A popular outdoor event that celebrates the maritime community while gearing up for the summer season returns this month to Beaufort.
The Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort will host Maritime Day on June 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the grounds of Gallants Channel, located at 293 West Beaufort Road at the foot of the new high-rise bridge into Beaufort. The free community event, held annually on the second Saturday in June, stems from the National Maritime Day created by Congress in 1933 and observed annually on May 22.
Friends Director of Operations Brent Creelman said the local community event offers family-friendly fun in a beautiful setting: the Gallants Channel waterfront.
“I think everyone is really ready to get together and celebrate again,” Creelman said. “And we’re looking forward to helping them do that.”
Creelman said the variety of free activities planned — like the popular sailboat rides — offers a broad appeal.
In addition to sailing in the museum’s fleet of wooden boats, activities include kayaking, cane pole fishing, kite flying, nature trail tours, kids’ activities, live music and games. Rumor has it that pirates are even plotting to “invade” the site that day.
All activities are free; however, donations are appreciated.
Food trucks will be on site, and beer and wine will also be available for purchase. The event will wrap up with a celebration at 2 p.m. on the waterfront to specially recognize those who have purchased personalized bricks for the courtyard by the flagpole.
For those heading into Beaufort that day, the museum will be hosting a book sale on the front patio from 9 a.m. to noon. The museum will also be opening at 9 a.m., an hour early, to welcome book shoppers as well as participants of the Beaufort Ole Town Rotary’s Historic Road Race, which will be held the same morning downtown along Front Street, leaving plenty of time to head over to Gallants Channel for the Maritime Day fun.
Museum Associate Curator Christine Brin is a familiar participant in Maritime Day, having taken part in the event for years. This year, though, will still offer a first for her: she’ll be operating a Remote Operated Vehicle underwater and livestreaming the footage.
“I can’t wait to see what we discover in Gallants Channel,” she said. “Could be all murky, might find some sea animals, maybe even a mermaid!”
For more information on Maritime Day or the Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum, call 252728-1638 or visit maritimefriends.org.
By Cindi Brown, Public Information Officer, N. C. Maritime Museums