Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Ocrafolk Festival EarlyBird Tickets on sale through April 30th!

Ocrafolk Festival EarlyBird Tickets
on sale
 through April 30!

Order My Tickets
How To Become a Sponsor
View More Festival Details

About ~ Ocrafolk Festival is produced by the community non-profit, Ocracoke Alive, as fundraiser in support Ocracoke Student and Community Arts Programming. Ocrafolk Festival features musicians, storytellers, artisans, and characters of Ocracoke Island, Eastern Carolina, and beyond. This magical celebration reflects the unique nature of this remote "Pearl of the Outer Banks,"(Ocracoke Island is only accesible by ferry, and features a close-knit year-round community of 1000, and the most beautiful  undeveloped 13 miles of beach that you will find anywhere on the US east coast).

Featuring 3 days chocked full of performances and events, kids activities, a squaredance, workshops, food, and artisans, the Ocrafolk Festival will make you feel right at home. Best of all, your ticket fee supports kids and community programming on the island. Your only question upon departure . . . "How soon can I return?"

2018 Performers ~ Molasses Creek, Donald Davis Storyteller, Upstate Rubdown, Cane Mill Road, Aaron Burdette, Violet Bell, Shana Tucker, The Chatham Rabbits, Martin and Friends, Beleza w/Miles Pearce, Bob Zentz and Jeanne MacDougall, Craicdown, Skye Zentz, Mahalo Jazz 2 w/Carter Minor, Donald Thompson Band, Coyote, Rodney Kemp, John Golden, Louis Allen, Ballet Folklorico de Ocracoke, Green Grass Cloggers, Captain Jim’s Magic Show, Jef the Mime, and more!

Tickets ~ This glorious weekend is made possible by the efforts of countless volunteers and your ticket purchase. The event is held in the heart of Ocracoke Village on a combination of public and private properties. Stage Seating Areas require an Admission Armband for 2018. This helps ensure that the festival (& Ocracoke Alive’s mission) stays happy and healthy for years to come!  Thank you!

Sponsor Information ~ Sponsors can receive festival tickets and other perks. To find out more before purchasing your tickets, visit w

Festival information ~ Find more details online at

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Get Ready for the Festival Latino de Ocracoke 2017!

Festival Latino de Ocracoke, November 11
Get ready for the Festival Latino de Ocracoke 2017!

Friday Dance Workshop with Fabian Vargas (Nov 10)

  • Learn Traditional Ballet Folklorico Dancing with Fabian Vargas of Ballet Folkorico Orgullo y Alma Latina (Ocracoke School Gym, 7 PM)

Saturday Schedule (Nov 11)

For more details and programs visit
  • Books To Be Red Lawn ~ 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Music Concert by Group “Flor Y Canto” and Mariachi Flores! Food, Including Dishes from All Parts of Mexico! Traditional Mexican Games, Including Raiguela, Loteria, Giant Tic Tac Toe, This Year’s New Addition “El Toro Loco”, Pinatas and much more!
  • Área de Books To Be Red ~ 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ¡Gran Concierto Con Grupo Musical “Flor Y Canto” y "Mariachi Flores"! ¡Muestra Gastronómica Con Platillo de Todo México! ¡Juegos Tradicionales Mexicanos, Incluyendo Torneo De Raiguela, Lotería, y Gato Gigante!, ¡Además de nuestra nueva adición “El Toro Loco”, Piñatas y Mucho Mas!.
  • School Gym ~ 7:00pm – 9:00 p.m. Music Concert and Folkloric Dances presented by “Orgullo y Alma Latina” and Members of the Community! A Special Representation of Day of the Dead Celebration in Mexico!
  • Gimnasio De La Escuela ~ 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  ¡Gran Concierto de Música y Bailes Folclóricos Presentados Por Grupo de Ballet “Orgullo y Alma Latina” y Miembros de la Comunidad! ¡Además de Una Representación Especial Del Dia de Muertos! 
  • Dance at the Ocracoke Community Center ~ 9:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. To Close This Great Event, We Invite You to a Dance with the Band Kalidad Musical and a DJ!
  • Gran Baile en el Centro Comunitario de Ocracoke ~ 9:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. !Cerrando con Broche de Oro, los Invitamos al Gran Baile Con el Grupo Kalidad Musical Acompañado de un DJ Sorpresa!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ocracoke Alive Fall News: Latino Festival, Proposed Ocrafolk Festival Changes, Fall Membership Meeting

Greetings from Ocracoke Island and Ocracoke Alive!

