59th Annual Fort Myers Beach Lions Shrimp Festival


The 59th Annual Fort Myers Beach Lions Shrimp Festival will take over the beach on March 11th and 12th – sure to be the best one yet! The Fort Myers Beach Lions Club is offering two full days of fun with something for everyone on the schedule. The favorites are back – Saturday’s parade and Queen crowning – Sunday’s Shrimp Eating Contest and two full days of Shrimp Dinners and Expo fun! So much fun that it actually begins the Saturday before, March 4th, when the Lions Kid’s Shrimp Run on the beach takes place. Don’t miss a minute of it!


Lions Kids Shrimp Run

 The Kid’s Run returns this year on Saturday, March 4th at 8am; Registration 7-7:30am. Kids are invited to participate in this fun and free event – a mile run along the beach! Meet at Gulf Beach Rd beach access (across from Topps). T-shirts available. Sponsored by Cypress Lake High School Boosters. For more information email liamcf@leeschools.net or call 239-481-2233.


5K Shrimp Run

The Fort Myers Beach Lions 5K Shrimp Festival Run, sponsored by Cypress Lake High School Athletic Booster Club returns this year. The 5K Shrimp Run will begin at Doc Ford’s, 708 Fisherman’s Wharf on San Carlos Island at 9am on Saturday, March 11th, just before the Shrimp Festival Parade at 10am. The route will take runners over the bridge and along Estero Blvd before returning to Doc Ford’s. Runners and walkers are welcome. Registration is $30. Registration and more information can be found at the Cypress Lake High School boosters Facebook page or by emailing liamcf@leeschools.net or call 239-481-2233.


Festival Gear Available Now

The 2017 edition of Official Shrimp Festival t-shirts, tank tops, caps and polo shirts are available before the Festival at Bay Oaks Recreation Center, Gavin’s Ace Hardware, Sea Gypsy Inn, Pier View Hotel, B & B Automotive and Sun Hardware. Gear is also available every Saturday morning at the Red Coconut breakfast. Get your gear now and show your support for the Lions Shrimp Festival by wearing around the Island! Festival Gear will also be available on Festival Grounds on March 11-12. Help your community and participate in the 59th Annual Fort Myers Beach Lions Shrimp Festival by picking up your gear early.



shrimp festival paradeThe Shrimp Festival Parade will begin at 10am on Saturday, March 11th. This is the largest Island parade of the year! Prizes are awarded in a number of categories! The route is about 1.25 miles in length, beginning at School Street and ending at the Matanzas Bridge near Lynn Hall Memorial Park where all the Shrimp Festival events take place. Remember no throwing of beads allowed by the Town of Fort Myers Beach. If you want to be in the parade contact Lion Diane 239-454-0043 (evenings). And plan to be on the Island by 8am, as the Matanzas Bridge will closed by 9am-noon on March 11th!


Shrimp Queen Crowning

The Fort Myers Beach Lions Club Shrimp Festival Queen Pageant attracts local young women eager to take part in this Beach tradition going back 59 years. All participants (princesses) are already winners by helping the Fort Myers Beach Lions Club and their charitable efforts through their participation. Watch for the Shrimp Princesses in the parade Saturday morning. Then at 1pm on Saturday, March 11th, the 59th Shrimp Festival Queen will be crowned at the pavilion on Festival Grounds in Lynn Hall Park. Don’t miss this old-fashioned family event with scholarships and trophies awarded. Parade winners are announced at the pavilion also.


Food, Fun & Crafts Expo

The 25th Annual Shrimp Festival Food, Fun & Crafts Expo will be held March 11th & 12th on the Festival Grounds at Lynn Hall Park. The Expo will be open from 10am-6pm Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday with more than a 100 great vendors offering a variety of hand-crafted jewelry, accessories, lawn ornaments, furniture, blown glass, wood sculptures and more. Want to be part of Expo? Contact Lion Ted at 239-454-0043.


World Famous Shrimp Dinners

The Lion’s World Famous Shrimp Dinners, featuring ½ lb. of Pink Gold Gulf shrimp from our local boats, secret sauce and cole slaw will be offered on Saturday, March 11th from 10am-5pm and Sunday March 12t from 10am until they run out, and they always run out. Insider tip: Crowds are less after 1:30pm. Tickets available on site; $13


Shrimp Eating Championship

The Festival’s newest and most filling fun event begins at 1pm on Sunday on Festival Grounds in Lynn Hall Park – The 3rd Annual Lions Shrimp Festival Championship Shrimp Eating Contest! Up to ten sponsored contestants trying to eat 3 lbs. of cooked and peeled FMB Pink Shrimp in 3 minutes! Have your cameras ready! Cheer on your favorite contestant! Sponsorship fee is $250 with all proceeds to Lions Charities. People’s Choice winner will be the contestant that collects the most $1 donations. Information and applications available at lacyrooney@gmail.com.


Lions Charities

The Shrimp Festival is the Lions major fundraiser for the year. Each year for 59 years, the Lions have used 100% of the proceeds of the Shrimp Festival to support Fort Myers Beach Lions Charities. Last year the Festival raised more than $45,000, all of it donated to support charities like Beach Lions We Serve Scholarships, Campership Fund for sight-impaired campers, Guide Dogs, Beach School, Lee County CERT, Large Print and Audio Books for the Beach Library, local sight assistance cases, WGCU radio reading service, Immokalee Child Care Center, Cypress Lake High School, Lions Club International Foundation, Lions Foundation for the Blind and Conklin Center for the Blind. The need is greater than ever as the number of sight assistance cases increases each year.

Through the volunteer efforts of Lions Club members and Club projects like the Shrimp Festival and outstanding community support, the Beach Lions are able to support community charities year-round.


Join the Lions

The Fort Myers Beach Lions Club is composed of about three-dozen fun-loving, community-minded members who meet in the Parish Hall of St. Raphael’s Church, 5601 Williams Drive on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 7pm. They welcome anyone who may want to attend a meeting to see if they’d want to join this group. Members are invited to participate in activities as their schedule allows and they especially welcome busy people, because we all know that the best way to get anything done is to ask a busy person. Snowbird Lions are also invited to attend meetings while in the area. To learn more about the Lions visit FMBLions.com. For a great dinner and a no-obligation visit to a Beach Lion meeting, call 239-454-0246 or email info@FMBLIONS.com.


Missy Layfield