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North Carolina Seafood Festival
beginning October – Morehead City, North Carolina
The North Carolina Seafood Festival is North Carolina's second largest festival.
Imagine for a moment the sounds of music. In front of you two men sit under a large tent, both strumming guitars and singing quiet folk songs in unison. The sound is broken on occasion by the beat of a rock band two blocks away and the laughter of children nearby.
You can hear wind chimes tinkling from a craft booth and the squeals of children on the merry-go-round.
And then you take a breath and the smell permeates your body – ahhh seafood! That's what the NC Seafood Festival is all about. The rides, musical entertainment and crafts are a merely a bonus. You're here for the seafood.
The story of how North Carolina's second largest festival came to be is somewhat of a legend in Carteret County. As the story (or fish tale, if you prefer) goes, the idea originated as a lunchtime joke in 1986 while several locals ate at a restaurant. One would simply not let the idea of a festival die, and that festival is alive indeed. Always taking place the first weekend in October on the Morehead City Waterfront.
The first NC Seafood Festival saw 35,000 people flock to Carteret County, astounding the organizers. And if they thought that was something, they probably could have never fathomed the now three-day event.
With a dedicated volunteer board of directors, a small paid staff and lots of volunteers, the NC Seafood Festival focuses on promoting the Crystal Coast, emphasizing the seafood industry that has sustained the area since its birth. It also offers an ideal outlet for area nonprofit organizations to raise needed funds. In 2010 more than $120,000 went back into county non-profits such as churches, schools, and youth and groups.
The NC Seafood Festival has become a true community event. Local music and culture is mixed with well-known contemporary artists. The NC State Port, one of only two industrial ports in the state, opens its gates for vessels tours and provides free parking with shuttle service. The festival now includes a family fishing tournament, a kid's fishing competition, an 8K road race, a photo contest, a sailing regatta, a boat show, fireworks and more. Numerous stages are set up throughout the waterfront area and offer everything from country music and storytellers to children's performances and sing-a-longs. The newest and biggest attraction is the award winning Cooking with the Chefs in which NC Seafood delicacies are prepared by well-known chefs from Raleigh to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Every hour on the hour a different seafood dish will be prepared and distributed to the lucky attendees within the tent!
On Sunday morning, commercial fishermen are honored with the annual Blessing of the Fleet, a commemorative religious ceremony that recognizes fishermen who have passed away. And commit their time to bringing seafood to the table of Americans.
In addition to the great seafood, the outstanding music and the wonderful crafts, Coastal Yesterday is one area that features the traditional crafts of the past – boat building, decoy carving, net mending along with environmental education displays and hands-on activities.
Above all, the. Seafood Festival is a great introduction to the culture, and yes, seafood, of the Crystal Coast. It is an ideal way to see what Carteret County is all about. Come and have a look, or a taste, for yourself, come and play on our waterfront this October!
For more information on the NC Seafood Festival visit http://www.ncseafoodfestival.org/
For other events in North Carolina visit:
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