Press Info

Founded

The Annual National Shrimp Festival was started in 1971. The event began as a way to keep the tourist at the beach after Labor Day, which was traditionally the end to the season and their departure time.

Event Dates

 

2016 October 13th-16th

2017 October 12th-15th

2018 October 11th-14th

Location

Gulf Shores, AL – Public Beach Access in Gulf Shores, AL where Highway 59 meets Hwy 182 (Beach Rd.)

Average Annual Attendance

250,000

Festival Producer The National Shrimp Festival is produced by the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber

2015 Presenting Sponsor

The Presenting sponsor of this year’s National Shrimp Festival is Zatarain’s.

Other Festival Sponsors

Other festival sponsors include, Baldwin EMC, Chevy, Miller Lite, YellowPages, Alabama Wild Seafood, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism, Wind Creek Casino & Hotel, Coca-Cola, Nanny’s Lemonade, Royal Prestige, Alabama Gulf Seafood.

 

History

The Annual National Shrimp Festival was started in 1971. The event began as a way to keep the tourist at the beach after Labor Day, which was traditionally the end to the season and their departure time.

The area businesses and local residents provided the money and the volunteers to produce an event which actually turned out to be not much more than a shrimp boil on the beach, which lasted all of about 5 hours. There were 6 booths leased by local restaurants, a sand castle contest and a turkey shoot at the local American Legion Post. The big attraction was an exhibit set up by the Marine Resources Division which consisted of Gulf Sea Life swimming in a large aquarium.

There was also the 1 st Annual Seafood Cooking Contest which has evolved into “Best of the FEST” Seafood Contest for the food vendors. The big publicity event was, one of the winning couples from “The Dating Game,” was celebrated as the “STARS” of the Festival. Their prize package was a weekend in Gulf Shores, which was pre-Fredrick and virtually an unknown and acknowledged as honored guests of the Tourists Association and Holiday Inn. The estimated crowd was 1500.

Celebrating its 45th year, the Annual National Shrimp Festival, which draws over 250,000 people, is one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s top rated events contributing over $46 million total economic impact. There are over 300 exhibitors offering everything from fine art, arts & crafts and retail to the Children’s Activity Center where kids can let all their creative talents loose. We also can’t forget shrimp cooked every way possible and 4 days of continuous music featuring major national recording acts as well as all the local favorites. Other activities include our sand sculpture contest, the 10k run/walk, and our Shrimp Festival Idol contest.

Contact Information

For event media passes please visit www.myshrimpfest.com/press-pass

For general press information contact: Coastal Alabama Business Chamber

Phone: (251) 968 7200 For interview and media opportunities pertaining to the Annual National Shrimp Festival, please contact:

Clayton Wallace, Festival Communications Chairman (251) 752-7569. During the actual festival, please text Clayton at this number whenever possible.

Request a press pass

You must provide media credentials to get your Shrimp Fest Press Pass, this will be checked and verified. No proof, no pass!

Press pass is good for writers, photographers, and cameramen!

You must pick up passes at Coastal Alabama Business Chamber (during business hours) Please call ahead,251-968-7200. Passes will only be allowed to be picked up in September. WE WILL NOT MAIL THESE! Coastal Alabama Business Chamber 3150 Gulf Shores Pkwy. Gulf Shores, AL 36542

If you cannot pick up your passes ahead of time at the Chamber of Commerce, you can obtain your pass at the Information Booth at the Shrimp Festival. You must reserve your pass ahead of time! Your credentials will be verified at pick-up.

For high resolution photos please contact Suzette Mimms at (251) 968-5349 or suzette@mygulfcoastchamber.com.

For other photos please visit the Shrimp Festival Flikr stream, click here. https://www.flickr.com/photos/95396436@N04

2002 State of Alabama Proclamation By The Governor

2008 State of Alabama Proclamation By The Governor

2008 – Top 20 Events in the Southeast

2009 Top 20 Events in the Southeast

2013 Commendation By The Governor of Alabama

2013 One of the Top Give Tourist Attractions in Alabama

2013 Bronze as Best Overall Event by the Southeast Festivals & Events Association

2013 Bronze as Best Digital Media by the Southeast Festivals & Events Association

2016 Alabama Tourism Event of the Year by the Alabama Department of Tourism