Gulf Shores, AL--The 41sth Annual National Shrimp Festival? is just a few weeks away, and organizers believe this year's lineup of entertainers will help make this one of the most memorable Shrimp Festivals to date. Produced by the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce, this year's Festival will take place Oct. 11 - 14 where Ala. Hwy. 59 meets the Gulf. What began as an event to bring a few extra people to the beaches in 1971, the Festival is now widely recognized as one of the strongest festivals in the south, regularly attracting more than 250,000 people to Alabama's beaches. While the Festival is named for the tasty Gulf shrimp that are featured in numerous food vending booths, many come for the top-flight entertainers that grace two stages from morning to night for four straight days. This year, veteran rocker Eddie Money will headline Saturday's entertainment and country star Phil Vassar will headline Friday's lineup. The traditional Thursday headliners of local favorites the Sand Band and the Tip Tops will once again take the stage to rock the first night of the Festival. Tradition will also round out the Festival on Sunday with the Andy Smith Band closing out the Festival entertainment schedule for at least the 12th year in a row. From Money's straight ahead rock and roll to Vassar's country stylings to the Motown showband sounds from Tip Tops, Tyn Tymes and the Swinging Medallions to the mellow sounds of Roman Street and Cool Change, this year's entertainment lineup has something for everyone. "This year's lineup is diverse, and with entertainment taking place at both the Wind Creek Casino East Stage and the Organized Seafood Association West stage, not to mention the Runa Packa Wind Rhythms Native American band, everyone should be able to find a style of music to their liking," Chamber Special Events Director Ann Motes said. "As much as we like our headliners, we have some great bands opening up for them as well," Festival Entertainment Chair Tammy Halco said. "The Jukebox Superheroes that will open for Eddie Money are a riot. They're an '80s tribute band that come out on stage dressed as Batman, Superman, Flash, Robin and the Green Lantern. We'll have the Swingin' Medallions open up for Phil Vassar. The group had a big hit in the early '60s with 'Double Shot (of my Baby's Love)' but the current members are all sons of the original members. They do a great mixture of '60s hits that will definitely pump up the crowd at Alabama's original beach party." On the stage both Friday and Saturday night will be Shrimp Festival favorites Dr. Zarr's Amazing Funk Monster - a '70s and '80s era tribute band. Festival Chairman Ron Kutter has been known to don '70s era clothing and an afro-style wig, then grab a guitar and jam with the band during their Shrimp Festival performances, according to Halco. "At this point I don't know if he'll do it, and if so, what night he'll do it this year," she said. Also appearing both Friday and Saturday will be Voodoo Bayou. "This band has Cajun roots and plays their own music," Halco said. "But they also do a great mixture of popular songs they put their own twist on." "I believe Tammy, along with the other members of the entertainment committee, have done a fantastic job bringing a wide variety of acts to this year's Festival," Chamber Special Events Director Ann Motes said. "Anyone should be able to find several acts that appeal to their musical taste." For a complete lineup of Festival entertainment see their website at www.nationalshrimpfestival.com and click on the Entertainment link. PLEASE NOTE: Some new policies pertaining to the crowds will be implemented this year. There will be a 'No Chair' policy for the areas directly in front of the stages this year and barricades will be placed "probably at least 20 or 30 feet from the stage" and security guards will be there to make sure the area right in front of the performers is reserved for people to stand and dance. Alabama Coast Observer w October 2012 w 7

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