annual Day at the Docks, a celebration of Hatteras Island watermen,
is planned for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16 and 17 in Hatteras
village. The two-day event has quickly become one of the most beloved
festivals of the southern Outer Banks, and this year’s schedule
presents a multitude of opportunities to watch live demos,
participate in kid-friendly activities, and enjoy the wealth of
seafood-based coastal cuisine that’s abundant on Hatteras.
at the Docks was started to celebrate the "Spirit of
Hatteras" when the village recovered from Hurricane Isabel in
2003 as an intact community, anchored by the commercial and charter
fishermen. The celebration, which now features a wide array of
events over the course of two days, is a confirmation of the strength
of community, heritage, and the living traditions of the island's
In its 12-year tenure, Day at the Docks has become a
true celebration of the Hatteras Island way of life. And this year’s
festival promises a variety of now traditional and annual events, as
well as a few unique elements that will charm visitors of all
The event is supported by a grant from the Outer Banks
Visitors Bureau, and is sponsored by dozens of local
businesses and organizations
that have a stake in spreading the word of the remarkable and
generations-old fishing backbone of the island.
Want to join
in the fun? Here's an overview of the upcoming events.
kick-off day of the Day at the Docks will be a true treat for seafood
lovers and anyone with exceptional taste, thanks to a duo of events
that are designed to highlight local coastal cuisine.
of North Carolina
the celebration by heading to the Lee Robinson General Store and
Sticky Bottom Produce for the sixth annual Taste of North Carolina,
Hatteras Style. Live music will be provided by Blurkey’s Quirky
Friends, and the food, beer, wine, and music of the Old North State
will be readily on hand. The event kicks off at 4 p.m., and continues
until sunset. The venue is easy to find and is located directly on
Highway 12 toward the ferry docks.
of the Villages
annual “Talk of the Villages” is planned for 7 p.m. at the
Hatteras Civic Center. This year’s theme is “The Fish on your
Dish,” and a trio of acclaimed and groundbreaking chefs will be on
hand to share their secrets, stories, and anecdotes from a career of
being at the forefront of modern coastal cuisine.
Armstrong is chef and general manager at Vinnie’s Steak House in
Raleigh. He spent his childhood in New Orleans, and later developed a
passion and talent that led him into several professional kitchens.
He gained an apprenticeship at Raleigh’s Second Empire where he
trained for two years, while earning a degree in writing, rhetoric
and language from North Carolina State University. Before coming to
Vinnie’s, he cooked for the Nobles Group of the Triad, as well as
in Yellowstone National Park and Sedona, Ariz. When he’s not in
the kitchen, you might find him exploring local farmers’ markets,
biking and foraging along the greenway or hiking one of his favorite
Rhodes is chef and owner of Catch Modern Seafood Restaurant, and
Catch The Food Truck in Wilmington. With strong family roots in the
Cape Fear region, Keith credits his grandfather for his farm-to-table
approach that supports local purveyors, fishermen and farmers. Voted
Wilmington’s Best Chef four years in a row, Keith also captured the
Goodness Grows in N.C. best dish for fine dining and for casual
dining. He was a 2011 James Beard finalist for “Best Chef of the
Southeast” and also competed on Bravos’ “Top Chef, Season 9.”
Stepp is the owner of the popular Red Sky Cafe restaurant in Duck.
He’s been a chef in the Outer Banks for over 25 years, and his
cuisine reflects the best of what the beach offers. Originally from
West Virginia, Wes came to the Outer Banks after graduating college
with a degree in psychology. He worked at Kelly’s Restaurant in
Nags Head before purchasing Red Sky Café. He also leads Tastefully
Fit, a lifestyle program focused on simple but delicious menu
Rhodes and Stepp will all share stories and personal experiences
about working with N.C. seafood to create positive change and to
build strong businesses. They will also talk about their favorite
seafood flavor combinations and preparation tips, which will be an
enticing subject for any local and visiting seafood fan.
Talk of the Villages is a free event and is open to the public, and
is sure to be an unforgettable event of the Day at the Docks
Awareness Town Hall
addition to the food-centric events, a Hurricane Awareness Town Hall
is also slated for Friday at 1 p.m. at the Hatteras Village Civic Center. The
time will be announced soon. The program is presented by
meteorologists from the local National Weather Service Office in
Newport/Morehead City, N.C. They will talk about the new storm surge
maps and other new products for hurricane forecasting, and there will
be plenty of time for questions and answers.
