Orange Beach announces Shrimp Festival replacement event

By Melanie LeCroy / melanie@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 9/17/21

Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon vowed there would be a replacement event in Orange Beach for disappointed Shrimp Festival goers. This week he announced the creation of Freedom Fest, an arts weekend …

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Orange Beach announces Shrimp Festival replacement event

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Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon vowed there would be a replacement event in Orange Beach for disappointed Shrimp Festival goers. This week he announced the creation of Freedom Fest, an arts weekend scheduled for Oct. 9.

Organizers of the 49th Annual Shrimp Festival announced on Sept. 9 that after weighing many factors, including the health risks to the volunteers, the four-day event was being canceled for a second year in a row. The large event held in Gulf Shores attracts thousands each year and is staffed entirely by volunteers. Many volunteers had voiced concerns over their safety, equating to a reduced number of volunteers to adequately manage and staff the event.

Kennon released a statement Sept. 10 to inform residents and visitors that Orange Beach was not involved in the decision to cancel the Shrimp Festival and would attempt to plan their own event. He wanted the city to provide a venue for artists and guests who will still be in town the second weekend in October.

“I’m happy to report that because of our City Council, the wonderful people in the city of Orange Beach, city employees and an accommodating staff at The Wharf, this event will happen,” Kennon said. “As I stated on Friday, people have the right to choose what they wish to attend and decide the risks they are willing to take, especially for an outdoor event like this one.”

Freedom Fest promises to be a fun arts weekend that will include art vendors, local music and food. The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the west end of The Wharf, adjacent to the movie theater.

Artists who were already booked for the Shrimp Festival are invited to participate in this event and will have priority. For vendor information, email Jeanne Fitzgibbons at jfitz@orangebeachal.gov.

Freedom Fest coincides with the Brooks & Dunn concert at The Wharf Amphitheater Oct. 9 and The Addams Family Musical Comedy dinner theater at 7 p.m. at the Orange Beach Event Center and tickets are available for purchase at orangebeach.gov/events/performing-arts.

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