Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival Is Coming Soon

Dated: 03/01/2019

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As the second weekend in March is fast approaching, I thought it might be interesting to blog about the history of the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival.  Before the first “official” Shrimp Festival kicked off in 1959, an event known as “Beach Day” was held in conjunction with the Edison Festival of Light Parade.  The “big” parade was always held on the second Saturday in February, so “Beach Day” was scheduled to occur on the Sunday following the parade.  St. Raphael’s Church used this day as an opportunity to sponsor the Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet (see post on the history of the shrimping industry on FMB).   Since, at that time, there were few eating establishments on the island, the women of St. Raphael’s made and sold their famous shrimp rolls in the county park. This soon grew into the official Shrimp Festival with a parade, a beauty contest, and even gopher turtle races.  In the beginning, the Shrimp Festival was held on the weekend nearest the full moon after the Edison Festival.  The reason for this was simple: the shrimping fleet was in port during the full moon as shrimping during this time is poor.   The Festival has grown tremendously over the past 60 years.  Now, it is a week-long celebration that brings thousands of visitors to the island.  For more information on this year’s festivities, click on this link.

Fort Myers Beach Lion's Club 

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Ellie Bunting

Ellie has returned to real estate sales after spending the last 40 years teaching English at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers She has teamed up with her husband, Bob, who has been a....

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