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Calabash deserves its own festival

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Come September, Calabash will be the site of the Lions Club’s Oktoberfest. The event, planned for Sept. 20, will feature music, a beer tent, people and food. During their Feb. 13 meeting, the town board of commissioners agreed the town could assist with the club’s needs like tables, a stage and donated maintenance time.

The event promises to be a good time in the town, but it belongs to the club, not the town.

We think it is time Calabash had a festival to call its own, and a proposed seafood festival is a splendid idea.

The town board of commissioners early last month gave Dominique Wolfe, a newly appointed member of the town’s community service committee, the green light to research the possibility of making an annual festival a reality.

The Seafood Festival will involve food, entertainment and vendors and could happen as early as 2015. Wolfe told the commissioners the committee members, who will take on the task in its entirety, will consult local restaurants for their input.

Wolfe cited the success of the Little River, S.C., Blue Crab Festival that takes place every May just across the state line, as well as the annual North Carolina Oyster Festival every October in Ocean Isle Beach to the north. She said she intends to seek guidance and ideas from the Little River Chamber of Commerce as well as from people connected to the festival in Ocean Isle.

Thousands of people attend the Crab and Oyster festivals, and it seems a Seafood Festival in Calabash would only complement — and not compete with — these events, as well as Sunset Beach’s Sunset at Sunset and Holden Beach’s Festival by the Sea.

Delicious food combined with a gorgeous setting and the comfortable, casual atmosphere of Brunswick County’s beach communities are natural attractions for residents and visitors. Calabash — the Seafood Capital of the World — needs to capitalize on what is has to offer and claim its share of that action, building upon its well-deserved reputation.

Wolfe said she thinks an event like this in Calabash is long overdue. “It’s time to bring a seafood festival to the Seafood Capital of the World,” she said. We could not agree more.