Crystal Coast Calendar of Events

The North Carolina’s Crystal Coast has family friendly events and lots of things to do in the Spring and Summer leading into the Fall and early Winter. Here you can keep up to date with local activities, events and socials for one and all from Swansboro, NC to Emerald Isle, NC to Atlantic Beach, NC to the Coolest Small Town Beaufort, NC. Find a list of festivals, concerts, tours, historic events, museums, attractions at the Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores – all centered around what our coast is know for – the beautiful beaches, history, fishing, food and family fun.

2017 calendar events

The Crystal Coast of North Carolina is enchanting and rich in coastal culture. Looking for a low key getaway or an action packed adventure during your visit; check out our monthly calendar of events for a list of activities to keep you entertained while you’re here.

2017 On-Going Events


June 15 – August 17, 2017 | Every Thursday Night

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Western Ocean Regional Access (located off Islander Dr.), Emerald Isle

The Town’s popular EmeraldFest outdoor concert series is back again this summer, with concerts every Thursday evening on the oceanfront. The full 2017 lineup is available at

Please bring your friends, lawn chairs or a blanket, and enjoy some great music from several different genres!

Introduction to Wooden Boat Building Course
315 Front Street, Beaufort, NC
9am – 4:30pm

In this two-day hands-on course, students will explore the art of boat building from start to finish. They begin with the design and lofting of boats, and move on to the setup, steam bending and different methods of creating the back bone of small boats. In addition, they will learn how to make planking systems, both carvel and lap strake and all the appropriate fastening systems. By the end of the course, students will have the knowledge and skill to choose a design and style of boat to build on their own and the confidence to take on the job. Course fee: $135. Minimum age: 16 yrs. old. All courses are limited in size. Advance registration required.

All Event Dates:
  • August 19, 9am – August 20, 4:30pm
  • Sept 16, 9am – Sept 17, 4:30pm
  • October 14, 9am – October 15, 4:30pm
  • Nov 18, 9am – Nov 19, 4:30pm
  • Dec 9, 9am – Dec 4:30pm

Conservation Wednesdays: Blackbeard’s Ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge
315 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516

Every Wednesday from March – December, 2017 | 9am-3pm

Have you ever wondered what happens to the artifacts from the Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge once they are recovered from the bottom of the ocean? The North Carolina Maritime Museum will host a conservator from the Queen Anne’s Revenge conservation lab in Greenville from 10 a.m. to Noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Conservators will be available every Wednesday to answer questions about the processes required to conserve the thousands of artifacts that have been recovered from the Queen Anne’s Revenge site.  Free Admission. North Carolina Maritime Museum.

Alive at 5 Outdoor Concert 

Fridays | Memorial Day to Labor Day 2017

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Jaycee Park, 807 Shepard St., Downtown Morehead City

The free concert series kicks off on May 26 and is help the first and third Friday of the month from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Jaycee Park! Alive at Five features a variety of regional bands showcasing an assortment of music genres. Beverage concession available from 4:45 PM to 7:30 PM. No outside beverage permitted. You can park your boat at the docks or drive on down. Bring your lawn chairs, friends and dancing shoes for fun-filled summer Friday evenings!

2017 Schedule:

August 18 – Jan Michael Fields Band 

September 1 – North Tower

Musket Firing Demonstration 

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM |OR| 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Fort Macon State Park, 2303 E Fort Macon Rd., Atlantic Beach

Meet at Fort Macon at 10:00 AM or at 2:00 PM to learn about a 19th century musket’s history, loading procedures and firing!

All Event Dates:
  • August 12, 2017
  • August 13, 2017
  • August 19, 2017
  • August 20, 2017
  • August 26, 2017
  • August 27, 2017

Murder Mystery Dinner: Murder at the Ocean House 

September 1, 2017

6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

315 Front St., Beaufort

End your summer with a BANG at our annual Murder Mystery Dinner! Museum staff and volunteers prepare an entertaining evening involving a murder plot, clues and of course a twist, all while you enjoy a catered meal! Come help us solve the Museum’s latest unfortunate “accident.” For the museum’s eighth annual Murder Mystery Dinner, the staff have given a spooky twist to the night. Along with the normal cast of characters, visitors can expect to meet palm readers, fortune tellers, and even a couple of ghosts. Space is limited – this event will sell out! Reservations required.

