About Us

The History of the Crystal Coast Countdown

Crystal Coast Countdown board-of-directorsIf Mount Olive can drop a pickle for New Year’s, why can’t Morehead City host a New Year’s Celebration?

That was the challenge put forth by Morehead City Mayor Jerry Jones on December 31, 2010. With just over twelve hours, the Morehead City employees pulled together the first Crab Pot Drop on the Morehead City waterfront. What began as a Mayor’s challenge has become a countywide, family-­friendly, multi-­day event, called the Crystal Coast Countdown.

During the inaugural Crab Pot Drop, conceived and planned in less than a day, there were over two hundred people in attendance. This single act proved that people were looking for fun events to be hosted on our beautiful Crystal Coast during the week that schools were out of session. If locals were looking, then we knew potential visitors were looking for fun coastal events as well. Think of the opportunity to show the world that Carteret County is more than a beach and open for business even in the dead of winter. The Crystal Coast is open all year and with the Crystal Coast Countdown, we are showcasing the best of the events during the holiday season.

Morehead City invited Atlantic Beach and Beaufort to the table to discuss the possibility of having a multi‐jurisdictional event on the weekend of New Year’s Eve. It did not take much convincing. Atlantic Beach had been interested in sponsoring a Bonfire on the Beach and our New Year’s celebration provided the perfect opportunity. Beaufort agreed to host the Resolution Run and from those humble beginnings, the Crystal Coast Countdown was born.

Now in 2014, Crystal Coast Countdown is a nonprofit organization led effort between Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Down East, Emerald Isle, Morehead City, Newport and Pine Knoll Shores, which offer family friendly New Year's events and activities all Crystal Coast Style. This event further supports local business and encourages visitation during the holiday season and brings our communities together to ring in the New Year.

Crystal Coast Countdown is based on the idea of First Night, which are family oriented artistic and cultural celebrations taking place in many cities worldwide on New Year’s Eve. Our goal is to provide a memorable weekend of activities that will evolve and grow each year, making the Crystal Coast a preferred destination for people looking for an affordable and unique coastal New Year’s experience. Also, since the event will span the entire weekend, businesses in the area will benefit as many attendees will be lodging, dining and shopping here.

Crystal Coast Countdown is very proud to work homogeneously with different municipalities coming together as one. Crystal Coast Countdown has grown over the years to include a plethora of events across six towns featuring their individuality, but complementing each other just as we live all year, so we celebrate during this season.