Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Parade kicks off Shrimp Festival

The annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is scheduled for Friday through Sunday. The Shrimp Festival Pirate Parade kicks off festivities starting at 6 p.m. Thursday in downtown Fernandina Beach.

Memorial United Methodist Women will be serving spaghetti dinners Thursday in Maxwell Hall (behind the church) from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Meals are $7 for adults and $3 for children six and under. Take-out will be available.

Opening ceremonies, the Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant, Invasion of the Pirates and fireworks display will take place from 6-10 p.m. Friday. Pageant contestants are Sherian Blue, Jenny Bridwell, Katie Burford, Sarah Byrne, Amber DeBrule, Courtney Holbrook, Morgan Lee, Evelyn Lloyd, Jadiz Marshall, Lilly McCloskey, Jessica McClure, Jessica McCrimmon, Kelsey McNett, Alexandra Medina, Alex Mills, Courtney Money, Emily Parker, Bryana Peterson, Jillian Spencer, Amanda Stein, Courtney Stuart and Rachel Taylor.

On Saturday, St. Peter's Episcopal Church will serve a full Southern breakfast buffet from 7-10:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall at Ninth Street and Atlantic Avenue. The cost is $6 per person and is "eat-in" or "take-out." For information or to place take-out orders, call 261-4293.

Also on Saturday, hundreds of artists will show and sell their creations, and the Patron Purchase Award Program gives everyone a chance to become judge and jury of the art show.

Patrons commit to purchasing a piece of artwork, pay the artist and award them with a green ribbon, and a huge name tag with your name on it (supplied free from the Island Art Association) will hang in the artist's booth during the show, giving you credit for being a patron of the arts. This program helps to bring more and better artists to the show.

To join this year's program, contact Melba Craven at the Island Art Association, 261-7020, or stop by the gallery at 18 N. Second St., Fernandina Beach, to sign up.

The committee of the 46th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival also invites you to participate in the Blessing of the Fleet and Best Decorated Boat Contest on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Fernandina Harbor Marina.

Participation is open to all shrimp boats, recreational motorboats, sailboats and commercial/charter boats. Prizes will be given for the Best Decorated Shrimp Boat including two round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines, $750 cash, a $500 fuel allowance from Florida Petroleum Corp. and a commemorative plaque for first place.

The first 10 registered shrimp boats will receive a $100 to $300 fuel incentive based on distance traveled for participating. Prizes for the other Best Decorated Boat categories will be based on the amount of entry fees received at $20 per boat (shrimp boats are exempt from entry fee).

To register, download the application at under Contests/Best Decorated Boat and bring it and any fees to the Fernandina Harbor Marina Dock House between 9 and 10 a.m. on Sunday to pick up your number assignments for each boat.

Boaters will be asked to monitor Channel 72 throughout the event. For more information, contact Steve or Wanda Hair at 277-2086.

For a full list of Shrimp Festival events, visit

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