We are getting ready for a busy fall and would love for you to be a part of our events. This newsletter tells about the upcoming Festival Latino de Ocracoke, proposed changes to the Ocrafolk Festival (we want your input!), and what is happening on the island in November and December. Hope that you are enjoying the season!

Your friends at Ocracoke Alive
Ocracoke Alive November / December Schedule
  • November 11 (Saturday) ~ Festival Latino de Ocracoke. Grounds of Books to be Red, Ocracoke School, Ocracoke Community Center. 11 AM-Midnight
  • November 17 (Friday) ~ Ocracoke Alive Fall Membership Meeting. Deepwater Theater. 7 PM
  • November 24 (Friday) ~ Ocrafolk Thanksgiving Fundraising Concert (Tentative) Deepwater Theater. 7:30 PM
  • December 7 (Thursday) ~ Ocracoke Community Christmas Concert. Ocracoke Community Center. 7:00 PM
  • December 15 (Friday) ~ Concert with Finley Woolston and his Joyful Band of Singers. Ocracoke Methodist Church. 7:30 PM

Continue the Celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month with Fesitval Latino de Ocracoke (Saturday, November 11, 2017).

            Although October 15 marks the close of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the US, on Ocracoke the celebration is right around the corner! November 11, 2017 brings the 2nd annual Festival Latino de Ocracoke to our community.  The festivities will begin the week before with a number of workshops at the Deepwater Theater, such as papel picado handicrafts and dance lessons. 
            On November 11, the Festival Latino de Ocracoke day activities will take place on the grounds of Books to be Red on School Road. Traditional games and food from different regions of Mexico will be present, as well as Tamale, Churro, and Itacate workshops. “Flor y Canto”, a folkloric group with roots from Guerrero, Mexico, will perform throughout the day. That evening, a program including music and traditional dances by Ballet Folklorico “Orgullo y Alma Latina” and community members will be held at the Ocracoke School Gym followed by a Latino dance at the Ocracoke Community Center featuring Kalidad Musical. 
            Festival Latino de Ocracoke is organized by the Ocracoke Latino community with the support of Ocracoke Alive.
Click to Read More & Help Sponsor Festival Latino de Ocracoke!

Give Us Feedback on Proposed Changes to Ocrafolk Festival

Ocracoke Alive Considers Changes for Ocrafolk Festival, Seeks Community Input.

           In 2018, Ocracoke Alive’s Ocrafolk Festival will turn 19 years old. What started in 2000 as a small, single day event on the grounds of the Berkley Manor has grown to a three-day weekend that draws faithful followers from around the country for a celebration of music, stories, artisans, and the Ocracoke community.
            With the growth of the event, Ocracoke Alive has worked to listen to the needs of the community, increasing performance locations around the village, bringing the performers to Ocracoke School students, and implementing the ideas and feedback of the Ocracoke residents and Ocrafolk fans. The island nonprofit is once again asking for community input.
            The growth of the festival has resulted in an increase in its infrastructure and expenses. In 2017, the Ocrafolk Festival expenses were around $67,000, with an income of $69,000 after Cost of Goods. Around half of the expenses go towards businesses right in the Ocracoke community, with the remaining expenses covering visiting performers, equipment rental, and insurance. A little under $30,000 in pre-festival sponsorships comes from a faithful group of Ocrafolk fans, $6000 from Hyde County Occupancy Taxes, $18,000 from product sales, $5000 from a fundraising auction, and the remaining income from vendor fees. The bottom line from 2018? The event made around $2000.
            The Ocrafolk Festival has relied upon voluntary admission contributions to date, but Ocracoke Alive is considering requiring admission bands to gated seating areas for 2018’s event. “We want to ensure that we maintain the spirit of this great community event, but we also need to be certain that the event is a successful fundraiser for Ocracoke Alive (and doesn’t bankrupt it), so that we can continue our mission of building cultural programming on Ocracoke,” says Executive Director, David Tweedie.
            The suggested plan would not restrict visitors from strolling festival grounds (many of which are on public areas of the village), but would require attendees to have an admission armband to enter into audience seating areas. The 2017 “Requested Donation” level for visitors to support the festival was $25 for adults and $15 for kids for the weekend. Similar music and storytelling festivals throughout country commonly cost $40-50 per day per attendee.
            As the festival has grown, it has drawn a greater audience, but the audience has become less inclined to make “voluntary” donations. Many consider the cost of coming to Ocracoke as their donation, and mistakenly believe that the event is completely sponsored by the town. “Their response to our requests for a donation is that they already spent a lot of money to be here,” says David. “Unfortunately, that sentiment doesn’t pay for the event or support Ocracoke Alive programming.”   
            Ocracoke Alive uses monies from activities like the Ocrafolk Festival to bring programming to the Ocracoke community. The organization sponsors and directs the Ocracoke School Arts Partnership, supports Ocracoke Arts week, produces the Festival Latino de Ocracoke, and summertime programs. In 2018, Ocracoke Alive will produce Julia Howard’s A Tale of Blackbeard, and will sponsor visiting director, Karen Gulotta who will be working with Ocracoke students in the spring.
Give Us Feedback on Proposed Changes to Ocrafolk Festival