5K and Dock Dash Fun Run.
locals and visitors can start off Saturday’s series of events by
participating in the annual Fishy 5k, which begins and ends at the
Hatteras United Methodist Church. The ensuing 5K route is a charming
trek through the heart of historic Hatteras Village, and the
coinciding Dock Dash fun run will start and end at Hatteras
United Methodist Church and will cover 1 mile with a turnaround just
past Hatteras Harbor Marina.
and walkers of all skill levels are welcome, and the Fishy 5k will
begin at 8 a.m., with the Dock Dash fun run following at 9
Proceeds from the event support the missions of the
Hatteras United Methodist Church, which includes worthy local
causes such as the Hatteras Methodist Church Community Preschool, the
Hatteras Island Angel Gift program, Young Life Ministry, and
even the annual Day the Docks celebration itself.
fee includes a t-shirt and goody bag, and all finishers of the Fishy
5k will receive a unique finisher medal. For more information on the
event, including online registration, visitors can peruse
the Working Waterfront
the race and fun run, the celebration moves to the village's working
waterfront, where there will be non-stop activities throughout the
Here are some of the highlights of the annual Day
at the Docks Festival.
from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. An educational tent will be open all day
for information on everything from weather forecasts to marine
fisheries from a dozen regional, state-wide and national
organizations such as branches of NOAA, the National Park Service,
the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, and more.
from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The community tent was introduced in 2014,
and features representatives from local non-profits and
organizations who share information and give visitors an even
broader understanding of the communities of Hatteras Island.
Open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. A collection of storytellers,
musicians, and singers will take to the stage to provide on-going
entertainment throughout the afternoon.
/ Food Demonstration Tent. Outer
Banks Catch and a collection of other catch-related groups will have
a food demonstration tent with live food demos. Several small group
cooking demonstrations will be held throughout the day, and the
Seafood Tent is also the venue for the annual Seafood Throwdown.
The N.C. Coastal Federation will host Marsh Tours at 11 a.m., 12
p.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. which will depart from Willis Boat Landing.
Tour the Hatteras village waterfront with Capt. Mike Scott on the
Albatross, the oldest boat in the historic Albatross Fleet. Times
and any associated fees will be announced closer to the date.
This popular event features accomplished local and / or regional
chefs who provide live cooking demos in the Food Demonstration Tent,
as well as go head-to-head in the ultimate island cooking
competition. This year’s participants are Scott Surratt, the
executive chef at Café Pamlico, and Ross Tolson, an Outer Banks
native and an accomplished chef at Owens Restaurant. The throwdown
will take place at 2 p.m.
A special kids fishing tournament will be held at Jeffrey's Seafood
at 2 p.m. with registration beginning at 1 p.m. There is no entry
fee to join, no experience required, and a simple pole is provided
for those who do not bring their own gear. Easily one of the most
popular Day at the Docks events for kids, as many as 108 children
have previously participated in this annual fishing contest.
Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation annual Chowder Cook-off.
Held from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Everyday cooks and restaurant chefs
compete for the title of the island's best chowder, with the
public serving as the judge! For a donation, you can sample the
entries – which is a favorite activity for many visitors with
Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Lifeboat. All
day near Oden's Dock. Children really enjoy sitting in the captain's
chair and "steering" the boat. The "Coasties"
also bring along their wet trainer, a device the children can climb
into and learn how to repair a ship at sea. With mallets and
wedges, they react to sudden leaks while getting thoroughly soaked.
races and Fish Print T-shirt Creations for kids.
Look for times on schedule and map.
and Demos. A
concrete marlin contest will be held where professional captains vie
against each other to “hook” and “gaff” a concrete “marlin”
or cylinder. (Time will be announced.) There will also be additional
demos on such procedures as net picking and fish cleaning throughout
the day. Commercial fishermen and their boats will also be around to
answer questions and explain their work.
Parade and Blessing of the Fleet.
The day will end with a parade of workboats into the harbor and the
blessing of the fleet in the harbor at Village Marina. Exact time
will be announced, but this closing event is traditionally held
around 5:30 or 6 p.m.
For more information, go
A map and schedule for Saturday will be available closer to the