Oriental, NC.
Jackie and I have settled in Oriental while we do some boat repairs.  We found a small apartment in the back of a house.  The front of the house is an office, but it is used just a few hours a day.  We have a nice sized kitchen, a full bath, and a combination living room/bedroom.  It’s the kind of place you get when you are newly married and just starting out.
The first weekend in July is Croakerfest, named after that loveable little fish, the Croaker. 

Atlantic Croaker - looks pretty festive to me

The festival starts out Friday evening with booths for food, crafts, food, jewelry, tee-shirts, food, and other festive stuff opening in a little waterfront park.  There is live music and contests for the Minnow and Croaker Queen Pageants.

Looking at half the festival from a public dock

John Deere powered ice cream maker

Did I mention there was food?

Saturday morning is the parade.  It comes down the main road and passes our apartment just before it turns and goes through the “downtown” area, then if finishes at the little waterfront park.  We went out to watch the parade and our neighbors invited us to watch with them and help ourselves to their Mojito fixin’s.  What a nice way to start a Saturday.
The parade is a thick slice of small town Americana.  It seems like every organization is represented and all the spectators know all the people on the floats.

Right Click and open in a new window to see parade slideshow

After the parade we wandered back to the festival for cheap food.  The other big event was the Croakerfest Regatta which took place just offshore of the park, so everyone could watch.  It was the biggest regatta ever, with 66 sailors in 51 sailboats. 

The sunfish fleet had very close finishes for first-second and fourth-fifth

  It was also the smokiest thanks to the wildfires that have been burning since we got here.  Luckily we are upwind most of the time.

The last big event of the weekend was fireworks.  The town closes off the bridge and shoots the display from a point in the river.  It was a great show and best of all it was a five minute walk from the apartment.

Next:  More Oriental

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