When is the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival?

Stay at one of our Amelia Island vacation rentals in the month of May. Soak in the epic sunrise or spend afternoons by the pool. Amelia Island is all about real relaxation.

But there’s another big (and tasty) reason to visit Amelia Island in early May. It is another spring and another week of seafood. Come on out for the Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, a multi-day extravaganza of music, fun, seafood, and everything in between.

The Eight Flags Shrimp Festival embodies centuries of history into a full-fledged seafood event.

Introducing the Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

The Eight Flags Shrimp Festival embodies centuries of history into a full-fledged seafood event. This is one of the biggest Amelia Island events for the whole year, and possibly second in size only to the big winter season event in December.

The event is a collective of fun from all angles. While the titular shrimp festival is “about” shrimp, there’s so much to do and see. You can bring the kids on over for a fun pirate-themed costume contest. Decorated shrimp boats sit in the water, ready for you to take plenty of pictures. The festival pageant crowns the season’s “Miss Shrimp” while a 5 p.m. parade showcases local attractions, businesses, costumes, and more. The theme for the year? Rock and Roll Shrimp, of course!


The event also celebrates art in many forms. Music begins May 3rd at 6 p.m. for the event’s official opening ceremonies. There is a new musical act nearly every 30 minutes to an hour for the duration of the event. Friday’s headliner is the band “Be Easy,” followed by fireworks at 9 p.m.

Saturday’s music begins promptly at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the high school jazz band. Throughout the afternoon you can hear master guitarist Dominic Gaudious and the beach jams of Sean McCarthy.


The art extends outside music. You can find all sorts of artistic achievements from local greats. There’s jewelry, large-scale paintings, and photography. Many of the art guests at the event have won local prizes for their work. You can request commissioned work or purchase available art for sale.

There’s so much to cover, including the Shrimp Fun Run, the epic kid’s zone play area, and more. We barely even touched on the shrimp! There’s expected to be numerous local vendors offering fish tacos, grilled and fried, along with other seafood treats right from the local waters of Amelia Island.

The event is a celebration of how far Amelia Island has come. The name of the event derives from Amelia Island’s notorious hand-switching history. In short, at least eight different cultures have claimed Amelia Island as their own at one point in time. This has given the region the distinction of “Eight Flags.” Shockingly, in just a single 100-year period, ownership of the island traded hands about seven times.

There are actually tons of really fun and intriguing facts you can learn about Amelia Island’s history. The ownership turnover has created a whirlwind of fascinating facts. The area was a pirate’s paradise for generations- but that only scratches the surface. You can see all this, and more, unfold, at the popular Shrimp Festival.

Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, a multi-day extravaganza of music, fun, seafood, and everything in between.

When is the Event?

The event is May 2rd to May 5th, beginning on Thursday with the parade and wrapping up that Sunday. The scheduled events are spread out throughout the duration of the event, with music, kid’s activities, and various contests taking place each afternoon of the event. There are fireworks on Friday, a parade on Thursday, and art showcases on Saturday and Sunday.

Make sure to visit the website for any additional details not covered here.

When you come to visit Amelia Island for the season, make some time for some extra exciting spring adventures. Be sure to visit the area’s top golf course for some competitive golfing on the epic beachside greens. Learn about everything the island has to offer, from its downtown historic district to its restaurants on the weather. Be sure to contact us for details on our available Fernandina Beach condos, the island’s treasured historic downtown.