JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga., Sept. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- For a weekend full of mouthwatering bites and fun times for the entire family, head to the Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival, presented by Southern Living, this Friday through Sunday.
As the largest event in the Golden Isles, the Shrimp & Grits Festival regularly draws about 40,000 visitors eager to get more than just a taste of the classic coastal dish. In addition to a weekend of tantalizing tastes, festivalgoers cannot miss the exhibits and entertainment that fill more than 30 acres within the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District. With something to appeal to everyone in the family, it's not surprising this event has been named "Best Festival" by the Southeast Festivals and Events Association – and the 2018 edition is sure to impress once again.
After Hurricane Irma forced the cancellation of last year's event, the festival returns better than ever, with even more delicious food – including plenty of shrimp and grits – and all new experiences.
"We are thrilled with the return of our annual Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival," said Meggan Hood, Jekyll Island Authority senior director of marketing. "This event means so much to the Golden Isles community, and it has an impact on local businesses and regional vendors. Everyone is excited excited for it to come back, bigger and better than ever."
New This Year
The festival returns with a bang, with new offerings and expanded experiences:
- Go RVing – Explore a variety of the latest recreational vehicle models and start dreaming of the next adventure.
- Lay's "Tastes of America" – Stop by this brand new experience pavilion to get an exclusive first bite of Lay's new Southern-inspired, pimento cheese-flavored potato chips.
Returning Fan Favorites
More than delicious dishes and tasty treats, the Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival would not be complete without these fan-favorite experiences:
- "Georgia's Best Shrimp & Grits" Cooking Competition – On Saturday morning, the competition heats up as chefs from top eateries across the state duke it out for the coveted title. Competing restaurants this year include defending champion West Egg Café, of Atlanta, and returning 2016 contender, The LOCAL Kitchen:Bar, of Tifton. They will take on new challengers 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.
- Southern Living Pavilion – The experts on southern style and cooking are serving up a full slate of demonstrations all weekend. This pavilion is a must-do.
- Georgia Sea Turtle Center Experience – Learn from experts and experience special "creature features" with the staff and education animals from the world-renowned Georgia Sea Turtle Center.
- Live Music – Three stages of live music from the region's most popular artists are sure to have toes tapping.
- Artists Market – Shop stunning handmade arts and crafts from nearly 100 regional artisans in this expertly curated market.
- Kids Zone – While younger guests will be able to find entertainment throughout the festival, this space is designed just for them. Kids can jump, run and play all day in the designated Kids Zone, which features bounce houses, a zip line, face painting, arts and crafts, and more.
Upgrade to Exclusive Events
Guests can take their festival experience to the next level with visits to the expanded Craft Brew Fest and exclusive VIP Lounge.
- Craft Brew Fest – The "festival within the festival," sponsored by Southern Eagle Distributing, boasts a new waterfront location providing even more room for the 50-plus craft beer varieties – from more than 20 regional breweries – that will be available.
- VIP Lounge – Located just across from the Main Stage, the VIP Lounge, presented by Atlanta Magazine, offers a unique way to take in the best of the festival. This experience includes catered meals, unlimited beer and wine service, private restrooms and convenient on-site parking. A limited number of on-site sales may be available at the festival.
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 www.jekyllisland.com/shrimpgrits.
SOURCE Jekyll Island