The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club recently enjoyed an update on the upcoming Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival presented by Festival Chair Wanda Hair, Vice Chair Harry Harrison and Logistics Director Mel Aiken. In its 52nd year, the festival expects to draw more than 125,000 visitors who will browse 283 fine arts and crafts booths, sample the delicious fare at 23 food purveyors -- all local non-profit organizations -- and search for treasure among the large selection of antiques and collectibles. This year, the popular Kids Fun Zone has been enlarged and relocated to Central Park, Aiken said. In addition to entertainment for children of all ages, the Fun Zone will also offer kid-friendly food. A highlight of the Festival -- its musical entertainment -- will feature not only local bands and long-time favorites like the Swinging Medallions, but this year’s headliner, the Edgar Winter Band.

Aiken said the festival, which is co-hosted by the city of Fernandina and run solely by volunteers, relies on sponsors such as Publix, VyStar Credit Union and many other local organizations and businesses to meet its $300,000 annual budget. He noted that the festival has an economic impact of nearly $20 million for Amelia Island alone and has gained international recognition.