the nearly 400 booths featuring a juried selection of fine art and crafts and an array of antiques, and many provide opportunities to meet the artists and artisans.
For all the latest information leading up to and during the event, follow the Shrimp Festival Facebook
pages and visit the official website
Share your Shrimp Festival adventures (and follow the fun) this year using #8FlagsShrimp and #LoveAmelia.