Printer-friendly page

State Herring Festival of North Carolina: Herring Festival of Jamesville

by Amy Kemp,
Government and Heritage Library, 2017

See also: North Carolina State Symbols and Official Adoptions main page

 In 2011 the Herring Festival in the town of Jamesville was designated the Official Herring Festival of the State of North Carolina (Session Laws, 2011-59).

About the Jamesville Herring Festival

The Jamesville Herring Festival, now called the North Carolina Herring Festival at Jamesville, is a three-day event held annually on Easter Weekend in Jamesville, North Carolina. It began in 1949 as a way for the herring fisheries to celebrate the fish’s springtime spawning runs.

The festival begins on Friday evening with a street carnival and live band. Saturday includes the pancake breakfast, 5K Herring Run, Parade, Easter Egg Hunt, Street Dance, and town Fireworks. The festival concludes on Sunday morning with the Easter Sunrise ceremony.

North Carolina Session Laws

Excerpt from SESSION LAW 2011-59
SENATE BILL 275 *S275-v-4*

Whereas, since 1949 the Town of Jamesville in Martin County has held an annual Herring Festival each spring; and
Whereas, the Herring Festival is a vital fundraiser for the Town of Jamesville, Jamesville Fire Department, Jamesville Rescue Department, Jamesville Ruritan Club, and many local businesses and residents; and
Whereas, the Herring Festival serves as a celebration of the heritage that was once an important way of life in the area; and
Whereas, the Herring Festival offers visitors many family-oriented activities, such as a parade, arts and crafts, rides, games, live music, and local foods and traditions; and
Whereas, each year, citizens in the area demonstrate their community pride by volunteering to make the festival a success; Now, therefore,

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. Chapter 145 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read: "§ 145-34. State herring festival. The Herring Festival held in the Town of Jamesville is adopted as the official herring festival of the State of North Carolina."
SECTION 2. This act is effective when it becomes law. In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 21st day of April, 2011.

 s/ Beverly E. Perdue Governor
Approved 10:02 a.m. this 28th day of April, 2011


Official site of the North Carolina Herring Festival:

Cecelski, David. "Jamesville Herring Festival." NC Folklife Institute. 2011. Accessed July 19, 2017.


Origin - location: 



I hope to attend the NC Herring Festival this year and add the visit to Martin County to my blog! I hope this year's festival is a great success!

Lesley Looper


Thank you for including NC Herring Festival on your site. We have a problem. The supporting and hosting company for our website has become embroiled in legal complications that have rendered our URL unusable. It is a mess and we are diligently trying to resolve it. For the time being we have elected a work around and registered a new URL – and have begun hosting our website to that address. If you would be so kind to correct this address change in your article, we would be most grateful. Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Thank you so much for connecting with us to let us know! The link has been updated. 

Michelle Underhill
NC Government & Heritage Library

Add a comment

PLEASE NOTE: NCpedia provides the comments feature as a way for viewers to engage with the resources. Comments are not published until reviewed by NCpedia editors at the State Library of NC, and the editors reserve the right to not publish any comment submitted that is considered inappropriate for this resource. NCpedia will not publish personal contact information in comments, questions, or responses. If you would like a reply by email, note that some email servers, such as public school accounts, are blocked from accepting messages from outside email servers or domains. If you prefer not to leave an email address, check back at your NCpedia comment for a reply. Please allow one business day for replies from NCpedia. Complete guidelines are available at