In this Issue 


From the Director

May 2014 director


A new season is on the way, and there is nothing like summer on the water ----- especially here in Elizabeth City. We have all the best reasons for enjoying the great outdoors, beginning with the N.C. Potato Festival, now extended to three days and boasting a bushel-full of fun, May 16-18. Our Juneteenth Festival, an annual Elizabeth City tradition honoring the signing of the "Emancipation Proclamation," is coming up June 14. And if that's not enough, we're expecting 100 vintage cars to motor into Waterfront Park, June 25, when competitors of the Great Race make EC their lunch stop. We also have First Friday ArtWalks, the Mariners' Wharf Film Festival and our Downtown Waterfront Market to enjoy practically all summer long. So reserve your spot by the water's edge for good times and summer fun. We'll be looking for you! 

Happy Travels!  

Charlotte Underwood

Director, Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Extra festival days, an expanded midway, more great music and plenty of spuds! The N.C. Potato Festival , May 16-18 along Elizabeth City's downtown waterfront, is bursting at the seams with a family-friendly event that will please both your taste buds and your desire to have a good time. 


The festival began as a simple tribute to the farmers that tend the state's major potato-growing areas along the Albemarle Sound, and it has grown to attract more than 27,000 celebrants annually for a weekend full of festivities. 


In addition to nibbling on home-cooked fries and riding the rides, festival-goers can sample the results of the "Anything But Fries" restaurant cook-off, watch the National Potato Peeling Contest competitors peel through bushels of spuds, cheer on the "Little Miss Tater Tot Pageant" contestants-and shop and dine among arts/crafts and food vendors lining the Main Street thoroughfare. Local entertainment is a hallmark of the festival, and homegrown bands Out 'n the Cold, Million Watt Sons and Amy Peters and others are scheduled to perform. Mark your calendars and bring your appetite. It's all things potato-all weekend long!

Juneteenth Festival, an Elizabeth City Tradition, June 14 Juneteenth_Festival

When President Abraham Lincoln signed the "Emancipation Proclamation," Jan. 1, 1863, slaves in Texas did not receive the news until nearly two and-a-half years later, on June 19, 1865. The following year, the first observance of "Juneteenth" took place, and this celebration of freedom has since been embraced by communities throughout the United States. 


Elizabeth City is no exception, and the River City Community Development Corporation (RCCDC) will host its 13th Annual Juneteenth Celebration, June 14, beginning at 12 noon at Waterfront Park. A featured part of the celebration is the reading of the "Emancipation Proclamation," followed by speeches, songs and fellowship-along with delicious ethnic foods, craft sales, children's activities and entertainment.


"Juneteenth is all about freedom," said RCCDC President Lenora Jarvis-Mackey. "Not just freedom from slavery in America, but freedom to learn one's roots and to join in one's community, making it richer and stronger."


Check for details about this year's celebration.

The Great Race Cruises into Waterfront Park, June 25 Great_Race

Gentlemen, and women, start your engines! More than 100 antique automobiles will cruise into Elizabeth City, June 25, as a featured lunch stop during Hemmings Motor News  Great Race, the world's premier antique car rally. Now in its 31st year, the race begins June 21 in Ogunquit, Maine. Driving vintage cars, such as Hudsons, Model-Ts and classic coupes, the competitors will travel 2,100 miles down the Atlantic Coast, passing through 13 states, before finishing in The Villages, Fla., on June 29.


"We are accustomed to having visitors arrive by car or boat here in the 'Harbor of Hospitality,' but this is the first time we will have such a fantastic showing of antique automobiles at one time," said Charlotte Underwood, director of the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We plan to roll out the welcome mat and show these drivers a good time!"


The race is presented by Hagerty, and the Elizabeth City lunch stop at Waterfront Park is sponsored by Perry Auto Group DBA Performance Chevrolet & Carolina Chrysler Dodge Jeep, with support from the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Motorists will begin arriving in Elizabeth City at 11:30 a.m. and stay until 1 p.m. Spectators may visit with the participants and view the vintage automobiles. All Great Race stops are free to the public.

Out and About in the "Harbor of Hospitality" Out_and_About


Summer time and the living is easy in Elizabeth City, especially along the beautiful downtown waterfront. Beginning in May, there are great opportunities for enjoying fun in the sun or an evening by the water, depending on the day. If it's the first Friday of the month, stroll over to Main Street to experience First Friday ArtWalk, featuring gallery openings, music and art. On Saturdays, head to the Downtown Waterfront Market for locally-grown produce, freshly prepared foods, plants and artisan-made crafts. Tuesday night? Walk to the Mariners' Wharf Film Festival to see a classic American film on an outdoor screen. There's also homegrown music in a few of the city's nightspots, so ask around to find out who's playing where. Check our summer lineup. See you outside!


First Friday ArtWalks (First Friday of the Month) Check the featured artist's exhibition at The Center at Arts of the Albemarle, and then stroll to neighboring galleries, shops and restaurants in downtown Elizabeth City.


Downtown Waterfront Market (Opens May 3) Shop the "bounty of the county" at this weekly outdoor market that features delicious home-grown produce and fresh fare from local farmers and food purveyors. Saturdays through October.


Elizabeth City 300 National Truck & Tractor Pull (June 6-7) Features powerful vehicles and dirt-grinding action! Get your motor running. At Morgan's Corner.


Taste of the Albemarle (June 7) Over 20 area restaurants prepare and serve their finest delights in an alfresco setting along the city's historic Main Street. A benefit for Arts of the Albemarle.


Mariners' Wharf Film Festival (Opens June 3) Enjoy classic movies on an outdoor screen, Tuesday nights at 8:30 p.m. in June and July. Check the website for this season's movie lineup, to be posted soon! 

Recreational boaters who cruise into Elizabeth City now have a place to freshen up and take a hot shower. Just in time for the summer travel season, new restroom and shower facilities have just opened in the Mariner's Wharf building along the downtown waterfront. 


Just steps from the docks, the new facility includes separate men's and women's restrooms, one large shower room with a commode and sink, as well as a second shower room that is accessible for people with disabilities. The restrooms are free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. There is a $5 cash fee to use the showers, payable at either the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau office or the Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. office. The offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Both the restroom and shower facilities are heated.


The new restroom facilities complement Elizabeth City's free 48-hour dockage and other boating services at Mariners' Wharf. Information for boaters and a download of the free "Cruise the Carolina Loop" self-guided tour are available at


Elizabeth City is the "Harbor of HospitalityŽ," located in Northeastern North Carolina on the Intracoastal Waterway, halfway between Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. Situated on the Pasquotank River, the city has six National Register Historic Districts and is home to the Museum of the Albemarle, The Center at Arts of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City State University Planetarium, Port Discover Hands-on Science Center and one of the largest U.S. Coast Guard air stations in the Continental United States. Nature-based travelers are drawn to the area's proximity to Dismal Swamp and the abundance of outdoor recreational offerings. For additional information, call Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-866-ECity-4U (1-866-324-8948) or visit For up-to-the-minute info on happenings and events visit

Contact Information:  


  400 S. Water Street, Suite 10, Elizabeth City, N. C.  27909 * (252) 335-5330;
Discover the Good Life Daily in the Harbor of Hospitality!