Morehead City, NC October 11, 2013 – The North Carolina Seafood Festival, presented by U.S. Cellular, ended its 27th Annual festival with high regards from everyone involved. From vendors, to guests to partnering sponsors, everyone was thrilled with the success that the festival brought to Carteret County during the first weekend of October.
The North Carolina Seafood festival hosted approximately 200 vendor booths this year, with 20 booths being represented by 12 non-profit organizations. Although the weather was hot, the increased temperatures did not deter sales and attendance. On average, the sales at the festival increased by approximately 10 percent compared to the 2012 festival, making this a record-breaking year for sales and attendance. Being blessed with warm weather certainly helped to raise these numbers, along with marketing, advertising and social media.
Supporting local non-profits is one of the goals of the festival and St. Egbert’s Catholic School has been a faithful booth year after year. “Our initial estimate of our 2013 sales is much higher than that of 2012,” said Peggy Lane, principal of St. Egbert’s Catholic School, “We have a great deal of traffic by our booth and as always, we were very happy to participate as a vendor at the North Carolina Seafood Festival.”
The vendors that participated in this year’s festival seemed to have much success as well. “This was my second year as a vendor and the response I received this year was fantastic,” says Carolyn Temple of Coastal Image Photography, “I was very happy with the proceeds and the contacts made for the future. Coastal Image Photography will definitely be back next year.”
This was also the first year for the Iron Chef- inspired cooking competition on Sunday in the Cooking with the Chef’s Tent. Eight talented North Carolina chefs battled throughout the day for the top chef position of the festival. The two highest-scoring chefs judged by a well renowned panel of food experts, competed in the last competition, with a different surprise seafood than the prior rounds. The final Chef Jason Smith, of Black Pelican Oceanfront Restaurant and Catering Company in Kitty Hawk, NC, won the competition against Daphne Bennick of Back Porch Restaurant and Wine Bar of Ocracoke, NC which was voted on by the 24 festival attendees therefore making it truly a “People’s Choice Award”. This event
was a huge hit with the audience and is sure to draw an even bigger crowd when Chef Jason Smith returns in 2014 to defend his title.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the success of this year’s festival,” said Bob Sherwell, Chairman of the North Carolina Seafood Festival Board of Directors, “We are proud of our local seafood economy and are excited when we are able to educate the public on the importance of using North Carolina seafood and provide an enjoyable family-friendly environment at the same time. ”
“The N.C. Seafood Festival gets better every year,” says Executive Director, Stephanie McIntyre, “It’s bittersweet when it comes to an end, but we have taken notes all weekend to make it more exciting in 2014!”
The North Carolina Seafood Festival, now in its 27th year, is a not-for-profit organization in Carteret County with a five point mission statement that includes but is not limited to educating the public about seafood and its importance to the state economy and promotion of tourism and recreation of eastern N.C. in the non- summer months. To learn more about the festival, its mission and to get updated on the 2012 festival, please visit ncseafoodfestival.org.