MOREHEAD CITY, CARTERET COUNTY - The countdown begins for the 27th Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival.
This year's festival will offer over 200 seafood and craft vendors along with rides and games. NewsChannel 12 is a media sponsor of this year's event and many restaurants are getting ready for the big day. The event takes place along the Morehead City waterfront.
The Sanitary Fish Market and Restaurant in Morehead City is known for their seafood and their history of being opened since 1938.
John Tunnell, 82, said he has worked at the restaurant for 68 years.
"I've been to all the seafood festivals for the whole 27 years," he said.
Tunnell describes what the first seafood festival was like in 1987.
"They put up a lot of tents and games and everything. As far as I'm concerned it was a one big fair," he said.
Tunnell said his favorite part about watching the festival come and go every year is the people who enjoy it.
"I think it's been really good for the community," he said.
Stephanie McIntyre has been the Executive Director of the North Carolina Seafood Festival for 12 years.
"If you're looking to for a lot of fun, great seafood and that community feel this is where you need to be," McIntyre said.
She said the event has a major economic impact on the community.
"The North Carolina Seafood Festival from out last survey approximately 35 million dollars in one weekend," McIntyre said.
She said the North Carolina Seafood Festival was selected best event for the South Eastern Tourism Society out of 12 states.
The festival starts October 4th through the 6th.