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Day at the Docks to Celebrate Hatteras Village

Boats gather for the Blessing of the Fleet at the 2017 Day at the Docks. Photo: Dan Bower

Update 12:25 Sept. 10: Organizers announced on social media that Day at the Docks has been cancelled for 2018.

Reprinted from Island Free Press

HATTERAS VILLAGE —  Visitors of all ages can learn about daily life along the Hatteras waterfront as part of the Day at the Docks celebration.

Day at the Docks kicks off the evening of Sept. 14, with the annual Hurricane Awareness Town Hall, Taste of NC and the Talk of the Villages around Hatteras village. The main event Sept. 15 will be along the docks.

“There will be live music in the main tent, the chowder cook-off, and even one or two of the boats from Wicked Tuna Outer Banks will be here, and will be at the docks for people to meet and greet,” said five-year event organizer Jon Kelmer. “One thing we’re also going to spotlight this year is island boatbuilders. We will have several boatbuilders on the island that will have their boats represented. That will be a new attraction for everyone to enjoy.”

Day at the Docks began as a one-day event in 2004, as an effort to recover after 2003’s Hurricane Isabel. Organizers say this year the event is returning to its roots as a tribute to local life on the water.

“The main focus of Day at the Docks has always been fishing, and we’re bringing that back,” said Lynne Foster, who helped create the event.

“We’re trying to slim the event down, and make it more about the watermen, their lives and their existence here on Hatteras Island,” Kelmer added.

Attendees can look forward to the same attractions and events that Day at the Docks has had in the past, including the annual chowder contest with area restaurants, the kids fishing tournament, the concrete marlin competition, the U.S. Coast Guard’s “sinking stimulator” and live music and demonstrations throughout the day, followed by the evening’s Blessing of the Fleet.

There are some changes and additions for this year, starting with the Seafood Throwdown.

In previous years, the Seafood Throwdown featured two competing chefs from area or North Carolina restaurants, who would race to create an inspired seafood dish that was then judged by a panel of experts. This year, the folks competing will be representatives from Hatteras Island’s volunteer fire departments.

“It’s very exciting to add another element to the Seafood Throwdown that’s different,” said Foster. “The Hatteras Fire Department will serve as the host village, and they have challenged the Frisco Fire Department in the Seafood Throwdown. So they will be competing against each other with a mystery seafood ingredient.”

Jeff Aiken will provide and present the mystery ingredient, and will provide a play-by-play of the action along with Bob Barris, event emcee since 2008.

“We have some new people involved, too,” said Foster. “The produce is from the new Village Market Red & White, and the salt is coming from our own Hatteras Saltworks, so we’ll have more local (ingredients) involved than ever before.”

She added that the judges are commercial fishermen from Kitty Hawk, Beaufort and Elizabeth City. “We’re involving as many fisherman as we can in this competition.”

Day at the Docks also will feature a Watermen United project to spotlight commercial fishing on Hatteras Island and Hatteras village through the voices of the fishermen and their families themselves.

“Another new thing we added for this year is that we’re asking anyone who has ties to the water to write out a couple of paragraphs about who they are and how they or their loved one work on the water” said Kelmer. The stories will be displayed all day as an Island Heritage Project.

“We’re bringing it back to the water and back to Hatteras,” added Kelmer. “It’s important for people to come down here to understand just how many ties the community has to the water.”

Learn More

This story is provided courtesy of the Island Free Press, a digital newspaper covering Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. Coastal Review Online is partnering with the Free Press to provide readers with more environmental and lifestyle stories of interest along our coast.

About the Author

Joy Crist

Joy Crist is a Hatteras Island resident since 1998 and a writer and columnist with the Island Free Press. Her work has also appeared in a number of regional Outer Banks and statewide websites and publications.