Oyster and Seafood FestivalsThe North Carolina Seafood Festival, in Morehead City, is one of the largest festivals in the stateAs fall approaches, so does oyster festival season in the Tar Heel State. Though each oyster-oriented festival has its own character, they all typically offer music, contests involving oysters, food and beverage vendors, and lots of oysters for sale in various forms. Steaming buckets of the tasty bivalves are the most typical festival fare, but the oyster is often celebrated raw, fried and in rich stews as well.Considered the mollusk mother lode, with more than 30,000 fans of the almighty oyster typically in attendance, the North Carolina Oyster Festival on Ocean Isle Beach has something for everyone. Hosted by the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce and celebrating 36 years of bivalve heaven, this mid-October festival (Oct. 15 - 16, 2016) includes the North Carolina Oyster Shucking Championships (an official route to the national tournament), an oyster stew cook-off, The Muddy Oyster Challenge, live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, a bustling kids' area, lots of varied food and beverage booths, shag competition, and – of course – lots of freshly steamed oysters for sale.There are several other oyster festivals in the state, with the possibilities including: the Burke Arts Council October Oyster Outing (Oct. 15, 2016, Morganton); the First Flight Rotary Oink & Oyster Roast (Oct. 29, 2016, Kitty Hawk); the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation Annual Oyster Roast (Nov. 12, 2016, Washington); and the Airlie Gardens Oyster Roast (Oct. 21, 2016, Wilmington). Though these options may not boast the sheer size of the North Carolina Oyster Festival, the oysters will most assuredly taste just as good raw, steamed, fried or however you like your ode to oysters.Of course, the abundance of seafood in North Carolina leads to festivals celebrating more than just oysters. For instance, there’s the huge North Carolina Seafood Festival (Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, 2016, Morehead City), celebrating its 30th year this year. It's one of the largest festivals in the state and celebrates the bounty of the state’s natural resource with fishing tournaments, sailing regatta, a boat show and outdoor expo, live entertainment, tons of fresh seafood prepared any way you can imagine and the not-to-be-missed Flounder Fling. The event also honors those who have lost their lives in the fishing industry with the Blessing of the Fleet.There's also the Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival (rescheduled to April 23, 2017, due to severe weather; Kure Beach), which celebrates more than two decades of blues, jazz and coastal cuisine. At the Outer Banks Seafood Festival (Oct. 15, 2016, Nags Head), you'll see local commercial fishermen showcasing their fishing boats and live cooking demonstrations from Outer Banks Catch member restaurants. And seafood is what it’s all about at Day at the Docks (Sept. 16 - 17, 2016, Hatteras) as locals celebrate the spirit of Hatteras as a community anchored by the commercial and charter fisherman and host competitions, demonstrations, children’s activities and lots of seafood.Foodies who see beyond strictly seafood will want to take a bigger bite out of North Carolina with peach parties, watermelon festivals, sweet potato soirees, pig pickings, catfish fries and many more tasty possibilities in all four seasons.Lynn and Cele Seldon are Oak Island-based travel writers who love covering their home state.More FROM VISITNC.COMThere’s much to see and do in North Carolina, so read on.Enjoy the Rhythm of Fall Music FestivalsWith National Folk Festival in Greensboro, Wide Open Bluegrass in Raleigh, electronic mountain music and coastal jazz, you'll find a sound that suits you.Raise a Pint to Fall Beer FestivalsTip a pint at Charlotte’s Mecktoberfest; pair beer and bluegrass in Asheville; toast the Lighthouse Beer and Wine Festival in Wilmington and more.Grape Stomps and Harvest FestivalsCelebrate the fall grape harvest at Childress, Raffaldini and Shelton vineyards and wine-tasting events from Charlotte to Bald Head Island.Celebrate Fall at Colorful Events Across North CarolinaShow-stopping foliage, spirited music and irresistible fare add color and texture to fall in North Carolina.