Friday, October 9, 2009

Live from the Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores Alabama

This was officially day two of the festival, although the vendors have been setting up for about three or four days. The festival was scheduled to open each day at 10AM so we ventured down to the strip about 9:30 and ended up parking in the lot of one of the souvenir shops. (side note, the shops near the festival close their lots and you can't park to go into the stores without paying the $5-$10!! what a rip!) We headed down and saw a huge map of all the vendors, music stages, arts and craft booths as well as the kids area. This is how busy it was already this morning:
The temperature today is about 90 degrees, but according to the weather channel, the "real feel" temperature is 101-102... I can vouch that it is HOT HOT HOT out there. We walked around and visited various vendors and scoped out a few things we wanted to come back and see. There is a large kids area with several free things for the kids to do. My kids made crafts with some of the local churches, rode a jet ski simulator and made safety t-shirts with the Marine Police, and we found free sno cones and popcorn as well as $1 cokes from the local school system's PTO fundraiser.
Back towards the center of all the action, they have tons of booths setup frying everything you can imagine from shrimp and soft shell crabs to alligator, Snickers and of course pork skins. I bought a JUMBO bag of SPICY pork skins for $6 and they were fresh out of the fryer... so delicious! One of the "must have" items from the festival is called a "Cajun pistol" and is basically a bignet style doughnut with a cheesy seafood mixture inside; the lines were longer at booths selling these than any others. Several vendors had grilled items like sausage and shrimp as well as steamed seafood like below.
The festival runs through the end of the day Sunday and they have multiple musical stages setup with live performers all through the weekend. If you are in the area or close enough to make a short trip down, the food will be worth the trip!

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