Annual National Shrimp Festival returns to Gulf Shores Oct. 6-9

What’s new, what you need to know and what you shouldn’t miss

By Melanie LeCroy
Lifestyle Editor
melanie@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 10/7/22

The return of the Annual Shrimp Festival signals a return to all that is normal. After a two-year hiatus due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, Gulf Place will once again be filled with food, …

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Annual National Shrimp Festival returns to Gulf Shores Oct. 6-9

What’s new, what you need to know and what you shouldn’t miss

Posted

The return of the Annual National Shrimp Festival signals a return to all that is normal. After a two-year hiatus due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, Gulf Place will once again be filled with food, music and fun Oct. 6 - 9.

For over 50 years, the Annual National Shrimp Festival, known as Alabama's original beach party, has marked the start of fall on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Each year, since 1971, a dedicated group of volunteers have kept the tradition alive.

Festival organizers have used the two-year break to make changes and additions to the festival. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a newcomer we have put together a list of what's new and what you don't want to miss at this year's festival.

WHAT'S NEW?

Get the App

The Annual Shrimp Festival organizers have updated how they convey festival information this year with the use of Eventeny.com. Download the Eventeny app before you make your way to the festival. The app gives users access to the festival schedule, purchase shuttle wristbands and maps. If you do not want to add another app to your phone, QR Codes will be posted around the festival site that can be scanned to easily access the event schedule, maps and more.

Bike Valet
For the first time in festival history, organizers are allowing folks to ride their bikes to the festival grounds and park and store them for free. Sponsored by Crye-Leike Gulf Coast Real Estate & Vacation Rentals, bike valet volunteers will be on hand to watch the parked bikes and issue and take tickets for those utilizing the service. Junior Leadership Coastal Alabama students and the Lower Alabama Young Professionals will be staffing the bike valet. Tips are appreciated and will go toward the Junior Leadership program. The valet area is located by the main entrance near the information tent.

NEED TO KNOW:

Free Entry

Entry into the festival is free and no tickets are necessary.

Take the Shuttle
Parking near the festival is limited and pricing varies by parking lot. A shuttle service is available to ease the parking issue. Gulf Shores City Schools operates a festival shuttle service at a cost of $5. The service makes getting to and from the festival site much easier and faster and the funds benefit Gulf Shores City Schools. Please note, due to state law, no children under 5 are allowed on the shuttle. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit eventeny.com and search Shrimp Festival.

Shuttle Pick Up Locations:
Gulf Shores:

Pelican Place Center – 3800 Gulf Shores Pkwy - West of Books a Million – ADA Pickup
Erie Meyer Civic Center – 1930 W. 2nd St.
Waves Grocery – 1154 West Beach Blvd.
Lake Shelby Picnic Area – 20115 Highway 135

Orange Beach:

The Wharf Front Lot – 23101 Canal Road
Rouses Parking Lot – 25405 Perdido Beach Blvd. – Behind Cactus Cantina – ADA Pickup

DON'T MISS EVENTS:

Singing for Scholarships
What: Talented Baldwin County students will be taking the stage to compete for scholarship money for themselves and their schools. These teens usually steal the show each year.

Where: West Stage
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

The Dallas and Nick Show
What: A pop-up experience that will happen sporadically throughout the festival. There are no posted times, they judge crowd size in the area and start to draw them in and then start the show. This dare-devil comedy show features fire eating, juggling, escape artistry, and more.

Live Sand Castle Demonstration/Training

What: In preparation for Saturday's sand castle contest (open to all), Janel Hawkins of Sand Castle University will be doing a live demonstration and training. She will be sharing all of her sand sculpture expertise.
Where: On the beach at the end of festival grounds
When: Friday from noon to 2 p.m.

Headliner concert
What: Trent Tomlinson is a longtime country singer/songwriter, during his career he has written for George Strait, Sara Evans, Parmalee and Brett Young. He also co-wrote Scotty McCreery's "Damn Strait" which topped country charts this summer. He's returning to the festival for the first time in over a decade.
Where: West Stage
When: Saturday, 8:15 p.m.

Dueling Tribute Acts
What: Queen & AC/DC tribute on West Stage and Bon Jovi/Journey tribute on East Stage
When: Friday, 7 p.m.

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