Between April 28 and May 1, the 53rd annual shrimp festival will return to the First Coast. I’m sure you’re wondering what exactly it is, if you don’t already know, and we’re here to tell you. While there is, of course, tons of shrimp, there’s also tons of people that come to this festival, attracting over 100,000 people over the course of the weekend.
So, why exactly is it called the Isle of Eight Flags? There is a history lesson available at the Amelia Island Museum of History, but we’ll let you in on the secret here. Since its foundation in 1562, Fernandina has had the flags of these eight nations flown over it: France, Spain, Great Britain, Spain (for a second time), the Patriots of Amelia Island, the Green Cross of Florida, Mexico, the Confederate States of America and the U.S. It’s also the only municipality to do so in U.S. history.
The festival begins on a Thursday evening with a pirate parade. The shrimp festival begins that Friday around 6 p.m. (there will also be fireworks that night) and the festival continues until Sunday. The shrimp festival hosts the biggest parade of the year. It has one of the top fine arts shows, as well as hosting many activities for children to enjoy. Of course, there’s food, which includes shrimp cooked a variety of ways and other festival food favorites.