Annual National Shrimp Festival

October 15, 2011
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Shrimp Festival

Starting from this past Thursday, October 11, 2011 until Sunday is the Annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. This year it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Shrimp FestivalShrimp FestivalShrimp FestivalShrimp Festival

This arts and crafts festival is not like any I have ever been to.  While it has the art exhibits and craftsmen exhibit  one would expect to find at a large festival like the Ellijay Apple Festival, it also has the live music and drinks one would expect to find at the beach.

Shrimp FestivalShrimp Festival

With over 300 exhibits, I have to say the level of skill and craftsmanship that I’ve seen at this festival exceeds all the other festivals I’ve been to. The photographers and sculptors here are particularly excellent.

What I’ve really enjoyed about this festival though, is beach party like atmosphere. Located right in front of the beach at the Highway 59/Beach Road, “T”   the entire backstretch of the festival is seafood and drink vendors. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to an arts and crafts festival that serves beer and has three large stages for live bands that play well into the night. Plus, this festival has the added bonus of being at the beach.  The atmosphere here is the perfect combination of country arts and crafts fair  and relaxing at the beach.  The only real problem I’ve seen with it, is that is way too popular for its size.  With over 300,000 people expected to attend this year, it’s very easy to get trapped in a crowd flowing from one end of the festival to the other.

Shrimp FestivalShrimp Festival

Details:

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Thursday through Saturday, and from 10-5 on Sunday.

Admission to the festival is free.

Three parking locations with shuttles to the festival exist. See the shuttle locations here..

While parking is free at these locations, the shuttle is $2 per person each way.

 

Shrimp Festival

For more information on the festival, visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce’s site.

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