Returning for the second year in a row after a hiatus during the Coronavirus pandemic, the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s (NCCF) annual Hatteras Island Oyster Roast was another big success, with tickets selling out well before the February 3 event date.
“Last year, the tickets sold out within a week, but that is probably because it was the first time [the event] was back after the COVID pandemic,” said Sara J. Hallas, NCCF Coastal Education Coordinator. “This year, we had 400 tickets, and they sold out within three weeks.”
NCCF hosts the oyster roast, which was first launched in 2014 as an event that celebrates local seafood and a healthy coast while supporting environmental restoration.
Proceeds from the event benefit the NCCF’s oyster education and restoration programs, and participation from multiple community members and businesses helps to boost the annual donations even more.
This year’s event had dozens of items donated to the silent auction, a donation-based bake sale, and live music on the edge of Oden’s Dock provided by Hatteras Island’s own Carolina Sweaters.
A team of volunteers headed by Parc Greene of Risky Business Seafood tackled the lengthy food preparation, and 55 bushels of oysters from Newport River were roasted and divvied up among the crowd in continuous cycles.
“We started at 9:00 in the morning, power washing the oysters – which took a long time – and we’ve been going ever since,” said Greene on Saturday afternoon.
While temperatures hovered in the mid-40s all day long, the atmosphere at the edge of Oden’s Dock in Hatteras Village was happy and lively, with a mix of local residents and visitors feasting throughout the afternoon.
Though the exact amount raised at this year’s event is not yet available, the high attendance and hefty donations on-site suggest that 2024’s Oyster Roast may be one of the most successful yet.
For more information on the NCCF and the annual Oyster Roast, which is held every February, click here.