You can boil it, broil it, barbeque it, pan-fry it, sauté it, and stir-fry it. Or, if you prefer, you can always take it straight up, as many people do. It’s nearly a guarantee you’ll see it prepared in all these forms plus more on the Gulf Coast of Alabama at the National Shrimp Festival this October 10th through the 13th. Held every year during the second full weekend of October, the Shrimp Festival fills the shores of Gulf Shores, Alabama with more than 250,000 guests looking to eat their fill of the ocean’s crustaceous bottom-feeders. The fest is crawling with much more than shrimp, though. Around 250 vendors of arts and crafts, fine art, and the marketplace offer guests local treasures for viewing or purchase. Two musical stages are belting out continuous tunes from local and big names. And, the traditional 10/5K is up and running again this year with proceeds benefiting the Coastal Baldwin Education Enrichment Foundation.
 
If you really want to dive into the family fun of the Shrimp Fest, enter yourself and the kids into the family friendly sand sculpture contest. With three different age groups and a family category, no one is left out of the filthy fun. Winners receive trophies, posters, and ribbons, and the winning family goes home with one hundred dollars cash. And, after you’ve worked up an appetite on the beach, winners of the 6th Annual Restaurant Challenge are announced just in time for you to grab a bite to eat. Whether you attend for the fresh array of fare from the sea or for some good Gulf Coast fun, you’ll be venturing seaside for years to come.