Ocracoke Alive Fall Membership Meeting at Deepwater Theater (Friday, November 17, 7 PM)

Ocracoke Alive welcomes you to our home at Deepwater Theater, School Road, Ocracoke on Friday, November 17 for our annual Fall Membership Meeting. We will provide the desserts as we wrapup  2017, vote in new board members, ask for your input, and let you know our plans for 2018. Look forward to seeing you there at 7 PM!

Thanks for your support! Ocracoke Alive 2017 Board of Directors

Desiree Ricker ~ President, Assistant Director
Tom Pahl ~ Vice President
Gary Davis ~ Treasurer
Sharon Brodisch ~ Secretary
Allison O'Neal
Freddy Contreras
Jeanie Owens
David Tweedie ~ Executive Director

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ocrafolk Festival Here We Come!

Ocrafolk Festival weekend is almost here, but the fun can start right now! We have some fabulous items in our Festival Art Auction. You can view them and start bidding online today!

Coming to the island for Ocrafolk? On Friday after music at the Live Oak Stage from 1-5 PM, join us at the Community Center 5-8 PM for music by mahaloJazz and De Tierra Caliente, light hors d' ouerves and drinks, and auction fun.

For more details on the Ocrafolk Festival 2017, click on the program link below.

Thanks for your support! Ocracoke Alive 2017 Board of Directors

Desiree Ricker ~ President, Assistant Director
Tom Pahl ~ Vice President
Gary Davis ~ Treasurer
Sharon Brodisch ~ Secretary
Allison O'Neal
Freddy Contreras
Jeanie Owens
David Tweedie ~ Executive Director

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ocrafolk Festival Donors ~ Program Deadline

Ocrafolk Festival 2017 Sponsorships

We want to include you in the program!

Hi there Ocrafolkies!

     Just a brief note to remind you that our Ocrafolk Program goes to press in about a week. We would love to recognize all our sponsors in print . . . so if you are planning to support the festival, the time is here! You can see details about levels and fabulous perks at

Festival Schedule Posted

      Just can't wait to find out what is happening Ocrafolk Festival weekend? The schedule has just been posted! Take a look to see where you would like to be when, and keep checking back for updates.

Ocrafolk 50/50 Art Auction Inviting Submissions
     Would you like to enter a piece of Artwork in the Ocrafolk Festival 50/50 Art Auction (held on June 2 at the Ocracoke Community Center)? Ocracoke Alive would love to have you involved! The Ocrafolk Festival 50/50 Art Auction is one of the primary means of raising money for the Ocrafolk Festival and Student/Cultural Arts Programming in the Ocracoke community. Proceeds from the auction of art donations will be split 50/50 with the donor (of course you can contribute the full amount if you wish). Visit or contact David Tweedie at for more information.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Telling the Tale of the Black Squall (Performance, Thursday, April 13, Ocracoke School Gym) . . . Ocrafolk Festival Update . . . A Visit from the Salem Select Choir . . . Vote for Your Favorite Ocrafolk Festival T Colors. . .

Telling the Tale of the Black Squall (Performance, Thursday, April 13, 7 PM, Ocracoke School Gym) . . .

           We are less than a month away from the student performance of The Tale of the Black Squall, and preparations began this week with students working with visiting artists, Courtney Conner (teaching tumbling and movement), and Paul McKibbins (with singing and choral arrangement). Ocracoke art teacher, Kitty Mitchell, and set designer Mark Brown will be guiding students in the creation of costume and critter, Gary Mitchell and Charles Temple on Sound and Lights, and Desiree Ricker and David Tweedie are finalizing the script and schedule details.
            Ocracoke Arts Week (April 10-13), will feature Paperhand Puppets (character movement), Jef the Mime (clowning), Scott Paulson (Steel Drums), Jubal Creech (Percussion), and Janet Harriman (Jewelry Crafting). This team will be aiding our young community members in the creation of a show that will tell the tale of the famous 1861 Black Squall Shipwreck that brought a circus troupe to the beaches of Ocracoke Island.
            Ocracoke Alive is asking Ocracoke supporters to consider making a tax-deductible donation towards Arts Week. Donors will be thanked in the Black Squall Program, and can receive reserved ringside seats for the performance. Donations can be made online at or through the mail to Ocracoke Alive, PO Box 604, Ocracoke, NC 27960.

