The 56th annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival was held May 3 through 5 in downtown Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, just 45 minutes north of Jacksonville. The event is one of the premier festivals in the southeast, combining the love of shrimp and seafood with some of the best local arts and entertainment.
The family-friendly Pirate Parade launched the festivities on May 2, the eve before the festival. Other fun activities included a Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant, a kids’ fun zone and a Shrimp Run sponsored by the YMCA. The festival also included arts and crafts, antique vendors, fireworks and live music and entertainment.
From shrimp tacos to shrimp pie, unique seafood and shrimp dishes were featured, honoring and celebrating the fresh, delicious and local seafood provided on the island.
Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island’s historic town and seaport, was the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry and was once the shrimping capital of the world. For more than six decades, nearly 100 shrimp boats docked in Fernandina Beach. The shrimp festival is named for Amelia Island’s storied past and unique status as the only place in the United States to have flown eight different flags of dominion over the past five centuries.