Press Release
Ocracoke Fig Festival to Feature PBS NC Cooking Show Host Sheri Castle

This free, family-friendly event takes place August 1-3, 2024 on Ocracoke Island, NC

The Ocracoke community will celebrate the summer’s fig bounty with special guest Sheri Castle.

Sheri Castle is the host of The Key Ingredient, an Emmy-winning cooking show from PBS North Carolina that airs across the country. Sheri is also an award-winning professional food writer, recipe developer, and cooking teacher known for melding stories, humor, and culinary expertise. The Southern Foodways Alliance named her one of 20 Living Legends of Southern Food, calling her The Storyteller. Sheri grew up in Watauga County, North Carolina in her beloved Blue Ridge Mountains and now lives in Chatham County. Keep tabs on her through

The 10th annual Fig Festival will take place at the Berkley Barn on Ocracoke Island. The festival features live music, traditional Ocracoke square dancing, children’s crafts, talks by local fig experts, and vendor booths offering fig preserves, fig cakes, fig trees, local cookbooks, and other fig-tastic items. The weekend’s finale will be a dance with the Ocracoke Rockers!

Sheri Castle will be the Fig Festival’s special guest at the “Garden Fresh” Savory Fig Dinner on Thursday evening, August 1, 2024. This popular fundraising event features savory fig dishes from local chefs; this year’s entrée will be the dish that Sheri prepared for her Ocracoke figs- themed episode of The Key Ingredient! Space is limited; tickets for this evening will go on sale on Monday, July 1, 2024.

In addition to the Savory Dinner, the Fig Festival is offering a Cooking Class & Luncheon with Sheri Castle on Tuesday, July 30, 2024. Sheri will share cooking tips and techniques in an informal setting to a small group of students while making a delicious luncheon served up with Fig Mimosas! Space is limited; tickets for the class go on sale on Monday, July 8, 2024.

Public events with Sheri Castle include a cookbook-signing on Friday afternoon and a public Q & A on Saturday. Sheri will also serve as a guest judge at the Fig Cake Bake-Off, the showpiece of the Fig Festival on Saturday afternoon.

All are welcome to submit a cake in one or all categories, Traditional, Innovative, Youth (15 and younger), or the special category for 2024: Garden Fresh Figs – any dish that incorporates fresh figs and any other summer garden ingredient. The Traditional category is limited to the old- fashioned recipe, available in local cookbooks. Even as our bakers use the same recipe, there are subtle differences: the type of fig preserves used, the delicate balance of spices, or the cook’s magic touch. Innovative entries must be desserts; anything goes in the Youth category as long as there are figs in it!

During the week leading up to the Fig Festival, island eateries will offer fig-infused menu items both savory and sweet. Local shops will stock this year’s selection of fig preserves, so you can take some Ocracoke sweetness home with you.


The Ocracoke Fig Festival is sponsored by Ocracoke Preservation Society. All funds raised after expenses go to Ocracoke Preservation Society to support their mission. For more information, contact Sundae Horn (252-921-0283), Andrea Powers Tolson (252-928-7375), or

About OPS:The Ocracoke Preservation Society is a 501c-3 non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to the preservation of Ocracoke Island’s rich historical and cultural heritage.page2image5692160