TREE LIGHTINGS & PARADES

Tomorrow is December 1st, the Christmas season is upon us and it will be starting with a busy first weekend. The Oak Island Christmas Tree Lighting events will begin at 5:30 PM tomorrow at Middleton Park in the Town of Oak Island, NC. If your kids participate in the Gingerbread Beach House Contest (four divisions: ages 6-12, 1-17, 18 & up, and families) at the Oak Island Recreation Center, they will receive their prizes at the tree lighting and their gingerbread houses will be on display from 12/1 through 12/56.

The last 1st Friday Gallery Walk of the year will take place in Southport, NC on Friday as well Beginning at 5 PM you can stroll the streets enjoying the holiday decorations and stop in each gallery for food, drink and that special Christmas gift you have not been able to find anywhere else.

If you live in or near Calabash, NC, on Friday evening you can enjoy the Calabash Tree Lighting & Spirit of Calabash Parade all rolled into one.

On Saturday, December 2, you and your family can head out to Oak Island, NC to enjoy the Christmas by the Sea Parade beginning at 2 PM. You can head on out to the Boiling Spring Lakes Community Center at 5 PM to take part in their Christmas Festival until 8 PM. Don’t forget the Sea Notes Holiday Concert, Peace on Earth. Don’t worry if you can’t make the 3 PM Concert on Saturday, December 2 at the Odell Williamson Auditorium in Bolivia, NC – they will be doing it all again on Sunday December 3, same time, same place.

Also, on Sunday, December 3, the Oak Island Beautification Club will hold a holiday bake sale and craft bazaar at the Oak Island Recreation Center in Oak Island, NC, from noon until 4 PM.

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THANKSGIVING, ART & A FLOTILLA

I am sure most people are busy with Thanksgiving preparations, or looking forward to sharing the day with family, friends and loved ones. But don’t forget to be thankful for those family members, friends, or even acquaintances who are alone. This time of year can be a bit sad for them. Give thanks for their presence in your life by including them in your celebration. Invite them to share the day in your home, or take a plate full of Thanksgiving goodies by their homes and spend some time with them.

The day after Thanksgiving, of course, has become known as Black Friday, and the day after that as Shop Small (or local) Saturday. Please remember when you are planning your holiday gifts that a gift of art is a gift from the heart and it helps to sustain the artists who made it. There is a number of places in Brunswick County, NC where you can shop for original art. One of them is the annual Smith Island Art League Thanksgiving Show, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, November 24th and 25th, at the Bald Head Island Association Center in Bald Head Island, NC. Browsing is welcomed as well.

Flotillas are some of the loveliest of parades – parades on the water – that are held during the holiday season. The first flotilla of the season, the Ocean Isle Beach Flotilla, will be held on Saturday, November 25, in Ocean Isle Beach, NC, beginning at dusk. This flotilla will include a party afterwards as well as an auction to benefit a local Brunswick County charity.

If you decide to skip the shopping on Friday, you can take the kids and head on over to Wilmington, NC – just across the Cape Fear River. There you can enjoy the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA Battleship Ho Ho Ho. This event promises to be interesting and fun for adults and children alike. Be sure to take your camera for greats pics.

Santa at the Battleship

Veteran’s Day

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This is my daddy. He served with the US Coast Guard in the South Pacific during World War II. I had not yet been born, so I don’t remember him from that time. But I do know that as a young man, he had played piano in the Brass Rail in Tampa, FL where he was from. My mother tells me that he was a fun loving young man when she met him and until they told her that he had been shipped out, but could not tell her where. She was pregnant and alone in the Sheepshead Bay area of New York City. She eventually learned that they had sent him to California and shipped him out from there. By the time he got home, his first born, my older sister, was nine months old. When he came home, he was not the same fun loving man who had left. His hands shook so badly he could barely hold a coffee cup. I am sure he suffered from what is now known as PTSD. He never talked about the war. I think it was too painful for him. It was not until a few years before his death at age 88 that we finally learned a few particulars. Daddy was a signalman on the ship. He stood at the bow of the ship displaying signal flags by hand while bullets flew all around him. He watched his best friend die beside him. He saw a Kamakazi pilot fly so close to him that he could see the pilot smile at him and salute before the plane plowed into another ship. Within the first year after the war, daddy saw his only brother die of cancer and his only son die of SIDS. In his years of marriage, he fathered six daughters. Daddy was the only veteran with whom I had close relationship. I know you have had a relationship with a veteran – your daddy, your mom, your brother, your sister, your husband, your wife. Tomorrow, Saturday, November 11, is Veterans Day. Honor them.

 

ART, ART & ART

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No, I’m not stuttering. This weekend seems dedicated to the arts in Southport, NC and Oak Island, NC, and good timing, too. All of a sudden it’s November and we all wonder where the year went. Many of us have not even thought about Christmas shopping yet, much less having started to find those special unique gifts for our loved ones. If unique is what you want; if handmade is what you want; if local is what you want, then the best place to find it is where you find art. After all, art is not just paintings. Check out Arts by the Shore in Oak Island, NC this weekend and you will see just what I mean. There will be a reception and awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon where you can meet the artists who created your favorite pieces. You can even vote for a People’s Choice award.

Tonight, Friday, is the first Friday of November. The First Friday Gallery Walk in Southport, NC gives you another chance to search for those special gifts, or, perhaps something for yourself or your home. The galleries involved in this event offer yummy munchies and drinks free of charge as well. So, take yourself down to Franklin Square Gallery for paintings and pottery; to Ricky Evans Art @ 211 for paintings, pottery, stained glass and more; and to Lantana’s Gallery & Fine Gifts for a whole range of interesting things.

Franklin Square Gallery will be featuring the opening of their Holiday Boutique. If you don’t find what you are looking for, come back again and again. Admission is free and the items in the boutique will be changing as local artists bring in more and more.

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