Mullet Festival


Mullet is BACK!!! 

Apply now to be a vendor!

Vendor Guidelines available here.           

Non-food Vendor Application available here.

Food Vendor Application available here.

Limited Food Vendor Application available here.

Virtual-ONLY Vendor Application available here.

For more information, contact vendor chair at


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.

2020 Events below - 2021 schedule to be posted soon.

Virtual 5K Mullet Run/1 Mile Fun Run sponsored by What the Fin


Join Swansboro Parks and Recreation for a Virtual 5K or a 1 Mile Fun Run to celebrate Mullet Festival.  This run is completely up to you and on your own time but must be completed between October 3 - October 11.  Registration is $30 for the 5K and $20 for the Fun Run that includes a T-shirt (for both runs) and a medal for the 5K only.  (Shirts only guaranteed to the first 200 by participants registered by September 30.) Race packets can be picked up at the Swansboro Recreation Center on Friday, October 9, 4-7 PM or Saturday, October 10, 10 AM - 3 PM. Shipping is available for an additional $5. Click here to register!

Create-a-Mullet sponsored by Seaside Arts Council

Displayed throughout Swansboro

Oct 5-11

Swansboro Parks and Recreation and Seaside Arts Council invites you to participate in a fun new Mullet Festival tradition. We are partnering up with the Seaside Arts Council to bring a splash of color to Swansboro courtesy of the mullet fish. Each registration buys you one wooden mullet cutout that is ready for you to decorate however you please! Let the creativity and the fun fly....Mullet style.  Cost is $10; wooden mullet cutouts can be picked up and dropped off at the Swansboro Recreation Center from September 1-18, Monday -Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: children, amateur, and professional.  Vote for your favorite mullet during the Virtual Art Showcase; winner takes home the People’s Choice Award!  Completed artwork will be displayed throughout Swansboro October 5-11.  Register online here or call 910-326-2600. GET YOUR MULLET ON AND CREATE!!

Mullet Scavenger Hunt sponsored by All American Fitness

October 4-10

Join in on the fun and help us celebrate Swansboro’s Mullet Festival with our Mullet Scavenger Hunt.

How it works:
1. Be on the lookout for the hidden ticket clue provided in our Facebook post
2. Go and search to find the hidden mullet ticket.

3. Post your photo with the mullet ticket in the picture and comment on the post for a chance to be eligible to win prizes.

Clues will be given out to help you locate the hidden mullet. Each picture submission will enter you into a drawing for prizes.

Sponsor and Vendor Spotlights sponsored by Tideland News


Swansboro Parks and Recreation will be highlighting vendors and sponsors on the festival website, Facebook and Instagram. Please patronize the vendors by clicking and ordering from them!

Blessing of the Fleet sponsored by Island Automation and Marine Federal Credit Union

October 4

4:00 PM

A Mullet Festival yearly tradition where we honor Swansboro’s local boat owners.  This event will take place at Casper’s Marina on October 4th at 4 PM, all boat owners are welcome to participate.  A wreath will be dropped in the water in memoriam of those that have passed, and a radio blessing will be transmitted to all boats.  Those that work on boats, those who protect our country, those who provide food from the local waters, those who use the waters for family and pleasure, and any other boat owners in our area are all invited to this ceremony.

Mullet Resin Pour sponsored by Darden Insurance

October 5

2:30 - 4:30 PM

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Join us at the Swansboro Recreation Center for a Mullet Resin Pour art class on October 5th from 2:30-4:30 PM and again from 5:30-7:30 PM (register for your preferred time slot!) We will be pouring resin over a wooden mullet fish cut-out and decorating it with dripped ink colors. This class will be instructed by Carla Paschal from the Wild Child Art Studio. This class will cover how to mix resin while incorporating powders, inks and additives to create brilliant colors into your own amazing abstract art. Click here to register for the 2:30 - 4:30 PM slot or here to register for 5:30 - 7:30 PM.

