Emerald Isle has been the place to be when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Carteret County. The town’s annual festival draws more than 30,000 folks to the Emerald Plantation Shopping Center for a day of green splattered family fun. Planned this year for 9am-6pm on Saturday, March 16, festival organizers are expecting more than 75 arts and craft and food vendors and a plethora of activities.
While the festival is great for the local economy during the off-season, it also serves as pre-season bash, a chance to chase away any cobwebs that may have grown up around our feet as we await the warmth of summer.
Those who venture out for the region’s first outdoor festival of the year will certainly find plenty to see and do. Sponsored in part of Transportation Impact and the Emerald Isle Business Association and organized by Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation, the festival features amusement rides, live entertainment, a beer garden
From handmade jewelry and original artwork to face painting and hair bows, vendors lined up for the event are handpicked to ensure a wide variety of options. In keeping with its early philosophy, no commercial vendors are allowed. Instead, all items must be handmade. The same rings true for the bountiful food options offered throughout the day, including, of course, plenty of corned beef and cabbage.
So what can you expect? Lots of green, from outlandish hats to polka dot socks, nothing is too silly for the St. Patrick’s Festival. Green tuxedos, flashy glasses, leprechaun costumes, we’ve seen them all through the years. While rides, food and fun take a center stage, a full schedule of live entertainment will provide the soundtrack as the day progresses. Be sure to be on the lookout for the Port City Pipes & Drums parading around the festival throughout the day.
The beer garden will be open from 9am-6pm. In addition, those looking for something to sate their appetite will find an array of festival fare, including traditional corned beef and cabbage.
Entrance to the festival and parking, as always, is free. To learn more about the St. Patrick’s celebration, call 252-354-6350.