22nd Annual Golconda Shrimp Festival
Come join us at the 22nd Annual Shrimp Festival on Saturday, September 16th, 2023.
We’re just days away from turning Golconda’s Main Street into one of southern Illinois’ biggest street festivals, attracting day-trippers from across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri. The 22nd Annual Golconda Shrimp Festival, named the ‘#1 Food Festival in the State of Illinois’ by National Geographic Traveler Magazine, was started 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 the charm of our historic riverside town.
The festival kicks off at 10am with food trucks lining Main Street and vendors filling the historic Pope County Courthouse lawn with a variety of products, services, and giveaways. Festival goers will find succulent shrimp dishes prepared in a number of ways including shrimp skewers, shrimp tacos, shrimp boils, fried shrimp, shrimp gumbo, shrimp cocktails, and so much more. Other festival foods like Italian beef, Chicago Dogs, gourmet coffee and tea drinks, fresh fruit shish kabobs, ice cream, and lemon shakeups will also be available for those folks who aren’t shrimp lovers.
The children’s area will include inflatables, cotton candy, and snow cones.
The beer garden will open from 11am to 10pm for those festival goers 21-years old and up. Domestic and craft brews will be served.
A Cornhole Tournament hosted by the Rural Pope County Fire Protection District volunteer first responders kicks off in the beer garden at 6pm. The entry fee is (TBA) per team with proceeds supporting the volunteer fire department. This is a double-elimination tournament.
Please don’t forget to visit our local shops and restaurants dotted along historic Main Street too!
You can always just sit back and relax with family and friends to enjoy one of the live bands that will be performing throughout the day.
Live music throughout the festival includes the following acts:
11am to 2pm: The Steven Green Band
3pm to 6pm: The Cruisers
7pm to 10pm: Killer Pimps
Commemorative t-shirts, hats, and can koozies will be made available for sale. In addition, continued sponsorships and/or donations are tax deductible and will help Mainstreet continue their community outreach activities in Pope County. 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, to purchase an all-weather Christmas tree to put up on the courthouse lawn for the holiday season, to restore historic street lamps that have been vandalized along the Ohio riverfront, and to save historic buildings in town that are in danger of falling into disrepair.
Every year the Shrimp Festival has continued to grow and this is a direct result of the many hours of work by our non-profit organization Main Street Golconda and the countless vendors, sponsors, entertainers, and many volunteers. Each year we have exceeded our expectations
and hope that this year will be no different.
In 2016 the festival was named the #1 Food Festival in the State of Illinois by National Geographic Traveler Magazine!
Please enjoy the day in Golconda and don’t overlook its many attributes such as our 19th Century buildings, self-guided audio tour of the historic sites and buildings in our town, or the gorgeous walking bridge taking you from the rivers edge across historic Lusk Creek to the beautiful Golconda Marina.
It is the hope of Main Street Golconda that each person attending the Annual Shrimp Festival leaves with a wonderful memory to take with them and plans of returning again.
Volunteers help make our festival hum! Are you interested in helping raise funds to promote, preserve, and revitalize our historic Main Street? Apply to become a Shrimp Festival Volunteer here.
Mainstreet Golconda, Inc. is a volunteer driven, non-profit organization promoting Golconda and Pope County, fostering physical improvements while helping maintain the community’s unique heritage, and helping to retain and attract businesses in the area.