Reviewed by: Patience Itson
Looking to fill your weekend with fun? The 49th Annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores from Thursday, October 6-Sunday, October 9 has something for everybody to enjoy. With two entertainment stages playing all kinds of music, arts & crafts vendors and, of course, tons of shrimp and seafood, there’s no better way to spend your weekend. Read on to make those plans.
Back and better than ever
After a two-year hiatus, one of the biggest events in Gulf Shores is back. Since 1971, the National Annual Shrimp Festival has brought hundreds of thousands of people together for live music, shopping, food and fun.
This event, held on the stunning Gulf Shores Public Beach, has no shortage of ways to spend your day. Now in its 49th year, the festival is put on with the help of hundreds of volunteers who generously dedicate their time to this exciting event.
One thing’s for sure, you won’t be bored. Bring your dancing shoes because concerts will be running all four days of the festival on two seperate stages.
In addition to country music star Trent Tomlinson, here’s who you can expect:
- The Voice final four contestant, Kirk Jay
- The Velcro Pygmies
- Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster
- Tribute bands performing the hits of Queen, AC/DC, Bon Jovi + Journey
You’ll also want to catch the Singing for Scholarship Competition on Saturday, October 8 at 10AM on the West Stage. Baldwin County students will compete in a live singing competition to receive cash prizes for themselves and their school’s music program.
Put your sand castle skills to the test—this year’s Shrimp Fest will host a Sand Sculpture contest on Saturday, October 8. To participate, head to the beach area towards the west end of the festival. Registration starts at 11AM. Four different age categories will be judged, and you can win some sweet prizes, including $100 cash, $50 cash, hand-made sand sculpture trophies and more.
Need to brush up on your skills before you compete? No worries. A Sand Sculpture demonstration and training takes place on Friday, October 7 at Noon on the beach area towards the back of the festival grounds.
Does your idea of fun include getting some exercise? Consider participating in a tradition that’s almost as old as the Shrimp Festival itself—the 5K/10K Run & Walk on Saturday, October 8. Learn more and register here.
Make your plans
In addition to the exciting activities above, there will be a marketplace of over 150 artists, shops and exhibitors, plenty of food (seafood + non-seafood options available), drinks and more. Visit the festival’s website to discover all there is to enjoy.
Can’t wait to get in on the fun? You don’t have to! The festival is happening right now and the party continues through the entire weekend.
- When: Thursday, October 6-Saturday, October 9 – 10AM-10PM | Sunday, October 11 – 10AM-5PM
- Where: 101 Gulf Shores Pkwy (at the intersection of Hwy 59 and East Beach Blvd)
- More Info