For more information, visit

Emerald Isle EMS Pancake Breakfast 

September 2, 2017

7:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Emerald Isle EMS: 7604 Emerald Dr., Emerald Isle

Plan to attend and support a great cause! $5 a plate – 3 pancakes with 2 pieces of sausage; includes juice, coffee, milk or water.

Kayak the Salt Marsh 

September 8, 2017

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Learn about local history and the importance of salt marshes while on the water. Basic instruction and safety lessons following by a relaxing paddle through a salt marsh. Ages 12 and up, under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants must know how to swim and some kayak experience is recommended. Advance reservations required. Fee: $25 per person, $15 with own kayak.

For more information, visit

Friday Free Flicks 

September 8, 2017

7:00 PM

Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation: 203 Leisure Ln., Emerald Isle

Movies are family oriented. Free and open to the public, children must be accompanied by an adult. Popcorn and drink for $1.00.  Please bring chairs or blankets, no outside beverages or snacks.

For more information, call (252) 354-6350. For movie title, call one week prior to showing.

Merry Time for Tots: Pirate Hooks & Peg Legs 

September 13, 2017

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

315 Front St., Beaufort

Preschoolers and their caregivers are invited to the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort to explore the world of pirates! Following a story about a boy that joined the pirate crew everyone will get to make their own pirate hats and explore what is inside a pirate treasure chest (it isn’t just gold and jewels!). Along with learning about pirates, students will review their senses, body parts (head, nose, fingers, etc.) and their colors. Ages 2-5. Free. Space is limited, pre-registration is required.

For more information, call (252) 728-7317.

Tom and Dahlin’ of Tom’s Tunes | Crystal Coast Lady 

September 14, 2017

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

430 W Beaufort Rd., Beaufort

Crystal Coast Lady Cruises will also be offering live entertainment on her Thursday Tropical Island Sunset Dinner Cruises. Tom and Dahlin’ of Tom’s Tunes will be performing live.

Cost – $42.00 for Adults, $21.00 for Children ages 3-11. Children 2 & under are free. Reservations are recommended.

For more information, call (252) 728-8687 or visit

Shackleford Banks: Horses, Hiking and History 

September 15, 2017

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

315 Front St., Beaufort

Experience Outer Banks heritage and wildlife with a guided hike on Shackleford Banks, part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. Not suitable for children under 12. Advance reservations required. Fee: $25 per person.

For more information, visit

Emerald Isle’s 12th Annual Day4Kids 

September 16, 2017

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation: 203 Leisure Ln., Emerald Isle

Bringing adults and children of all ages together for a fun-filled day of vendors, activities, games, face painting and more! Celebrate our children by spending meaningful time with them. Rain or Shine.

For more details, call (252) 354-6350 or email Sarah Cutillo at

11th Annual Flounder Surf Fishing Tournament 

September 16, 2017

All Day Event

From Fort Macon to Emerald Isle

Free registration (August 14- September 14) and excellent prizes! All flounder must be caught by fishing on foot (surf, pier, inlet or sound) from Fort Macon to Emerald Isle. Sponsored by Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation and The Reel Outdoors.

For more information, contact Sheila Lowe at or call (252) 354-6350

7th Annual Crystal Coast Con 

September 23, 2017

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

130 Golphin Dolphin Dr., Cape Carteret

The Crystal Coast Con, eastern Carolina’s premier Sci Fi, Fantasy and Gaming event held annually on the beautiful Crystal Coast of North Carolina. We may be small in comparison to some of the large Cons out there, but what we may lack in size we more than make up for in FUN. The first annual Crystal Coast Con was held in October 2011. The Sci Fi and Fantasy event was so awesome that we made the FRONT page of two separate large newspapers in two separate counties! This year’s event promises to be even bigger and better than the others!

Special guests from well-known television shows and movies will be available to meet and interact with guests.

This SciFi, fantasy and gaming experience will be a one day wondrous event. From incredible celebrity guests to delicious SciFi inspired food and drinks, you are not going to want to miss this! There is no other place in Eastern North Carolina that you can witness this!

If you are interested in attending as a guest, please contact the Crystal Coast Con! We can’t wait for you to share in the fun!

