KIDS’ ART, KAYAKING & FURR PARTY

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If you are looking for a free fun time for your kids on Saturday, I suggest that you head on out to Franklin Square Park in Southport, NC. From 11 AM until 2 PM you and the kids can enjoy the activities provided by volunteers from the Associated Artists of Southport at their Kids’ Art Day. Food trucks will be available for lunch, or you can pop on down to the Trolly Stop for a fun kids lunch.

If kayaking is your love, you will likely enjoy the Ride the Tide event, which will be held on Saturday as well – in Oak Island, NC. This event will begin at the Oak Island Recreation Center at 11:30 AM and is co-sponsored by the Adventure Kayak Company. A race, a costume contest and a poker run will be included in the event. There is a fee. You are welcome to volunteer to help out with the event.

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Saturday’s Party Furr the Paws will be held from 6 PM until 9 PM in Southport, NC at the St. James Community Building. This event will include music, dancing, a costume contest, a raffle and more. All this fun will benefit SOAR (Southport-Oak Island Animal Rescue) so plan a night out for a good cause. The cats and dogs at the rescue will thank you for it.

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SPRING FESTIVAL & EGG HUNTS

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Spring has been very fickle this year, but I think it has finally sprung. Easter, on the other hand, will be quite early this year. Because of this, some of the egg hunts have taken place already, but there are still a few that you can check out – including egg hunts for adults! The first adult egg hunt, Night Hunt, will take place this evening, March 29, in the Leland Municipal Park in Leland, NC at 7:30 PM. This rock themed music event invites those 21 years of age and older to enjoy music by Trial by Fire. Wear your best rocker outfit and bring a flashlight. For those 50 years of age and older there will be a Master’s Division egg hunt. Alcoholic beverages and food trucks will be available. Tickets will be $5 and pre-registration is required at: apm.activecommunities.com/townofleland. Search for Special Event – Night Hunt.

The Leland, NC egg hunt for children will be held on Saturday, March 31, at 10 AM at the North Brunswick High School. The school is located at 1395 Scorpion Dr. NE. The children will be divided into 6 age groups and need to bring their own baskets. The Easter Bunny will make his appearance at the end of the hunt.

The town of Holden Beach, NC will also hold an egg hunt at night – for youth and adults. The hunt will begin at 7 PM in Bridgeview Park on Davis Street on Friday, March 30. Pre-registration is required by calling town hall at: 910-842-6488. In this hunt, teams of 4 will compete against each other. Please bring your own flashlights.

The Old Bridge Preservation Society will hold an Easter egg hunt in Sunset Beach, NC, also on Saturday, March 31. This hunt will begin at 1 PM and will include activities, games and the opportunity to create an Easter bonnet or basket. The Easter Bunny will lead a parade of kids over the old bridge and offer treats to the kids.

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In Southport, NC, it’s time again for the Southport Spring Festival & Azalea Sale! The festival will run Friday, March 30,  and Saturday, March 31, beginning at 10 AM and will include so many special events. There will be live music and entertainment on the stage in Franklin Square Park and on Saturday, there will be a Fun Run. There is a fee for the race, and you can pick up a race packet on Friday, March 30, from 4 PM until 7 PM at the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport, or on Saturday, March 31, at Waterfront Park, from 6:30 AM until 7:45 AM.

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RUNNING, BLESSINGS AND SAILING

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It’s time again for the Badwater Cape Fear race and this year it falls on St. Paddy’s Day. That will be Saturday for those of you who let it creep up on you. You must register in advance for the race and there is still time to do so. The race will begin on Bald Head Island, NC and will take you through some areas which rarely see the footprints of man.

On Sunday afternoon you can take your water craft, any kind of water craft, to the City Pier in Southport, NC for the Blessing of the Fleet.

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If running is not your thing so much as being on the water is, you might want to check out the Southport Sail & Power Squadron seminar on Saturday with registration beginning at 8:30 AM. The seminar will be held at the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport and will include issues relating specifically to the Cape Fear region. These will include the use of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tables and charts; how to deal with low water and mean high tide; and predicting the times of the tides. All are relevant to your fun and safety in the waters of the Cape Fear area.

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CHRISTMAS VILLAGE & REINDEER

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The days are flying by as Christmas approaches and people are busy getting ready for their own special celebrations. As you are doing this, don’t forget to enjoy each day. On Saturday, December 16, you can purchase those last minute decorations and gifts while enjoying the day at the same time. Just head into Shallotte, NC to the new Christmas Village in Mulberry Park at 123 Mulberry Street. From 11 Am until 3 PM you can visit 50 vendors and purchase holiday decorations, gifts, veggies, cider and more. Santa will be there and there will be hayrides, children’s crafts, and a big band Christmas show. The contact for information is Emilee Sinclair at: 910-754-4032 or esinclair@townofshallotte.org.

Got an ugly Christmas sweater? Want to show it off? Like to run races? Check out the Southport Ugly Sweater 5K and Reindeer Run (a 1 mile walk/run) with or without antlers. The run begins Saturday, December 16 at 8 AM on Bay Street in Southport, NC, so signup at coastalraceproductions.com (use code Southport20). Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies will be available after the race and the event supports the NC Fourth of July Festival.

VANCOUVER, CANADA - DECEMBER 13, 2014: Hundreds of runners and walkers celebrated Christmas by participating in The Ugly Sweater Run 5K in Vancouver, Canada, on December 13, 2014.

If you are yearning to attend just one more Christmas Parade, you are in luck.  Bolivia, NC will hold its Christmas Parade beginning at 6 PM on Saturday, December 16. The parade will begin at the Brunswick County Government Center and follow Old Ocean Highway to Bolivia. Enjoy!

LIGHTHOUSES, SAFETY, & ROCK N ROLL

“Old Baldy”, was not the first beacon to stand on Bald Head Island, NC. The first was the 1795 Bald Head Island Light Station — actually the first lighthouse structure built in North Carolina. The first light station, however, was built too close to the water, was plagued with erosion problems and was torn down by 1810. In 1817 the 109-foot-tall Old Baldy was built of bricks coated with cement on the outside. Inside it has a ground floor of brick and a stone floor in the lantern room, while the rest of the floors are Carolina yellow pine. It still has the original 12″ by 14″ double-glazed windows from Boston. Because of the limited range of its lens, the Bald Head Island Lighthouse was not useful for warning ships away from Frying Pan Shoals, which extend over 30 nautical miles out into the ocean. In 1854 Congress voted to place a lightship on the shoals. When the Cape Fear Lighthouse, a 150-foot steel skeleton structure, was built on the shoals in 1903, Old Baldy was downgraded to a low-intensity non-blinking light. The Bald Head Island Lighthouse was discontinued in 1935, but from 1941 to 1958 the structure housed a radio beacon to guide ships in low visibility. Now, 200 years later, Old Baldy will be the center of the National Lighthouse Weekend Celebration on Bald Head Island, NC. The Celebration will begin on Friday, August 4, 2017 and will run through Sunday, August 6, 2017. Included will be the Maritime Classic Run for the Light.

A free event on Oak Island, NC on Friday, August 5, 2017 could save your life. Ocean Safety Day will begin at 8 AM and run until 1 PM at the 16th Place East Beach Access. Swim and surf instructors partnered with members of the Oak Island Water Rescue, Oak Island Fire Department and the Sunset Beach Patrol will give talks and answer questions. You can even learn the basics of CPR.

Beginning today, August 3, 2017 you have the chance to wax nostalgic at the Amuzu Theater, in Southport, NC, at the show, “It’s Gotta Be Rock and Roll Music.” This show will run today, August 3 through Sunday, August 6 and August 17 through 20. Thursday and Friday shows begin at 7:30 PM and Sunday shows begin at 3 PM. Seating is limited and the $20 tickets are available from Ricky Evans Gallery and Color Me Carolina. More information at: 910-523-2552.

SUNFISH, FOUNDERS’ DAY & 9/11

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Keep your eyes peeled for the most colorful race of the year as the entrants in the Around Oak Island Sunfish Race make their circle of Oak Island, NC tomorrow, September 10. The race begins in the Southport Yacht Basin and the boats will be visible from the Oak Island beach as well as along the Intracoastal Waterway and from the old Oak Island Bridge depending on what time of day you are looking.

Leland, NC will hold their annual Founders’ Day Celebration tomorrow as well. Check it out for lots of free fun, entertainment, food and fireworks!

Sunday, September 11, will mark the 15th anniversary of the devastating events that occurred on that unforgettable date. Anyone who was not a small child at the time cannot help but remember the date. There will be some commemorative events held by towns, by VFWs and, I am certain, in churches throughout Brunswick County. NC. Even if you do not take part in an organized event, you can certainly take a few moments to think, to pray, to send peace and hope into the universe, and to remember those who suffered personally on this historic date.

(Image courtesy 911memorial.org)

EASTER WEEK

Spring has sprung! The Bradford Pear Trees have burst into their blooming glory. Daffodils are up. The Forsythia is budding out. The days are warmer and Easter is almost here – yes, it’s early this year. And the events that usually take place around Easter time are early, too. On Bald Head Island, NC the BHI Conservancy’s Easter Turtle Trot family fun run and 5K race will take place on Saturday, March 26, with registration beginning at 8:30 AM. This race will begin a full day of events on the island. Then from 10 AM until 5 Pm you can check out the BHI Artisans Show & Sale at the Association. The BHI Easter Egg Hunt will be held from 3 PM until 5 PM at the Common at Cape Fear Station.

In Southport, NC, you won’t want to miss the Southport Spring Festival & Azalea Sale held in the lovely Franklin Square Park on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26, from 10 AM until 5 PM.

Spring also signifies the opening of some of our favorite restaurants that have been closed for the winter and we definitely welcome them back. We also welcome the visitors that Easter seems to awaken to the fact of our beautiful area. Because many schools are closed for spring break during Easter week, visitors with families tend to start arriving around that time. Here are a few ideas for some fun things to do with your children during Easter week (besides going to the beach!).

Have fun at a park – you will find many from which to choose.

Take a tour in a golf cart, on a bicycle or in the air.

Visit the Maritime Museum, the Museum of Coastal Carolina and the Ingram Planetarium.

And don’t forget the ice cream!