FIRST FRIDAY, BEER TASTING & FOUNDERS’ DAY

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The First Friday Gallery Walk in Southport, NC has become an institution. The walk always offers interesting artistic treasures, featured artists, good food, wine and spirits to all who attend. But at the gallery walk this Friday (September 7, 2018) Franklin Square Gallery, a non-profit, cooperative gallery, will have something very special going on. It will focus on the upcoming (September 29) Wooden Boat Show. Earlier in the year, members of the gallery were busy painting images of wooden boats in the hopes that their painting might be chosen to be displayed on the Wooden Boat Show T-shirts. All entries were submitted and a winner was chosen. This year’s winner is Tony Alderman, for “She Stood the Test” – a painting of one of the iconic, and slowly disappearing, shrimp boats that we are privileged to see plying the waters in Southeastern NC. You will be able to see the original painting, meet the artist and enjoy a display of the other entries at this Friday’s gallery walk from 5 PM until 7 PM.

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The Silver Coast winery Tasting Room in Southport, NC is known, of course, for its wines. However, this Friday they will be offering something a little bit different. From 4 PM until 7 PM you will be able to enjoy their Victory Brewing Company of PA Beer Tasting. Mike Yeley will be providing live music from 6 PM until 8 PM as well.

This Saturday you can celebrate Leland’s Founders’ Day in Leland, NC from 3 PM until 9 PM. A veterans recognition will be held and the event will include live music, a carnival, arts & crafts, food trucks and fireworks. Parking will be located at North Brunswick High School and a shuttle will be provided.

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SURF OFF, CRAFT SHOW, 5K & CRAB DERBY

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Labor Day Weekend is for everyone. Labor Day was created to pay tribute to the achievements made by American workers and to their contributions to the well being of the country. You will find many events planned for this special weekend and luckily, they are not all planned on the same day or at the same time.

Saturday morning will start off at 8 AM with a Paddle Out for the Labor Day Surf Off at Ocean Crest Pier in Oak Island, NC, which will begin at 8:30 AM. Pre-registration is required for this event. 9 AM will kick off the Oak Island Art Guild Labor Day Arts & Crafts Festival which will run until 4 PM. This fun event will be held on the soccer field of Middleton Park and will offer a day of beautiful handcrafted items as well as food.

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On Sunday, you can Go Jump in the Lake, literally, in Boiling Spring Lakes, NC. There is a catch. First you have to take part in either the 5K or the 1.5 mile run/walk – then you can jump in the lake. There will be live music also, from 4 PM until 6 PM, featuring 17 South Band. The concert will be held at Spring Lake Park and food trucks will be there as well.

On Monday, in Southport, NC, kids up to 14 years of age will be able to take part in the Children’s Crab Derby  Registration will begin at 8:30 AM with the derby beginning at 9 AM. Prizes will be given. That will leave the rest of the day for beach time.

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ARTS, TOURS AND TREES

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You are probably aware of the lantern led ghost walk tours given by the Old South Tour Company which include a tour of the Old Smithville Burying Ground, but did you know that you can take a daylight tour as well? These tours, led by Musette Steck, a local historian, take place each Wednesday afternoon starting at 2 PM. You might hear strains of harp music as she tells you about Tony, the ghost who used to play his harp in what is now The Brunswick Inn Bed & Breakfast. You will hear the story of the man whose legs are buried without his body and the reason for the tree stump markers that can be found in the cemetery. Tours are free, however, donations benefit the Fort Johnston/Southport Museum. Special tours can be arranged by calling: 910-454-0437.

Both Southport, NC and Oak Island, NC are designated Tree Cities USA. Who doesn’t love the old live oak trees the line the streets in Southport? Beyond the beauty offered by trees, their benefits to us and to the environment are numerous including clean air by the reduction of smog and greenhouse gases. Do you know you can get 10 free trees for a $10 donation? In the month of August, the Arbor Day Foundation is holding its Trees for America Campaign. For this small membership fee, you will receive the trees, information about planting and care, and their bi-monthly publication . Check it out at: arborday.org/august.

