Dare Day Festival: Manteo’s Celebration of Community and Culture

The Dare Day Festival, held annually in Manteo, North Carolina, is a vibrant and family-friendly event that brings the local community and visitors together to celebrate the unique culture and history of the Outer Banks.

Origins and Evolution

The festival began in 1976 as a part of the U.S. bicentennial celebration. Initially a two-day event, it was called Dare Days, marking its debut as a significant community celebration. Since then, it has evolved into an annual one-day event, typically held on the first Saturday in June, and is regarded by locals as the unofficial kickoff to the summer season.

Attractions and Activities

Dare Day is renowned for its diverse range of activities that cater to all ages, making it a perfect family outing. The festival includes:

  • Crafts and Food Vendors: Over 100 vendors offer a variety of items including furniture, toys, clothing, jewelry, paintings, and more. The food at the festival ranges from seafood to classic American fare, accompanied by refreshing beverages like lemonade.
  • Entertainment and Music: Live music performances, dance, and various forms of entertainment form the core of Dare Day, with local bands and artists showcasing their talents.
  • Activities for Children: The festival is particularly enjoyable for children, featuring activities like face painting, magic shows, kiddie trains, and games.
  • Special Events: Unique events like the gospel concert add a special touch to the festival, bringing the community together in celebration and song.

Community and Cultural Significance

Dare Day is more than just a festival; it’s a celebration of the Outer Banks’ rich history and vibrant community spirit. The event not only provides entertainment but also serves as a platform for local artisans and businesses, thereby supporting the local economy.

Planning Your Visit

Visitors planning to attend Dare Day can look forward to a full day of enjoyment, starting in the morning and continuing into the evening. The event is held rain or shine, ensuring that the festivities go on regardless of the weather.

For more information about the Dare Day Festival, you can visit the Town of Manteo’s official website