March 31-April 1: A Visit from the Salem Select Girls Choir
            The Salem Select Girls Choir under the direction of Lynne German are bringing their show choir to Ocracoke, for performances and workshops for Ocracoke students on March 31, and a free community concert at Ocracoke Alive’s Deepwater Theater on April 1st, at 7 PM.
            The performers are a small but diverse group of students from Salem High School in Virginia Beach, and are joined together by their common love of singing.  As the program’s top singers, they have auditioned for their spot in the group, and they accomplish a lot with only one after-school rehearsal each week.  Their music covers a variety genres, from Classical to Spiritual to light Pop and Rock, with a few original works by their Director, Lynne German. We welcome their return to the island to share their talents!

What is happening in Ocrafolk Festival land . . .

            The Ocrafolk Festival inches closer and closer, and we are starting to get excited! The Artisan Application closed March 15, and the Artisan Committee will announce this year’s artisan roster by April 1st.
            Performers include Bio Ritmo, Violet Bell , Mitch Barrett, Hank, Pattie and the Current, Ballet Folklorico Guadalupano, Donald Davis, Molasses Creek, Martin Garrish and Friends, Beleza, Lipbone Redding, The Blue-Eyed Bettys, Mahalo Jazz, De Tierra Caliente, Oak Grove String Band, Bob Zentz and Jeanie MacDougall, Paperhand Puppets, Jef the Mime, Amy and Louis Allen, Craicdown, John Golden, the Green Grass Cloggers, Philip Howard, Rob Temple and the Skipjack Wilma Lee,  Rodney Kemp, and more.
            In addition to new performers, this year we will be featuring a new Ocrafolk Festival Dance Hall at the Ocracoke School Gym.  We have more excitement on the way, so stay tuned.
            Sponsorship levels and rewards have been posted and we will tell you more about them at the end of the month. If you can't wait to jump in, here is a link.

Vote for your favorite Ocrafolk Festival T Colors!

            Karen Rhodes's fabulous festival design is complete and we have moved to picking our favorite background colors to display it on. You can be a part of the process. Just click this link, and pick your top three colors in Men’s and Women’s styles. We’ll announce the winning pallet in a couple of weeks!

That's all for now!
Thanks for your support!

Ocracoke Alive 2017 Board of Directors
Desiree Ricker ~ President, Assistant Director
Tom Pahl ~ Vice President
Gary Davis ~ Treasurer
Sharon Brodisch ~ Secretary
Allison O'Neal
Freddy Contreras
Jeanie Owens
David Tweedie ~ Executive Director

Friday, February 3, 2017

February News: 2017 Ocrafolk Festival Art, Performers, Pre-Sales, Festival Artisan Application Deadline, and The Tale of the Black Squall

       Is it really 2017? Already? With the New Year upon us, Ocracoke Alive is more committed than ever to enriching our community for both locals and visitors. Although the Skipjack Wilma Lee is quietly tied up at the Community Store docks, there is the scurry of performers feet at Ocracoke Alive's Deepwater Theater as students of the Ocracoke School Performing Arts hone their craft. Soon the spring Arts Partnership will be in full swing, and Arts Week is just around the corner, April 10-14.  Both of these will culminate in The Tale of the Black Squall performance on Thursday, April 13th at 7 PM at the Ocracoke School Gym. Read more below! Next month we plan to share with you new ventures into community gardening, Latino festivities, and a possible community choir!

2017 Ocrafolk Festival Artwork by Karen Rhodes
Ocrafolk Festival Performers Announced, Artisan Applications Open Til March 15
    While we anxiously await the 18th annual Ocrafolk Festival in June (2nd-4th) the planning, booking, and selection process is already well underway. Above is a sneak peak at this year’s artwork by Ocracoke Island resident Karen Rhodes. Thanks so much for her brilliant work! Can't wait to have it splashed across our T-shirts on festival weekend!

    The festival performers have been selected. This year we welcome newcomers Bio Ritmo, Violet Bell, Mitch Barrett, Hank, Pattie & the Current, Ballet Folklorico de Guadalupano, and Amy Allen. We are also thrilled to have so many returning performers from previous years.

