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82nd Shell Festival

Added: Jan 21, 2019
Category: Island Events


The 82nd Annual Sanibel Shell Festival

We are fast approaching one of the world’s oldest and largest shell festivals here on sunny Sanibel Island, Florida. The 82nd Annual Sanibel Shell Festival returns to the Sanibel Community House and Periwinkle Way for yet another year of world-class shell art, genuinely stunning collections, and unique local discoveries. For those of you who don’t know, Sanibel Island is world-renowned for our shelling beaches. Dozens of rare shells can only be found on or near our beautiful archipelago. Shelling has become such a popular pastime here that you’ll usually see locals and tourists alike doing the “Sanibel Stoop,” the unique bent-at-the-waist posture sheller’s use while collecting. The Shell Festival will take place on March 7-9, though it’s usually on the first weekend of March. Remember to book a stay with Kingfisher Vacations before availability dries up here on Sanibel Island. Although we’re expecting a full house, we still have many oceanfront Sanibel Island rentals available for that weekend. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect at this year’s Shell Festival.


Award-Winning Shell Art and Collections

In three days, over 100 presenters will earn much-deserved ribbons for their art or collections. There are two main types of shell displays: scientific and artistic. This entirely free festival will showcase shell artists from across the globe, many of which call Sanibel or Captiva Island their home. You’ll discover mirrors, flower arrangements, jewelry, watches, and, of course, a wide selection of handmade sailor’s valentines. The scientific displays always include simple yet eye-popping discoveries. You’ll spot many rare beauties, including conches, tulips, cones, whelks, olives, and even the murex.


Daily Festivities

The 82nd Annual Sanibel Shell Festival will be one to remember as a full lineup of fun activities, showcases, and award ceremonies are planned. People come from all across North America to witness the stunning display of sailor’s valentines, but you’ll also be able to observe and learn about live seashells. There will be free shell-crafting demonstrations, a make-your-own shell flower stand, raffles, in-depth videos, and artist meet-and-greets.


General Information

After enjoying the festivities, return to one of our Sanibel Island rentals with a shell art purchase as much of the displays are for sale. There are also five different festival t-shirts available for purchase! The event will have lunch and snacks available near the Sanibel Community House. Admission is free, but a $5 donation grants you access to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum (an $11 value). For more information on the festival, visit this website, which outlines the many local organizations that benefit from the proceeds. If you’re interested in entering your shells into the competition, please read this article.


Sanibel Island Rentals

Bicycling is the preferred method of transportation here on Sanibel Island, and the Community House is right along the bike path! Visitors can leave our beautiful ocean-view Sanibel Island rentals and easily peddle their way to the festival. A large number of our lavish yet affordable Sanibel Island vacation rentals are within minutes of the festival on Periwinkle Way. Give Kingfisher Vacations a call today at 1-239-472-2100, or visit our extensive website to get matched up with one of our affordable Sanibel Island condo rentals.




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2402 Palm Ridge Rd Sanibel, Fl 33957

+ 239 472 2100

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