Volunteer Coordinator Topsail Schools
Volunteer Coordinator Pender EMS & Fire
14221 U.S. HWY 17, Hampstead N.C. 28443
PO BOX 565, Hampstead N.C. 28443
The first Spot Festival was held in 1963. The thought of the Spot Festival developed during a community oyster roast. In 1963 the festival was being held in front of the Hampstead Community Center. The Festival then moved to what is now know as Topsail Middle School. JH Leas and Sons was a major sponsor when the festival started and continued to donate all the Spot Fish for our event until 2008 when they closed their doors after providing Hampstead with fish for over 90 years. In 2009 Atlantic Seafood became the provider of the Spot Fish and still are today. When it Began in 1963, the non profit event benefited the fire department and it still does today. Proceeds from the festival are divvied up between Pender EMS and Fire and five "Topsail" Schools in the the Pender County school system. Every year the festival is filled with live music, scholarship pageantry, arts and crafts, lots of things for kids to do and of course those delicious spot fish, fried just right by the Hampstead Fire Department. The Spot Festival is one of the most important events in Hampstead, it brings thousands of visitors to our community every year.
Fun little Tidbits from our 1964 Program Booklet:
-Shrimp are the best bait to use for catching Spots.
-The Best time to fish for Spots is just before day break right after bad weather.
-The north side of the pier is the best place to catch spots.
-Ice caught fish well, one hour off ice after fish is out of water can sour him.
-Spot fish is the leading fish in the Carolinas
-In the 1920's spot fish were not sold commercially
-In the 30's spot were sold in bunches and not pounds.
-In the 40's spot would not bite a hook.
-In the 50's spot became the leading seller in the south.
-In the 60's more spot fish were sold than any other fish, when in season.