2017 Croaker Festival Parade Grand Marshals

2017 Croaker Festival Parade Grand Marshals

Zach and Ben working the Neuse River.
Zach (19) and Ben (17) Bruno are the Grand Marshals for the 2017 Croaker Festival Parade, “Celebrating Our Fishing Heritage”

The 37th Annual Croaker Festival Parade Grand Marshals

In honor of this years parade theme, “Celebrating Our Fishing Heritage“, we’re proud to announce the Grand Marshals will be Ben and Zach Bruno! The Bruno Brothers work for their father, Keith Bruno, at their families business, Endurance Seafood. Ben and Zach grew up on the water, literally! Their first experiences on a commercial fishing vessel were at 18 months old for Zach and 2 years old for Ben! Growing up on the water has given them a deep appreciation for working outside and they both agreed it was their favorite part of the job. But being a commercial fisherman isn’t all sunshine and cool breezes! The best part of the job is also the toughest and having to work in the cold, the rain, the cold rain and every other possible weather condition is all part of the gig.

Running a Small Business

Zach Bruno accounting for a recent transaction.
Zach accounting for the sales of a recent transaction.


Zach and Ben are weighing crabs before shipment.
Weighing crabs on the Toledo scale.


Zach and Ben load a delivery truck with seafood.
Loading seafood on the delivery truck. Destination, your dinner table!


Combine these environmental challenges with those of running your own business and you’ll find out quick this career isn’t for everyone. Not only do you have to know how to catch your product, you have to know how to sell it, account for it, maintain your fleet, supplies, and service all your customers. To do this, and to do it well, you’ll need a broad set of experiences and skills. If your skills are not as diverse as the product you catch, you’ll find yourself struggling to stay afloat (pun intended).

Looking into the future

When asked if the brothers wanted to do this work the rest of their lives they looked at each other with a pensive grin. Though they both love working for the family business and both agree they couldn’t imagine a job that wasn’t on or around the water, they admit they’d like to explore the world and see what else it has to offer. Ben expressed his desire to join the Coast Guard and Zach is interested in being a Tug Boat Captain. They feel that working in a small business and being exposed to every step of the process from catching the food to selling it, has prepared them well to work in a variety of positions in other fields, just so long as it doesn’t involve sitting behind a desk, or wearing a tie!

Brotherly Love

One thing’s for certain, having watched the brothers work together on several occasions now, it’s easy to see the love between them, even if they won’t let on to it! When they get in the groove, they sync like a fine Swiss watch, knowing what the other’s doing before they do it. They know how to smile and have a good time and they certainly know how to get stuff done!

Here’s to the Grand Marshals!

Congratulations gentlemen, you’ve earned the honor to lead the parade that’ll celebrate your fishing heritage!

Ben and Zach bruno laughing while they pack out crabs.
Ben and Zach share a laugh while they pack crabs for a shipment.


Zach and Ben Bruno, Grand Marshals for the 2017 Croaker Festival Parade.
Brotherly love.

This article about the Grand Marshals for the 37th Annual Croaker Festival Website is brought to you courtesy of Will Conkwright, owner at Circle Squared Publishing and founder of VisitONC.com.