Washington’s waterfront seafood festival makes return

Published 8:29 pm Thursday, August 18, 2016

A signature event and magnet for seafood lovers, Pickin’ on the Pamlico makes a return appearance at Festival Park on Sept. 24.

With all-you-can-eat steamed crab, fried shrimp and side dishes, along with entertainment and an eastern North Carolina sunset over the water, Washington Harbor District Alliance’s major fundraiser has drawn both local residents and out-of-towners to Washington’s waterfront for years.

This year, WHDA organizers are reinforcing the event’s popularity by teaming up with three other stakeholding organizations in downtown Washington: Arts of the Pamlico, Washington Tourism Development Authority and Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re really trying to make this big for all four groups, the City of Washington, as well as our merchants,” said WHDA Executive Director Harold Robinson. “We’re really trying to draw people to downtown Washington.”

Joining forces to increase marketing and advertising, the WHDA, WTDA, AOP and the Chamber will be showcasing a fall fun getaway weekend. Other events slated for the same weekend include: ArtWalk on Friday night; Arts of the Pamlico’s community theater show, “Stay as Dead as You Are,” throughout the weekend; the Pamlico River Quilters’ Guild annual quilt show Saturday at the Washington Civic Center, and AOP’s inaugural Hands on Art Fall Festival, also Saturday, featuring more than 150 juried fine artists and crafters selling their work.

“We’re basically going to use Pickin’ on the Pamlico as an anchor, but we’ll be marketing Washington as a destination weekend,” said Roland Wyman, who also works with WHDA. “We couldn’t keep a weekend like this just for the locals.”

WHDA, WTDA, AOP and the Chamber soon will be launching a “landing page,” a webpage with all relevant information about the weekend, including weekend packages featuring stays at Washington bed & breakfasts.

According to WHDA event coordinator Carol Burtt, other than the widespread marketing, there are no major changes to Pickin’ on the Pamlico, with one exception — beer and wine are now included in the full ticket price of $100 per couple.

“The exciting thing is if you grab a group of nine or your favorite friends for an additional $100, you can join in the table-decorating contest,” Burtt said.

Winners of the table-decorating contest get an array of prizes, as well as bragging rights in what has become a fierce competition.

Entertainment this year is provided by The Main Event Band, a seven-piece group based out of Greenville specializing in beach, funk, R&B and soul music, Burtt said.

“They have not played Pickin’ on the Pamlico before, but they have a great following in Washington,” Burtt said.

For more information about Pickin’ on the Pamlico, visit www.washingtononthewater.com or call 252-947-1487. Tickets will go on sale next week.