Fernandina’s Shrimp Festival canceled for 2nd year

Organizers may put together smaller event in October

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – For the second year in a row, the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival will not happen due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

It was scheduled to take place from April 30 to May 3 this year.

Festival Chairman Harry Harrison made the announcement Tuesday, saying it was a difficult decision made after three months of reviewing to ensure the health and safety of volunteers, sponsors, vendors and the general public.

He said the event attracts between 110,000 and 140,000 people each year, and even scaling it back would not allow social distancing in downtown Fernandina Beach.

“We don’t feed comfortably where they are with the vaccine and how people are dealing it,” Harrison said.

Because the food vendors are all nonprofit organizations and the shrimp festival is often their largest fundraiser of the year, a Fall Fun Weekend may take place the first week of October, if conditions allow. It would be limited to the waterfront and feature mostly local entertainment, “but we will have lots of shrimp to eat and enjoy.”

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