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Amelia Islander

The Shrimp Festival is Back

Apr 15, 2013 02:00AM
Some of us were born here in Fernandina Beach, but most of us have moved here from somewhere else, and the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival reminds of us of the reasons why we choose to live on Amelia Island. It’s not for the 100,000 visitors that descend on our sleepy, little community the first weekend in May, nor the lack of available parking, nor the plastic bounce house filled with screaming children. It’s about the shrimp, and this year the Shrimp Festival celebrates its 50th birthday.

Shrimp is the reason for the festival, and our own love for shrimp and all things shrimpy makes us turn out on droves to celebrate the little crustaceans and their meaning to our community. Fernandina Beach is the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry, and while shrimp used to be considered a luxury, around here you find it on every menu in every restaurant in town, and on many local family dinner tables.

Shrimp is offered for sale at the festival, in creative dishes such as shrimp pie, but you can also get plain old fried shrimp, which seems to be the perennial favorite. And along with the shrimp vendors, you can also enjoy award-winning arts, crafts, jewelry, music, and of course, pirates.

For more information about the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, visit their web site at www.shrimpfestival.com.