Beach Music Festival 

September 30, 2017

11:00 AM – 5:30 Pm

The Town is excited to continue the iconic Emerald Isle event and we hope everyone will join us! FREE admission, food trucks, and great music! Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival t-shirts will be on sale. No tents or umbrellas permitted within 100 feet of the stage. Beer and wine is permitted on beach strand only (21+ years) but is prohibited in all areas of the Western Ocean Regional Access (restrooms, volleyball courts, parking areas, etc.) Liquor is prohibited. No beer or wine will be sold on-site. Parking will be permitted along the grassy North Carolina Highway 58 right of way. Only handicapped parking will be available at the Western Ocean Regional Access.

For more details, call (252) 354-6350

Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Saltwater Slam

October 1-22, 2017

709 Atlantic Beach Cswy, Atlantic Beach

The Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Tournament is back! The tournament will be following a new format with fishing dates October 1-21 with an Appreciation and Awards Banquet on the 21st. Registration period is open now and runs until September 24th. The registration form can be found on the tournament’s website and can be mailed in to:  Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Tournament, Inc.  PO Box 1074 Atlantic Beach, NC 28512

The first 50 entrants will be entered in a drawing for a $500 cash prize! The proceeds of the tournament will go to benefit the Atlantic Beach Volunteer Fire Department. Fire Chief; Adam Snyder stated “The Atlantic Beach Fire Department is excited about bringing back The Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Tournament this year. The tournament has a long history here in Atlantic Beach and for the fire department. The proceeds from this tournament have always assisted the department in purchasing much needed equipment to provide emergency services to our citizens and visitors. We are ready to welcome all the anglers participating in the 2017 Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Saltwater Slam.”

This tournament will be in a different format than the previous tournaments. Instead of a one weekend tournament that, in the past, was sometimes blown out by hurricanes, this is going to be a three week rodeo type tournament. This type of tournament will not only include King Mackerel. Spanish Mackerel, Flounder, Puppy Drum, and Speckle Trout divisions will be offered with their own entry fee and prize structure. There is $33,000 up for grabs in potential prize money including a guaranteed $10,000 fir place in the King Mackerel division! This tournament will be a fun and exciting event for everyone!

So bring your family and fishing buddies and join us for the historic tournament. We hope you enjoy all the fun and excitement Atlantic Beach, Carteret County, and the Crystal Coast has to offer!

Dr. Bogue Free Surf Fishing Seminar

October 3, 2017

6:00 PM

Emerald Isle Community Center, 203 Leisure Ln., Emerald Isle

In conjunction with the Gordie McAdams Speckled Trout Surf Fishing Tournament, Dr. Bogue will be offering a free seminar. Learn about speckled trout surf fishing from one of the area’s most renowned experts. At the Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Department Community Center. For more information, call (252) 354-6350

31st Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival

October 6-8, 2017

412-D Evans St., Morehead City

The North Carolina Seafood Festival, celebrating its 31st year in 2017, will take place on October 6-8, 2017 on the Morehead City waterfront. The largest three-day festival in North Carolina, its highlights are an endless variety of seafood prepared in a multitude of ways, street dances, concert, arts and crafts (about 200 vendors), Flounder Fling and an International Award Winning Chef’s Tent, Southern Outer Banks Boat Show, educational exhibits, hands-on programs for kids and rides and games. Saturday night fireworks are enjoyed by festival goers and neighbors alike. The festivities are spread from the North Carolina State Port to 11th Street on the beautiful Morehead City waterfront. Free parking is available at the port on Saturday and Sunday with shuttles transporting festival-goers to the fun. Admission is always free, but bring cash for all the extras that will tempt your wallet!

Paddle/Oar Making Course

October 7, 2017| 9:00 AM – October 8, 2017 | 4:30 PM

315 Front St., Beaufort

Participants can choose to make a canoe paddle, stand-up paddleboard paddle, kayak paddle, or pain or oars in this two-day class. All paddles and oars will be made from spruce, cedar, western red cedar or ash depending on student’s requirements and type of paddle. By the end of the class, each participant will take home a paddle or pair of oars ready for paint or varnish. (12 hours). Course fee: $275 or $375 for pair of oars. Friends of the NC Maritime Museum: $247.50-$292.50. Minimum age: 16 years old. Course size limited. Advance registration required by phone at (252) 728-7317, ext. 31 or online at

Kayak Fishing Class

October 10, 2017

8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

North Carolina Maritime Museum, 315 Front St., Beaufort

Learn the basics of saltwater fishing from a kayak. Kayaks, tackle and rods provided; NC Saltwater Fishing license required. For intermediate or advanced paddlers ages 12 and up. Under the age of 18, must be accompanied by an adult. Advance reservations required. Fee: $60 per person.

