It began in 1972 as nothing more than a small event to entice vacationers to come to Alabama’s beaches. Four decades later, the National Shrimp Festival brings in over 250,000 visitors every year and stands as one of the South’s biggest annual attractions, inviting seafood lovers from all around the world to Gulf Shores for a weekend full of food and fun.
Over the weekend of October 11-14, numerous food vendors will set up their tents along the beach to introduce beach-goers to a plethora of tasty and original shrimp recipes. All variety of shrimp dishes will be available for purchase, and shrimp tastings will be held at various tents throughout the weekend.
This year, Zatarain’s (the festival’s presenting sponsor) will be joining forces with the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission and the Organized Seafood Association of Alabama to sponsor a tent where free shrimp tastings will be held multiple times each day. By giving out free samples of fresh Alabama Gulf shrimp, this partnership will serve to show visitors from all across the world that Alabama Gulf Seafood is a national treasure—and one that’s worthy of a big celebration every year.
Along with pounds upon pounds of shrimp, the 41st Annual National Shrimp Festival will feature fun for the whole family. Two stages will be filled with music throughout the weekend, including headlining sets from classic rock sensation Eddie Money and country singer/songwriter Phil Vassar. (A full schedule of the weekend’s musical acts can be found at the National Shrimp Festival website.)
There will also be vendors selling fine art and arts and crafts throughout the weekend, and the Children’s Activity Village will feature several fun-filled activities for the younger crowd.
The National Shrimp Festival is free to the public throughout the weekend. Posters and t-shirts for this year’s festival can be purchased through the festival website.