Rebranded festival returns

Published 1:23 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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What Beaufort County festival goers might remember as the Marine Market returns Saturday as the Maritime Festival.

The original event started in 2008, then had to take a two-year break because of COVID-19 and returns Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. along Stewart Parkway and the Washington waterfront.

The nautical landscape has changed since then and Washington Harbor District Alliance Executive Director Meg Howdy said the rebranded festival should reflect that.

“Boat building and related industries have expanded a lot in the last three years and our local schools and community college have created programs so young people can join those industries,” Howdy said. “They will be on site to inform folks on how they get training to find a job or improve their current position.”

The Coast Guard is scheduled to bring a helicopter to the waterfront to perform a rescue demonstration around noon if they are not on a call.

North Carolina expert Gene Oakley will demonstrate how steam engines work and the Historic Port of Washington Project will have a formal dedication of the Wine of Cardui ghost sign at the corner of Water and Market Street at 11 a.m.

Local boatbuilders Compmellennia and Park Boats will have boats on display, there will be marine vendors and dealers, a nautical flea market and a kids zone will be open featuring carnival games.

The Motley Tones performance troupe will entertain along the waterfront with pirate-themed songs and routines.

“We wanted to bring back the Marine Market and make it bigger and better,” Howdy said. “Washington is a historic port town with a reinvigorated boat building industry and we want to celebrate that and let people know about opportunities as well. People are ready to get out and have a good time and we think this presents a great opportunity to do so.

Members of the Beaufort County Traditional Music Association will be playing on the west end of Stewart Parkway at the Maritime Quarter from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and local singer-songwriter Chuck Phillips will be performing on the Ribeye’s back deck from 12-2 p.m.