Setting up

Andy Albizures with CE Rentals of Raleigh runs power cords through the framing of a tent Tuesday on the Morehead City waterfront that will house vendors and events during the 33rd annual N.C. Seafood Festival, which begins Friday. (Dylan Ray photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — A new permanent restroom facility at Katherine Davis Park opens to the public Wednesday ahead of the N.C. Seafood Festival, taking place this weekend in downtown Morehead City.

Work on the restroom facility began over the summer with the goal of opening by the Seafood Festival, which takes place every year during the first weekend of October. The facility includes four female and four male stalls, with a diaper changing station in each half. It replaces a portable restroom facility with one stall for each gender that had been in the park for years and was removed Tuesday.   

“We’re pretty much ready to reveal (it) to the public,” Morehead City Manager Ryan Eggleston said Tuesday.

Communications Manager Alizé Proisy added the facility also includes a new water fountain with a water bottle filling station that some residents have already taken advantage of. A sign with the city’s new logo was installed Tuesday, as well.  

Other updates to the downtown park at 601 Arendell St. are also nearly complete, including six new parking spaces and a new sidewalk around the perimeter of the park. Earlier in the year, the city installed an 80-foot flagpole surrounded by a memorial and a series of six benches honoring the nation’s armed forces. The benches and flagpole were donated to the city, and a flag dedication ceremony was held around Memorial Day.

“We’ve got a good bit of the sidewalk done, we’ve got some of those additional parking spaces on the eastern side of the property done, and we’re watching some of that grass grow on the far east side,” Mr. Eggleston said. “Once some of that’s done, I think that kind of completes the first phase (of updates) and then for the moment we’ll press pause.”

Work on the new restrooms was carried out by S.F. Ballou Construction Co. and its subcontractors and cost the city about $95,000. In total, the city set aside about $350,000 for the various updates to Katherine Davis Park.

The city bought the 1.7-acre open space park from the state for about $2.6 million in 2016. Officials originally planned to apply for a N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant to help build a playground and other features, but decided last year to keep the park mostly open space for now.

Other than the finishing touches on Katherine Davis Park, Mr. Eggleston said city staff have been hard at work this week preparing for the Seafood Festival. He said a new street sweeper was delivered to the city Tuesday, and crews have been using it to clean up downtown ahead of the festivities.

“It’s definitely a very busy week, and our staff has been out and about doing everything from setting poles … sweeping up downtown ahead of the event and pretty much anything and everything you can think of related to the festival,” he said. “Our public services folks have been hard at work, as well as our public safety folks, just preparing for the events and making sure we’re ready to go.”

In year’s past, Katherine Davis Park has been the site of many of the festival’s rides, but with the park redesign this year, rides will be moved closer to 5th Street in the Sanitary Restaurant and Fish Market parking lot. Katherine Davis Park will instead host an area called “The Cove,” featuring a stage, beer bar, two distilleries and food vendors. In addition, the Cooking with the Chefs tent will be set up in the parking lot in front of Katherine Davis Park.

Mr. Eggleston said although the N.C. Seafood Festival Board of Directors and its volunteers take on the bulk of planning and putting on the yearly festival, city staff are invaluable at making sure the event runs smoothly. Public safety personnel, including the fire/EMS and police departments, will be on hand during the event, and public services staff will be around to help clean up during and after the festival.

“We’re excited to work with the Seafood Festival and excited to welcome a whole bunch of folks from around the area and out of town into Morehead (City),” Mr. Eggleston said. “Hopefully they enjoy their stay here and come back for more.”

Contact Elise Clouser at; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.

(4) comments


Hmmmmmm, um, where are these kind folks importing the seafood from, if i may ask? Thx in advance!

David Collins

Was wondering pretty much the same thing , DeadBolt. Lots of libations plus lots of bathrooms to take the pressure off . No mention of vendors that actually feature locally caught seafood . Of course , in these times with globalism and all the other “isms” , local could well mean somewhere on the planet . Just like the roadside “Farmers markets” with their local produce that is months away from being harvested near by . If fact , in the region to be more precise . No thanks , I’ll pass .


I do know they BETTER NOT HAVE A FLOUNDER FLING! In previous years its become a game to throw a flounder, in a bucket several feet away, however in light of RECENT DEVELOPMENTS REGARDING CATCH QUOTA'S THIS WOULD BE A HYPOCRITICAL , DEVIOUS MEAN SPIRITED CONTEST! So they BETTER REPLACE THE FLOUNDER WITH A FARM RAISED VARIETY SUCH AS TALAPIA, WHICH CAN BE MANUFACTURED, AND EVERYONE JUST LOVES, OR ELSE SOMEONE'S A BUNCH OF SORRY A>>>>>>>ES . Flounder are a highly protected species, and much like the sacred sea turtle, i expect that they have feelings and rights that need to be tended to!


Skeeve Festival is more appropriate

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