5th Annual “Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival” to Kick Off September 17
ONLY CELEBRATION OF ITS KIND DEDICATED TO ICONIC SOUTHERN DISH: SHRIMP & GRITS
Jekyll Island, Ga., August 30, 2010 – What was once a simple food pairing deeply rooted in the South, shrimp and grits has become a menu must for exclusive restaurants nationwide. September 17 marks the kickoff of the only festival of its kind dedication to this quintessential Southern dish and spotlighting Wild Georgia Shrimp.
Set on Georgia’s coast in the storied Jekyll Island Historic District, the popular festival boasts amateur and professional cooking competitions, shrimp boat excursions, shrimp eating contests, cooking demonstrations, races, entertainment and much more.
In honor of this popular Southern dish, September has officially been declared “Wild Georgia Shrimp Month” on Jekyll Island and the neighboring Golden Isles.
Friday, September 17th
$3 Shrimp Sample Night
Set amid Jekyll Island’s picturesque Historic District, the festival will kick off on Friday at 5:30 p.m. with “$3 Shrimp Sample Night.” Participants will have the opportunity to taste recipes from the vendors for only $3 per sample.
Saturday, September 18th
Amateur Cooking Competition
The Amateur Cooking Competition will offer mouth-watering tasting opportunities of 10 shrimp and grits dishes prepared by aspiring and self-taught cooks throughout the region. Guests may sign-up to be part of the esteemed “Consumer Choice Panel” to taste the dishes and select the winners for a fee of $25 per person. Space is limited.
Chef Robert Tulko, Corporate Chef for Winn-Dixie Supermarkets and the affable chef featured on WTLV TV’s Good Morning Jacksonville, will host a cooking demonstration and sampling of a delicious shrimp dish on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Chef Laurie Erickson will host a cooking demonstration along Pier Road on Saturday at 4 p.m. followed by a book signing at the Festival Gifts tent. She is a highly sought after wellness cuisine consultant to spas and resorts across the country. Her cooking classes and cooking demonstrations focus on practical, simple and economical ways to prepare nourishing meals. Recently, Chef Laurie authored and published Chef by Step, the World’s Easiest Cookbook. She
Sunday, September 19th
Professional Cooking Competition
The Professional Cooking Competition will be held on Sunday at 11 a.m. with music and entertainment. Winners will be named by an esteemed panel of judges at 3 p.m. Throughout the day, visitors will have the opportunity to purchase delicious shrimp and grits dishes from outstanding local restaurants and vendors. Guests may sign-up to be part of the esteemed “Consumer Choice Panel” to taste the dishes and select the winners for a fee of $25 per person. Space is limited.
Cooking Demonstration with Food Network “Star” Joe Barnett Jr.
Meet Food Network “Star”, Joe Barnett, Jr.! Joe has participated in every Shrimp & Grits Festival cooking competition since the festival began five years ago. His award winning dishes recently landed him on Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay. He challenged Flay for best shrimp and grits and won! He will host a cooking demonstration on Sunday at Noon.
Ongoing Weekend Activities:
Free Live Entertainment:
Throughout the weekend the Historic District will ring with a variety of musical sounds from jazz and blues to Southern rock. The musical talents of many favorite local bands will be showcased including music by Greg Hester, The Wharfratz, Straight No Chaser, and The Three of Us.
Shrimp & Grits Three Race Challenge:
On Saturday and Sunday, a Three Race Challenge will take place across three different terrains on Jekyll Island. The challenge begins with the “Shrimper’s Four Mile Beach Course” run, which starts at the Jekyll Island Beachdeck on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The next leg of the challenge is the “Show Yer Grit” 5K run at the Jekyll Island Great Dunes Golf Course on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. The Race Challenge concludes with the “Short Flight to Festival One Mile” on Sunday at 2 p.m. Pre-registration for the challenge is $15. Pre-registration for the challenge is $15 per race and $45 for the series. Participants may register the day of the event for $20 per race.
It wouldn’t be a Shrimp Festival without the opportunity to go boating! Throughout the weekend, several opportunities are available:
● Dolphin Tour: Guests may experience a once in a lifetime opportunity by taking a 90-minute dolphin tour around Jekyll Island’s calm intercoastal waters. The trips begin at the Jekyll Island Wharf, and the cost is $24 for adults and $12 for children 10 and younger. For more information about trip times and purchasing tickets, call St. Simons Transit Company 912/635-3152 or visit www.goldenislesfun.com.
● Shrimp Boat Excursion: Get on board the Lady Jane, a United States Coast Guard-certified 49-passenger steel shrimping vessel recently retired after years of loyal service to the shrimping industry. Each cruise includes two hours of shrimping and an onboard shrimp boil. All shrimp boat excursions depart from Spanky’s restaurant in Brunswick, located on Highway 17. Trips will be offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. The cost is $39.95 for adults and $25 for children six and younger. For more information and to purchase tickets call Credle’s Adventures at 912/265-5711 or visit their website www.shrimpcruise.com.
Become a Shrimp & Grits Festival VIP!
Guests may experience the ultimate Shrimp & Grits Festival weekend by becoming a VIP guest! The VIP package includes four tickets for samples at Friday night’s $3 sample night, a gift certificate for a 1/2 lb. of fresh Wild Georgia Shrimp from City Market in Brunswick, Ga., a 1 lb. bag of grits from Logan Turnpike Mills, and a commemorative Festival Poster signed by the artist. To purchase your 2010 VIP package for just $40, call the Jekyll Island Visitor Information Center at 877/4-JEKYLL.
Wild Georgia Shrimp Month
September is Wild Georgia Shrimp Month! Visitors are encouraged to check out the list of local participating restaurants and order their featured fresh Wild Georgia shrimp dish. For more information about “Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp & Grits Festival,” contact the Jekyll Island Visitor Information Center at 877/4-JEKYLL, or visit www.jekyllisland.com.
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