Area Guide //

The National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores

The National Shrimp Festival is an event like no other here in the Gulf Shores in October. 42 years running, it's a celebration of Gulf Coast life, of popular and local music, and of course, Alabama Wild Shrimp, including the much sought after Royal Red. If the Royal Red sounds like a legend, that's because it is - often compared in taste to lobster, rather than shrimp, it's beloved by locals and causes the biggest of food celebrities to get on a plane and fly down to Alabama to see what the fuss is about.

Perhaps the best time to enjoy this famous not quite fish is during the National Shrimp Festival, one of the coast's most popular festivals. It draws crowds of over 300,000 for four days of local food, local arts & crafts, and wonderful music each day. 9-12 bands a day mount the stage and keep the music coming. This year's headliner is Everclear, a band responsible for a number of mega 90s rock hits. If rock isn't your thing, country, funk, Motown, and rockabilly acts will be playing, as will Tony Goulas, Grammy winning blues musician.

Outside of the music there is plenty of fun to be had strolling around our Gulf Shores Shrimp Festival grounds, not far from our Gulf Shores condos. There's a sand sculpture contest that attracts beach architects of a variety of ages, competing against each other. There are arts and crafts stands (numbering almost to 200!) featuring photography, jewelry, t-shirts, portraits, landscape paintings, glasses, mugs, and more to encapsulate your beach experience. There's even a 10 K run/walk to make some room in your stomach for all the shrimp!

Along with arts & retail, there are more than 35 vendors serving up delicious seafood and local treats all festival long. Over 200 lbs of shrimp a day will be prepared, with free samples offered at various times around the tasting tents provided by sponsors Zatarains's, Organized Seafood Association of Alabama, Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission and Wind Creek Casino. In addition to shrimp, other Gulf delicacies, such as Cajun Pistols (crawfish beignets) and plenty of crab preparations to boot. This being a festival dedicated to Southern food you can be sure the dessert is up to snuff, too.

Over 42 years the National Shrimp Festival has grown from a humble shrimp boil coordinated by locals and businesses in the community, to a truly spectacular 4 day event that brings in almost 46 million in revenue to the area. Despite its size the Festival retains the laid back charm and welcoming character that draws people to the Gulf Shores each year. Book a Gulf Shores condo and come celebrate with us!