February on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina: Art from the Heart, Gloucester Mardis Gras & More

It may be the dead of winter, but North Carolina's Crystal Coast is alive with plenty of local festivals, activities and events for you to enjoy during these off-season months. February offers up some fantastic opportunities when it comes to the arts, good causes, and celebrations with a local flair. Read on to find out more.

Art from the Heart Show & Sale
Each February, the Art from the Heart Show and Sale offers traditional works by area artists in this three-week exhibition and sale of original, innovative and traditional works. This year's Art from the Heart opening reception begins on Friday, February 14 from 5:30-7:30p.m. at the Morehead Plaza on 3000 Arendell Street in Morehead City. The reception is free and open to the public.
Art from the Heart Show & Sale on the Crystal Coast
Art from the Heart is a unique opportunity to view original art work by area school children, as well as view and purchase works by professional local artists. A varied array of media is on display and available for sale including original oils, acrylics, water media, photography, glass, stone, fiber, three-dimensional, pastels, drawing, mixed media, and computer-generated art. Purchases benefit the artists, as well as the Arts Council of Carteret County.

The Art from the Heart art show and sale is open seven days a week beginning February 14 and continuing through March 1. Bring your sweetheart out for the opening reception and finish the evening with a romantic night on the town.

Empty Bowls Luncheon & Fundraiser
Handmade pottery, delicious soup and fundraising for a worthy local cause combine for an afternoon not soon  forgotten at the Empty Bowls Luncheon and Fundraiser held on Wednesday, February 19 from 11a.m. to 1p.m. at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City.
Empty Bowls Luncheon & Fundraiser in Morehead City
A $20 donation gives guests the opportunity to select a unique pottery bowl artistically handmade by professional and student potters, a choice of two bowls of delicious soup made by area restaurants, as well as cookies, bread, and beverages donated by various other local charities and businesses. Students provide a lovely ambiance to the afternoon's event with live music for your listening pleasure.

Empty Bowls of Hope Mission of Carteret County raises money for Martha's Cupboard Mission and Hope Mission food pantries and kitchen. Guests also enjoy a silent auction with one-of-kind art, jewelry, pottery creations, and other donations.

Advance ticket purchases for the Empty Bowls event are available at Cape Carteret Aquatic and Wellness Center, Webb Library in Morehead City, and at Handscapes Gallery on Front Street in Beaufort.

Gloucester Mardi Gras
Mark your calendars for the annual Gloucester Mardi Gras on Saturday, February 15 located in the Down East region of North Carolina's Crystal Coast. Come a early on Friday night from 6-10p.m. and pitch in by chopping vegetables or stirring the roux in preparation for the next day's big event.
Gloucester Mardi Gras on the Crystal Coast of NC
The Gloucester Mardi Gras kicks off on Saturday at 11a.m. with bands including Lost Girls, Haw River Rounders, and Gumbo Ya Ya just to name a few. Stop by the craft table for mask making and breathe in the delightful aromas from all of the Mardi Gras cooking that surrounds you. At 1p.m.the Fool's Procession begins and leads to a feast of seafood gumbo, sausage chicken gumbo, red beans and rice, deep-fried turkey and endless sides that are sure to tickle your taste buds. At 3p.m., there's the Red Pepper Pinata, King and Queen's March, a performance by the Unknown Tongues and more. Bring your dancing shoes and a hearty appetite to the Big Easy Down East.

Plan Your Crystal Coast Stay
With all of the local fun to be had, it's best to plan your stay for as long as you can get away. Make a weekend of it, or better yet extend your stay for a week or two. Enjoy off-season discounts and vacation rental specials this time of year that make for a budget-friendly beach getaway.

It's not too late to plan a romantic escape to our gorgeous coastline. We'd love to wine and dine you over the Valentine's Day holiday.

Let us know when we'll next see you on our shores. We hope it's in the very near future. Cheers to February fun!

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