Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

Scuppernong River Festival

Walter B Jones, Sr. Center for the Sounds, Columbia, NC

Every second Saturday in October, the small town of Columbia (population: 900) in Tyrrell County comes alive as thousands of people return to their roots. Located in the wetlands of northeastern North Carolina, the county has a history of dependence upon the Scuppernong River for transportation and food. Fishing and crabbing are important sources of income to this day, and the river also offers recreation opportunities such as boating, kayaking, skiing, and swimming. To celebrate this important resource, to invite tourism to the county, and to welcome back family members living in other parts of the country, a festival was begun in 1992. Featured activities are canoe races, fishing contests, a parade, clowns, musical entertainment, a 5K run, wall climbing, children's games, pony rides, and tours of the Elizabeth II. Food booths offer regional seafood delicacies in addition to the usual hamburgers, hot dogs, and pork barbecue. Some festivals offer products developed especially to induce pride in the local heritage, including a book of county history and folklore titled Bridging Generations, a videotaped documentary on the farming, fishing, and forestry industries of the county, and a cookbook of heirloom recipes.

Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is a partner in the Scuppernong River Festival and provides refuge- and wildlife-related activities for adults and children during the event.

Last Updated: 5/8/13