Falls festivals along the Crystal Coast

Fall Festivals Along the Crystal Coast

There’s Nothing Quite Like an Eastern NC Festival

Check out some of our favorite upcoming festivals and things to do around The Crystal Coast this Fall!

NC Seafood Festival

Downtown Morehead City
1st Weekend in October

Consistently one of the largest festivals in North Carolina, the NC Seafood Festival in Morehead City offers fun activities, unique vendors, and you got it- delicious seafood for the whole family to enjoy. Nearly 20 local bands will hit multiple stages throughout the weekend, and a few other events including the ‘Port of Pours’ beer tasting, a Sunday Sailing Regatta, Thursday night Low Country Boil, and unlimited access to rides with the purchase of an Armband on Friday night will keep the fun circling around the clock. Make sure to test your skills at the ‘Flounder Fling’ contest where you try and toss a flounder into a cast iron skillet, and take some time to visit the chef demonstration tent to boost your seafood cooking techniques with the help of some of the area’s most prominent chefs.

The ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ is one of the most heralded traditions the Seafood Festival offers. It is a small but important gesture to the many men and women who work hard every day so that we can enjoy such quality seafood at events like this. Without the dedication of these individuals, the seafood industry in North Carolina and beyond would be severely impacted. The Festival works hard to make sure that food vendors support local fishermen and that visitors know how important the industry is to our coastal communities. Without a doubt, you’ll enjoy some of the freshest seafood on the East Coast at the NC Seafood Festival, and probably run into someone who caught it not all that long ago.

    Swansboro Mullet Festival

    Downtown Swansboro
    2nd Weekend in October

    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!

    Diamond City Gala- Art & Music Festival

    Martin Luther King Jr. Park- Morehead City
    October 19th

    As a non-profit organization, the Diamond City Gala is committed to celebrating local history, art and music while raising money to support The Crystal Coast community. This year’s First Annual Gala’s goal is to help restore and rebuild the Carteret Community Theatre that was unfortunately damaged during Fall 2018’s Hurricane Florence. The lineup for the event this year will include a Local Art Expo and Live Competition, Food, Drinks, Live Music and a Family Fun Zone. The main event of the evening, the Founders Dinner & Art Benefit, will include a partnership from Parrot’s on Eleventh and Promise Land Market with some delectable wine and food pairings. Local artists will also be on-hand to auction off some of their work for donations.  Tickets for the Founder’s Dinner are $100 and available for purchase from the link below.

    32nd Annual Carolina Kite Festival

    Sands Villas- Atlantic Beach
    October 26th

    Kites Unlimited- located in the Atlantic Station Shopping Center in Atlantic Beach, will host their annual Kite Festival at Sands Villas Resort. Admission is totally free, and visitors are encouraged to bring their own kite and a camera for photo opportunities. It’s one of the most unique sights along The Crystal Coast every year to see hundreds of kites flying high with the Carolina Blue skies showing off in the background. Most of the action will take place from 10 AM- 4 PM, but there will also be a night-fly starting at 6 PM. Stop by Kites Unlimited to get more details and pick out a new kite so that you can enjoy the fun!

    Garner’s Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch

    Garner Farms
    5878 Arendell Street, Newport
    Saturday, September 28th- Saturday, November 2nd

    Garner’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is a partnership of Garner Farms, Garner’s Landscaping & The Plant Stand. The maze was unfortunately closed last year due to damage from Hurricane Florence, but is planning to be back this year and better than ever! The goal of the partnership is to continue to provide the community with more fun-filled fall activities and a place for families and schools to come together and enjoy the changing of the seasons and holidays. If you get the chance, bring your loved ones out to enjoy the Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch, and Activity Center throughout the autumn months. More information and an update on special events and promotions can be found by clicking the button below!