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Ocrafolk Festival to charge admission; some areas free

Under the direction of island resident, David Perez, this group of dancers wowed the crowds at the second annual Festival Latino de Ocracoke in November. They will be among the performers at this year’s Ocrafolk Festival June 1 to 3. Photo courtesy of Ocracoke Alive

The Ocrafolk Festival June 1 to 3 will feature an array of new and longtime musicians, storytellers, artisans and characters of Ocracoke Island, Eastern Carolina and beyond.

In a big new change this year, the festival will rope off the entire yard area at the Live Oak Stage at Books To be Red and Howard Street.  Tickets will be required for these areas and to participate in the activities along the Deepwater Theater driveway and in the theater. Performances in the Community Center and Deepwater Theater will require a ticket.  

Both School Road and Howard Street will be admission-free, and festival-goers will be able to freely wander among the artisan booths along School Road and Howard Street, said David Tweedie, Ocracoke Alive executive director. 

Ticket prices range from day passes at $15 to all-weekend pass for $50. No charge for children aged 3 and under. 

He explained that the festival came to a financial point after last year’s festival where they would have to charge for admission or end the festival.

“It’s breaking even at this point,” he said, “but if we had a weather event it would bankrupt us.”

In addition to covering the costs of the festival, Ocracoke Alive relies on the festival for additional revenue to help fund community arts programming throughout the rest of the year.

Among this year’s performers are Molasses Creek, Donald Davis Storyteller, Upstate Rubdown, Cane Mill Road, Aaron Burdette, Violet Bell, Shana Tucker, The Chatham Rabbits, Martin and Friends, Beleza w/Miles Pearce, Bob Zentz and Jeanne MacDougall, Craicdown, Skye Zentz, Mahalo Jazz 2, Coyote, Donald Thompson Band, Coyote, Rodney Kemp, John Golden, Louis Allen, Ballet Folklorico de Ocracoke, Green Grass Cloggers, Captain Jim’s Magic Show, Jef the Mime and Ocrachicks.

In addition to the musical performances all over the island, the event includes kids activities, a square dance, workshops, food, mimes and magic, a beer garden and artisans.

The following is more information about this year’s festival:

What activities require the purchase of a ticket armband?
Performance areas at the stages are gated and require a ticket armband to enter the audience. This includes Howard Street Stage, Live Oak Stage next to Books to be Red, Workshop Stage next to the United Methodist Church, the Kid’s Activity Area at Deepwater Theater, Deepwater Theater, and the Square dance and Blues Band at the Berkley Barn. Donald Davis Storytelling & Dessert at the Ocracoke Community Center on Saturday night is a special, $10 ticketed event (tickets may be purchased at the Box Office. Armband is not required for this event).

What can I see for free?
You are welcome to stroll the grounds on School Road and Howard Street and visit local businesses as well as over 55 artisans, non-profits and food vendors without having an admission armband.   Evening performances at the following Ocrafolk Festival Partner locations are admission-free: Ocracoke Oyster Company (Friday, 5:30 to 7 p.m.), Gaffer’s Restaurant (Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.), 1718 Brewering Ocracoke (Saturday night at 10 p.m.), Ocracoke Community Store (Saturday night at 10 p.m.), and The Magic Bean (Sunday at 11:30 a.m.).

If I volunteer or am a sponsor, can I get admission?
Volunteers who work at least four hours over the weekend receive an All-Weekend Pass Armband. Sign up through the Ocrafolk Festival website on the Volunteers page. Volunteer spots are limited.  Sponsors receive All-Weekend Passes and additional benefits.

Where do I get tickets and find out more information?
Tickets are available online and at the Box Office during the weekend. For tickets, performers, artisans, programs, maps and more visit www.ocracokealive.org. You may also contact info@ocracokealive.org.

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