Island Free Press: Day at the Docks in Hatteras events scaled down due to COVID concerns

The Blessing of the Fleet will still be held during 2021’s event. [photo courtesy Day at the Docks]

By Joy Crist,
The annual Day at the Docks festival in Hatteras Village will still be held in September, but will be a scaled-down event this year, per a recent update from event organizers.

The two-day festival was canceled in 2019 because of Hurricane Dorian, and was canceled again in 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but this year’s celebration will still continue with some alterations, due to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases on the Outer Banks.

“Unfortunately, with the recent rise in community spread of COVID, Hatteras village has decided that Day at the Docks, on September 17-18, will be a very limited version of the original, addressing the worries of organizers, participants, and the public as well,” stated Karla Jarvis of the Hatteras Village Civic Association in an emailed update.

“All main activities and events that were planned for the day on Saturday are canceled. On Friday evening, Seafood Under the Stars, an outside seating of a seafood dinner featuring locally sourced seafood with optional wine pairings, will be at the Hatteras Civic Center. Seating is limited, as tables are safely distanced on the grounds.”

In addition, the Fishy 5K will still be held on Saturday morning as planned, and the Blessing of the Fleet will be held as usual on Saturday evening

Initially launched as a one-day event in 2004, Day at the Docks (DATD) was created as a community-wide effort to recover after 2003’s devastating Hurricane Isabel, which cut a new inlet south of the village, effectively separating Hatteras village from the rest of the world for weeks.

Aimed at reviving the “Spirit of Hatteras,” the event’s roots have always been anchored to the local commercial and charter fishing industries, and DATD continues to be a confirmation of the strength of community, heritage, and the living traditions of island watermen.

A complete schedule of events, as well as the event’s sponsors, can be found online at, and visitors can also follow the Day at the Dock’s Facebook Page for more information at