Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

April 29th – May 1, 2022 In Downtown Fernandina Beach

Fernandina’s Shrimp Festival has something fun for everyone. A general crowd-pleaser is the FIREWORKS display on Friday evening at 9:15 p.m., happening on April 29, 2022 at Fernandina’s riverfront. Others come for the entertainment, particularly the bands — FREE CONCERTS performed on the riverfront stage. Families with younger children enjoy the KIDS FUN ZONE. Plus there’s the huge FINE ARTS SHOW, crafts, antiques vendors, and the festival’s FOOD.

Fernandina’s Biggest & Best Parade Of The Year, April 28, 2022

However, Fernandina’s festival experience wouldn’t be complete without its big SHRIMP FEST PARADE. Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival kicks off Fernandina’s famous festival with the fun and quirky Shrimp Festival Parade on Thursday evening, April 28, 2022  starting at 6 p.m. (held rain or shine). Attracting thousands who line the parade route, it features pirates in their ship and typically 100+ entrants including marching bands, floats, dancers, gymnasts and lots more.

Fernandina’s Shrimp Festival 2022: Weekend Hours (Friday, April 29th To Sunday, May 1st, 2022)

FRIDAY, APRIL 29th, 2022  6 PM – 10PM (Waterfront food booths open early at 3 PM, Kids Fun Zone 5 PM). FIREWORKS display Friday night at 9:15 PM.

SATURDAY, APRIL 30th, 2022 9 AM – 6 PM (Waterfront food books stay open until 7 PM, Kids Zone 8 PM)

SUNDAY, MAY 1st, 2022  — Final Day 10 AM – 5PM

During the Festival, shrimp boats will be docked at the city of Fernandina Harbor Marina downtown along the riverfront. One of the traditions of the Festival is the “Best Decorated Shrimp Boat” contest.

Shrimp boats Fernandina Beach Marina duing festival, Captain Jack and Miss Carolyn Louise. Photo by
Shrimp boats downtown at Fernandina’s city marina during a past festival. (File photo)
Originally Held To Celebrate Blessing of Shrimp Fleet

Fernandina is known as “birthplace of the modern shrimping industry in America.” The Festival began back in 1964 to celebrate the blessing of the shrimp fleet and featured shrimp boat races (formally called the “Shrimp Boat Festival”). This year in 2022, the blessing of the fleet is happening Sunday, May 1st at 1 p.m., followed by the “Decorated Shrimp Boat Parade & Contest.” Take a look back in time below at old photos courtesy of the “Florida Memory” archives (dated 1971). Below, on left Fernandina shrimp boat race, on right blessing of shrimp boat “Golden Isle.”

Kids Fun Zone (Located Near Fernandina Library)

The Kids Fun Zone this year in 2022 has been moved back to the location behind Fernandina’s library (for a few years it had been in Central Park). There will be rides for the kids, games, and face painting, plus live entertainment (Star Troopers and the Reptile Man).

Fine Arts & Crafts Show

A main feature of the Shrimp Festival is the huge juried art show administered by the Amelia Island Art Association. Fernandina’s downtown historic district streets are lined with hundreds of booths for art lovers to browse and buy something special.

Fernandina Beach Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Arts and Crafts Booths. Photo by Amelia Island Living magazine.
Vintage & Antiques, Collectibles Show

Besides the artist booths, this year’s “Vintage & Antiques” vendors will offer many additional booths to browse. Combined with the fine arts show, this year’s Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival 2022 offers an opportunity to shop for lots of unique items for your home, your wardrobe or special gifts.

Food Booths At Shrimp Festival

Also for purchase, of course, is shrimp prepared various ways, including popular fried shrimp, shrimp boils and shrimp pie. The food booths are non-profits including area schools and churches and organizations such as the Amelia Island Museum of History (the museum will be offering their shrimp gumbo). Other festival favorites such as funnel cakes and fresh squeezed lemonade are also popular with attendees. The Shrimp Festival is an important fundraising event for local area non-profits.

Shrimp Festival Food Booths at Fernandina riverfront, Non-Profits
Shrimp Festival Food Booths At Riverfront (File photo)
Is alcohol sold during the Festival?

During the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, beer tents will serve adults aged 21+.

Flashback! Hear Million-Selling Hits of Past Eras Performed By Original Artists During “Rock & Pop Masters®” — Saturday, April 30, 2022

Taking the riverfront stage on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., is John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band. This performance will be the band’s third appearance in Fernandina Beach during the past 20 years at the Shrimp Festival. (Pictured below when Cafferty and the band were here on Amelia Island back in 2010).

John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band, Fernandina Beach. Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. Photo by magazine.
John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band In Fernandina (File photo: 2010)
Remember The “Eddie & The Cruisers” Movies?

John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band’s music was featured on soundtrack of the 1983 movie, “Eddie & The Cruisers” (with actor Michael Paré as character Eddie Wilson), and its sequel film, “Eddie & The Cruisers II – Eddie Lives!” (1989). Songs include “On The Dark Side”, “Tender Years”, “Tough All Over”, and “C.I.T.Y.” The Beaver Brown Band’s wonderful saxophone player, Michael “Tunes” Antunes, actually appeared in both movies. (Read related article about Beaver Brown Band).

Also performing during “Rock & Pop Masters® on Saturday, April 30, 2022, is Peter Beckett (guitarist and lead vocalist of Player), plus the original lead singer and drummer of Rare Earth, Peter Rivera. According to the Isle of Eight Flags’ Facebook page, these “artists will perform the hits of their respective bands, backed by an incredible band of renowned musicians including percussionist Charlie Morgan, who toured and recorded for 13 years as drummer for Elton John.”

Swingin’ Medallions Perform Sunday, May 1, 2022

A local favorite and repeat performers at the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, back again this year on Sunday afternoon, May 1st, is the “Party Band of the South,” the Swingin’ Medallions. The band’s first set starts at 2 p.m., and after a break, they’ll be back on the riverfront stage for a second set at 3:45. The Swingin’ Medallions are the last performers to play the third and final day of the 2022 Shrimp Festival as it comes to an end, closing out the 57th celebration around 5 p.m. Sunday.

Shrimp Festival — Where To Park?

The Festival’s “PARK & RIDE” lot with shuttle service is located at Fernandina Beach High School (435 Citrona Avenue, $10 parking fee, a donation to the school). Then take the free shuttle service provided by Nassau Transit to the festival area downtown. FBHS parking/shuttle hours: Friday 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Sunday hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closer to the Shrimp Festival area downtown are a few “PARK & WALK” lots ($15 parking fee): Buccaneer Field (S. 11th St. and Beech St.), across the street from Central Park on Atlantic Ave., and at riverfront, the city’s lots C & D. Parking can be a challenge during the Shrimp Festival. Some attempt searching for a free parking spot along downtown side streets on the outskirts of Festival area.

Shrimp Festival 2022 Entertainment & Activities Full Schedule

For the full details of all the entertainment and activities happening from late Friday afternoon through Sunday, go to the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival 2022 entertainment schedule.