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National Shrimp Festival Brings Fall Fun to Gulf Shores

by S. Lynne on June 28th, 2017

Gulf Shores Shrimp festivalNational Shrimp Festival Gulf Shores 2017 posterNational Shrimp Festival Gulf Shores night shot of food boothOne of the most popular events on the Alabama coast returns to Gulf Shores this fall. Scheduled for October 12-15, the 46th annual National Shrimp Festival is expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors to the city.

Founded in 1971 to lure tourists to Alabama beaches during the off-season, the Gulf Shores shrimp festival has since been voted one of the best outdoor festivals in the Southeast by Southern Living magazine. And it always promises plenty of  fun for all —  live entertainment, arts and crafts, children’s activities, and, of course, lots of shrimp. In fact, festival-goers will be able to enjoy the tasty crustacean prepared boiled, fried, grilled, stuffed — just about every mouth-watering way imaginable!

Other festival activities include a sand-sculpture contest, 5K and 10K run/walks, the Golf Tournament for Education, the Restaurant Challenge, and Singing for Scholarships – an American Idol-style high school vocalists’ competition.

Before the festival, on August 30 and 31, Gulf Shores area chefs will be taking the Restaurant Challenge, vying for top honors for their best and most creative recipes. They’ll prepare their tasty creations (All featuring shrimp, of course!) at the Gulf Coast Culinary Institute, part of  Coastal Alabama Community College in Gulf Shores. Then, during the four days of the shrimp festival, they’ll be cooking and sharing their culinary masterpieces with visitors.

On festival opening day, October 12, more than 300 vendors will be selling everything from T-shirts to fine art, musicians will be playing everything  from jazz to rock, and youngsters will enjoy games, crafts, face-painting, and other interactive fun at the Children’s Activity Village. Events continue nonstop during festival hours throughout the weekend.

The National Shrimp Festival is held at the public beach access, where Highway 59 intersects with Highway 182 in Gulf Shores. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.

Accommodations during Gulf Shores Shrimp Festival

Check out our Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals  and Orange Beach Vacation Rentals  for some great places to stay while you’re visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast.  This is a busy weekend on the Gulf Coast, so plan early to find a place you’ll really enjoy. Also, see our Beach Vacation Deals for special offers during the event. Many of the properties offer easy online booking through BeachGuide with no added booking fees!

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