This past weekend, the island celebrated their long history and passion for figs by hosting the 4th Annual Ocracoke Fig Festival. Typically the festival is a two day event that includes fig tastings, booths that feature locally made fig creations, in-depth history of figs, square dancing, and last but certainly not least – a fig cake bake-off!
The festivities started on Friday, August 18th around 6:00pm at the amazing Ocracoke Preservation Museum. Locals and visitors gathered on the lawn to listen to the beautiful music of Molasses Creek followed by an “Ocracoke Figs Porch Talk” by local fig expert Chester Lynn. To the right of the museum, booths were set up for fig preserve tastings (just $3 to taste 10+ preserves), free fig cake samples and there was also drinks and fig associated merchandise from local vendors to purchase. My husband and I spent about 20 minutes tasting all of the preserves. It was fun to taste everyone’s creativity and love that went into the preserves. Some were sweet, some weren’t. There were a few that mixed in other fruit like strawberry and peach. Ultimately, our favorite was the fig preserve that had a little rum mixed in, made by long time, very well respected local, Della Gaskill. We liked Ms. Della’s preserves so much that we purchased a jar over the weekend to take home! It really was a fun evening… after the porch talk with Chester Lynn was over, everyone listened to music and danced as the sun set on the Pamlico Sound. Friday’s events were the epitome of a summer evening in Ocracoke; I was surrounded by friendly faces, good food and music under the warm, summer air.
The next day, we headed over to the Community Square where we listened to more live music, and strolled around the grounds visiting each vendor booth. We grabbed a fig smoked BBQ Sandwich from the Ocracoke Oyster Company that was to die for! The figs gave a bit of sweetness to the traditional smoky BBQ flavor. Due to rain, the remainder of Saturday’s events were moved inside at the Ocracoke Community Center. Inside the community center, the judging of the fig cakes began, local fig expert Chester Lynn shared more stories, and the Ocracoke Rockers played from 7pm-11pm. Once again, locals and visitors gathered to share their love of Ocracoke as well as figs, the community center was filled with love and laughter, a perfect summer night in Ocracoke.
If you are interested in attending the Ocracoke Fig Festival I have just a few pieces of advice for you: bring cash, it is the most accepted form of payment during the festival, and to be prepared for the heat. Figs are ripe in August, which just so happens to be a very warm time of year on the island – wear lots of sunscreen and dress accordingly. Last but not least, venture out beyond the festival and visit the local eateries, many places have fig-themed specials running in honor of the festival.
Ready to attend next year’s Fig Festival or perhaps a trip to Ocracoke next summer? Take a look at our rental search page by clicking here. Browse our vacation rental homes and pick out your favorite! If you have questions regarding the Fig Festival or our vacation rentals, give us a call at 855-439-9542. Our staff would be happy to assist you!