Greenville, N.C. (WNCT) — Ocracoke Island is getting ready to host its annual Fig Festival that takes place in August each year. It’s a time for community members to compete and also enjoy the rich history behind figs coming from the island.
“When you go to Ocracoke, you really feel like you’re going somewhere,” said celebrity chef Vivian Howard.
It’s an island with a rich history and specialty food that has an entire festival centered around it. The Ocracoke Fig Festival is coming up in august and is expected to bring the community back together after a rough year of the pandemic.
“It’s been really nice to be able to highlight a part of the island culture that has been around for a long time. I mean the original settlers brought fig trees with them. They have been cultivating fig; they grow really well here,” said Sundae Horn, the festival’s coordinator.
She notes that Ocracoke has much more to offer than just a vacation destination.
“I’m excited that it’s getting a bigger name and it’s helping to highlight a part of Ocracoke that someone just wanting a beach vacation might not find,” said Horn.
This year will also be highlighting a special guest. Celebrity chef Vivian Howard says she is excited about the festival because she has always centered her work around Eastern North Carolina.
“I love not only Eastern North Carolina ingredients and flavors but all the stories behind the dishes we grew up eating here,” said Howard.
Howard owns her own restaurant in Kinston. Being a business owner herself, she knows the importance of supporting locals, so when Ocracoke went through its own struggles with Hurricane Dorian, she was there to help.
“When the same situation happened in Ocracoke, we decided to do that same type of fundraiser for what started out to be just fit Eduardo’s Taco Truck a place I love on Ocracoke and it grew to be so successful, people wanted to help so much that we were able to help out a number of restaurants on Ocracoke.”
Both noted that the festival is expected to be not only a time for fun but knowledge as well.
“I also am excited to learn more about the history of Ocracoke, you know being a storyteller around food really means being a lover of history and anytime I can combine food with history it makes the hair stand up on my arms,” said Howard.