History of the isle of 8 Flags Shrimp Festival

A Celebration of Shrimp 

8 Flags Shrimp Festival

Amelia Island’s one-of-a-kind annual shrimp festival of 2018 takes place May 4th through the 6th in Fernandina Beach, and is the most delicious event of the year.

Many people know that Fernandina Beach is where the shrimping industry in America first started, but in 1963, the festival that surrounds this delicious crustaceans actually began as the “Shrimp Boat Festival” and featured shrimp boat races. Nowadays, the annual shrimp festival is filled with food vendors and booths filled with delicious fresh seafood, attracting over 100,000 people each year. As one of the biggest attractions for Amelia Island, visitors and local enjoy art shows, a pirate parade in downtown Fernandina’s historic district, live music and of course great food. Enjoy a variety of shrimp in any way imaginable during these four days, including shrimp gumbo, shrimp pie, grilled shrimp, cajun shrimp, garlic shrimp, popcorn shrimp shrimp salad, the list goes on (enter Forest Gump reference here).

Photo Credit: Void Magazine

Photo Credit: Void Magazine

The Aisle of 8 Flags Shrimp Festival was named from the long history of Amelia Island here in Fernandina Beach. This island has been under the possession of eight different flags, and is the first and only location in the United States to have that many. As history tells it, the first flag was the French, which was hoisted in 1562 when it was originally named Isle de Mar. Then in 1563 it was changed to a Spanish flag, named Isla de Santa Maria. Following, it was replaced by the English flag in 1763 and was named Amelia Island in honor of Princess Amelia. In 1783, the Spanish flag took its place back and the name was changed from Amelia Island to the town of Ferdinand, after King Ferdinand VII of Spain.

Beginning in 1813, the Patriot flag came into play after the insurgents known as the “Patriots of Amelia Island” seized the land. This was then changed to the United States flag, then to the Green Cross of Florida Flag in 1816, then the Mexican Rebel flag, the 1861 Confederate flag, and finally, back to the United States flag in 1862.

Wherever you're from, and whatever flag you fly, this event is great for a day spent with family and friends. Come see us to try the best wild caught shrimp daily, and taste history right here at Timoti's.