-Martin Garrish and Friends
-Donald Davis
-Molasses Creek
-Bio Ritmo (salsa)
-Violet Bell (Lizzy Ross & Omar Ruiz-Lopez)
-Mitch Barrett
-Lipbone Redding
-The Blue Eyed Bettys
-Hank, Pattie and the Current
-Ballet Folklorico
-Mahalo Jazz
-De Tierra Caliente
-Amy and Louis Allen
-Bob Zentz
-Paperhand Puppet Theater

There may be more additions in the next month, so keep posted!

Artisan Applications are now available online
If you are interested in having an artisan booth at this year’s festival, please visit and submit your application today! The deadline for Ocrafolk Festival Artisan applications is March 15.

Ocrafolk Festival PreOrders ~ A Perfect Valentine Gift for that Ocrafolk Fan! Avoid Waiting in Line in June!
February is also the month of early ticket sales and festival packages! These are now available for purchase online.  Pre-order your tickets as a gift for yourself or as a great surprise for your Valentine!

Avoid the dreaded Ocrafolk Festival Moment . . . you rush to the merchandise booth to secure your T-shirt and mug with the fabulous new design, and wrestling your way to the front, you discover that the last has just been sold!

1. Pre-order online
2. We will contact you when we have finalized shirt and mug styles so that you may pick our your preference.
3. You will choose if you want to pick up your items at the festival or have them shipped.

That way you just pop off the ferry, don your shirt and button, and you are ready to strut the festival grounds!
2017 Arts Partnership & Arts Week: The Black Squall Production
    This year’s Arts Week and Arts Partnership aims to integrate the arts and Ocracoke Island history.  The activities and classes with these two programs will culminate in a student community performance of The Tale of the Black Squall at 7 PM on Thursday, April 13 at the school gym. Both the Arts Partnership and Arts Week will include elements of performing arts from juggling and steel drums, to singing and tumbling. Each group of students, will have opportunities to showcase what they have learned as part of a retelling of this fascinating Ocracoke story.

Show Your Support!
These two projects cost roughly $15,000. The majority of the funds come from sponsors just like you. Artists travel from the across country to serve as instructors during this exciting time. Please take a moment and consider donating to this year's Black Squall Project.

The Tale of the Black Squall
    When the Black Squall wrecked off of Ocracoke Island in April of 1861, the storm washed ashore the remenents of a circus troupe, including giant tents, silk ribbons, dancing ponies, and a menagerie of animals. Walter Howard wrote an account of this wreck in the 1950s, as he learned it from Old Kade Williams, who was 17 in 1861. Nixon’s Circus, sometimes called Nixon’s Royal Circus and Menagerie of Living Animals, was en route from a performance in Havana, Cuba to Philadelphia, when it encountered a terrible storm. According to Old Kade in Walter's story:

“Well the beach was strowed with animals from Lord knows where. Tigers, lions, bears, and there was one there whose neck was longer than his body.”
“That was all kinds of things that washed up on the beach. Even to bales of hay and fodder.  They had that for the animals, I guess.
“Silks and satins, and costumes by the hundreds. The purtiest you ever seed.
“Tents, I’ll bet there was a thousand of ‘em. The men folks made sails for their boats out of them and one big tent I remember they put that up out on the beach hills and held a camp meeting in it."


    To read more on the account and Walter Howard's story, visit Philip Howard's 2007 blog on the story at

Student Activities and Opportunities for Involvement
    The Tale of the Black Squall will offer a variety of opportunities for the students of Ocracoke. Visiting instructors will be working with different classes on show elements. Skills will include Ocracoke activities like Squaredancing and Fig Cake Baking, as well as group movement and dance, circus poster design, circus arts (tumbling, clowning, and juggling), and music on steel drums and percussion.
    Middle School and High School students will also have opportunities to learn about set construction and design, lighting and sound, stage managing, and will be able to to participate as members of production teams that will be working towards the final week.  Although 11th & 12th graders will be traveling during Arts Week, they will still be able to participate in the Arts Partnership programs leading up through April.

Upcoming Events
January 1-March 15 ~ Ocrafolk Festival Artisan Application open.
February 1-April 7 ~ Arts Partnership
April 10-14 ~ Arts Week
April 13, 7 PM (Thursday) ~ The Tale of the Black Squall at Ocracoke School.

Thanks for your support! Ocracoke Alive 2017 Board of Directors
Desiree Ricker ~ President, Assistant Director
Tom Pahl ~ Vice President
Gary Davis ~ Treasurer
Sharon Brodisch ~ Secretary
Allison O'Neal
Freddy Contreras
Jeanie Owens
David Tweedie ~ Executive Director