The East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival is held in late-January at the civic center, and includes the North Carolina Decoy Carving Wildlife Championships. Craftsmen from throughout the Eastern United States come to display and sell their artwork, attracting thousands of wildlife enthusiasts during the course of the festival Exhibitors. The 2011 Wildlife Arts Festival will be held Feb. 12-13 and will kick off with a DockDogs competition on Friday, Feb. 11.
Music in the Streets - a monthly festival of musical variety featuring musicians from the local area and surrounding cities, is sponsored by the Historic Washington Downtown Merchants Association and the Beaufort County Arts Council. Held on the third Friday of each month from April through December, the events fill Main and adjoining streets with crowds that have averaged more than 5,000. In addition to musical acts, magicians and other street performers entertain the crowds.
Pirates on the Pungo is a regatta for sailboats of all sizes, and benefits the Pungo District Hospital Foundation. Based out of River Forest Manor in Belhaven, the regatta is scheduled for May 20-22, 2011.
The Annual Washington Summer Festival is a festive extravaganza that draws tens of thousands of visitors to the city every summer, many from surrounding states. The entire downtown and waterfront area becomes a massive carnival, with rides, musical performances, exhibitions and street vendors captivating the crowds. The 2011 Summer Festival is scheduled for June 10-11.
The Fine Arts Show and Sale is held by the Beaufort County Arts Council each autumn in the Washington Civic Center. Artists from across North Carolina and throughout the southeastern states bring their works for display and sale, and hundreds of art patrons are on hand to view and buy.
Smoke on the Water is a festival held each October on the Washington waterfront that focuses on all things gustatory. The festival features contests for producing the best barbecue, chili, pies and other treats, and the competition is fierce. Challengers come from throughout the Down East region to demonstrate their culinary prowess, with elaborate tents erected on the waterfront to house state-of-the-art barbecue cookers and chili pots that bubble invitingly. Hundreds come early for Friday evening’s special Music in the Streets to judge and participate in the annual “Parade of the Pigs,” a New Orleans style funeral procession (with musicians, costumes and pig art contestants) in celebration of the pigs’ ultimate sacrifice.