Top 20 Event in the Southeast

For the fourth year in a row, the Annual Wooden Boat Show has received top honors from the Southeast Tourism Society. The organization recently announced their top events for May 2018 and the North Carolina Maritime Museum’s 44th Annual Wooden Boat Show was selected as a “Top 20 Event for the Southeast.”

The North Carolina Maritime Museum was recently notified that they will once again receive the prestigious honor for the Annual Wooden Boat Show. It is the longest ongoing wooden boat show in the Southeast. The event takes place Saturday, May 5, 2018.

The best events across the Southeast compete to receive the prestigious Top 20 Events designation from the Southeast Tourism Society. Through a nomination process, the organization chooses the Top 20 events in the Southeast for each month of the year and publishes this list of winners quarterly. The STS Top 20 Festival and Event Awards have highlighted programs around the Southeast since 1985.

Travel industry experts select 20 events per month, and the Southeast Tourism Society publicizes them throughout the United States. The complete list is published on two websites: and Travel Media Press Room.

The Annual Wooden Boat Show celebrates the art of North Carolina boatbuilding and the sport of boat racing. Dozens of handcrafted wooden boats will be on display and activities will be available for all ages from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The annual show will host a number of exhibitors including WoodenBoat magazine. The widely popular magazine for wooden boat owners and builders focuses on materials, design, and construction techniques and repair solutions.

“The Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Festival and Event list is an excellent guide for the Southeast’s visitors and residents. Events selected represent the best, and often most unique, activities in our region,” said Bill Hardman, president and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society.

Selection as a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event is a validation of an event’s quality and a distinction that events use effectively in their marketing and publicity.

“We are proud to once again be recognized regionally by such a prestigious organization and thrilled to bring you one of the best events in the south,” stated Joseph K. Schwarzer, Director of the North Carolina Maritime Museums.

Paul Fontenoy, Curator of Maritime Research and Technology, says the Annual Wooden Boat Show has something to offer everyone, even if you’re not a wooden boat enthusiast. “We pay a lot of attention to making sure the show is not just interesting for wooden boat enthusiasts,” Mr. Fontenoy explains. “So we have activities for children and opportunities for families to do things together, such as taking a boat ride.”

According to David Cartier, Public Relations Coordinator for the North Carolina Maritime Museum system, “It’s a real honor to receive the Top 20 designation four years in a row from the Southeast Tourism Society”

“We think Beaufort showcases something truly unique – the art of traditional boatbuilding and a maritime heritage that has been such a tradition in Carteret County,” he stated.

“We are absolutely thrilled,” said Mr. Cartier. “People from all over the United States come to Beaufort to experience one of North Carolina’s signature events that honors traditional wooden boatbuilding. It’s also an opportunity for us to show them the hospitality that Carteret County and The Crystal Coast are known for,” he said.

“Two years ago, we enhanced the visitor experience by adding a digital aspect to the event. Through the use of QR codes, visitors were able to download the agenda and event information, stated Mr. Cartier.

Due to the positive response, event officials at the museum will try to expand on that experience. The show offers so much in just one day, we want to make sure the people attending know everything that we have to offer,” said Mr. Cartier.

Mr. Cartier went on to say, “We are fortunate to have the support from the Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority. Through our grant, we are able to promote the event to a wider audience.”

Events considered for the STS Top 20 recognition must be at least three years old and have attendance of at least 1,000. Nomination forms and deadlines are available at or by calling 770-542-1523.

Southeast Tourism Society, founded in 1983 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tourism to and within 12 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum is located at 315 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516. For more information, call 252-504-7740 or visit

About the Southeast Tourism Society

On September 14, 1983, a small group of travel and tourism industry leaders from the Southeast organized a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of tourism throughout the region. Those charter members shared a mutual belief that regional promotion through partnership between states would create a powerful marketing alliance unparalleled in the nation. Joining to make this dream a reality, they created STS.

Decades later, their vision has been validated because the Southeast Tourism Society has established itself as a leader among other travel organizations nationwide. STS members recognize the vast number of attractions, sporting events, history, scenic beauty and cultural icons found within the Southeast and work together to unite the strengths and resources of the region.