46th Annual National Shrimp Festival opens Thursday - FOX10 News | WALA

46th Annual National Shrimp Festival opens Thursday

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Roads Closed for Shrimp Festival Roads Closed for Shrimp Festival

The National Shrimp Festival kicks off Thursday morning, October 12, 2017 in Gulf Shores.  Now in its 46th year, the festival draws 250,000 visitors over four days.  Hurricane Nate caused Shrimp Festival officials to work overtime getting the site cleaned and set up.  More than 200 vendors spent Wednesday setting up and getting ready for big crowds. 

Shrimp is what’s on the menu for the weekend and plenty of it.  The beachfront is lined with food vendors ready to prepare the gulf’s bounty about any way you could imagine.  All of the shrimp served is domestic and Rouse’s Food Stores will probably serve up more than anybody.  They plan on serving up seven thousand pounds over the weekend.

“We do the boiled shrimp here and it’s a big success…we spice it up a little bit, Cajun style so people can have a you know, people that are not native here, that are just coming here…tourists or visitors, they can get a taste of our local flavor,” said Rouse’s Chip Martina.

The food is just the beginning.  More than 200 vendors will be selling their wares and there’s something for just about everyone’s taste and price range.  Roger Armour with A Touch of Splash has been selling his yard art at the National Shrimp Festival for 15 years.  He loves the crowds and says it’s one of the best festivals of the year.

“Well, it’s a nice atmosphere plus you’ll make good money here.  That’s the main thing,” Armour said.  “We do this as a profession now so we travel and we just enjoy the people and enjoy the beach here for sales.”

Dan McGuffee is a brand new vendor with a brand new invention that he’s banking on being a big hit.  The Bumpsta is made to protect your car or truck when backing up to your trailer.  It fits and locks over your trailer tongue for a soft touch if you back up a little too far.  He’s hoping that the Shrimp Festival will live up to his sales expectations.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of people here.  They’re going to enjoy it…have a good time…a lot of products and just a good place to be,” McGuffee said.

There will be a kid’s zone and more than 100 hours of live entertainment.  Entry to the festival is free and if you plan to come, officials have some suggestions.

“There’s a lot of walking to be done.  I’d have to say, make sure…the weather’s looking great.  Make sure you bring some sunscreen.  Make sure you bring a hat.  Get ready to stay hydrated and come and enjoy the entertainment.  If you want to enjoy the entertainment and bring a chair, bring a chair,” said National Shrimp Festival chairman, Spencer Cade.

Officials are asking that you leave your pets at home, but service animals are allowed.  No outside alcohol is allowed and by city ordinance, no weapons are allowed inside the festival.  Festival hours are 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.  

Road Closures
Monday, October 9

  • Gulf Place closed to all vehicular traffic.

Tuesday, October 10

  • 4:00 a.m. - Traffic is closed to public on Hwy 182 between W. 2nd Street & E. 1st Street;0
  • Traffic is closed to public on Hwy 59, south of 1st Avenue.

Thursday, October 12

  •  4:00 a.m. - Traffic closure of Hwy 182 expands eastward to E. 2nd Street & westward to W.
  • 3rd Street. Traffic flow east of Hwy 59 will convert to one-way-only routes.

Monday, October 16

  •  7:00 a.m. - All normal traffic flow along Hwy 182 and Hwy 59 resumes.

Tuesday, October 17

  •  7:00 a.m. – East Gulf Place re-opens to the public. West Gulf Places closes for Phase 2 of the Gulf Place Revitalization Project.

Public Beaches:

  • All public beaches will remain open throughout the festival.

For more information about the 46th Annual National Shrimp Festival, visit www.myshrimpfest.com.

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