Planning for the 49th Annual National Shrimp Festival is underway. The Festival, dubbed “Alabama’s Original Beach Party” will take place Oct. 7 - 10 where Hwy. 59 meets Beach Blvd in Gulf Shores.
Produced by the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, the Festival is regularly named one of the Southeast’s most popular festivals. “Although the pandemic forced us to cancel last year’s Fest to ensure the safety and well-being of our locals and visitors, we plan for our 49th edition to take place in October, as usual,” Chamber President & CEO Greg Alexander said.
The Shrimp Festival Committee, which consists of more than 80 volunteers, has resumed their meeting calendar to restart plans for this year’s event. “The situation with COVID-19 seems to be going from worse to better,” Shrimp Festival Chairman Spencer Cade said. “We are very optimistic and hopeful that conditions improve enough for us to produce our event as normal this year.”
However, despite the optimism, the committee is also keeping an eye on the future of the pandemic. “We do recognize however that this is not known, so we're preparing two paths forward,” Cade said. “One path takes into account any safety and health regulations that may be in place at the time and the other takes us down our traditional path.”
With regards to vendors and musical acts for this year’s Fest, there are already plans in place.
“All vendors and acts that were in place for our 2020 Festival remain in place, so we are not accepting new applications at this time. Unless a significant number of vendors drop, we will not be opening up for new vendors,” Chamber Vice President of Special Events & Community Relations Steve Jones said. “Also, if we're forced to consider safety and health regulations, it may be necessary to reduce the number of vendors already in the queue."
The Annual National Shrimp Festival has been in existence for 49 years and has grown exponentially over that time. It’s no wonder, with fresh Alabama wild caught shrimp, more than 80 hours of musical entertainment, a dedicated Children’s Activity Village, and almost 300 food, fine art and arts & crafts vendors all nestled along the sugar white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.
“The Shrimp Festival is a free, non-ticketed, and un-gated event that has been built around a family friendly atmosphere that attracts anywhere from 100,000 to 250,000 people annually to Coastal Alabama,” Jones said. “The goal is to stay in preparation mode for the 2021 Annual National Shrimp Festival and work towards making it the best yet here in Gulf Shores.”
For more detailed information as it becomes available, visit the Festival website at