Travelers that love to plan a trip around their stomachs should check out the North Carolina Seafood Festival. This annual event takes place in Morehead City
on the North Carolina coast
) each October and includes cooking with chefs, seafood cooking competitions, live entertainment, and more. While some food events are geared only towards adults, this one is a family-friendly affair with plenty of rides, activities, and fireworks to keep the little ones happy.
The 2012 Festival
In 2012, the North Carolina Seafood Festival is taking place from October 5 through October 7
. The festival kicks off on Friday at noon, and finishes up on Sunday at 5 p.m. This is a free event with no tickets required to attend. There is also free parking at the port on Saturday and Sunday. For entertainment there is a main stage
, countless vendors
for the kids, and a children's play area
. One of the most highly anticipated moments of the festival is the fireworks extravaganza on Saturday night at 9 p.m.
What to Expect
The biggest entertainment takes place on the main stage, called the Clam Jam stage
. Here visitors will see musical performances from a variety of genres including blues, funk, soul, rock 'n' roll, and more. A variety of bands will take the stage playing familiar music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Even more entertainment can be found on the Coastal Stage
, the Oyster Rock Stage
, and the SasSea Stage
. Another favorite element of this festival is the Cooking with the Chefs series
. These one-hour demonstrations offer the opportunity to learn new recipes from some of the area's best known chefs.
People's Choice Crab Cake Competition
Another great tradition at the North Carolina Seafood Festival is the People's Choice Crab Cake Competition
. Chefs from local restaurants put their best foot forward to create a crab cake that will be a crowd pleaser. This event will take place on Sunday, October 7. The eating and judging begins around 1 p.m. and the winner is finally announced around 5 p.m. The official judges vary each year, but in the past have included journalists and members of the department of agriculture. If little ones need to be entertained during the competition, the SasSea's Island playground
has plenty of activities.
In addition to the live entertainment and crab cake competition, there are many more events that make up the North Carolina Seafood Festival. There is a Blessing of the Fleet event
, Boat Show and outdoor expo
, Flounder Fling
, Golf Tournament
, Sailing Regatta
, and more. While many of the events at this festival are free, such as the fireworks display, others require a fee. In many cases, the money goes to support a good cause. The Golf Tournament, for example, collects money to support students pursuing an education in marine biology. Other events, such as the opening ceremonies, require an invitation to attend.
On Friday, October 5, the festival will be open from noon to 11 p.m. On Saturday, October 6, the festivities will carry on from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors should be aware, however, that vendors don't always have the same hours. Each year over 150,000 people attend the festival and enjoy the variety of food and wine vendors. Hours for the vendors are from noon until 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Sunday. In addition to food and wine, there are also many local art vendors.
In order to enjoy this event the right way, make sure to book a spacious vacation rental on the North Carolina coast
- right near all the action in Morehead City
, or in the lovely area of Beaufort
(nearby). Enjoy amenities like private pools and gourmet kitchens, instead of confiding yourself to a small hotel room.
Book a Beaufort Rental on the NC Coast for the 2012 North Carolina Seafood Festival
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