The North Carolina Seafood Festival

"Crystal Coast Events, The North Carolina Seafood Festival"

Update on the North Carolina Seafood Festival

Due to inclement weather caused by Hurricane Ian, the schedule for the weekend has been updated as follows: 

  • Thursday, September 29th: Opening Ceremony canceled
  • Friday, September 30th: Festival will be closed, including the Wine & Brine event, which will be rescheduled to a later date
  • Saturday, October 1st: The event is open to the public at 3:00 PM
  • Sunday, October 2nd: The event is open to the public at 11:00 AM and ends at 5:00 PM

The North Carolina Seafood Festival

In case you didn’t know, October is National Seafood Month. And the Crystal Coast’s very own Morehead City has gone above and beyond to facilitate the ultimate celebration by hosting the North Carolina Seafood Festival. Food lovers and seafood enthusiasts will revel in the opportunity to sample and savor nearly every type of seafood available amid family-friendly events and exciting entertainment. The best part is that admission is free!

logo and dates for the NC Seafood Festival


As most coastal residents worldwide will tell you, seafood is integral in creating a unique cultural experience. From commercial fishing fleets to solo shrimp boats, the seafood industry has had a dramatic impact on shaping seaside communities. Some people residing inland may not consider how commercial fishing makes many of their favorite entrees and recipes possible. The North Carolina Seafood Festival intends to bring public awareness about the importance of the men and women who make these delectable dishes a reality on the coast and beyond. 

Giving Back During the North Carolina Seafood Festival

There is also an element of social responsibility. The festival is a non-profit organization that not only boosts tourism and recreation but gives back to the community. Scholarships programs dedicated to the seafood industry and the opportunity for civic, spiritual, and educational groups to fundraise by participating in the many events are pillars of the festival. Proceeds from the festival are granted to other local non-profits. Since 1987 the celebration has raised nearly two million dollars for various Carteret County organizations.

What to Expect

baskets of seafood on a table at the seafood festival

Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Seafood Festival

The North Carolina Seafood Festival is one of the region’s most significant events and is a great way to kick off the autumn season. Visitors and locals will find a wide variety of free entertainment, including culinary demonstrations and live music. You can also get involved with partnership and volunteer opportunities.

Things to Do

Here is a list of the main events and activities you’ll find this year.

  • Live music is a cornerstone of the festival. You can enjoy an array of performances ranging from rhythm and blues to funk rock. Bites and Blues is the best way to experience the best of both worlds.
  • The Road Races 5 and 10K are an excellent way to burn some calories after the first night of indulgence. The top finishers in each category will be awarded medals, and the first 200 racers will get a complimentary t-shirt.
  • Wine and Brine bring oyster and clam growers face-to-face with the communities they serve while offering curated wine varietals paired with delicious shellfish.
  • The Armband Friday Fundraiser is the perfect time to secure your pass for a day of unlimited rides to kick off the North Carolina Seafood Festival. A portion of the sales will be donated to the school of your choice.
  • The Oyster Shucking Contest is a shell of a good time as competitors race to see who can shuck six randomly selected oysters the fastest. Top contestants from each day will take each other on in a final duel that will have you smiling like a clam.

Crystal Coast Vacation Rentals

In addition to the various events and activities you’ll enjoy at the North Carolina Seafood Festival, you’ll also find a seemingly endless selection of vendors, artists, and rides. And if you’re looking for a place close to all the action, Bluewater has an eclectic assortment of vacation rentals near Morehead City in other Crystal Coast communities, like Atlantic Beach and Beaufort. Please take a look at our wide selection and pick the one that’s best for you.


Are you planning on attending the seafood festival? Have you attended previously? What’s your favorite type of seafood? We’d love to hear from you. Kick off the conversation in the comments below! 

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