Shrimp Festival Canceled

33rd Annual National Shrimp Festival
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Officials have canceled The 33rd annual National Shrimp Festival scheduled to begin in Gulf Shores because of too many hurricane-created obstacles.

The festival originally was scheduled for Thursday through Sunday at the Gulf Shores Public Beach, but the damage created by Hurricane Ivan will take months to repair.

The parking lot, where vendors sell everything from amberjack sandwiches to alligator-on-a-stick, was shattered by the storm. The
storm also washed away the boardwalk and flattened the beach.

Tourism officials say the festival draws up to 200-thousand visitors each fall. An Alabama Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce official said organizers debated for two weeks whether to hold a scaled-back event at a different location, but decided that there were too many obstacles.

Organizers say the festival will continue next year on October 13th through 16th.