The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher and Common Sense Films hosts the Fort Fisher Hermit Festival to celebrate a local legend and commemorate his untimely death four decades ago.
•NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher
•Free with aquarium admission:
$8, adults ages 13-61;
$7, 62 and older;
$6, ages 3-12;
free, children under 2.
Festival events include a noon screening of the documentary, “The Fort Fisher Hermit: The Life and Death of Robert E. Harrill.” Following the screening, the filmmakers Rob Hill and Richard Sirianni will lead a question-and-answer session. In addition, Aquarium educators will guide a walk through the salt marsh to the bunker where Harrill lived. Anyone planning to go on the hike should wear closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, and insect repellant.
The unusual life and death of Robert E. Harrill is the stuff of legends. In the mid-20th century, the Fort Fisher Hermit, as he became known, survived harsh conditions and fought personal battles living in the salt marsh south of Kure Beach. For 17 years his subsistence lifestyle and beachcomber philosophies endeared him to thousands of visitors who sought him out. In a tragic turn, Harrill died under mysterious circumstances in 1972.
Learn more information about the Fort Fisher Hermit at fortfisherhermit.com.