Throwback Thursday sponsored by Edward Jones and Poor Man's Hole

October 8

Watch out for Throwback Thursday, we will be collecting pictures from past festivals and interviewing town citizens on their reflections, experiences, remembrances of previous Mullet Festivals.  The Town of Swansboro will be posting these pictures, stories, and videos on Facebook and Instagram for festival fans to enjoy. This is an opportunity for the community to also post and share any stories or pictures/videos from past festivals.  We invite you to share your favorite festival memory and photos.

Mullet Paint-n-Sip sponsored by Pizza Hut

October 9

6-8 PM

Join Swansboro Parks and Recreation for a celebration of this year's Mullet Festival with a fun Paint-n-Sip night at the Swansboro Recreation Center on October 9 from 6-8 PM.  We will be using acrylic paints on a pre-designed canvas with a Mullet Festival theme. Bring your smock (or a paint shirt) and adults 21+ can BYOB/Wine for this paint class.  All other supplies will be provided by the Recreation Department. Click here to register! 

Lil' Mullets Kid Paint Class

October 9

6-8 PM

Join Swansboro Parks and Recreation for a celebration of this year's Mullet Festival with a fun Kids Mullet Paint Class at the Swansboro Recreation Center on October 9 from 6-8 PM.  We will be using acrylic paints on a pre-designed canvas with a Mullet Festival theme. Bring a smock (or a paint shirt) and all other supplies will be provided by the Recreation Department.  Prepackaged snacks, waters, and drinks will be provided during the program. Click here to register! 

Mullet Toss sponsored by Take a Break Day Spa

October 9

5-7 PM

Come to downtown Swansboro to the PUG pavilion from 5-7 PM on October 9th for one of Mullet Festival's finest traditions.... the Mullet Toss.  Register for FREE and toss that fish in the bucket for a chance to win some great prizes.  We will also have 2020 Mullet Festival T-shirts for sale downtown during the event. Click here to register!

Chalk the Park sponsored by Battlefield Tire

October 10

10 AM - 4 PM

Come celebrate Mullet Festival and help us Chalk the Park and create your Mullet artwork on the sidewalks at the Swansboro Municipal park on October 10th from 10 AM - 4 PM.  This is a family event and is available to all ages.  Registration is strongly preferred and is completely FREE.  Check in with staff when you arrive at the large shelter near the playground.  Judges will vote and prizes will be awarded for the top artwork at the end of the event.  Fried Mullet plates will be sold for pickup by Little Johnny's Crab Shack, along with funnel cakes and lemonade by the Sunshine Girls and Hawaiian Ice by Kona. Click here to register for your preferred time slot!

Mullet Scavenger Hunt Adventure Race with Pogie's Fishing Center

October 10

9:30 AM - 1 PM

Sign up for our Mullet Scavenger Hunt Adventure Race starting at 9:30 AM-1 PM on October 10th at Pogie's Fishing Center.  This is a 3 part event.  First, you will be given a clue as to where to locate the first hidden puzzle piece by foot in the downtown Swansboro area.  Second, you will be shuttled by boat to one of the local islands and given the second clue in order to search for your second puzzle piece.  And finally, you will be given your final hint at Pogie's Fishing Center and sent off by kayak to the final destination to find the last puzzle piece (you can only use the provided Pogie's kayaks for this part of the race). First place finisher will win a Orion Cooler ($300 value) and be crowned with a mullet necklace as the winner of the adventure race. Must be 13 or older to participate and must be accompanied by an adult if under 18.  Registration is $15 per person.  Sign up now at

*Parents/Guardians must register anyone under the age of 18 for this event*

What the Fin (t-shirts)

October 8-10

Our T-shirt sponsor and supplier for this year’s Mullet Festival Celebration will be on site Thursdays, Friday, and Saturday selling this year’s Mullet T-Shirts.  Thursday and Friday, they will be set up in downtown Swansboro at the PUG Pavilion, while Saturday, they will have a booth set up at the Municipal Park for the Chalk the Park event.

You can also order the official 2020 Mullet Festival t-shirt here.

2020 Mullet Schedule