Crab pot drop

A crab pot drop is a Morehead City New Year’s Eve tradition. This year’s crab pot drop is Tuesday, Dec. 31 in downtown Morehead City. (Contributed photo)

Get ready for 2020 in Carteret County. Several towns and organizations have events planned to celebrate the new year.

Morehead City will host several family-friendly activities New Year’s Eve, which falls on Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Downtown Morehead City Inc. and the town of Morehead City will host Downtown Countdown.

The event kicks off at 5 p.m. with New Year’s Eve activities for all children of ages around Big Rock Fountain, including face painting, games, coloring stations, balloons and a DJ.

Watch and count down as the Morehead City Fire Department’s ladder truck drops a crab pot at 6 p.m.

For those who like to stay up later, the evening culminates on the corner of 6th and Evans streets with the traditional midnight crab pot drop countdown, a DJ and a fireworks show visible from anywhere on the waterfront.

“Downtown Morehead City is the perfect backdrop for New Year’s Eve activities and entertainment – a beautiful year round destination lined with restaurants and bars serving fresh seafood and wonderful dishes – I can’t think of a better location to ring in the new year,” Lisa Rueh, executive director of Downtown Morehead City Inc., said in a recent press release. “Not only is this another great opportunity for us to showcase downtown Morehead City for locals and visitors alike, but it is yet another great event to add to our annual lineup. Plus it is family-friendly and free.”

For more information on activities and events in downtown Morehead City, visit

Over in Atlantic Beach, the celebrations will start Sunday, Dec. 29 with the Smoke on the Water Bonfire.

The bonfire starts at 6 p.m. at the Atlantic Beach Circle and will feature live music by Robert McDuffy.

The event is free, and participants are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket to sit and enjoy the fire. For more information, call Morgan Gilbert at 252-726-4456.

The New Year’s Eve Cannon Blast is from 6-7 p.m. Jan. 31 at Fort Macon State Park. Fort Macon will be firing off its big guns in celebration of the new year.

There will be live entertainment starting at 6 p.m., and the cannons will go off at 7 p.m. sharp. Come early, as parking is limited.

Then, on New Year’s Day, Fort Macon rangers will lead hikes on two of the fort’s trails. Both hikes start from the visitor center at 9 a.m. One will be a short nature hike on the Yarrow’s Loop trail and inlet beach, covering about ¾ of a mile. The second hike will be along the 3.2-mile Elliot Caues Trail.

Over in Beaufort, Buccaneers New Year’s will provide family fun downtown with the Big Roast and the Pirate Plunge.

The event is sponsored by the Beaufort Development Association and will take place at John Newton Park, next to the Dock House on Front Street and Craven Street.

The Big Roast is from 5-7 p.m. Attendees can gather around the fire pit for s’mores and more. Bring lawn chairs but no coolers.

The Pirate Plunge is at 7 p.m. Capt. Shack will walk the plank high above the Beaufort docks for the New Year’s Eve pirate drop into icy Taylor’s Creek.

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