On Saturday from 10 AM – 2 PM you can explore the arts at the Leland Cultural Arts Center in Leland, NC. Here you can meet the instructors and enjoy demonstrations of their artistic processes as well as a ballet performance by students. You and your family members who are 11 years old or older can try out working in clay on a potter’s wheel. Poor Piggy’s BBQ & Catering food truck will be there to add to the fun of your day out.

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BOATING, CAR SHOW AND SOAR

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Saturday is coming and there are also several interesting and fun activities coming where you can spend your day if you so choose. With all the water surrounding us there is bound to be boating of all kinds – from sailing to motor boating to fishing boating and more. What we hope for is that everyone in charge of these boats practices safe boating. If you have a boat or are anticipating getting one, you can do your part by taking the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Safe Boating Course. The course will take place on Saturday at the Brunswick County EMS Headquarters, 40 Naber Drive in Shallotte, NC from 8 AM until 4 PM. The course applies to powerboats, sailboats, paddle craft and PWcs – in essence, all recreational watercraft. Registration is required by contacting Dawn Smith at:  BoatingSafely@ ec.rr.com. The fee can be paid online with PayPal or at the door with cash or check. Information can be found at: http://www.Flotilla10-05.org.

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From 2 PM until 7 PM you can enjoy the music of Lockwoood and food from the Little Chef Food Truck at Check Six Brewing Company, in Southport, NC. What’s more, the proceeds from this event will benefit the Southport-Oak Island Animal Rescue.

If classic cars, music and cruise-ins are your thing, you won’t want to miss Leland Under the Lights at the Villages at Brunswick Forest in Leland, NC, also on Saturday from 3PM until 8 PM.

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PARKS & RECREATION FUN

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If are looking for something fun to do in Brunswick County, NC it’s a good bet that you will find it provided by the Parks and Recreation Departments of the towns. The employees of these departments are fun loving individuals who come up with ideas – and carry out those ideas – for events that are available to you on a continuing basis. You will find information about some of those upcoming events here.

Town of Oak Island, NC Parks and Recreation:
If you have missed the Summer Concert Series up to this point do not despair, there will be three more Friday evening concerts (6:30 PM – 8:30 PM) at Middleton Park. Those dates are 8/10, 8/17 and 8/24.
On 8/11, 8/16 and 8/25 you can check out Nature is Wild About Reading at the Oak Island Nature Center. Here, kids can listen to stories and make fun crafts from 11 AM until noon. Topics include: 8/11 – Seashells, 8/16 – Land and Sea Turtles, 8/25 – Trees, Leaves and Bark. Please preregister kids ages 4 and up at 278-5518.
On 8/14 at 6 PM you might enjoy the Turtle Talk offered by the OKI Sea Turtle Protection Program.
Interested in the coastal birds? Here’s one for you:
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8/15 from 2 PM until 3:30 PM you can learn all the tips and tricks of Bird Photography at a free program. You will also get tips on places nearby where you can find birds to photograph, how to stage your backyard to welcome birds, and understanding bird behavior.
How about a trip to Lake Waccamaw (fee $5) on 8/23 from 9 AM until 2 PM to see Alligators Up Close & Personal? (preregistration required)
And don’t forget the Labor Day Surf Off on 9/1.

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Boiling Spring Lakes, NC Parks and Recreation:
The Monthly Birthday Ice Cream Social is held from 12:30 PM until 1 PM the second Friday of each month. Come on out and celebrate with an ice cream sundae.
Karate for Kids is held on Mondays from 6 PM until 7 PM from August 13 through December 17.
Put your dancing shoes on and join the Line Dancing on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM.
Bring your lunch and enjoy Brown Bag Lunch and a Movie on 8/16 from 11 AM until 2 PM.
Come to Dress Like a Nerd Day and enjoy lunch and maybe win a prize on 8/22 from 12 noon until 1 PM.
Get your friends together and join in the fun for Afternoon Adult Trivia on 8/23 from 11 AM until 2 PM. Pizza, salad and cash prizes will be offered. ($5 and RSVP by 8/20)

1ST FRIDAY, NATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE WEEKEND AND MARITIME CLASSIC RUN FOR THE LIGHT

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Image: Painting by Ann Thompson

The days keep zipping by and it’s time again for the 1st Friday Gallery Walk – for the month of August. From 5 PM until 7 PM you can stroll from gallery to gallery to enjoy the artwork as well as some munchies and drinks. Each gallery will include special features in their presentations. Lantana’s Gallery & Fine Gifts will feature whimsical witch paintings by Ann Thompson done in her Original American Art style. Franklin Square Gallery will feature a painter as well as a clay artist. The paintings of Robin Sboto will be part of the special display accompanied by the creative clay art of Linda Drye. At Ricky Evans Gallery, new products featuring local charts and signal flags will hold pride of place.

