One Fish, Two Fish, Tilefish, Bluefish

By Dave Holton

October comes, and thar she blows, A whale of a feast, as ocean fare goes, Live music and art, big boats and learnin’, And tossin’ a mullet if that’s what yer yearnin’.

Come one, come all to the annual Outer Banks Seafood Festival …

Yes indeed, the Outer Banks Seafood Festival, brought to you since 2012 by sponsors TowneBank and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, returns for its sixth year on October 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the festival’s organizers and sponsors just can’t wait to welcome all of you who wish to partake of the smorgasbord of food and fun that they have prepared. “This is truly a family event and one that people won’t want to miss,” says Mike Pringle, Chairman of the Outer Banks Seafood Festival’s Executive Board.
Outer Banks Seafood Festival Chef cooking scallops
The main attraction, of course, will be the feast. More than 15 local restaurants will battle it out to earn the People’s Choice Award for Best Local Dish presented by TowneBank. In 2016, Stripers Bar & Grill took home the top prize, and there will be plenty of competitors looking to knock off the reigning champ. This year, voting cards will be distributed to the first 7,500 attendees through the Festival’s ticket gates. Voting will close at 4:30 p.m., and the award presentation will be at approximately 5:20 p.m. Local breweries and wineries will also be on hand to provide the adults with a bit of local flavor, and there will plenty of Pepsi products for the children. Budweiser products will also be available for brand-loyal consumers.
 
Thanks to entertainment sponsors OBX Chevrolet and Duck Thru, live music will fill the air from the stage where local favorites Out ‘N the Cold, Old Enough to Know Better and The Crowd will complement feature acts The Jamie Pridgen Band and Kevin Mac. Be sure to check the festival website for more info on the program schedule and to keep up with any changes to the lineup.
Band playing on stage at the Outer Banks Seafood Festival 
To round out the festival for the whole family, there will be a Kid Zone and a Mullet Toss (it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like, and, yes, it’s awesome). Local artists and craft artisans will have booths set up to display some of the works that the one-of-a-kind creative environment of the Outer Banks both inspires and nurtures. And the festival plans to provide something new this year, a boat and tackle show that should be a hit with attendees of all ages.

Oh, there be fun, there be no doubt, but that’s not all this fest’s about …
 
The organizers of the festival represent a cross section of the greater community, with board members hailing from local businesses, the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, Outer Banks Catch and the Outer Banks Restaurant Association. Outer Banks Seafood Festival is a nonprofit organization, and all net proceeds are donated to various causes, grants and scholarships. With such a diversity of perspectives among the organization’s leadership, you can be sure that the festival will consider all options when it comes to giving back after the festivities have concluded and all the $5 entrance fees have been counted.
 Fisherman working on a crab pot at the Outer Banks Seafood Festival
In 2016, the festival was held on the heels of Hurricane Matthew, and despite the difficulties of organizing a festival during a time most vendors were mired in cleanup and repairs, the team managed to put together a memorable day for more than 6,000 attendees. With the devastation of Hurricane Matthew still fresh at the time, last year’s choice was a no-brainer. “We were able to donate more than $5,000 to Outer Banks Relief Fund,” says Mike.

The collaborative team behind the festival aims to achieve some lofty goals, and so far has delivered year after year, providing visitors to the Outer Banks a delightful day of feasting (and mullet tossing) each October. And this year they expect to up their game. “Every year we get better at staging, working with the restaurants and making sure people have everything they need.
Vendor display of goods for sale at the Outer Banks Seafood Festival
“We set out to provide visitors with something special during the shoulder season, something that enhances our community and highlights the seafood heritage of the Outer Banks,” says Mike. “This is one of the premiere Outer Banks events, and it’s grown bigger and stronger every year. We hope to see 9,000 to 10,000 people this year.”

Come on out to the Outer Banks Seafood Festival this October. The team will be ready and waiting. For more information check out http://outerbanksseafoodfestival.org, where the team provides answers to questions people have about parking (there’s no parking on-site, but there will be shuttles available), the schedule of events and much, much more.

So mark your marks, to-do your to-dos, And set your date for yippees and wahoos, This festival promises oodles of fun, With seafood aplenty, served up by the ton!
 


Saturday, October 22 | 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
www.outerbanksseafoodfestival.org