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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Surf City’s two-day Ocean Fest takes home state awards

The inaugural Ocean Fest was held last October at the Roland Street gazebo access, which drew a larger crowd then expected. (Courtesy Surf City Ocean Fest / Photo by Eric Vithalani)
Ocean Fest is a two-day music and arts festival supporting and celebrating preservation of the environment. (Courtesy Surf City Ocean Fest/Photo by Eric Vithalani)

SURF CITY — An annual Pender County coastal event supporting a nonprofit has won multiple state awards.

Ocean Fest, a nonprofit two-day arts and music festival in Surf City with a focus on celebrating and preserving the environment, took home three awards from the North Carolina Association of Festival and Events. The awards program was held Jan. 30 in Charlotte.

ShowFest 2023 awarded Ocean Fest with Event of the Year, Best Community Outreach Program and Director of the Year for the festival’s organizer Mark Anders.

“It’s such a huge honor for Ocean Fest to be awarded Event of the Year for the entire State of North Carolina,” Anders said in a press release. “Our festival is just three years old, so these awards are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers as well as the solid support of our sponsors and the local community.”

Ocean Fest, held the second weekend of every October, also received Sponsor of the Year award for its partnership with New Belgium Brewing Company, as well as the Best Merchandise award. Last year, the Surf City festival received the Rising Star Award, given to the best up-and-coming festival in the state.

The N.C. Association of Festival and Events is a nonprofit supporting nearly 200 statewide festival and events in the industry.

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