The Swansboro Mullet Festival is always a highlight weekend of the small town and its vibrant display of shops and restaurants. This year marks the festival’s 65th Anniversary, making it one of the oldest traditions along The Crystal Coast. If you’re not familiar with the area, we know what you might be thinking- ‘I can’t believe they have a whole weekend festival dedicated to that wacky haircut’. It’s an easy mistake to make, but the Mullet Festival actually celebrates the success of the fishing industry and the mullet has always been a popular catch along the small Eastern NC community. It’s a small, bony whitefish that was once hauled in from nets attached to tractors along the beaches. The process is still used to this day along some parts of Bogue Banks, and is truly a unique site to see.
Fun for the whole family starts on Saturday morning with the Mullet Parade through the streets along Hwy 24. Once all of the floats have passed by, the crowd quickly heads toward the historic downtown district where craft vendors, food trucks and live music are easy to find. There is a designated play area for the kids at First Citizen’s Bank, and plenty of games and prizes to win. Parking can be a bit tricky this weekend in the ‘Boro’, but a shuttle service will be running from Ward Farm off Hammock’s Beach Road.
Be sure to stop by and grab one of the popular festival T-Shirts and enjoy a heaping plate of fried mullet at the Rotary fish fry!