GET YOUR BOPPLE ON

It’s that time of the year again – the time when the town of Holden Beach, NC celebrates the arrival of spring with their Days at the Docks Festival. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday, April 23rd and 24th, so you can choose your day – or attend both days. This year along with their famous Bopple Race they will be holding a Cardboard Box Paddle Race.

For an evening of dancing, Saturday evening, April 23rd, offers the Black Tie Optional Gala at the St. James Community Center in Southport, NC. If you prefer to do your dancing in the afternoon, you might consider the Strawberry and Wine Festival at the Silver Coast Winery in Ocean Isle Beach, NC on Sunday, April 24th, from 1 PM until 5 PM. There, you can enjoy the music of Mike’s Garage Band.

Spring, and our thoughts turn to beautiful blooms and plants. If you would like to increase the beauty of your surroundings in Leland, NC, you can stop by their Plant Giveaway on Saturday, April 23rd, from 10 AM until all the plants are gone.

 

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!

 

DOGS, HOMES, GARDENS & A GOLF BALL

Dogs, homes, gardens and a golf ball (not that kind of a golf ball!) are all part of the events happening in Brunswick County, NC this Saturday, March 12. If you plan well, it will actually be possible for you to take part in all three events. With beautiful spring weather finally here we are motivated to begin spring cleaning and that inevitably leads to ideas for rearranging our homes inside – possibly adding some new touches. At the same time, the weather lures us outside where there is likely cleaning up to do from the winter events. We also are motivated to beautify our outdoor living spaces by weeding and planting new flowers, adding hanging baskets, maybe even adding a patio.  You can get some great ideas and advice by attending the Brunswick County Home & Garden Show in Shallotte, NC.

Dogs are a big part of the lives of people who live in Brunswick County, NC. Most any time of day you can see dogs walking their people at the beach or along the sidewalks of towns. There are several dog rescue sites in the county where you can find big dogs, small dogs, medium sized dogs, friendly dogs timid dogs and a host of others from which to choose. Dogs love being outdoors in lovely weather, too, and, as social animals, they love interacting with other dogs. Why not take your dog(s) to A Bark in the Park in Leland, NC on Saturday?

Music, dancing and food make for a lovely evening out and The Golf Ball in Supply, Nc is a great place to enjoy all three. What’s even better is that at the same time you will be supporting a worthy cause that benefits the children of Brunswick County, NC.

THE SPRING SAILING MIGRATION

Image from rudd.com (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/vacation-home-rental/oak-island/margaret-rudd-and-associates-inc-realtors/profile/)

Just as the birds migrate in the spring and the fall, so many people do the same thing – and often by boat. The Intracoastal Waterway stretches along the eastern coast of the US and offers them a much safer transport than the Atlantic Ocean. The intracoastal Waterway is what separates Oak Island and the other South Brunswick Islands from the mainland of NC. Those of us who live here are witness to these seasonal migrations along with that of the birds. I moved to Oak island more than 24 years ago and was so taken by the sight that I wrote a poem about it:

THE AWAKENING

Spring comes to the island,
not in the shape of green crocus spears
thrusting their tips through frozen ground and snow,
bursting with the energy of new life,
anxious to claim the spring.

Spring comes to the island,
not in the shape of daffodils
uncurling their golden trumpets,
playing a fanfare of beauty to usher in the season.

Spring comes to the island,
not in the shape of a robin,
it’s red waistcoat bursting with pride,
gathering twigs to build a new home
to feather its season of love and new life.

Spring comes to the island
in the color of white
shining in the sunlight,
in the shape of sails,
billowing in the March wind,
carrying the boats through the waterway
like their great white wings
carry the ibis out to sea.

Most travelers of the Intracoastal Waterway do not sail the distance without leaving their boats. Many make a road trip (or water trip) out of it and stop at interesting places along the way – sometimes staying overnight or longer. These folks take advantage of the available marinas scattered along the route. Southport has its share of these marinas. Here are a few for you to consider:

Deep Point Marina ( http://southport.insiderinfo.us/marina-boat-sales-service/marina/deep-point-marina/profile/)

South Harbour Village Marina (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/marina-boat-sales-service/marina/south-harbour-village-marina/profile/)

Southport Marina (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/marina-boat-sales-service/marina/southport-marina/profile/)

VOLUNTEERS HAVE HAPPY HEARTS

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:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/volunteer/historic-community-development/friends-of-the-oak-island-lighthouse/profile/)

Oak Island

First Tee Brunswick County in Shallotte, NC:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/volunteer/children-services/the-first-tee-brunswick-county/profile/)

Sea Biscuit Wildlife Center, Oak Island, NC:

(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/volunteer/animal-care/sea-biscuit-wildlife-shelter/profile/)

APRIL

April showers bring May flowers – or so the saying goes. But we have had so much rain in February and March that I am hoping April will bring sunshine and warmer weather. Some signs of spring have been helpful in making me hopeful. Daffodils are blooming in many places. The Star Magnolia blossoms, lovely white ribbons on bare branches, have bloomed and are almost gone. Bradford pear tree blossoms have popped out like popcorn. Forsythia is now beginning to peep out shyly and will soon be glowing in all its golden glory. Considering these things, it seems appropriate to begin the month of April by attending the Southport Spring Festival & Azalea Sale coming up in Franklin Square Park on April 3rd and 4th.
(http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/april/southport-spring-festival-and-azalea-sale/profile/)

SPRING FESTIVAL

Another event well worth attending and taking place on the 4th is the Museum of Coastal Carolina Family Day in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. You might decide to attend the Spring Festival on the 3rd and the museum the following day. In any case, here is some info about that worthy event:
(http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/april/museum-of-coastal-carolina-family-day/profile/)

For those of you itching to run (or walk) this is a bit of advance notice about the Hound Hustle 10K & 5K in which you can take part on April 12. The event takes place in lovely Brunswick Forest. There will also be a 1 Mile Trot with Spot so you can take your dog(s) with you. Proceeds benefit Brunswick County Animal Services.
(http://leland.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/april/5-star-race-productions-llc/profile/)

5 Star Race Productions, LLC Leland Events

Spring Dreaming

Colorful_spring_garden

The wind is blowing, the icicles are dripping, icy rain is falling, I am bundled up and warm and dreaming of Spring. I could blame the groundhog – it seems his prediction is the same every year. Yes, I know, it could be worse. The midwest and northeast are being inundated with snow again and a foot of snow can fall in an hour there. Here, in Brunswick County, I don’t believe there has ever been a foot of snow. But I am spoiled. I have often bragged to relatives in the northeast saying that Spring begins here in February. And it does – usually. The redwinged blackbirds were swarming the other day – one of the signs of the coming Spring that I have come to recognize. And I saw a bluebird just yesterday. There seem to be buds on some of the early blooming plants as well. But, as this weather is proving, you cannot depend on these as harbingers of Spring. There is, however, a sure sign of Spring that we who live on these barrier islands have come to recognize:

The Awakening

Spring comes to the islands,
not in the shape of green crocus spears
thrusting their tips through frozen ground and snow,
bursting with the energy of new life,
anxious to claim the Spring.

Spring comes to the islands,
not in the shape of daffodils
uncurling their golden trumpets,
playing a fanfare of beauty to usher in the season.

Spring comes to the islands,
not in the shape of a robin,
it’s red waistcoat bursting with pride
gathering twigs to build a new home,
to feather its season of love and new life.

Spring comes to the islands,
in the color of white
shining in the sunlight;
in the shape of sails
billowing in the March wind,
carrying the boats north through the waterway
like their great white wings
carry the ibis out to sea.

Rebecca Pierre