Joining us for this year’s Shrimp & Grits Festival? Here are the basics you need to know for a fun and safe visit.
2019 Dates & Hours
Friday, September 20: 4-9 p.m.
Saturday, September 21: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday, September 22: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location & Directions
The festival will again take place under the oaks in Jekyll Island’s National Historic Landmark District. Whether you’re traveling to Jekyll by boat, car, or plane, we hope you arrive safely to this year’s Shrimp & Grits Festival.
We’re proud to again partner with the Jekyll Island Foundation as the charity for this year’s Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival.
Conserve. Preserve. Educate. Jekyll Island.
The Jekyll Island Foundation is a 501(c) (3) organization established by the Jekyll Island Authority to raise funds for projects beyond the JIA’s financial capabilities. These projects focus on conservation, preservation, and education surrounding the island’s natural, cultural, and historic resources, to ensure stewardship of what makes Jekyll Island so magical.
The Foundation is managed by an independent board of up to 25 individuals representing diverse interests and communities from across the state of Georgia and beyond.
After much consideration, we have decided to keep the 2019 festival in September, but starting in 2020 we will permanently move the festival to the first weekend in November, see below. While we understand no date will be perfect for everyone, or immune to weather, we believe this change will benefit everyone involved in the festival.
Upcoming dates for Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival:
- September 20-22, 2019
- November 6-8, 2020
- November 5-7, 2021
- November 4-6, 2022
Q: Where is the festival located?
A: The Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival takes place on Jekyll Island, Georgia in the National Historic Landmark District.
Q: What’s the best way to get to the festival?
A: If you’re staying on-island, many of the hotels offer shuttles directly to the festival entrance. If you’re staying off-island please read our parking information.
Q: I’m coming in from out of town. Is there an airport nearby?
A: Yes! There are three airports near Jekyll Island.
Q: Are there hotels near the festival?
A: There are multiple hotels on the island, as well as private home rentals. We recommend you plan ahead because hotels & rental properties fill up fast. There are also multiple hotels located off-island that are just a short 15 to 20-minute drive to the festival.
Q: Where do I park?
A: We’ve dedicated an entire section with detailed parking information.
Q: Do I need a ticket for the festival?
A: Admission for the Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival is free. However, the Jekyll Island parking fee will be increased during this event. The fee is an additional $4 per daily/weekly pass; annual passes are not impacted. For additional information on the fee increase, please visit Park Entry & Parking Passes. Additionally, some special events and experiences within the festival do come with a cost.
Q: Is there an age requirement for the festival?
A: No! Shrimp & Grits is very family-friendly. There’s something for everyone at the festival, from ages 6 to 96. Only entry into the Craft Brew Fest is 21+.
Q: Is the Festival accessible to guests with disabilities?
A: Reserved accessible parking is located at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Guests must show attendant a government-issued parking placard or license plate for entry. At this location, a limited number of wheelchairs will be available for rental on a first-come, first served basis, but we encourage guests to bring their own. The shuttle bus fleet includes accessible buses & attendants. All restrooms at the Festival include accessible locations, and the VIP Lounge is accessible.
Q: How do I get around the Festival?
A: With 45,000+ attendees, walking is the best way to navigate within the Festival. Keep in mind the festival grounds cover 32 acres, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Shuttles from the Airport drop off at the Mosaic Museum, across the street from the Artists Market area. View the 2019 Festival map.
Q: What if I run out of cash over the weekend?
A: ATMs will be conveniently located throughout the festival.
Q: What if I need medical assistance while attending Shrimp & Grits?
A: A First Aid station and Jekyll Island EMTs will be on-site all weekend.
Q: I’ve lost my family member/friend/significant other while at the festival, what do I do?
A: Any lost visitor seeking to find your party can meet at the First Aid Station.
Q: I lost my sunglasses/wallet/phone/etc. at the festival, what do I do?
A: Please check with the Information Tent to see if your lost item was turned in.
Q: Can I bring my pet to the festival?
A: We encourage you to leave your pets at home. Pathways can be crowded with 45,000+ attendees and not everyone is comfortable around dogs or other pets.
Q: Can I apply to be a food or art vendor?
A: Applications for the 2019 Shrimp & Grits Festival are closed. All entrants were notified of their acceptance or denial by Friday, July 12.
Q: Can you point me to the restroom?
A: Restrooms are located throughout the festival. Specifically, on the south end of the Riverfront Lawn, outside the wharf restrooms, by Skeet House Stage, behind Doc’s Snack Shop, in the Kids’ Zone, behind The Cottage on Pier Rd., and at both Mosaic, the Jekyll Island Museum & Airport for shuttle bus pick-up & drop-off.
Q: What if it rains?
A: We expect beautiful weather; however, the festival is a rain or shine event.
Q: What if I have any other questions?
A: Additional information can be found in one of the Information Tents at the festival.
Q: What will be available to eat?
A: A variety of food of all sorts, including Shrimp & Grits, and drinks will be available on-site.
Q: What should I bring to the festival?
A: Here’s what we recommend: hats, sunglasses, comfortable walking/dancing shoes, a good attitude, sunblock, and bug repellent. Prohibited items:
- No illegal substances
- No drugs/drug paraphernalia
- No e-cigarettes or vapes
- No pets (excluding service animals)
- No outside food or drink
- No large chains / spiked jewelry
- No balloons, balls, inflatables, Frisbees, etc.
- No tents or large umbrellas
- No weapons of any kind (includes pocket knives)
- No aerosol cans
- No laser pointers
- No drones
Q: Can I bring my drone?
A: No. Unfortunately, as much as we love drones (we have several), we cannot allow them to buzz around at the festival. When you combine large groups of people and flying robots with rapidly spinning blades, the likelihood of something ugly happening increases exponentially.
Q: Is political campaigning allowed?
A: State law prohibits Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) from allowing a candidate to use JIA property or participate in JIA sanctioned events for the purpose of campaigning for office.