Fernandina loves parades! And the biggest parade of the year kicking off the annual Shrimp Festival, will be here before you know it. The Shrimp Festival Parade is Thursday, May 2, 2019, starting at 6 pm in downtown Fernandina Beach. The parade’s theme this year is “Rock N Roll Shrimp.”
Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival
For many locals, the Shrimp Festival parade is one of the must-do events anticipated each year in Fernandina. At no other time is the warmth of this town on better display, than during the Shrimp Festival parade. It’s a local ritual, symbolic of community pride.
It’s a Nassau County generational event — seniors, the middle-aged, young adults, teens and tots — gravitate to the heart of Fernandina, the downtown historic district, for this very special parade.
Shrimp Festival Parade Route
Atlantic Avenue’s Central Park is the gathering place for those participating in the parade. The traditional parade route departs Central Park, heading west along Ash Street toward riverfront, then turns a block along 2nd Street and heads east along historic Centre Street (back to Central Park).
A Fun & Festive Time
A parade highlight is the Fernandina Pirate’s Club ship, “Amelia’s Revenge,” sailing along the street, firing a cannon intermittently. Smoke rises when the cannon fires. Cover your ears! It’s loud if it goes off near you. The pirates traditionally are the grand finale of the parade, the very last float to end the parade with a bang. Right after the parade ends (usually by around 8 pm), will be a free “Sounds On Centre” outdoor concert, so hang around to enjoy the music and dancing in the street.
Read lots more about Shrimp Festival weekend hours and all the activities happening May 3-5, 2019 in downtown Fernandina Beach, including festival highlights, featured bands, entertainment schedule, and more.
A Community Celebration
More About Parade
Many residents participate, marching in the Shrimp Festival parade or riding upon a float. And within the crowd of spectators, most are connected in some way to someone or an organization in the parade.
Beaded pirate necklaces and/or candy are handed out to kids along the parade route. A festive community celebration, thousands head downtown and line the parade route. Some plan ahead, bringing beach chairs and arriving early to scope out a top viewing spot. People sit and chat, others roam, mingle and socialize, awaiting the parade.
Parade Application Deadline
Want to be in the 2019 Shrimp Festival Parade? There’s an application process (deadline April 18, 2019) and entry fees.
Those who wish to be eligible to be judged for potential awards to be presented, “must dress and decorate their entry in accordance with the theme of the Parade, “Rock N Roll Shrimp.” Entries are encouraged to incorporate music and special effects,” according to the Shrimp Festival organizers.