Dare Day: Annual community celebration canceled

Published 11:46 am Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Town of Manteo has canceled Dare Day, which is seen by many as the traditional summer season kickoff. Since 1976, the street festival has been held on the first Saturday in June. The downtown Manteo celebration always draws large crowds and has long been regarded by locals as the unofficial start of the tourist season.

After a brief discussion among commissioners at Wednesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Mayor Bobby Owens instructed the town manager James Ayers to cancel Dare Day until next year. Commissioners expressed concerns over staffing and more pressing issues in the face of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Commissioner Christine Walker said Dare Day is a great event, but said it was not essential at this point. She added, “maybe we can salvage the Fourth of July.” Commissioners are expected to address the status of the July 4th waterfront fireworks display at their next meeting.

Dare Day is the second major festival canceled so far this year in Manteo. The Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival scheduled for mid-May was canceled by organizers last month. A spring town litter pick-up was also canceled.

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