Annual Galveston Shrimp Festival Returns Sept. 24

On September 24, 2021, Galveston Island is welcoming back the Wild Texas Galveston Island Shrimp Festival after a semi-hiatus last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 12th annual festival honors shrimpers who are known to stay out on the water for 50 to 60 days, sometimes in dangerous conditions, to bring us the most popular seafood in The United States

Sponsored by the Galveston Island Shrimp Company and Yaga’s Entertainment, the  festivities kick off Friday, September 24 with the VIP Sponsor Party at Saengerfest Park, which is sold out. But don’t fret. There’s still plenty to do on Saturday, September 25, which starts at 9 a.m. with the official Shrimp Scamper 5K Fun Run/Walk. Participants dress as various sea creatures and run down Seashore Boulevard.

Sampling Shrimp at the Gumbo Stroll, part of the Galveston Island Shrimp Festival. Courtesy photo.

The Ron Hoover Boat Show starts at 10 a.m. and displays everything from pontoons to offshore boats. From noon to 4 p.m., the Famous Gumbo Stroll takes place. Guests can taste gumbo samples from more than 50 cook-off teams. Trophies and cash prizes will be given for 1st through 5th place in both the amateur and professional rankings. Teams can also compete in the Shrimp Patty, Open Shrimp and Rum Punch categories.

In addition, guests can purchase tickets to the Shrimp Dinner Plate and Beer Combo at Saengerfest Park. The meal includes fried shrimp, shrimp gumbo and one 16oz beer or bottled water, but does not include entry to the Gumbo Stroll.

The Strand Merchant Walkabout from 12 to 4 p.m. gives contestants who pick up a card at Saengerfest Park Info Booth chances to win more than $300 in gift cards. The cards will be marked by each participating merchant and then must be returned to info booth for entry into a prize lottery.

At 3 p.m., kids can get in the spirit with the Lil’ Shrimps Parade. This includes festive floats, local marching bands and bead-tossing. 

New to the festival is the CastAway Rods Guppy Cup Kidfish in partnership with the Texas Game Warden Association. Check in for this kids fishing contest begins at 9:30 a.m., with weigh-in times from 10 a.m. to noon.  No Texas fishing licenses are required for the event, but please bring your rod and reel. Prizes are given throughout the day, plus awards for 1st through 10th place per division. 

A portion of proceeds benefits The Justin David Hughes Fund at University of Texas Medical Branch, which helps aid and raise awareness of the mental and emotional wellness of UTMB students; and the Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County.  

For tickets and additional information visit the Galveston Island Shrimp Festival website.

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