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Swansboro Festivals

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Presenting four annual events.  Each is unique to our waterfront community and fun for the entire family. Read below to
find out about each of our events.

Looking for Sponsorship Opportunities? Download a packet here!

Arts by the Sea, held annually on the second Saturday in June.

This fabulous arts and fine crafts festival takes place from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.  Come and see the best artists and crafters as they line our historic streets with beautiful fine art and handmade crafts.  The show, which is a juried craft show, represents some of the finest crafters in the Southeast.  Pottery, jewelry, paintings, stained glass, fiber, carvings, photography, sculpture and metal work are just a few of the crafts represented at this annual event.

The festival also includes live, local entertainment at the Harry C. Pugliese “Pug” Pavilion throughout the day.  The Kids Zone will offer arts, crafts and a variety of other activities on the waterfront across from Olde Towne Square.  

To keep things safe, we ask that event goers abide by the following: no pets, bicycles or skateboards.  Streets are closed to vehicular traffic. As an extra treat, leave the parking to us! There will be a park and ride shuttle from Ward Farm, located behind the Hampton Inn.

July 4 Celebration

Come stroll the historic downtown Swansboro waterfront for the July 4th Celebration presented by Sanders Ford.  Enjoy the sounds and celebration as we honor Independence Day on July 4th, 5-10 p.m.  There is live music at the Harry C Pugliese “Pug” Pavilion. Food vendors will be along Front St. in preparation for the evening festivities.

Street closures will be implemented at 3 p.m.  Front Street will be closed to vehicular traffic as well as Main and Church Streets up to Elm Street.  Water St. will be closed from Moore St. to Broad St.  In addition to street closures, all public docks will be closed to pedestrian traffic.  Church St. Dock will be closing at 4 p.m. and dockage will be limited to vessels with reservations only. Please note fireworks are tentatively moved to Mullet Festival for the 2019 Season.

Swansboro Mullet Festival
Over 60 years running
Click Here for Parade Application 

The Swansboro Mullet Festival, the oldest festival in the Crystal Coast, began in 1954.

The weekend centers around the small, bony fish that appears as having a purplish-blue tint when found in Eastern North Carolina waters. Swansboro natives remember days long ago when mullets were hauled to shore in nets hooked to tractors along the beach.

In 1954, mullet fed the workers building the White Oak River Bridge that later became a vital link between Onslow and Carteret counties. Upon its completion, the conception of the Mullet Festival began. It was a way to celebrate the arrival of the modern era in bridge form.

The event started as a potluck-type event with the town coming together and contributing to the celebration. 

Today, the Swansboro Mullet Festival has expanded into a two-day festival that offers locals and visitors a glimpse into history combined with a modern celebration of all things mullet. The festival is free and visitors may enjoy a parade, entertainment featuring beach music and live bands, children’s activities and a lot of food, especially fried mullet.

The festivities begin with the closing of Highway 24 in order for the parade to lead the way along downtown Swansboro streets starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

In the kids zone activity area, a number of inflatable rides are available for the kids to climb, bounce and slide on. Additional fun activities include the popular mullet toss and face painting.

Music and entertainment is at the Town’s Harry C. Pugliese Pavilion and is always the cornerstone of the festival. The lineup always includes numerous beach music favorites. The evening will end at 10 p.m. Saturday.

Sunday will feature hits from more beach music favorites. Craft and food vendors will line the streets of downtown Swansboro with the famous Rotary fish fry to offer everyone a mullet treat.

Downtown streets will be closed to traffic both days and no pets are allowed. Parking available at Ward Farm and Park facilities with shuttle  services provided.

Swansboro Christmas Flotilla is held annually on the day after Thanksgiving (rain date Saturday)
Boat application (PDF)

The Swansboro Christmas Flotilla is a time-honored tradition and fun for the whole family!

At dusk, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, gather along Swansboro’s waterfront and watch the spectacular parade of lights down the White Oak River. Music will fill the air and you can enjoy treats, such as funnel cakes, cider and hot cocoa as you enjoy the lights glimmering off the river. You’ll be amazed by the lights and décor of the boats and you might even catch a glimpse of Santa Claus! At the conclusion of the parade, Santa disembarks to hand out treats to the kids.

For more information on the Swansboro Festivals please call 910-326-2600.  Like Swansboro festivals on Facebook for up to date Festival information.