All about the Shrimp Festival (and Why You Should Be There!)


The 47th Annual National Shrimp Festival will be here soon! Go ahead and mark your calendars for October 11th-14th, 2018! As you make your plans here’s a little backstory on the tradition and all that you have to look forward to this year!


The history of the Shrimp Festival is a rich one. Starting in 1971, the City of Gulf Shores wanted to treat visitors in the fall to a seafood cooking contest. Today it’s knows as Best of the Fest and this celebration has grown immensely! The estimated crowd in 1971 was 1500 compared to 2017 with 250,000 guests! It’s also grown from 6 booths in its first year to 300 vendors last year! As you can see, this is something you don’t want to miss.


What can you expect at the festival? Most importantly, FOOD! The Food Boardwalk is where it’s at! You can of course find shrimp cooked almost every way! (Bubba would be so proud!) There are all kinds of other seafood fare to try during your visit so put on your eating pants (or short) before you come!


Art is a highlight you may not be expecting at this festival but it’s something you will find in all forms during your visit! High-quality fine artist from all over the country come to the beach for the festival to share their talents with all of us! You’ll find everything from fine art to arts and crafts ranging from beautiful to abstract to the unconventional! Get ready to be amazed!


Of course, you can’t miss the music! Four days FULL of local, regional and national acts for more than 12 hours each day! You can catch the first streams of melody playing at 10:00 am and the last act wraps up around 10:00 pm! Joe Diffie is the 2018 headliner and will go on Saturday night, October 13th at 8:30 pm.


Many other activities are planned as well! Take your younger guests with you to the Children’s Activity Village where they can experience arts and crafts, games, entertainment and music of their own! A delightful sight is the outcome of the Sand Sculpture Contest featuring categories for all ages! Get out and enjoy a 10k run/walk with many other guests during your weekend stay! Singing for Scholarships is always fun with 3 top winners and the added benefit of donations to their school! Little Miss Shrimp Festival is a fan favorite getting to see all the beauty on display!

You’ll get to experience all of this along with vendors, art, music and of course the best seafood around! BONUS: Admission is always free! We look forward to welcoming you in October!


*Information gathered from