15th Annual Gordie McAdams Speckled Trout Surf Fishing Tournament

October 14, 2017 – November 25, 2017

All Day Event

From Fort Macon to Emerald Isle

Free registration (September 25 – October 12) and excellent prizes! All trout must be caught by fishing on foot (surf, pier, inlet, or sound) from Fort Macon to Emerald Isle. Sponsored by Emerald Parks and Recreation and The Reel Outdoors. Contac Sheila Lowe at or call (252) 354-6350 for more information.

Fall In-The-Water Meet

October 14, 2017

1:00 PM – 5:30 PM

172 W Beaufort Rd., Beaufort

Traditional Small Craft Association hosts this gathering at the Gallants Channel docks. All small boats are welcome. Free boat rides for the public. Pig pickin’. Ticketed event. For more information call (252) 728-2762. Proceeds from this event help support the operations of the Friends of North Carolina Maritime Museum  and the North Carolina Maritime Museum.

Carteret County Speedway

October 14, 21, & 28, 2017

7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

501 Whitehouse Fork Rd., Swansboro

Bring the family and come on out for action packed racing at the most “pristine racing arena” ever! Kids 10 & under are FREE. Enjoy pizza, hamburgers, beverages and much more!

Beaufort Historic Association’s Fall Fundraising Party

October 21, 2017

6:30 PM – 11:00 PM

100 Turner St., Beaufort

Gala fundraising party held in a beautiful Beaufort home featuring the works of a selected artist. Artwork is available for purchase. Admission charge.

Kayak Fishing Class

October 24, 2017

8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

North Carolina Maritime Museum, 315 Front St., Beaufort

Learn the basics of saltwater fishing from a kayak. Kayaks, tackle and rods provided; NC Saltwater Fishing license required. For intermediate or advanced paddlers ages 12 and up. Under the age of 18, must be accompanied by an adult. Advance reservations required. Fee: $60 per person.

Halloween Carnival

October 27, 2017

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Emerald Isle Community Center, 203 Leisure Ln., Emerald Isle

Fun for the whole family includes creating a glow in the dark mural, photo booth, cake walk, ID kits by the EI Police Department, Trunk-or-Treat and more! Admission fee to carnival is two bags of candy per child. Sponsored by Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, call (252) 354-6350

30th Annual Carolina Kite Festival

October 28, 2017 | 10:00 AM – October 29, 2017 | 6:00 PM

1400 E Fort Macon Rd., Atlantic Beach

Kites Unlimited presents the 30th Annual Carolina Kite Festival at Sands Villas Resorts in Atlantic Beach

Special Guests to be announced

See colorful kites from around the world, candy drops for the children, kite building for kids, and team flying

Mass Ascensions of: dragons, soft kites, facets/boxes, deltas, flat & bowed, sky skimmers, retro kites, art kites, dual & quad line kites, and sky ribbons

This annual event is designed as a THANK YOU to their customers and is a place to gather and fly with other kiters. Visitors are welcome to join them or watch the ever changing display of kites and people. Their wonderful volunteers are the reason they have been able to maintain this free event and new volunteers are welcome to join them in making this a fun event.

Brown Bag Gam: Sea Monsters

October 31, 2017

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

315 Front St., Beaufort

Mermaid or Manatee? Leviathan or Sperm Whale? Dragon or Humpback Whale? This program will explore some of the best known “sea monsters” and their possible origins in today’s known world. At the center of every fish story, myth, or legend is a grain of truth and we will work together to see if we can find that grain. Free admission. No advance registration. Walk-ins welcome. North Carolina Maritime Museum

Town of Emerald Isle Trick or Treat

October 31, 2017

6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

The Town of Emerald Isle will officially observe Halloween Trick or Treat! Please think SAFETY at all times when taking children Trick-or-Treating!