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Image: Linda Drye at work in a pottery studio

On Saturday and Sunday, Bald Head Island, NC will celebrate National Lighthouse Weekend with fun and interesting events. On Sunday evening, winding up this auspicious weekend, the island will hold its annual Maritime Classic Run for the Light with a one mile fun run, a 5K and a 10K.

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Image: Painting by Robin Sboto

GOLF, GOLF AND MORE GOLF

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Image – Oak Island Golf Club, Caswell Beach, NC

Golf is not everyone’s game. However, it is certainly popular in southeastern, NC, evidenced by the number of golf communities in the area  – and the people who live in them. Did you know that the game is considered to have been invented by the Scots? “A spokesman for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, one of the oldest Scottish golf organisations, said “Stick and ball games have been around for many centuries, but golf as we know it today, played over 18 holes, clearly originated in Scotland.” In 1739, the game spread to (what is now) the United States with a shipment of clubs and balls to South Carolina and the establishment of the South Carolina Golf Club in Charleston in 1787. The game became very popular in the Roaring Twenties and the number of golf clubs have been growing ever since that time.*
*Source – Wikipedia

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Image – Thistle Golf Club, Sunset Beach, NC

The following public golf courses can be found in the Southport – Oak Island, NC area:

The Bald Head Island Club On Bald Head Island, NC

The Lakes Country Club in Boiling Spring Lakes, NC

Oak Island Golf & Country Club and Oak Island Par 3 Golf Course at South Harbour in Caswell Beach, NC and Oak Island, NC

Further south, you will find these courses.

Ocean Isle Beach, NC:  The Big Cats Golf Courses at Ocean Ridge Plantation

Shallotte, NC:  Brierwood Golf Club
Rivers Edge Golf Club & Plantation

Calabash, NC:  Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort
Crow Creek Golf Course
The Pearl Golf Links

Carolina Shores, NC:  Carolina Shores Golf & Country Club

Holden Beach, NC:  Lockwood Folly Country Club

Sunset Beach, NC:  Oyster Bay Golf Links
Sandpiper Bay Golf & Country Club
Thistle Golf Club 

In the northern part of Brunswick County, NC, you can play golf at these locations.

Leland, NC:  Compass Pointe Golf Club
Magnolia Greens Golf Course
Cape Fear National at Brunswick Forest

Bolivia, NC: Carolina National Golf Club at Winding River Plantation

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Image – Cape Fear National at Brunswick Forest, Leland, NC

ATTRACTIONS, TOURS & FUN

The Oak Island Lighthouse and Coast Guard Station

This post is for locals and visitors alike. Many times when you live in a pace for a long time you tend to get into a routine and forget about all the good things available in the area. Let this serve as a reminder to you as a local and to you as a visitor to get out and enjoy the many offerings available in Brunswick County, NC.

TOURS
Golf cart tours are a great introduction to the area history and attractions. Two offered in Southport, NC are: Southport Fun Tours and Southport Tours. Bald Head Island, NC offers the Bald Head Island Historic Tour. If you prefer walking around Southport, NC, you might consider Historic Southport: A Self Guided Tour, using a brochure provided by the Southport Museum and Visitors’ Center or take part in a Historical Southport Walking Tour. The Adventure Kayak Company also offers bicycle and kayak tours. If you love old cemeteries, you might want to wander around the Old Smithville Burying Ground. If you like them scary, you can take part in the Ghost Walk Tour provided by the Old South Tour Company. Do you love flying? You can tour the area by air with Brunswick Air and High Tide Helicopters.

