In this Issue 

From the Chairwoman FromDirector

May-April 2015


Visitors to Elizabeth City are quick to tell us that our "Harbor of Hospitality" is a lovely coastal destination with scenic views, fun things to do and good southern manners that would please even the most discerning grandmothers. Now, thanks to a far-reaching website, millions more are now privy to our city's many charms., which reaches more than two million visitors monthly, has named Elizabeth City one of "The Top 10 Most Beautiful Towns in North Carolina. In the article, correspondent Lani Seelinger boasts of our great central location in the northeast, our abundance of antebellum-style homes and the one-of-a-kind shops and galleries located in our historic downtown. We are in good company too, as the listing includes our friends in Asheville, Pinehurst, Wilmington and more. Read it for yourself, and then plan a trip to Elizabeth City. As you will see in this issue of The Wayfarer, we have lots of great reasons to visit!  



Jean Baker

Chairwoman, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Tourism Development Authority

Elizabeth City is 17th U.S. "Coast Guard City" CoastGuard

Ever since the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) made Air Station Elizabeth City its base in 1940, residents have welcomed, supported and championed their beloved "Guardians of the Coast" and the important work they do keeping U.S. shorelines safe. On May 29, the special relationship between the base and community will become official when U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft designates Elizabeth City a "Coast Guard City."


A city earns the acclaimed distinction by making special efforts to acknowledge the professional work of the U.S. Coast Guard men and women assigned to the area. Throughout the years, Elizabeth City leaders and residents have championed their presence, from hosting an annual Coast Guard Week celebration to offering special discounts to personnel in local shops and businesses.


Elizabeth City will be the 17th U.S. city designated with the honor, and events are planned to mark the celebration, including an historic building dedication on the U.S. Coast Guard base, a time capsule dedication and special activities to be held during the N.C. Potato Festival, May 15-17 (see article below!). 


Dig in to the N.C. Potato Festival, May 15-17 PotatoFestival

Celebrating one of northeast North Carolina's largest crops, the N.C. Potato Festival is a spud-tacular good time, from the rip-roaring Midway rides to live music, tasty foods and the "Little Miss Tater Tot" pageant. This year, the festival celebrates the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Coast Guard's presence in Elizabeth City and its designation as a "Coast Guard City" with a rescue swimmer as the festival's mascot, tours of the CGC KENNEBEC and a U.S. Coast Guard 7.5k Fun Run/Walk May 16 at 8 a.m. at Charles Creek Park. Over the festival weekend, visitors can also view the results of a U.S. Coast Guard-themed art contest at the Museum of the Albemarle (on display through May 29). The exhibit features works by Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County public school students, and winners will be announced and prizes presented on May 16 at 12 p.m. on the festival's Mariners' Wharf stage. Come for the day, and then stay for the night. It's all things potato-all weekend long! 


Immerse Yourself in the Arts with SPLASH Splash

SPLASH, a gathering of artists and art lovers, is returning to downtown Elizabeth City with, well, a splash! From June 1-6, accomplished painters from the south and beyond will travel to the "Harbor of Hospitality" to create, collaborate and cultivate relationships in a scenic coastal setting. Much of the week's activities will take place in a communal downtown studio space where participants can let their creative spirit soar. Workshops and discussions are planned featuring such renowned artists as Audrey Phillips, Chad Hughes and Peter Marsh, among many others. And social events sprinkle the schedule, including First Friday ArtWalk (June 5) and Taste of the Albemarle (June 6). Register online at and check the Splash Facebook page for breaking news! 


The E in Elizabeth City is for Events! Events

There are plenty of great reasons to hit the road to Elizabeth City, N.C.: scenic views, eclectic shops, tasty places to grab a bite, inviting inns. So do you really need more excuses to visit? Let's just say our lively line-up of spring and early summer events is an added incentive. Check your schedule, come for a visit and see our online calendar for even more things to do!

  • The Center Players present "Legally Blond," May 8-10
    • This musical comedy follows the life of sorority sweetheart Elle Woods, when she enrolls in Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend. At Arts of the Albemarle's Maguire Theatre.
  • The LACS in Concert, May 23
    • Average Joes Entertainment recording artists The LACS will bring their undeniable style of genre-merging music to Elizabeth City for a Concert in the Park at the Morgan's Corner.
  • 4th Annual Culpepper Rebellion 5K Mud Run, May 30
    • "America's dirtiest 5k" features obstacle jumping, mud crawling, water sliding and rope swinging at Morgan's Corner Pulling Park.
  • Elizabeth City 300 National Truck and Tractor Pull, June 5-6
    • Featuring powerful vehicles and dirt-grinding action, the Elizabeth City 300 will get your motor running as drivers reach tire speeds of over 150 mph. At Morgan's Corner Pulling Park.
  •  Mariners' Wharf Film Festival, on Tuesdays, June 2 to July 28
    • Enjoy classic movies on an outdoor screen, Tuesday nights at 8:30 p.m. in June and July. This year's festival opens with "Summer Stock" starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. Check the online schedule for this year's lineup!   
  • Taste of the Albemarle, June 6
    • Over 20 Elizabeth City area restaurants prepare and serve their finest delights in an alfresco setting at the waterfront Mariners' Wharf Park as a benefit for Arts of the Albemarle.
  • Juneteenth Festival, June 20
    • A featured part of this annual celebration is the reading of the "Emancipation Proclamation," followed by speeches, songs and fellowship, along with delicious ethnic foods and more.


EC Spotlight: Downtown Waterfront Market, Now Open! Spotlight

The opening of the Downtown Waterfront Market is a harbinger of good times to come on Elizabeth City's waterfront. This year's market season opened May 2, and over the next four months, local farmers, food purveyors and artisans will gather each Saturday on the green at Mariners' Wharf to sell peas, radishes, lettuces, asparagus and strawberries for springtime meals, and blueberries, tomatoes, squash, string beans, corn and okra later in the summer.


"The market is as good for the vendors as it is for local shoppers," said Market Coordinator Courtney Birdsall. "There are very few small farms and business people who prepare fresh foods, so to support them makes a huge difference to their livelihoods."


Billed as a "vine-ripened, just-picked, fresh-made good time," the market draws about 25-30 vendors each week, selling not only homegrown produce, but baked and canned foods, plants, flowers and arts and crafts. Market goers can also hear live music and see cooking demos throughout the season. The Downtown Waterfront Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 31. Check their Facebook page to see what's fresh each week. 



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!