Morehead City’s coastal setting, top-notch eateries, and abundant outdoor activities make it one of the top vacation destinations in North Carolina. The city’s natural beauty helped it become a haven for artists and creative types, and visitors can see ample examples at Carolina Artist Gallery, Vision Gallery, and more. Seafood lovers shouldn't miss the opportunity to eat locally caught seafood at Red Fish Grill, The Banks Grill, and Amos Mosquito's Restaurant & Bar.
The North Carolina Seafood Festival is one of the top seafood celebrations in the region, and it will take place October 6-8 on the Morehead City waterfront. This year’s event highlights the impact of the seafood industry on the community, and how much it means to the state economy. Attendees can sample locally-sourced seafood from a variety of the region’s top seafood restaurants, and shop at more than 200 vendors selling everything from artisan foods to artwork. Featuring boats in and out-of-the water, the Southern Outer Banks Boat Show will include a variety of new boats from dealers all over the state. Cooking With Chefs gives attendees the opportunity to watch cooking exhibitions by eight chefs using local seafood, and the Cooking Challenge pits chefs against each other for the highly-sought-after Chef's Hat Award. The Sailing Regatta will include a large group of sailors racing skiffs racing around Morehead City Harbor. ResortsandLodges.com interviewed Stephanie McIntyre, Executive Director of the North Carolina Seafood Festival.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
SM: This is our 31st year.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
SM: We anticipate more than 180,000 attendees.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
SM: We are the largest three-day festival in NC; and although we are large, we continue to honor our traditions as well as our community roots.
RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.
SM: There will be a variety of things to do including the Flounder Fling, amusement rides, three stages of free entertainment, a Boat Show, a Blessing of the Fleet, the Cooking stage with free samples, and our Cooking with the Chefs Competitions. You can even be a judge!
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
SM: Many restaurants and bars along the waterfront, as well as more than 200 vendors. More than 87% of our food vendors use locally sourced seafood.
RAL: Tell us about the atmosphere.
SM: The event takes place on our beautiful waterfront.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
SM: Yes see our website for accommodations.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
SM: This is the largest event in the area, and people come from across the region for our event.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
SM: Yes, the event has more than a $35 million economic impact on the community.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
SM: Yes we have many nonprofits that share in the overall festival profits as well as work their booths selling seafood to make their budgets for their organizations.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
SM: We are driven by making remarkable experiences for our fans! This is where sea food and fun meet!
For more information about the North Carolina Seafood Festival, please visit the event website.