Fishing at Bald Head Inlet

ATTRACTIONS:
When was the last time you had an old fashioned Picnic? You can have one with a blanket on the ground in Franklin Square Park, at a picnic table in Waterfront Park or in the gazebo in Keziah Park – all in Southport, NC. Oak Island, NC is filled with parks as well, as is Boiling Spring Lakes, NC. You can also visit Fort Johnston, the Maritime Museum, the Old Brunswick County Jail, Franklin Square Gallery or go sky diving at the Cape Fear Regional Jetport. These are only a few of the many fun things you can do. Take your pick.

Image courtesy Jason Vittorio

MUSIC, MOVIES & MARKETS

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July 4th week has come and gone but summer is not over yet. There are still many enjoyable events scheduled in Brunswick County, NC thanks to Brunswick County Parks and Recreation and the towns of Southport, Oak Island and Shallotte, NC. In fact, you can enjoy outdoor music and/or movies every day of the week and sometimes both these and markets on the same day – and best of all – they are free. Here is a list of those events for your convenience.

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On Sunday evenings, you can enjoy the Brunswick County Free Concert and Movie Series at the Pavilion in Holden Beach, NC.

On Monday mornings, you can take in the Oak Island Farmers Market, held in the soccer field behind Middleton Park.

On Tuesday evenings, you have a choice between the Brunswick County Free Concert and Movie Series in Calabash, NC at the Calabash Town Park or in Southport, NC on the lawn of the Garrison House.

Wednesday mornings bring you the Southport Waterfront Market, also held on the Garrison lawn.

On Thursday evenings, you again have a choice of attending the Brunswick County Free Concert and Movie Series in either Leland, NC at the Leland Municipal Park or in Shallotte, NC at Mulberry Park.

You choice of Brunswick County Free Concert and Movie Series on Fridays is between Ocean Isle Beach, NC at the Museum of Coastal Carolina or in the Town of Oak Island, NC at the Middleton Park Soccer field.

On Saturday morning, you have another chance to explore a farmers market at the Shallotte Farmers Market  held at Mulberry Park.

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NC 4TH OF JULY FESTIVAL

Anticipation is in the air
Red , white and blue everywhere!

And that can mean only one thing – the NC 4th of July Festival is imminent. There will be crowds and traffic to rival any other time of the year in Brunswick County, NC, but with patience and good humor we can all enjoy great fun.

The 2018 event will begin on Saturday, June 30, in the Town of Oak Island, NC with the Beach Day events and in Southport, NC with the Fire Fighters Freedom Competition. Beach Day events will begin with a Horseshoe Tournament at 8 AM and end with a Concert by the Holiday Band from 6 PM until 9 PM. In between you can participate in youth activities and contests, a sand sculpture contest, Corn Hole, Bocce Ball and Volleyball Tournaments, a skateboard competition (at the Kevin Bell Skate Park), and a Shag Contest. In addition to the Fire Fighters Competition on Saturday, you can also view the 9/11 Never Forget Memorial Mobile exhibit and tour the Old Brunswick County Jail.

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July 2, 3 and 4 offer Arts and Crafts in Franklin Square Park from 10 AM until 6 PM and food concessions from 11 AM until 10 PM in the Waterfront Park area. Other events on Monday, July 2, include children’s entertainment in Keziah Park from 12 Noon until 2 PM and a Salute to Veterans in the Southport Community Building at 6 PM. On Tuesday, July 3, registration for Children’s Games at the waterfront begins at 8 AM and games begin at 9 AM. The Brunswick Big Band will play on the Fort Johnston lawn followed by the naturalization ceremony at 4 PM. From 4:45 PM until 5 :30 PM you can register to vote at the Southport Community Building and at 6 PM there will be a flag retirement ceremony at the corner of Howe and Moore Streets.

You can start you day on Wednesday, July 4, with a pancake breakfast from 7 AM until 10:30 AM at the Trinity United Methodist Church. At 10:30 AM there will be a flag raising ceremony at the corner of Moore and Howe streets and the parade will begin at 11 AM. From 11 AM until 4 PM you can enjoy Shine & Show Classic Cars on Bay Street next to Waterfront Park. Fireworks will begin at 9 PM and there will be an encore musical performance afterward.

Throughout the days of the festival you can tour the Maritime Museum; take in the Summer Regional Art Show at Franklin Square Gallery (and take part in their art raffle and win prizes yourself); tour the Chapel of the Cross; tour the Old Jail; and enjoy the Waterfront Stage Entertainment. What more could you want?