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.