Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores

national shrimp festival near fort morgan

There are so many fantastic fall events happening in Fort Morgan, but at the absolute top of the list is the Gulf Shore National Shrimp Festival. If there’s one Fort Morgan event you don’t want to miss, it’s this one.

If you’re a seafood lover, this is the place for you. Nationally renowned, the event is a huge success each year and continues to grow. All the information you need to know about the Shrimp Festival can be found here. We hope you’ll make it out to this year’s activities and enjoy it as much as we do!

When: The 47th Annual Gulf Shore National Shrimp Festival takes place on the second full weekend of October. This year, it goes from October 10th to the 12th. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sunday it goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: The festival can be found at the public beach access in Gulf Shores. You can’t miss it, but the main events are where Highway 59 ends and intersects Highway 182. Parking is on a first come first serve basis and can be found all around the festival site. Many local businesses and private homes will charge a small fee for parking. There’s also a free shuttle that provides service to and from the event that can be easily accessed from our Fort Morgan vacation rentals.

To top it off, this amazing event is totally free to attend.

History of the Event

The Annual National Gulf Shore Shrimp Festival was created back in 1971 as a way to extend the summer tourism season past Labor Day. The plan worked, and the festival has thrived ever since. The very first festival was put together by some local businesses and residents, and really was nothing more than a shrimp boil on the beach. The first festival had only 6 vendor booths, lasted about 5 hours, and the estimated crowd was 1500 people.

Fort Morgan Shrimp Festival

The Festival Today

Now, the festival has grown astronomically in size. Each year it draws more than 250,000 people, shows more than 300 vendors, and contributes more than $46-million to the area in economic impact.

The 4 days of celebrating all things shrimp related offers a retail marketplace showing art, crafts, and a hands on experience for kids. Plus, you’ll find shrimp cooked in just about every way you can imagine.

There’s also a sand sculpture contest, a 10k run and walk, plus other art activities, contests, and scholarships. You’ll find so many things to do, see, and eat at the festival. It’s a long weekend filled with food, music, culture, and of course shrimp.

The Shrimp

Obviously, if you’re a seafood lover—this is the place for you. Find everything from fried to boiled shrimp, and maybe take your taste buds on an adventure by trying some of the more daring choices, like a Cajun Pistol. Chefs from all over the region come to show off their crustacean cooking skills, so try to get to as many booths as possible.

Winners of the Shrimp Festival’s annual Restaurant Challenge get more than just bragging rights. They also qualify to compete in the World Food Championships, making this festival the premiere event for any cooks to show off their talents and creativity. If you haven’t gotten enough shrimp at the festival, you can always head to local restaurants that tend to offer up special dishes this time of year as well.

Things to Know

Since this festival is so large and offers so many opportunities, you don’t need to bring much with you other than an empty stomach and a lot of energy. Pets and coolers are not allowed at the festival. Read more about the event on their website

If you have any questions or need help planning the best course of action for this festival reach out to our staff any time. Stay at one of our Fort Morgan vacation rentals as you indulge in some of the best seafood in the state.