A waterman. Photo courtesy of the Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association.

The Ocracoke Preservation Society will celebrate the island’s tradition of working on the water with the First Annual Ocracoke Working Waterman’s Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, on the grounds of the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum.

Since the first inhabitants of the island, Ocracokers have made their living on the water, from piloting ships through the treacherous Ocracoke Inlet, to fishing, crabbing, clamming, oyster harvesting, duck hunting, and decoy carving, all of which continue today, handed down through the generations.

The festival will celebrate these traditions with booths and exhibits with the watermen themselves. Porch talks will start at 10 a.m.. A silent auction will run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., at which time winners will be announced (If anyone would like to donate, they can drop off items at the museum until the day of).

A raffle for a ship-in-a-bottle by Jim Goodwin will be drawn at 3:30 p.m.. There will be a traditional Ocracoke fish fry from noon to 2 p.m. or until supplies run out, as well as a baked goods sale.

Proceeds from the silent auction, raffle, and fish fry directly benefit OPS and its Island Inn & Commons Project. T-shirts and posters for the festival will also be available for purchase.

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