18 October 2022
By Jennifer LeVine
An annual fall favorite on The Outer Banks for locals and visitors alike is The Outer Banks Seafood Festival. Located just a short distance from our Comfort Inn South Oceanfront hotel in Nags Head, NC, this Festival's mission is to provide a fun and educational experience promoting, honoring, and celebrating our coastal seafood heritage and community. It is also not that far from our other OBX hotel, Comfort Inn on the Ocean, in Kill Devil Hills.
Getting to the Festival
The gates to The Outer Banks Seafood Festival are only 1.2 miles away from
Comfort Inn South Oceanfront
, which is easily walkable from our surfside hotel. There are also other options for parking in the public beach accesses closer and shuttles from several locations along the coast. However, the official opening ceremonies for The Outer Banks Seafood Festival start promptly at Noon with our National Anthem and the blessing of the day and local fishermen, the Festival and vendors open at 10:30 am. It is only $20 to enter for anyone over 13 (ages 12 and under are free), and it will be a fun day for you and your family. Your entry fee to the Festival will also come with $10 in "Sea Bucks," which can be used for beverages (adult and non-adult) and merchandise once inside. You can also purchase additional "Sea Bucks" once inside. The T-shirts are kind of cool, but they also ball caps, beanies, and sweatshirts.
The Outer Banks Seafood Festival itself is separated into three sections. One part is the grandstand for the music acts that will carry on all day. The music on stage ranges from Bluegrass, Country to Rock 'n Roll. All of the bands are sure to please the guests. The music starts at 11:00 AM with opening DJ music. Then the stage opens with the live bands at noon, and continues all the way to the end of the festival at 6:00PM, with the Main Event Band starting at 4:30PM.
The following section is, of course, the food. At The Outer Banks Seafood Festival, you will have the opportunity to sample delicious food from area restaurants. Each local restaurant will have a limited menu with its specialties and unique festival dishes. They are cash or credit for the food, but it is worth the money. Try the bread pudding from Lone Cedar, the hushpuppies from The Jolly Roger, or the fish tacos from Dirty Dicks. All of the restaurants compete for the coveted Best of Festival, People's Choice, and Best Local Dish awards. They will definitely bring their A-Game to The Outer Banks Seafood Festival for these friendly competitions, so whatever you try will surely be delicious.
A tent will also provide cooking demos and information on local policies throughout the day. You can learn about all things shrimp – from deveining to cooking, how to properly shuck an oyster, and be able to speak with local board members and fishermen regarding fishing rules and regulations. In this same tent, there will be three boat Captains from the Wicked Tuna TV show. They will have a question and answer session with the opportunity for photographs with the Captains from the Fishing Frenzy, Reel E' Bugging, and Little Shell boats. It should be a fun and exciting time for Wicked Tuna fans.
Festival Vendors and Shopping
Before returning to your
, Comfort Inn South Oceanfront, check out all of the vendors in the third section. Here you will find many options to choose from. There are crafts from local vendors, such as sea glass jewelry, yard ornaments, candles, dog collars, and many other options. Each stand is unique, and you are sure to find something. There is also an SPCA booth where adoptable dogs are waiting and wagging. Last year they had a puppy kissing booth to raise money for the animal shelter; it was so much fun! We'll have to see what this year brings, but they are sure to have something fun planned. At the very least, you can have a pup-tastic time meeting the adoptees who also need love. Just make sure your room at Comfort Inn South Oceanfront, Nags Head, or
Comfort Inn on the Ocean, Kill Devil Hills
, are pet friendly should you decide you've met your new family member! There are also several booths where you have the opportunity to support our military, active or not. Representatives from the VFW, DAV and other service organizations will be on hand to answer questions and provide you with opportunities and ideas to help.
All of the Outer Banks Seafood Festival information, schedules, shuttle times, etc., can be found
on the Festival's website. The Front Desk at either surfside hotel will also be more than happy to help with any questions you may have or information you may need. We hope you will have fun if you do decide to visit the Outer Banks Seafood Festival! Safe travels, and we will see you soon!