Let the festivities begin…Day at the Docks kicks off tomorrow!

We are happy to announce that this year’s Day at the Docks festivities will run for 4 days, starting tomorrow, September 13th. Join us to celebrate the spirit of Hatteras and to honor the heritage and living traditions of local watermen!

This year’s event kicks off on Thursday at 4pm at The Seaside Inn in Hatteras with a free public forum, “Talk of the Villages: Fishermen, Fish, Food, and Livelihood.”

On Friday morning, September 14th at 11am, join the National Weather Service from Newport, NC, Dare County, and the Island Free Press for a Hurricane Awareness Town Hall Meeting at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. Wind down and gear up for a plethora of Saturday activities by heading down Hwy 12 to Lee Robinson’s General Store for “Taste of NC.” Starting at 4pm, this event will feature tastings of North Carolina wine, beer, and seafood, along with talks from local authors and live music by Banjo Island.

Saturday is a BIG Day at the Docks! The docks of Hatteras village will be teeming with activities and events starting at 10am. Activities for the day include a concrete marlin competition, a survival suit race, and a net hanging competition showcasing this time-honored skill. There will also be several activities and events geared specifically towards children, such as designing a fish print t-shirt, crab races, and a fishing contest. There will also be musicians, poets, and authors performing throughout the day around the docks, as well as free skin cancer screening sponsored by the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation. Be sure to stop by The Gazebo at Village Marina from 10am-3pm to catch a few local seafood demonstrations and then head on over to the Chowder Cook-off sponsored by the HICF. At 3pm, claim a spot at the Willis Boat Landing main stage to watch two of Hatteras Island’s most popular restaurants and their chefs go head-to-head in an hour long competition to prepare dishes using a local seafood ingredient that will be revealed just as the competition gets underway! There will be an awards ceremony at 4:30pm, followed by the boat parade at 6pm and the solemn Blessing of the Fleet.

Be sure to join in the fun at the Hatteras Village Community Building at 8pm by dancing the night away on the “lawn” in true Hatteras fashion.

On Sunday, September 16th, head over to The Seaside Inn at 1pm for shrimp ‘n’ grits and then head out on the water to culminate a great weekend of celebrating our watermen and their generous contributions to our fragile, island community.

Click here for a full schedule of events!


Calling all Chowder Cook-off Contestants

The time is near to perfect your Hatteras Clam Chowder recipe! The 6th Annual Chowder Cook-Off will take place on Saturday, September 15 during the Day at the Docks festivities in Hatteras. Everyone is invited to enter! The registration fee is a $50 tax deductible donation to the local watermen’s association and the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation.

What exactly is Hatteras Clam Chowder, you might ask? Well, it’s simple and delicious. There is no other soup that says “HatterasIsland” like Hatteras Clam Chowder. “True” Hatteras Clam Chowder is composed of just a few fresh ingredients…clams, potatoes, onion, and bacon.

Try your hand at Hatteras Clam Chowder and be the next registrant in the Chowder Cook-off!


4 cups of shucked clams and juice (about 24 chowder clams)
3 cups of diced potatoes
2 cups of diced onions
1 cup of water
6 pieces of bacon f(ried and grease rendered)

Chop clams, drain the juice, and save it. In a large pot, add water, clam juice, potatoes, onions and grease. Bring to a boil until potatoes are tender. Add chopped clams and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves about 6.

If you don’t have fresh shucked clams handy, canned clams and juice (about 2 cans) can be substituted in a pinch.

**If you’d like to reinvent your own version of Hatteras Clam Chowder, a few popular additions are parsley, green onion, celery and carrots.

If time is not on your side, and you can’t seem to get this dynamic and delicious chowder off of your mind, visit one of our local restaurants for a taste.

Be sure to head down to Day at the Docks on September 15th, to serve your version of Hatteras Clam Chowder or be the judge of many fabulous takes on the original!

See you there!


5th Annual Day at the Docks Celebration

Sea captains extend an invitation to all sailors and landlubbers to join them at the 5th annual Day at the Docks – A Celebration of Hatteras Island Watermen on September 18, 2010. Festivities will begin on the Hatteras village waterfront at 10 am and run until 5 pm, followed by a work boat parade and the annual Blessing of the Fleet.
The day brings local fishing families and tourists together on the waterfront where commercial fishing boats, charter boats, and fishing gear are displayed. Century-old workboats, including a traditional North Carolina shad boat, dock next to modern, state-of-the-art vessels.

Captains and crews will demonstrate the tools and skills working watermen use at sea. Fishermen and visitors are invited to compete in a net hanging contest, a concrete marlin competition, and a survival suit race.

The Chowder Cook-Off is a can’t-miss! Professional and home chefs square-off in a chowder cook-off, and Outer Banks families share their special seafood cooking techniques. Sample them all and vote for your favorite!

Just for Kids! Special activities for children include a fishing contest, fish identification game, blue crab races, a touch tank, and a scavenger hunt.

Exhibits on fishing regulations, boating safety, seafood recipes, and marine resource conservation are in the big tent, while the working waterfront stage features musicians and story-tellers throughout the day.

Hatteras Island offers a hearty welcome and invites you to join in this day long festival of our enduring maritime traditions. Admission is free so bring along the whole family! Lunch featuring fresh local seafood is available at a modest charge.

Keep reading for history about Day at the Docks and the schedule of events for this fun family event!

