2023 Golconda Shrimp Festival set for Saturday

The 22nd annual Golconda Shrimp Festival is scheduled for this coming Saturday.
The 22nd annual Golconda Shrimp Festival is scheduled for this coming Saturday.(KTTC)
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 4:58 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 9:53 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (HEARTLAND WEEKEND) - The 22nd annual Golconda Shrimp Festival is scheduled for this coming Saturday.

According to a release from a spokesperson for Mainstreet Golconda, the Golconda Shrimp Festival is one of southern Illinois’ biggest street festivals, attracting day-trippers from across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. It was also named the #1 Food Festival in the State of Illinois by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.

The festival began in 2001 to celebrate the harvest of locally grown, freshwater shrimp. Each year, crowds of more than 5,000 people come to taste dozens of different shrimp dishes, enjoy the live music, and explore this historic riverside town.

This year, the festival kicks off at 10 a.m. on September 16, with food trucks along Main Street and vendors on the historic Pope County Courthouse lawn. There will be a wide variety of dishes featuring shrimp, including shrimp skewers, shrimp tacos, shrimp boils, fried shrimp, shrimp gumbo, shrimp cocktails and more.

For those looking for other festival food options, Italian Beef, Chicago Dogs, fried fish, bubble sandwiches, gourmet coffee and tea drinks, kettle corn, ice cream and lemon shake ups will also be available.

Festival-goers can also enjoy live music, featuring bands from western Kentucky and southern Illinois:

The Steven Green Band (Murray, Ky.) - 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Cruisers (Paducah, Ky.) - 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Killer Pimps (southern Ill.) - 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

According to the release, there will be an array of entertainment, including bounce houses for kids, educational activities presented by the University of Illinois Extension, firetrucks to climb into from the Rural Pope Co. Fire Protection District and more.

The Beer Garden, serving domestic and craft brews, will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. for attendees 21 years old and older. Commemorative t-shirts and can koozies will be available for purchase.

A portion of the proceeds from food sales throughout the festival will help Mainstreet Golconda’s yearly fundraising for a variety of projects including the historic audio tour of historic sites and buildings throughout Golconda and Pope County.

Click here for more information.