Another Festival is in the books. Another successful turn out and condos were hard to come by this year as potential patrons were again waiting until the last minute to make reservations. We received numerous calls in the days leading up to the event. The Gulf Shores Shrimp Festival has added things over the past few years and has a multitude of things to do, see and even participate in while attending.
The weather could not have been better. The temperatures ranged from the mid 60's early in the day and peaked in the low 80's with low humidity. Patrons joined in from all over the U.S. and made this year's festival crowd one of the largest on record with over 300,000 visitors.
This year's festival was like its predecessors in many ways featuring plenty of savory seafood as local vendors lined the boardwalk at the public beach. Shrimp, crabs, lobster, scallops, various types of fish and oysters were among the most popular and there was plenty to go around. This year's sponsors included Alabama's Organized Seafood Association, Zatarains, the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission and Wind Creek Casino. Using the local restaurants and their respective chefs, the sponsors scheduled times for the public to stop in and sample the fresh local seafood.
This year's festival has a few wrinkles as well. Two new events included the 2013 "Shrimp Fest Idol" and "Outdoor World". As you may have surmised, the "Idol" contest is a spin-off of American Idol and featured contestants from seven local highs chools singing and were eliminated over the course of several rounds. Outdoor World is also easy to discern as a set up featuring fishing, boating, hunting and other outdoor vendors showcasing a variety of the latest toys for the outdoors man. Other popular activities included the sand sculpting contest and the Children's Village which offered face-painting, karaoke and other activities.
This year's Shrimp Fest run is broken in to separate races with a 5K and a 10K on October 12th in Orange Beach. The cost of the race is $20 by September 20th and $25 by October 12th. All proceeds will be donated to the public schools in both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama.
Runner and walkers can enter the 10K and 5K races to help work off some o fthe great food at the festival. All net proceeds of the Run will be donated to Coastal Baldwin Education Enrichment, benefiting the local Gulf Shores & Orange Beach public schools. Entry Fees are $20 by Sept 30: $25 by Oct 12th.