MOREHEAD CITY — From Currituck to Southport, crabs, shrimp, flounder and more are sprinkled in the waters off North Carolina’s coast. It’s no secret the Old North State loves its share of fishing, sailing and seafood.
But for more than three decades, one celebration in Morehead City reigns supreme for celebrating the phenomenon — the North Carolina Seafood Festival.
“The fishing industry is America’s first industry, so here in North Carolina we take great pride in sharing and celebrating our history with attendees who visit us from all across the world,” said Stephanie McIntyre, executive director of North Carolina Seafood Festival.
“This year we celebrate our 31st North Carolina Seafood Festival. We look forward to another year of showcasing North Carolina’s fishing industry while hosting events and activities that display our fresh seafood, rich culture and beautiful Morehead City waterfront.”
Beginning at noon on Friday, Oct. 6, and concluding at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, the Seafood Festival has an array of activities planned for people of all ages.
Weekend favorites among the more than 180,000 attendees include the Blessing of the Fleet, which includes a religious service blessing the commercial fishing boats from across the state; the Southern Outer Banks Boat Show; the Family Fishing Tournament; the Twin Bridges 8K Road Race; Cooking with the Chefs Tent; Miss North Carolina kissing the ceremonial fish; concerts, shopping, rides and much more.
Festivalgoers are asked to drop their anchors at the inaugural Port of Pours Beer Tasting event which features 53 tastings from 16 craft breweries, 31 of which are North Carolina beers, on the Morehead City waterfront on Saturday.
“While the North Carolina Seafood Festival is steeped in tradition, we also believe in keeping things fresh by adding new events and attractions for our attendees,” said McIntyre. “We are excited to announce the inaugural Port of Pours event, which we anticipate will continue to grow over time to include new craft breweries and expand in footprint.
“We have been dreaming of this concept for the past two years and I can guarantee that no detail has been overlooked,” McIntyre continued. “We look forward to toasting to 31 years of Seafood Fest while also raising our glass to the newest festival addition — Port of Pours!”
While attendance to the festival is free, this event will cost patrons $30 in advance or $35 at the door. The fee includes unlimited samples of craft beer. Breweries from around the state and nation are well-represented in this lineup. For a list of participating breweries and their respective brews, along with ticket information, visit ncseafoodfestival.org.
The Seafood Festival will also welcome back the Challenge Butter “Dine, Relax & Taste” Caye, the popular spot where guests can relax and sample delicious dishes made by talented local chefs.
Seaside Creations caterer Sara Willis and chef Anthony Garnett of Blue Ocean Market will be showing attendees how to prepare quick and easy appetizers, side dishes and sauces using Challenge Butter products and North Carolina-caught seafood.
Continuing with the ability to have chefs showcase seafood includes the crowd favorite, Cooking with the Chef’s Challenge, sponsored by Food Lion. In this challenge, two chefs compete cooking a secret seafood before a live audience. The two highest scores overall will advance to compete in the final competition and an ultimate winner will be announced.
The N.C. Seafood Festival is a nonprofit organization supported by Carteret County citizens, business leaders and the Town of Morehead City. The organization was designed with six principles in mind: to promote the social and economic impact of the seafood industry; to educate the public; to publicize the variety of seafood; to boost tourism in nonsummer months; to establish a scholarship program; and to provide an opportunity for other nonprofit groups to raise funds through participation in the festival. Since 1987, more than $1.8 million has been dispersed among participating Carteret County nonprofit groups.
Friday, Oct. 6, noon to 11 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Schedule of Events:
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