Elizabeth City Downtown office
106 S. Water Street, Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Deborah Malenfant, Executive Director
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Welcome to Elizabeth City, located on the historic harbor-front and offering a wide variety of activities and attractions. We are the largest community in the northeastern coastal region of North Carolina and are located near the well-known Inland Waterway.
Surrounded by pristine waterways, you'll find "One of America's Best Small Towns" in Elizabeth City on the Inner Banks of the Albemarle Sound region. The City of Elizabeth City, known as the Harbor of Hospitality®, was once a major seaport where four-masted sailing ships carried goods along the eastern seaboard. Today, the city’s downtown offers 48-hour free dockage to travelers from around the world. The "Rose Buddies," its world-renowned waterfront ambassadors, greet visiting boaters with a rose, wine, and cheese at Mariner's Wharf.
Ranked by Money Magazine as one of the Best Places to Live on the Coast, the community offers unlimited appeal to people of all ages and interests. From the Museum of the Albemarle, the Arts of the Albemarle and Port Discover, to specialty shopping, festivals and events, unique restaurants, and charming B&Bs, downtown Elizabeth City truly has something for everyone. So come and stay a while. You'll always feel welcome in the Harbor of Hospitality®.
Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. (ECDI) is a downtown revitalization program that manages the Main Street program through a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. ECDI has been part of the national Main Street program since 1988. The goal of ECDI is beautification and revitalization of downtown Elizabeth City while maintaining its historical integrity. What do we do and what are we involved in?
Downtown Discount Cards -- Purchase yours NOW! -- For only $5.00, you get a discounts at 24 downtown businesses and restaurants, ranging from 10% off, to half priced lunch enteres, to free drinks and free desserts. It's a bargain that pays for itself over and over again. Profits from the sale of the cards go toward fulfilling the ECDI mission and projects. Call 252-338-4104 to purchase yours.
First Friday Art Walk -- First Friday of each month, Downtown -- From 5:30 until 7:00 pm on every First Friday of each month, stroll the downtown and enjoy the celebration of the arts. Participating businesses and art galleries host and feature the works of guest artists, musicians, and creative works of all kinds. Rack cards are available at participating businesses to guide you each month. Be sure to visit all participating businesses. ECDI is the organizer for this event.
Downtown Waterfront Market -- Saturdays, May through October, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, Mariners' Wharf Park -- Enjoy a variety of produce, farm fresh eggs, honey, jams and jellies, baked goods, plants and flowers, works of local crafters, artists, and artisands, and a selection of food and snack items. Experience the bounty of the county. An Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Parks & Recreation Event. ECDI is a presenting sponsor of the market. Call 252-335-1424 for more information about the market.
N.C. Potato Festival -- May 19, 20, 21, 2017, Downtown -- ECDI is the host and organizer of this fabulous three-day event celebrating one of our local crops - the potato! Scheduled the third weekend of May each year, enjoy three days of music, vendors, mechanical rides, a games-midway, and lots of great eats. Take part in the National Potato Peeling Contest, the Little Miss Tater Tot contest, cornhole competition, and lots of other activities at this family-oriented event. An ECDI hosted event. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Mariners' Wharf Film Festival -- June and July, 2017, each Tuesday evening starting at dusk (excluding the July 4 holiday), Mariners' Wharf Park -- Enjoy a classic movie on a large screen while relaxing in a lawn chair or on a blanket at Mariners' Wharf Park on the beautiful downtown waterfront. Have dinner in one of our downtown restaurants or pubs prior to the movie or bring a picnic to enjoy. Popcorn and drinks available for purchase during the movie. An ECDI hosted event. Sponsorship opportunities available.
Music on the Green at Mariners' Wharf Park -- Each Tuesday evening, 6-8 pm, from July 25 through September 12, 2017, Mariners' Wharf Park -- A free concert on the beautiful downtown waterfront at Mariners Wharf Park. Enjoy musical performances by talented and popular local and regional entertainers. Hot dogs, drinks, and popcorn available for purchase from American Legion Post 84. An ECDI hosted event. Sponsorship opportunities available.
Jump Start Downtown Business Plan Competition Call for 2018 Entries -- October 2017 -- An Elizabeth City business plan competition that awards start-up entrepreneurs up to $12,000 in incentive packages to open a business in downtown. It's a great opportunity for startups to realize their dream of owning a business. Deadline is late January 2018. Winners announced in February. Presenting sponsors are ECDI, the Elizabeth City Area Committee of 100, and the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Economic Development Commission. Supporting sponsors are The Daily Advance, MMT Printers Inc., College of the Albemarle's Small Business Center, Small Business Technology Development Center and the Downtown Business & Professional Association.
Ghost Walk Dinner -- Early October 2017, Location and Date TBD -- On the Friday and Saturday evenings of Ghost Walk from 5-9 pm, ECDI hosts a cooperating dinner event in downtown for patrons of Ghost Walk (and others) to enjoy. In the past, we've our themes have included a speakeasy and an Italian dinner theme. For $8.00, you can pop in for a delicious and quick dinner. An ECDI hosted event. Profits from the dinner event go toward fulfilling the ECDI mission and projects. (Ghost Walk Event tickets are $12 each and are sold separately.)
Holiday Celebration and Downtown Illumination -- November 24, 2017, 6-8 pm, Begins at the Pasquotank County Courthouse -- Held the Friday after Thanksgiving each year as an old-fashioned, small-town celebration of the season, hundreds gather at the Courthouse for singing and the "flipping of the switch" to turn on the downtown holiday lights. Festivities continue with caroling through the heart of downtown, Santa and elves, Olaf the Snowman, Face Painting, Mrs. Claus story hour, Hay Ride/Sleigh Ride with gingerbread cookies, and a hot cocoa, coffee, and sweets stop. A complete schedule of events and participating businesses will be provided as the event nears. Hosted and An ECDI hosted event.
Christmas Parade -- December 2, 2017, begins at 5:30 pm on Westover Street (behind Sonic & Bojangles), travels down Ehringhaus Street to Downtown -- A traditional small-town Christmas Parade with locally designed floats, bands, cheering squads, fire trucks, police cruisers and Santa Claus, of course. It'll get you in the holiday spirit, for sure! An Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Parks & Recreation event. Call 252-335-1424 for information about the Christmas Parade
Lighted Boat Parade -- Usually the First Friday evening of December, 6:30 pm -- A small parade of festively decorated and lighted boats circle the harbor for your enjoyment. A Pasquotank Yacht Club event. Call 252-331-3355 for more information about the lighted boat parade event.
Small Business Saturday -- November 25, 2017, all day, Downtown -- Held each year on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to encourage the support of small businesses nationwide. This is an American Express sponsored event that ECDI supports and promotes.
In addition to the above events and activities, ECDI offers matching facade grants to downtown businesses, focuses on beautification projects in downtown (purchase of planter baskets, benches, trash cans, streetscape, cleanup activities), and actively participates in the recruitment of new businesses to downtown, as well as supports existing businesses. They provide business plan evaluation, can help direct and guide you through the process of starting a business in downtown, and can provide marketing information, resources, and educational opportunities.