Make your reservations now for the 2013 Shrimpfest! Always one of the biggest – and most entertaining – events of the year on Amelia Island, this year’s Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival will be pulling out all the stops to celebrate its 50th anniversary May 3rd, 4th and 5th. In fact, the golden anniversary Pirate Parade will be so big that it has been moved from its traditional Thursday slot to the Saturday before Shrimpfest, April 27th, at 11 am. This year’s parade theme will be The Year of the Golden Shrimp “Celebrating 50 Years of Fun”.
Loaded with activities, music, fine arts and crafts, antique booths, pirates, shrimp boats and as many ways that you can think of to prepare fresh local shrimp, the festival is a main stay of island life here on Amelia. While celebrating their local traditions, islanders welcome guests with open arms throughout the festival weekend. Many even find it an opportune time to hold yard sales and open houses for real estate.
While visiting the festival, be sure to consult the schedule for the various bands, pageants and events scheduled throughout the weekend at a number of venues. The Friday night invasion of the pirates and fireworks are always popular, as are the concerts on the main stage and side stages. This year’s Saturday headliners are Pablo Cruise, and Sunday’s tradition of closing the festival with the Swingin’ Medallions is firmly in place for the 50th anniversary. But you can also find diversions in the rock climbing wall, the Shrimp boat parade, the Blessing of the Fleet, an ice cream eating contest – and you can even learn to be a pirate with lessons from our local Pirates’ Club. If you’re so inclined, you can enter the beard contest, or take part in Saturday morning’s 5K race. Be sure to peruse the full schedule of events to make your plans.
Most of Amelia Island’s bed and breakfasts are within an easy walk to the festival, and guests of our beach bed and breakfasts can find park and ride options as well as park and walk lots. Scattered rooms are still available, but don’t delay booking your room because the island gets sold out every year, and it’s an event that you won’t want to miss. Check with your favorite bed and breakfast for availability now. See you at the fireworks!