Fort Myers Beach – March 9 & 10
The 61st Annual Fort Myers Beach Lions Shrimp Festival will be held on March 9 and 10 and the excitement is building for the biggest event the Island sees each year! 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 5K run, 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 2, when the Lions Kids’ Shrimp Run on the beach takes place. You won’t want to miss a minute of the fun! And the best part, all proceeds go to Lions charities!
LIONS KIDS SHRIMP RUN
The Shrimp Kids Run will be held on the beach Saturday, March 2 at 8am at Gulf Beach Road.The Kid’s Run returns this year on Saturday, March 2 at 8am; registration begins at 7pm. Kids in grades K – 5 are invited to participate in this fun and free event – a mile run along the beach! Meet on the beach at Gulf Beach Rd beach access (across from Topps). The first 100 registered get a t-shirt, plus awards to the top three boy and girl finishers in each grade. For more information email email@example.com.
5K SHRIMP RUN
The Fort Myers Beach Lions 5K Shrimp Festival Run, sponsored by Cypress Lake High School Athletic Booster Club will bring hundreds of runners to the beach again 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 9, 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 begins at $25. Registration link at active.com or tinyurl.com/Shrimp5K or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parade participants are cheered on by crowds along Estero Blvd.The Shrimp Festival Parade will begin at 10am on Saturday, March 9. This is the largest Island parade of the year! Parade prizes are awarded in a number of categories! The route is about 1.25 miles in length, beginning at Bay Road near the Beach Library and ending at Lynn Hall Memorial Park where all the Shrimp Festival events take place. There will be no beads as they mess with our new storm drains. Candy is ok. There’s still space in the parade if your neighborhood, friends, club or community group wants to be a part of the best parade of 2019! If you want to be in the parade contact Lion Diane 239-634-3887. And plan to be on the Island by 8am. The Matanzas Bridge will be closed by 9am-noon on March 9!
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 60+ years. All participants, known as Shrimp Princesses, are already winners by helping the Fort Myers Beach Lions Club and their charitable efforts through their participation.
You can catch the 2018 Shrimp Fest Queen Chloe Stam, along with 8 Princesses in this year’s parade Saturday morning. Then at 1pm, the 61st Shrimp Festival Queen will be crowned at the pavilion on the Festival Grounds in Lynn Hall Park. Don’t miss this old-fashioned family event with scholarships and trophies awarded. Parade winners are also announced at the pavilion during the pageant.
ART FAIR & FOOD EXPO
The 27th Annual Shrimp Festival Art Fair & Food Expo will be held March 9 & 10 on the Festival Grounds at Lynn Hall Park. The Expo will be open from 10am-6pm Saturday and 10am – 5pm Sunday with more than a 100 great vendors offering a variety of hand-crafted jewelry, accessories, tie-dye clothing, metal sculptures, fused glass art, handmade apparel and more. This is where you’ll find official festival t-shirts & gear also!
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 for just $15 will be offered on Saturday, March 9 from 10am-6pm and Sunday March 10 from 10am until they run out, and they always run out. Cash only, so come prepared. For over 50 years, the Lions have been boiling and serving delicious Gulf Pink Shrimp at the festival, with the secret of perfectly cooked ‘peel & eat’ shrimp passed down from year to year. This is the finest shrimp, with the tastiest flavor, straight from the Gulf of Mexico and the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Boat Fleet. 100% of the proceeds benefit Fort Myers Beach Lions charities.
SHRIMP EATING CHAMPIONSHIP
The Festival’s newest and most filling fun event begins at 1pm on Sunday, March 10 on Festival Grounds in Lynn Hall Park -The 5th Annual Lions Shrimp Festival Championship Shrimp-Eating Contest! Sponsored contestants try to eat as much cooked and peeled Pink Shrimp as they can in 3 minutes! Cheer on your favorite contestant! The People’s Choice winner will be the contestant that collects the most $1 donations from the crowd. Watch for the contestants in Saturday’s parade! Information available by emailing Lion Tamara at email@example.com
FESTIVAL GEAR AVAILABLE NOW
Official Shrimp Festival t-shirts, tank tops, caps and polo shirts are available now at Bay Oaks Recreation Center, Gavin’s Ace Hardware, Sea Gypsy Inn, Bonita Bill’s, Pierview Hotel, B & B Automotive and Sun Hardware. Get your gear now and show your support for the Lions Shrimp Festival by wearing it around the Island! Festival Gear will also be available at the Art Fair & Food Expo on March 9 – 10.
The Shrimp Festival is the Lions major fundraiser for the year, raising tens of thousands of dollars with 100% of the proceeds going to support Fort Myers Beach Lions Charities like local eye surgeries & eye cases, Beach Lions We Serve Scholarships, Florida Lions Eye Bank, large print books, local food pantries, water quality contributions, Little League and youth soccer, as well as Beach Elementary and Cypress Lake High School student needs and the Lions Club International Foundation. Through the volunteer efforts of Lions Club members, volunteers and outstanding community support, the Beach Lions are able to support community charities year-round.
JOIN THE LIONS
The Fort Myers Beach Lions Club meets in Comfort Hall at St. Raphael’s Church, 5601 Williams Drive on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 7pm. Anyone interested in joining this fun-loving, community-minded group is welcome. Snowbird Lions are invited to attend meetings while in the area. For more information, email info@FMBLions.com
By Missy Layfield