Everything You Need to Know about the Outer Banks Seafood Festival

By Molly Harrison | Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Outer Banks Seafood Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and more than 10,000 people are expected at the festival on Saturday, October 15. The day-long festival was founded in 2012 when four organizations, Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, Outer Banks Catch and Outer Banks Restaurant Association, came together to make it happen after years of talking about the idea. This festival is about more than food. The mission of the festival is to provide a fun and educational experience that celebrates coastal seafood heritage and community. New this year is the creation of the Outer Banks Seafood Festival Endowment Fund with festival proceeds. This nonprofit festival's endowment will benefit the local commercial fishing community with unanticipated costs due to natural disasters and more.

So, what you can you do at the Outer Banks Seafood Festival?


Obviously, eating is a huge part of the Outer Banks Seafood Festival. Some of the Outer Banks' best restaurants cook up seafood dishes, and there are plenty non-seafood dishes as well. This year, food vendors will be collecting their own money (cash or cards) so there will be no need for SeaBucks, as in the past. The first 7,500 attendees through the ticket gates will receive a voting card to vote for the People's Choice Award of Best Local Dish. Voting will close at 4:30 p.m., and the winner will be announced at around 5:20 p.m.

Here are the restaurants participating this year:

  • Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe
  • Dirty Dick's Crab House
  • Firehouse Boil
  • Greentail's Seafood Market & Kitchen
  • Harbor Deli & Grill
  • Jolly Roger Restaurant & Bar
  • Mahi Mahi's Island Grill
  • Noosa Beach Grille
  • Shipwreck's Taphouse and Grill


The festival's slogan "Eat Like a Local, Drink Like a Fish" gives you an idea that it's just about the food. Each $20 admission ticket will include $10 worth of Beverage/Merchandise Bucks. Additional Beverage Bucks may be purchased at the event.

This year, beverages will be offered by:

  • 1718 Brewing Ocracoke
  • Coastal Beverage
  • Pepsi Bottling Ventures
  • Sanctuary Vineyards
  • Seven Sounds Brewery, Elizabeth City


Music is a huge part of the festival and plays all day long. The main stage schedule:

11 a.m.  DJ Music
12 p.m. Opening Ceremonies
12:30 p.m. Buffalo City Moonshiners
1:45 p.m. No More Room Band
3 p.m. Partly Crowdy
4:30 p.m. The Main Event Band


One of the many tents on site is the Hook 'Em and Cook 'Em Tent. This is where you can learn more about North Carolina's commercial fishing and seafood industries.
11 a.m.  Shrimp 101 with Sharon Peele Kennedy
11:45 p.m. Oyster Shucking Demo - Oyster Trail with John Griffin
12:30 p.m. Fishing Industry Roundtable - Regulations and How They Affect the Industry
2 p.m. Wicked Tuna Q&A with Captains from Fishin' Frenzy, Reel E Bugging and Little Shell
3:30 p.m. Oyster Shucking Demo - Oyster Trail with John Griffin

A variety of boats, including a shad boat, a bow picker, a dory and a shrimp boat, and a few fishing net setups will also be set up for people to see.


Retail vendors on site will include vendors selling books, clothing, pet supplies, home goods, art in many media, jewelry, candles, nautical items, food, spices and so much more. Nonprofit organizations and educational organizations will also be on hand.


There is no onsite parking at Soundside Event Site for this festival. Free shuttle service is provided every half hour from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. from First Flight High School, 100 Veterans Drive in Kill Devil Hills. See outerbanksseafoodfestival.org


The weather is looking good for Saturday - sunny with a high of 72 and light southeast winds.


Tickets cost $20 for anyone age 13 or older. Ages 12 and younger get in free. The price includes $10 in Beverage/Merchandise bucks. Tickets are sold onsite (online ticket sales have closed).

The NOs

No on-site parking, no pets, no coolers, no firearms, no pop-up tents. No alcohol or coolers on the shuttles, no food or beverages on the shuttles. You are allowed to bring chairs and chairs will also be available for rent.


Soundside Event Site, 6800 S. Croatan Highway, MP 16.5, Nags Head



About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks.