Today is the first Friday in November. That means the First Friday Gallery Walk will be taking place this evening from 5PM until 7PM in Southport, NC.  Each gallery will be serving food and drinks and offering arty stuff for sale as well as a fun social experience. The walk includes: Art@211/The Ricky Evans Gallery, Lantana’s Gallery & Fine Gifts, and Franklin Square Gallery. Franklin Square Gallery will be featuring their annual Holiday Treasures Boutique where you can begin your local shopping for unique gifts and decorations. Can’t make the gallery walk? The boutique will be open Mondays through Saturdays, 10AM until  5PM through December 14.

The annual Holly Days Event will be held at the Southport Gym on Saturday.
Arts by the Shore will be held today, tomorrow and Sunday at the Recreation Center in the Town of Oak Island, NC – giving you three days from which to choose – or you can visit all three! Art in many genres will be entered into the show by local artists. The show will be judged and winning artists will be awarded ribbons at the reception on Sunday at 2PM.


Halloween is more than a week way, but the hauntings have already begun! I’m sure you have noticed the spooky decorations that seem to have been popping up all by themselves. Fall festivals are continuing as well. They give us a chance to enjoy the lovely autumn weather in Brunswick County, NC. Tomorrow you can take part at the Fall Community Day and Fundraiser at Greenlands Farm in Bolivia, NC from 10 AM until 2 PM. There will be activities and games for the kids, farm animal rides, live music. a petting farm, an animal adoption fair by Brunswick County Animal Services, and more. funds raised will benefit the farm animal sanctuary as well as HOOF –  a nonprofit organization for education about and for rescued farm animals.

Later in the day you can head out to Boiling Spring Lakes, NC to enjoy being scared at the BSL Haunted Hayride. The fun begins at 4 PM with the hayrides beginning at dark. You can wear your own costume and do some of the scaring yourself.

Image courtesy Shelton Herald

Another fun event taking place tomorrow is the Brunswick Plantation Arts & Crafts Fair in Calabash, NC. This event will be held in the clubhouse at 8 Brunswick Drive from 9 AM until 2 PM. You will find textile arts, baskets, jewelry, bird houses, gourds, stained glass items, pottery, soaps, wood turned items, photos, wreaths, ornaments  and more. There will also be a bake sale to raise funds for local charities. Admission and parking are free.



(Image courtesy Star News Online)

There are lots of fun things to do this weekend in Brunswick County, NC – from the Rice Festival in Belville, NC to the Purple Feet Festival in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. The Rice Festival is a two day festival, held in the Riverwalk that celebrates the heritage of rice growing in the area. The Purple Feet Festival is held at the Silver Coast Winery and includes grape stomping and a Lucy look-alike contest. On Saturday, you will find fun for the whole family at Big Toy Day at the Cape Fear Regional Jetport in the Town of Oak Island, NC. Your kids and grandkids can earn their wings and be introduced to the fun of flying with free small aircraft flights at this event.

The Brunswick County Intercultural Festival will be held at Brunswick Community College in Supply, NC on Saturday with their fare of food, dance, arts, drumming, storytelling and more. A special addition this year will be held at the Odell Williamson Auditorium on Sunday evening at 7 PM with the presentation of the African Children’s Choir in a free concert.

I would like to personally invite everyone to come out on Sunday afternoon to the celebration of International Peace Day on the Fort Johnston lawn in Southport, NC. With all the turmoil in the nation and in the world, it is important that we take every opportunity we can to send peace out into the universe. Please join me.

International Peace Day 2016


Many people see Easter as a new beginning and some people also see Spring as a new beginning. Anytime is a great time to begin anew, but these events seem to give impetus to us when we need a little nudge. The new life around us stirs our inner being. We look for things to fill us beyond the beauty around us. In Brunswick County, NC we are blessed with beauty and we celebrate it in so many ways. One way we can celebrate it is to be a part of it and to help in giving it to others. Volunteering is a giving of self and a receiving of so much at the same time. We can meet new people, make new friends, enjoy the work we do, fill our empty days and become happier with ourselves in the process. In Brunswick County, NC you can easily find volunteer opportunities in your area of interest. Opportunities abound in human services, children’s services, the arts, historic preservation, community development and animal welfare. Here are just a few of the opportunities in which you can participate and fill your life to the brim:

The Oak Island Lighthouse in Caswell Beach, NC:


Oak Island

First Tee Brunswick County in Shallotte, NC:


Sea Biscuit Wildlife Center, Oak Island, NC:



Fall is upon us in all it’s glory of trees changing color, incredible sunsets, cooler temperatures and sunny days. Fall festivals are in full swing and Halloween is approaching with it’s parties, trick-or-treating, ghoulish costumes and silly ones. Before long Thanksgiving will arrive and many of us will get together with friends and family to celebrate each other. If you are thinking of decorating for this colorful season, remember that even though you can find decorative seasonal items in national chain stores, there are many independent, locally owned stores in the area where you can find unique decorations for the exterior as well as the interior of your home.

Bridgers Old Fashioned General Store in Southport, NC is a great locally owned shop with goodies galore and more: (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/shop/southport/bridgers-old-fashioned-general-store/profile/)

At Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, NC you will find seasonal decorations as well as decorations for year round display in your home – all made by area artists and artisans: (http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/shop/gallery/sunset-river-marketplace/profile/)

(The Artist’s Chair by Marsha Thomas)

Don’t miss the North Carolina Festival by the Sea in Holden Beach, NC this weekend (October 25 & 26, 2014) where you will find all kinds of arts and crafts for decorating your home – and more! (http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/october/north-carolina-festival-by-the-sea/profile/)

Festival by the Sea Poster

Festivals & Fish


Easter weekend has arrived and the streets of the Brunswick Islands are lined with cars full of folks on their way to take part in entertaining events. Many of these people will stay for the week after Easter and if the weather permits they will be spending their time on the beaches swimming, sun bathing, walking, searching for shells, walking their dogs, playing with their kids – in short – enjoying everything available to them at the beach. When the weekend arrives again, they will find more options including:

Days at the Docks, April 26 & 27


This popular festival is held under the amazing bridge that leads to the island of Holden Beach. Folks from all over NC as well as from out of state have made attending this festival a yearly tradition. Here, they participate in arts, crafts, music, food, tournaments, games and the signature Bopple Race. Don’t know what a Bopple Race is? Check out the link above.

Women Anglers in Training, April 26 & 27


Obviously, for women only – a chance to get away by yourself and learn all the tricks of the trade when it comes to fishing. Give dad and the kids a the weekend to spend together while you enjoy Saturday learning or increasing your knowledge about fishing and Sunday either fishing from the pier or from a fishing boat. Pre registration is required for this event, so be sure to contact the Oak Island Recreation Center.


Easter Weekend

Springtime Greetings - easter, tulips, colors, eggs, blossoms

All of us who celebrate Easter have our own traditions depending on our family backgrounds and the places where we live. Some of these traditions overlap. Perhaps we color eggs and hold egg hunts for the little ones; have ham for dinner; bake bunny cakes; buy a new hat; make pancakes shaped like bunnies for breakfast; take pictures in the Bluebonnets; spend a weekend at the beach. Ah, yes. Those of us who live on the coast of Brunswick County, NC, know that tourist season begins on Easter weekend. This will be the beginning of more people on the beach, crowds in the shops, long lines at the grocery store and more traffic. It will also be the beginning of brightly colored towels hanging on the decks of long empty beach houses, children laughing, gaily colored beach umbrellas, kites flying – all the things that bring an air of excitement to the towns after the long cold winter we had this year.

There are several events that take place on Easter weekend that you might want to consider adding to your traditions if you have not already done so. One is the Southport Spring Festival & Azalea Sale. http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/april/)

This event is held in lovely Franklin Square Park and has something for everyone in the family (but you will need to leave your pets at home). Two days in a row (Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19) you can take part (beginning at 10 AM) in the Arts Festival and activities for children as well as view the Model Railroad Exhibit. On Saturday from 11 AM until 2 PM you can enjoy the Chili Cook-Off. There will also be a 5K run/walk on Saturday beginning at 8 AM. Gorgeous azalea plants will be available for purchase to beautify your landscape.

The Museum of Coastal Carolina Family Day (http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/march/) April 19, 10 AM – 2 PM

 This is a great event for families with kids. All kinds of free or low cost activities will be available outside the museum. The $2.00 fee for going into the museum will also be waived for Brunswick County residents with ID. The event will be held even if the weather is bad – it will just be moved indoors.

The Brunswick Islands Home & Garden Show (http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/march/) will be held on April 19 at the Seatrail Golf Resort and Convention Center in Sunset Beach.

Here you can find all of the products you have been looking for to enhance your home and your landscaping – and – speak to representatives of the businesses where you can purchase these items locally, thus contributing to the local economy at the same time.



What the Dickens is Going On?


Yes, I know, it is not yet Thanksgiving. However, once Thanksgiving has arrived and you have feasted you fill of food, and the relatives have gone home again – or you have gone home again – the madness of preparing for Christmas will begin. So, why not enjoy a bit of Christmas early, in a leisurely fashion, before the crazy rush. Besides, you will very likely be able to find some of the gifts you will need at this festival as well.

On November 22nd and 23rd, the streets of Southport will be transformed into “everything Dickens” by the Brunswick Arts Council with the cooperation of the City of Southport. The arts council website explains it this way: “There will be singing groups, juried artists and specialty craftsmen; a gingerbread village, a Christmas tree and costume contest; and, of course, FOOD and FROTH. On display will be the new 48’ touring train exhibit from the Wilmington Train Museum and the very recent award winning exhibit “Fantasy under the Sea” by The Wood-turners. The popular high teas will again be served locally! Merchants and Restaurants in Southport will be poised for the increased activity that the festival brings their way. Trolley rides and fun for all ages! The event will end with “A Tribute to Charles Dickens Candlelight Ceremony and ringing and singing in the holidays!”

The official schedule looks like this:

Friday – November 22, 2013
6:30 to 8:30 Southport Community Building – 223 East Bay St.
6:30 – 8:30 Olde English Victorian Social Gathering under the Tent
 A Welcome by Festival officials
 Cash Pub; beer, wine, traditional cider
 Costume Contest voting – selection of winner at 7:15
 Victorian apparel is optional – but encouraged!
 Victorian music ensemble
 2013 Student artwork display
 Silent Auction items
 Dickens Festival Student Artwork holiday cards

7:30 – 8:30 2013 Dickens Musical Revue ($10 ticket, $5 children 7-12, 6 or less, free)
 Cash Pub remains open, beer and wine and traditional cider

Saturday – November 23, 2013
10:00 to 6:00 Franklin Square Park – 130 E. West St.
Pre-qualified (juried) artists and craftsmen and/or exhibitors sell their hand-made, one of kind creations. Food and froth for sale – some specialty selections!
10:00 to 1:00 Franklin Square Park – Children’s Contest – 130 E. West St.
Vote for your favorite Children’s Victorian Costume – selection of the winner at 1:00 on Franklin Square Park Stage, must be present to win
10:00 to 4:15 Southport Baptist Church, Christian Ministries Center (CMC) – Contests – Corner of Howe and Nash across the street from the church
View a Display of Christmas Trees/Wreaths/Gingerbread Houses
Vote for the best of show; selection of winners at 5:30 at Franklin Square Park Stage
Raffle of Christmas trees/wreaths to support the advancement of arts and culture in schools and the community must be present to win or to return to the festival Saturday evening to “fetch” your tree by 9pm
Raffle drawing at 5:30 at Franklin Sq. Park
Photo Ops on the grounds at Southport Baptist Church, Santa will be there most of the day! Bring your camera! 2013 Charles 

10:00 to 5:30 Gymnasium – Exhibits – Corner of Atlantic and E. West
Three exhibits in the Gymnasium ($3 ticket, no charge for children 12 and under. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult, 21 years or older)
 Wilmington Railroad Museum Train Exhibit
 Wilmington Wood-turners Prize-winning exhibit “Fantasy of the Sea”. Best in show award in Florida
 Victorian Village collection

10:00 to 5:00 Franklin Square Park Stage – 130 E. West St.
Performances throughout the day for children and adults
Dickens Actors stroll through the park and merchant areas
10:00 to 12:15 Trinity United Methodist Church – Murrow Hall – Corner of Nash and Atlantic
Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball ($5 ticket, $3 children 7-12, 6 or less, free)
 10:00 to 10:30 performance #1
 10:45 to 11:15 performance #2
 11:30 to 12:15 performance #3

12:00 to 2:30 Southport Community Building – 223 E. Bay St.
12:00 – 2:30 Olde English Victorian Social Gathering under the tent
 A Welcome by Festival officials
 Cash Pub; beer, wine, traditional cider
 Costume Contest voting – announcement of winner at 12:45
 Victorian apparel is optional – but encouraged!
 Victorian music ensemble
 2013 Student artwork display
 Silent Auction items
 Dickens Festival Student Artwork holiday cards

1:00 – 2:00 2013 Dickens Musical Revue ($10 ticket, $5 children 7-12, 6 or less, free)
3:30 to 5:30 Southport Baptist Church – Sanctuary – 200 Howe St.
Performance by Susan Savia, Soloist from Wilmington followed by Oakwood Waits, Carolers from Raleigh ($10 ticket, $5 children 7-12, 6 or less, free)
3:30 to 5:00 Trinity United Methodist Church – Murrow Hall – Corner of Nash and Atlantic
“The Night before Christmas Carol” – written by Dr. Eliot Engel, performed by David zum Brennen ($10 ticket, $5 children 7-12, 6 or less, free)
6:00 to 6:45 Franklin Square Park – 130 E. West St.
Tribute to Charles Dickens by Candlelight – ringing and singing in the holidays!
 Special Dickens Reading
 Tree lighting in Franklin Square Park
 Carolers
 Holiday wishes by the Festival Queen, Southport Mayor Howard and Jeanette Serens, President, Brunswick Arts Council
 Ringing and singing in the holidays!

Contact info:
· (Jeanette) phone 910-547-0690 or (h) 910-371-2641 for sponsorships and donations
· (Meg) phone 910-508-8116 or (h) 754-5102 for festival information
· (John) phone 631-334-7428 or (h) 755-5383 for festival information

Advance purchase of tickets for the indoor venues located at:
Southport-Oak Island Chamber of Commerce
Shallotte Chamber of Commerce
North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce
Southport Visitor Center
Ricky Evans Gallery – Southport
On line at http://www.brunswickartscouncil.org
At the door