62nd Annual Lions Shrimp Festival


    Fort Myers Beach – March 14 & 15

    The 62nd Annual Fort Myers Beach Lions Shrimp Festival will be held on March 14 and 15 and the excitement is building for the biggest event the Island sees each year! The Fort Myers Beach Lions Club is providing all the fan favorite events, though one popular event has switched days. The Queen Pageant, will be held on Sunday this year, right after the Shrimp Eaters Championship in Lynn Hall Park.

    There is so much fun to be had and it begins for the kids this Saturday, March 7 with the Lions Kids’ Shrimp Run on the beach.

    Then on Saturday, March 14, the 5K run/walk will begin at 9am at Doc Ford’s, with the Shrimp Parade kicking off at 10am. Lynn Hall Park is the center of it all day Saturday and Sunday with Lions Shrimp Dinners and Art Fair & Expo bargains and unique finds.

    Remember the Matanzas Pass Bridge will be closed from 9am – noon on Saturday, March 14. Be on the island by 8am.

    Head to Lynn Hall Park on Sunday, March 15 by noon for the Shrimp Eater’s Championship, followed at 1pm by the Shrimp Queen Pageant. Grab a Lions Shrimp Dinner and make a day of it!

    Don’t miss a minute of the fun! And the best part, all proceeds go to Lions charities!



    The Kid’s Run will be held on Saturday, March 7 at 8am; registration begins at 7am. 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 the former Topps). Free t-shirts for all kids, plus awards to the top three boy and girl finishers in each grade. For more information email lcfarrell3@gmail.com



    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 14, 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 FMBShrimpFest.com or bit.ly/shrimp5KISP or contact bettr@leeschools.net


    You never know when you’ll see shrimp at the Shrimp Festival. Photo by Sarah List.

    The Shrimp Festival Parade will begin at 10am on Saturday, March 14. 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. Beads are not allowed as they clog our new storm drains, but there will be plenty of candy flying. There’s still space in the parade if your neighborhood, friends, club or community group want to be a part of the best parade of 2020! 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 14! Foot traffic is allowed.


    The Art Fair & Food Expo with over 100 vendors offering great food, hand-crafted items, art and more will be open March 14 & 15 on the Festival Grounds at Lynn Hall Park from 10am – 6pm Saturday and 10am -5pm Sunday. This is where you’ll find official festival gear also, but those shirts and hats disappear quick, so get yours early!


    The Lion’s World Famous Shrimp Dinners, featuring Pink Gold Gulf shrimp from local boats, secret sauce and cole slaw for just $15 will be available Saturday and Sunday March 14 & 15 from 10am to 6pm or until they run out. Cash only. Find the best shrimp – the Lions’ – in the food alley on the north end of the park. Over a thousand pounds of the finest shrimp, with the tastiest flavor, straight from the Gulf of Mexico and the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Boat Fleet.



    The Art Fair & Food Expo with over 100 vendors offering great food, hand-crafted items, art and more continues Sunday from 10am – 5pm on festival grounds. Festival gear, gifts, hats, hand-crafted art, crafts, local honey – more than you can imagine!


    Sunday is the last day to get the Lion’s World Famous Shrimp Dinners, featuring Pink Gold Gulf shrimp from local boats, secret sauce and cole slaw for just $15. 10am – 6pm. Cooked using the Lions’ secret recipe, get yours before they run out!


    The 6TH Annual Shrimp-Eating Championship will be held at noon, Sunday, March 15 on the Festival Grounds. Sponsored contestants try to eat as much cooked and peeled Pink Shrimp as they can in 8 minutes! Cheer on your favorite contestant! Will FMB Firefighter Joel successfully defend his two-year hold on the Championship or will one of nine challengers take the title? Have your cameras ready! Cheer on your favorite contestant and vote for the People’s Choice Award with $1 donations on site or online now at FMBShrimpFest.com. Watch for the contestants in Saturday’s parade! Photos of all ten Shrimp Eater Championship contestants will be in the March 13 Sand Paper!


    2019 Shrimp Festival Queen Braden Downing and the Shrimp Princesses. Photo by Sarah List.

    Watch for the Shrimp Princesses in the parade Saturday morning! Then at 1pm, Sunday, March 15, the 62nd Shrimp Festival Queen will be crowned at the pavilion in Lynn Hall Park. You’ve seen the ten Shrimp Princesses at the Kid’s Shrimp Run and in the Parade, come out Sunday afternoon to cheer on your favorite. Trophies and/or prizes will be awarded to the Queen, First runner-up, Second runner-up, Miss Personality, Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic and Miss People’s Choice. The People’s Choice Award is determined by $1 donations at the Sunday pageant or online now at FMBShrimpFest.com. All proceeds go to Lions charities. Pick up the March 13 Sand Paper for photos and bios of all ten Shrimp Princesses!


    The Araba Shriners in the parade. Photo by Sarah List.

    The Shrimp Festival is the Fort Myers Beach Lions Club’s major fundraiser for the year, raising tens of thousands of dollars with 100% of the proceeds going to support the community through Fort Myers Beach Lions Charities like local eye surgeries & eye cases, Beach Lions We Serve Scholarships, Florida Lions Eye Bank, Southeast Guide Dogs, large print books, Little League and youth soccer, as well as Beach Elementary and Cypress Lake High School student needs. Through the volunteer efforts of Lions Club members, volunteers and outstanding community support, the Beach Lions are able to support community charities year-round.


    The Fort Myers Beach Lions Club meets in Comfort Hall at St. Raphael’s Church, 5601 Williams Drive, FMB on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 6:30pm. Anyone interested in joining this fun-loving community service group is welcome. Snowbird Lions are also invited to attend meetings while in the area. For membership info, call Lion John 239-877-2400.