Did you know?
Day at the Docks has its genesis in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel in 2003 when a surge of ocean water crossed the island, carving a breech and isolating Hatteras Village from the rest of the island. The first people who were able to get back to work were the watermen. The charter group worked out an arrangement to ferry their customers into and out of Hatteras Village for their trips. The commercial group, thanks to the fish dealers’ negotiations, sold its catches when fish trucks were given permission to cross on the emergency ferry.

The community celebrated the “end of the siege” when Highway 12 was rebuilt with a musical evening and a dessert feast in the Hatteras United Methodist Church. One year later they decided to honor the spirit of Hatteras on the anniversary of the great storm with a Blessing of the Fleet and a Dance and Desserts in the village fire station.

Due to its success and based on suggestions from many people in the community, the Spirit of Hatteras Weekend now includes the day-long celebration of the watermen of Hatteras Island in Day At the Docks.


10:00 AM Opening – Hatteras White Doves release, Rev. Dwight Burrus,
blessing for the day, Bob Zentz music – Oden’s Dock

10:15 Children’s Blue Crab races – Oden’s Dock

10:30 Local seafood cooking demo – Irene Dolan, FS1, Cook, US Coast Guard, Station Hatteras Inlet – Village Marina pavilion

Marsh net exploration – marsh just beyond Oden’s Dock

10:45 Welcome from Allen Burrus, Vice-chair, Dare County Board of Commissioners – Willis Boat Landing stage

11:00 The Frisco Jubilee, music – Willis Boat Landing stage

Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation Chowder Cook-off until 1:00PM – under the tent at Village Marina Motel

Tall Bill – net fishing techniques from his boat, Net Results – Foster’s Quay

11:15 Local seafood cooking demo – Dwight Callahan, Chef, Dinky’s Restaurant at Village Marina – Village Marina pavilion

11:30 Net hanging competition – Village Marina Motel lawn

11:45 Warren Judge, Chairman, Dare County Board of Commissioners introducing Outer Banks Catch – Willis Boat Landing Stage

12:00 PM Seafood cooking lesson – Bud Gruninger, Executive Chef,Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe and North Carolina’s representative in the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board’s “Great American Seafood Cook-off” – Willis Boat Landing stage

12:15 Concrete Marlin competition – Village Marina

12:45 Bob Zentz, music – Willis Boat Landing stage

1:30 Marsh net exploration – just beyond Oden’s Dock

Local seafood cooking demo – Dan and Don Oden, Owners and Chef, The Breakwater Restaurant at Oden’s Dock – Village Marina pavilion

1:45 Karen Amspacher, Director, The Core Sound Museum and Heritage Center, Harker’s Island introducing “Saltwater Connections” – Willis Boat Landing stage

2:00 Seafood cooking lesson – Amy Huggins, Owner, Outer Banks Epicurean,cooking instructor and dedicated promoter of local seafood – Willis Boat Landing stage

Tall Bill – net fishing techniques from his boat, Net Results – Foster’s Quay

START – Children’s Fishing Contest – Hatteras Harbor (sign up before 1:30)

3:00 Survival Suit Race – Oden’s fuel dock

*Local seafood cooking demo – Sharon Peele Kennedy, Harbor Deli at Hatteras Harbor and Beach 104 Radio – Village Marina pavilion

4:30 Awards – Chowder Cook-off and Children’s Fishing Contest – Willis Boat Landing

6:00 Parade of working boats into the harbor

The Joint Island Choir, music – Hatteras Harbor

6:45 Blessing of the Fleet from the Miss Hatteras by Rev. Cory Oliver and original poems from Johnnie Baum, and Dale Farrow, arrival of the memorial wreath and its departure for the sea in Michael Peele’s historic shad boat – Hatteras Harbor

The wreath will be placed overboard in honor of the watermen who “passed the bar” this year and with special remembrance of Hamilton Gray, one of our young watermen, whose mother and grandmother donated the wreath in loving memory of him.

8:00 Lawn dance, live music of the Summertime Blues – Hatteras Village Community Center


Picture of the Week

Fifth Annual Day at the Docks – a celebration of Hatteras Island Watermen, where fishing boats and gear are displayed and the tools and skills of working watermen are demonstrated. A fun event with great local seafood and music for your family to enjoy! Photo by Joy Crist of Surf or Sound Realty.


Day at the Docks will be Saturday, September 19

Sea captains extend an invitation to all sailors and landlubbers to join them at the 3rd annual Day at the Docks on September 19, 2009. Festivities will begin on the Hatteras village waterfront at 10:00 a.m. and run until 5:00 p.m., followed by a work boat parade and the annual Blessing of the Fleet. Continue reading


Hatteras prepares to host fifth annual Day at the Docks Celebration on Sept. 19

The fifth annual “Day at the Docks: A Celebration of Hatteras Island Watermen” will be on Saturday, Sept. 19, on the Hatteras village waterfront.

“The celebration this year promises to be the best ever,” said Lynne Foster, chairperson of the Day at the Docks planning committee.

The day brings local fishing families and island visitors together on the waterfront where commercial fishing boats, charter boats, and fishing gear are displayed. Continue reading


Day at the Docks set for Sept. 20th

Hatteras village on The Outer Banks of North Carolina will host the fourth annual Day at the Docks celebration on Saturday, Sept. 20.
Festivities will begin on the working waterfront, i.e., the marinas located at the southern end of Hatteras Village, at 10 a.m. and run until 5 p.m.

“We’re bringing back the always-popular chowder cook-off contest, and are increasing the number of seafood cooking demonstrations this year,” said event organizer Lynne Foster. Continue reading