SEASONABLY COOLER WEATHER and less traffic are certainly a draw for the fall months on the Crystal Coast. But in October, there is plenty more to sing the praises of as well. It is festival time in Eastern North Carolina – from fish to flowers to kites – a time for celebration, a time for fellowship and a time for fun.
The smell of seafood fills the salty air once again as Carteret County unites to celebrate the most copious resource it knows – seafood. The 28th annual NC Seafood Festival takes place on the streets of downtown Morehead City Oct. 3-5, 2014, and provides an abundance of seafood options to fill every appetite. The streets come alive with vendors, exhibits, live entertainment, games, rides and plenty more. The award-winning festival has become an anticipated tradition for locals and regular visitors.
Country music artist Colt Ford heads the Saturday night entertainment lineup on the US Cellular Main Stage. Other acts include Slyde, Kasey Tyndall, AJR, The Embers, Six Pack of Gentlemen and more.
Associated with the festival are the Twin Bridges 8K Road Race, the annual Southern Outer Banks Boat Show & Outdoor Expo and the heart-wrenching Blessing of the Fleet, where those who sacrifice their lives to provide seafood for our community are recognized by other commercial fisherman with a parade of vessels at the NC State Port. Other activities include a family fishing tournament at Oceanana Pier, Atlantic Beach, and Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier, Emerald Isle, the always-popular flounder fling, the sailing regatta on Sunday and the live musical entertainment from one of three stages.
The historic streets of downtown Swansboro host the 60th annual Mullet Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11-12, 2014 as it pays homage to the bait fish that seconds as a meal. The festival began as a small community cookout and has blossomed into an event that is part of the small town’s heritage and culture. An estimated 20,000 visitors invade for two days of festivities, which is quite a draw considering the coastal village is home to less than 2,000 residents.
Celebrating a 1960s theme in honor of its anniversary, the festival will feature a variety of live entertainment, including Elvis tribute artist Wayne Euliss, the Fantastic Shakers, Band of Oz and Shanana, among others. Activities for children, more than 100 craft vendors, the mullet toss and a wide variety of food.
To learn more about the Mullet Festival, visit swansborofestivals.com.
Scheduled the same weekend, Oct. 11-12, is one of New Bern’s largest annual events, MumFest, featuring more than 300 commercial and nonprofit exhibitors, including pottery, crafts and art. Some might say the temptation is too much when they discover dozens of booths filled with a wide variety of savory foods guaranteed to tempt anyone’s appetite.
With two full days of entertainment, MumFest brings a variety of free entertainment including live bands, dance troupes, magicians, roving street performers, face painters and mermen and mermaids. In addition to all of the free entertainment there’s a riverfront amusement park with lots of exciting rides, including a waterfront Ferris Wheel.
Throughout the weekend be sure to catch the X-POGO Stunt Team with an extreme pogo exhibition, Alex Clark, the super funny comedian who performs jaw dropping stunts, the Purina Incredible Dog Team with canine athletes, the Silver Drummer Girl, a huge model train show and other favorites. To learn more about MumFest, visit mumfest.com.
Back on the Crystal Coast, the Carolina Kite Fest takes to the skies over Atlantic Beach Oct. 25-26, 2014. Sponsored by Kites Unlimited in Atlantic Beach, this free event brings kite enthusiasts from around the country to enjoy our uplifting fall breeze.
The festival runs from 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday, with a night fly slated for Saturday. Spectators can see kites of all shapes and sizes soar through the salty air. As long as the wind cooperates, everything from team flying, extreme ascensions and drops, dragons, facets/boxes, sky skimmers and more are demonstrated. Youngsters will even have a chance to make a kite of their own – and if they’re lucky, catch a few tips from the pros.
Be sure to take a camera, kite or both and watch these kites speckle the sky with color, size and creativity. For more information, call Kites Unlimited at 252-247-7011 or visit www.kitesandbirds.com.