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Back from the Storm and Better Than Ever: Celebrated Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival Returns Sept. 14-16


Back from the Storm and Better Than Ever: Celebrated Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival Returns Sept. 14-16

Expanded Activities and Lots of Shrimp & Grits in Store as Southern Living Presents Award-Winning Festival Devoted to Legendary Coastal Dish

PR Newswire

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga., July 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Everyone's favorite coastal Georgia event – the annual Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival, presented by Southern Living – returns this September, with more captivating experiences and plenty of tantalizing tastes to please the entire family.

Hurricane Irma spoiled last year's Shrimp & Grits celebration, forcing the cancellation of largest perennial event in the Golden Isles. But the festivities are back and bigger than ever for 2018, with local restaurants serving up their special shrimp and grits dishes, new guest attractions, and what is sure to be another exciting cooking competition among talented chefs from around the state of Georgia.

The three-day festival this year is set for Sept. 14-16.

Named "Best Festival" by the Southeast Festivals and Events Association, this is the only festival in Georgia dedicated to shrimp and grits – the Southern coast's signature dish – and everyone gets a taste.  The popular event regularly draws a large audience eager to sample the array of enticing flavors and take in the entertainment that fills some 32 acres within Jekyll Island's National Historic Landmark District.

Festivalgoers at the 2018 Shrimp & Grits Festival will be invited to enjoy musical performances on three stages, browse a curated Artists Market, and take in captivating lifestyle and cooking presentations, as well as wildlife features, in the Southern Living Pavilion.  The festival is larger this year thanks in part to the addition of special experience areas sponsored by GoRVing and Lay's. In fact, visitors can get an exclusive first taste of Lay's new Southern-inspired Pimento Cheese flavor before it hits store shelves. This year's festival also includes a cruise-in car show that's sure to wow both auto enthusiasts and casual onlookers alike.

Adults will flock to an expanded Craft Brew Fest – "the festival within the festival."  This year's Craft Brew Fest, presented by Southern Eagle Distributing, has a new home along the Jekyll Island riverfront and will showcase more than 50 craft beers from 20-plus regional breweries.

Meanwhile, younger attendees will enjoy a variety of fun activities in the Kids' Zone, including bounce houses, face painting, arts and crafts stations and more.

Saturday morning, the competition heats up, when chefs from popular restaurants across Georgia will vie for the coveted title of "Georgia's Best Shrimp & Grits."  This year's entrants were all set to compete last year, until Hurricane Irma put the competition on ice. With an extra year to perfect their recipes, it's sure to be a showdown full of culinary creativity and friendly rivalries.

Restaurants represented in the contest include the 2016 winner and defending champion, West Egg Café, of Atlanta, as well as a returning 2016 contender, The LOCAL Kitchen:Bar, of Tifton.

New challengers this year include Aubri Lane's, of Milledgeville; Eagle Creek Brewing Company, of Statesboro; Honey Café, of Millen; Southern Soul Barbeque, of St. Simons Island; and Sweet Potato Café, of Stone Mountain.

The festival's VIP Lounge, sponsored by Atlanta Magazine, is known for providing an exclusive taste of the best the festival has to offer.  VIP Lounge guests will enjoy catered meals, unlimited beer and wine, private restrooms, exclusive on-site parking, and prime views of the live music on the Main Stage. 

The cancellation of last year's festival was heartbreaking for the event's fans across the country and challenging for the legions of local artisans, chefs and small businesses that rely heavily on the economic boost the festival provides.  With the return of the Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival this year, the community is invited to show its support for the island and the festival's vendors, performers and other participants – all while having fun and tantalizing the taste buds.

Festival Hours and Admission Information

  • Friday, Sept. 14, 4-9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

General admission to the 2018 Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival is free.  An overview of all festival activities, as well as ticket information for the VIP Lounge and Craft Brew Fest, can be found at


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SOURCE Jekyll Island Authority

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