YUM! Homemade clam chowder will be on the menu at the Ocracoke Waterfowl Festival April 20 in the Ocracoke School gym all-purpose room.Photo: C. Leinbach

Ocracoke Child Care hopes to reopen in June

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Clam chowder will be on the menu during the Ocracoke Waterfowl Festival Saturday, April 20, as the Clam Chowder Cook-off is revived.

The seafood specialty will be available in the all-purpose room of the Ocracoke School gym and island cooks will try their hands at creating traditional and non-traditional soups.

The waterfowl festival will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the chowder tasting will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. after which the “people’s choice” tallies will be made for the best chowders, said Celeste Brooks, who is organizing the event.  Winners will receive trophies made by island artist Susan Dodd.

Tasting tickets will be $12. Leftover chowder will be available for sale after the tasting. Also available will be fried fish sandwiches, desserts and drinks, and a whole cake raffle.

Cookoff proceeds will benefit Ocracoke Child Care, said Mandy Cochran, board chair, at the March 13 Ocracoke Civic & Business Association meeting.

The last cookoff was held in April 2017 and in June the center closed due to inability to find staff for the then five-star center.

Ocracoke Child Care, Ocracoke, NC
Ocracoke Child Care on Old Beach Road hopes to open in June.

The community has shown enough interest to open the doors again, Cochran said, and the board hopes to get some kind of child care in place by June.  Saturday play dates may be the first offering.  These dates and more will be shared on the center’s Facebook page.

“We have to submit our application and pass several inspections before the application can be approved,” she said.

To do all this, the OCC also needs a director, teachers and volunteers.  Anyone interested in employment or volunteering should contact Cochran at mandicochran@hotmail.com.

She said their goal is to be as helpful as possible to the community, and they are looking for community partnerships.

“We are open to other programming and renting the building, but we want to support young children and families,” she said.

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