Delicious shrimp dishes, droves of pirates, land and water parades, and a super-sized kids’ zone help to make the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival the biggest celebration of the year on Amelia Island.
Bring your little pirates and pirate-esses to celebrate the island’s rich shrimping history when it kicks off with a parade the Thursday before festival weekend. The three-day festival follows Friday through Sunday, featuring activities, food and arts and antiques. You won’t believe all the ways shrimp is incorporated — from shrimp ice cream (made with real shrimp!) to the most adorable shrimp costumes. However, when it comes to kids’ costumes during the festival, the shrimp will be trumped by pirates. There’s actually a kids’ pirate costume contest, in fact. (Hint: We find great pirate costume supplies right downtown at Corner Copia, 210 Centre Street.)
The 2012 Shrimp Fest offered all-day kids’ activities and special features like “Learn to be a Pirate” lessons from the Fernandina Pirate Club. The Kids’ Fun Zone had a rock-climbing wall, bungee jump ride, pony rides, giant slide, caricatures, the world’s tallest pinball machine, crafts like sand art, face painting and more. For those of us with babies, they also wisely included an “infant comfort station” right in the kids zone. So smart to have a shaded place to change diapers — for a parent, that can make all the difference of whether you stay or go!
If you want to go:
When: Parade is the Thursday of festival week in early May, followed by the festival itself Friday through Sunday.
Where: Parade and festival are throughout downtown Fernandina Beach, centered around Centre street. The 2012 Kids’ Fun Zone was in the library parking lot in the block between North 3rd Street and North 4th Street and Centre and Alachua streets.
For More Information: Go to the official event website at http://www.shrimpfestival.com