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National Shrimp Festival Set for This Week

by S. Lynne on October 7th, 2013

Always a crowd pleaser, the National Shrimp Festival opens this week in Gulf Shores. Founded in 1972 to lure vacationers to Alabama beaches during the off-season, the annual festival has grown into one of the Southeast’s biggest special events, attracting more that 250,000 visitors each year.

This year’s festival, scheduled for October 10, 11, 12, and 13, features more than 250 vendors offering everything from crafts and fine art to jewelry and clothing. Of course, there will be plenty of shrimp — cooked every way imaginable by local chefs — plus generous samplings of other seafood favorites, side dishes, drinks, and desserts.

Additional activities include a sand sculpting contest, a 10K/5K run/walk, and live music daily featuring top local, regional, and national performers on two stages. There’s also the Children’s Activity Village with games, crafts, and other interactive things to keep the younger set entertained.

The Saturday sand sculpting contest includes categories for all ages, plus a family category, so everybody can be part of the fun. The run/walk, also scheduled for Saturday, is a charitable event, with all proceeds going to the Coastal Baldwin Education Enrichment Foundation to benefit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach public schools. For a complete lineup of musical acts, go to and click on the Music link.

Produced by the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce, the National Shrimp Festival is held on the beach, where Alabama Highway 59 meets the Gulf of Mexico in Gulf Shores.

To learn more, visit For places to stay in Gulf Shores and neighboring Orange Beach, check out our listings at and

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