Annual Shell Shows

The Sanibel Shell Show 2018

The Sanibel Shell Show began 78 years ago when a few Sanibel shell collectors decided to have an exhibit of their shells on the porch of The Island Inn. Today it is considered one of the top shell shows in the United States and exhibitors come from around the country to enter exhibits in the Scientific and Artistic Divisions of this great Shell Show.

The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club and the Sanibel Community Association work collectively to host The Sanibel Shell Festival, which is held the first Thursday, Friday and Saturday of each March. The Shell Show is held inside the Sanibel Community House. Exhibitors bring their exhibits on the Tuesday of Shell Festival week. The exhibits are judged on Wednesday and the Shell Show opens to the pubic on Thursday.

The Sanibel Shell Festival is the major fundraising event of the year for both the Sanibel Community Association and the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club. Proceeds from the sale of seashells, fossils (in the “shell tent”) and shell craft items help the Sanibel Community House. Funds raised by the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club from admission donations support the grants program. We assist several local educational organizations like The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. The Club also provides scholarship funds to two Florida university marine science departments.

The Shell Festival grounds are open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The Shell Show exhibit hall is open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Admission to the Shell Festival grounds is free. Anyone who donates the suggested $5 admission fee to the Sanibel Shell Show is also granted free admission to The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum during the duration of the Shell Festival, a $9 value. The dates for the 2018 Shell Festival are March 1, 2 & 3.

Click below for more information about our shell shows and how to plan your exhibit.

Planning your Artistic Division exhibit

Planning your Scientific Division exhibit