Everyone has Halloween, but only Fernandina Beach has a special day when everyone – young and old – dresses like a pirate for a longtime beloved local tradition – the Pirate Parade.
For generations, the parade has been the official kickoff to the community’s biggest event of the year – the Shrimp Festival, a festival of fantastic food and fun that draws thousands of people from well beyond the borders of our community. It’s insane how many versions of shrimp you’ll see in the course of the show – from giant shrimp floats to kiddos in shrimp costumes. There are all kinds of great floats, live bands, classic cars, and of course candy-throwing.
But, Shrimp Fest or not, the pirates steal the shrimps’ show in this parade. Most kids attend in pirate gear! If you don’t already have hooks and eye patches, you’ll find them in some of the downtown shops.
The 2017 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Pirate Parade will step off at 6 p.m. May 4 (a Thursday) and walk through downtown Fernandina Beach. Be sure to arrive early to get a decent parking spot (look on side streets a few blocks away, parallel to Centre) and a decent place to view the show.
The Pirate Parade Route:
- begins at the intersection of Ash Street and 11th Street
- travels west to 1st Street
- turns north to Centre Street
- turns east down Centre Street.
- ends at Atlantic and 11th Street