Deep South USA Blog

Located directly on the Georgia coast, Jekyll Island is a shrimper's haven. To celebrate this local treasure, guests are invited to the annual Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival held every September on Jekyll Island. This spirited three-day event is the only festival dedicated to the prime local product, Wild Georgia Shrimp, and its Southern cuisine counterpart: grits.

The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival, Jekyll Island


This year's festival is taking place this weekend, 20–22 September, where chefs and foodies from across the Southeast flock to the food-centric festival, either to try their hand to create the event's best shrimp and grits recipe, or to eat their way through the plethora of dishes available. Set under the cover of live oaks in the Jekyll Island Historic Landmark District, Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival provides a laid-back, relaxed Southern atmosphere for savouring delicious coastal cuisine and great entertainment. Throughout the weekend festival, the theme is simple: taste, sip, enjoy, repeat!

New this year, Southern Living magazine has joined in the fun and will present the intimate Southern Living Presents: Concert in the Round concert on the Jekyll Island wharf. This exclusive event will feature a dinner on the wharf, prepared by the acclaimed Latitude 31° restaurant, as well as a private performance from American country music artist, Rob Crosby. Guests will be treated to a one-of-a-kind, intimate evening sure to elevate their Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival experience.

With the success of the event last year, the Craft Beer Fest will be back for this years’ celebrations. Guests at the Craft Beer Fest, held in the air-conditioned Morgan Center, will have access to a sampling of the best brews in the Southern Eagle Distributing hops and malt line-up.

Looking for some dining music to pair with that shrimp? A number of performances acts are lined up throughout the festival, with several regional favourites set to play on the outdoor stage in the Historic District. More than a hundred acclaimed arts and craft purveyors will also have tents set up throughout the weekend.

To kick-off the weekend, Opening Night Plate Samples will be offered on Friday 20th September, with plates priced at $3 each. On Saturday and Sunday, the festival will host an amateur Cooking Competition and the Professional Chef Cooking Competition, plus cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs.

From the Kids Fun Zone, zip lines and bounce houses, to ongoing cooking demos, shrimp eating contests and never-ending assortment of tasty finds, the 2013 Shrimp & Grits: Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival promises to dish up a good time for the whole family – and will be doing the same again September 2014!

General admission to the festival is free. Tickets for the Southern Living Presents: Concert in the Round will be available at For more information about Wild Georgia Shrimp, visit

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