The Annual National Shrimp Festival has been a staple event in Gulf Shores in October for almost 50 years. This year’s festival dates are October 11-14. Each year, the Gulf Shores Public Beach area is packed with artists, musicians and festival goes expecting to have a fun-filled family weekend. Each year, festival planners bring their A-Game and this year is sure to be no exception. Whether you’re staying with Sunset Properties at Pat-Ti-O or Beachview 223 right in the heart of Gulf Shores or at Just Write in the Fort Morgan community, here are a few tips to make your Shrimp Festival Adventure a fun one:
- Bring your camera
There is so much to see at the Shrimp Festival. You won’t want to miss a single memory. From the wonderful musical groups performing on the stages around the venue, to the fun sand castle contest going on along the beach, there will be so much to do and see. You and your family will want lots of picture to take home to show your friends or to post to your favorite social media account. A camera is a must for this year’s Shrimp Festival.
- Leave pets at home
Many of our rental properties are dog friendly places. We encourage you to check out our list of places to stay where your pet is welcome. Please know, however, the Shrimp Festival is not a place for pets. If you’re not comfortable leaving your fur baby in your rental unit, reach out to the good folks at Sea Paws Dog Resort, a local doggie daycare. Reservations to play may be necessary, so give them a call to get all the details on what you need to bring so your dog can have a day out while you and your family enjoy the festival.
- Plenty of cold drinks available
October days on the Alabama Gulf Coast can get pretty warm. There will be plenty of cold beverages available all throughout the Shrimp Festival venue. From water, to sodas to lemonade, you’re sure to find your favorite drink available. For those of you over 21, adult beverages are also available inside the venue. Please enjoy adult beverages responsibly. If you must drive back to your vacation home, please don’t drink. If you really want to let your hair down and have a few beers, please call one of our fine taxi services to take you back to your vacation home.
- Entertainment is non-stop
This year, country music recording artist Joe Diffie will be headlining at the Shrimp Festival. Local favorites like Tophat & Jackie, The Tip Tops, Brent Burns and Kristy Lee are also scheduled to perform. On Sunday, there will be a church service provided by Liberty Church. Check out the Entertainment Lineup for specifics, and rest assured there will certainly will be something for everyone to enjoy on the stages at the 2018 Annual National Shrimp Festival.
- Fine Artists are unmatched
As you walk through the Fine Arts section of the Shrimp Festival, you will see museum quality hand created items from paintings, to photography to pottery. With the artist personally present a the festival, you will be able to not only enjoy the creations, but chat with the creators. This is a great place to find Christmas gifts for those folks who have everything. There are so many one-of-a-kind pieces, shopping for that hard-to-shop-for person will be a breeze!
- Crafters have fun affordable wares
Sometimes fine art pieces can be a bit pricey. Maybe you want to buy a handmade gift but you don’t have a huge budget or a lot of room in your car to take it back home. Don’t miss the Arts and Crafts section of the festival. You are sure to find just the right handmade gift. No factory made items are allowed in this section of the festival. Just like in the Fine Arts area, all crafts are handmade and the craftsmen and crafts-ladies are right on site to talk with your about their wares. Sometimes half the fun is finding out what skills it takes to create such fun and unique pieces of art.
- Souvenirs are one-of-a-kind
Because the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber is the leading entity producing the Shrimp Festival, they have the best souvenirs. Be sure to visit one of their booths and get an official tee shirt or koozie. There is only one Annual National Shrimp Festival and only one place to get the official souvenirs: right on site during the festival dates.
- Kids have a special area
There is always something cool and fun for the kiddos! From the Sand Castle contest to The Kids Area, your little mermaids and pirates will have a great time at the festival, too. And don’t forget about enjoying the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast Beaches while you’re in town. Gulf Shores has some of the prettiest beaches in the world and we hope you will allot some of your weekend time to just enjoy the sugary white sand that wraps our shoreline.
- BRATS shuttles are the best way to get there
There are plenty of ways to get to the Shrimp Festival, but parking in the festival venue is probably not an option for most folks. Baldwin Rural Area Transit Service, our county’s own public transportation service, is available to pick up and drop off festival goers from several locations around the island. We suggest riding BRATS. It is convenient, inexpensive and the drivers are some of the nicest folks around! For a complete list of BRATS services and fees, please check their website.
- There’ll be lots of Shrimp! Shrimp! And More Shrimp!
And you cannot forget to have some shrimp while you’re in Gulf Shores! Famously named for the cute little pink crustacean, The Annual National Shrimp Festival is home to some of the best shrimp around. You’ll find fried shrimp, boiled shrimp and grilled shrimp. You’ll see shrimp on a stick and shrimp with veggies or fries. Come hungry and plan to stay for a day and enjoy on of the best festivals anywhere!
If you’ve never been to the Annual National Shrimp Festival, you’re definitely missing out. If you’ve never stayed with Sunset Properties, you should give us a try, too, for your next visit to the Alabama Gulf Coast. With rentals in Orange Beach like Moorings 414 and Grand Caribbean 215, you can’t go wrong. How about staying in Gulf Shores at Light House 607 or Peninsula 401 ? Or if you’d prefer to stay in the Fort Morgan community, check out Navy Cove 2113 or Southern Comfort. No matter where you choose to stay for your Shrimp Festival Weekend getaway, we at Sunset Properties know we have the perfect rental accommodations for you and your family!