CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES

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It looks like the weather has finally broken and we are in for seasonal weather this weekend. (Translation – beautiful) As many of you know, in Brunswick County, NC, spring usually begins in February. Spring means outdoor activities like beach walking, shell hunting, skateboard riding, bicycle riding, golf playing, hiking, tennis playing, walking, park going and so much more. In addition to that this Saturday brings some special activities in which to engage.

Fort Anderson in Winnabow, NC offers their Civil War Living History on Saturday for Civil War buffs and as a fun learning experience for kids.

Your little princes and princesses can enjoy a fun evening pretending on Saturday as well. The princesses have the option of  attending a Little Princess Ball in Supply, NC, Leland, NC, or Southport, NC. While the princes can play at being knights in Boiling Spring Lakes, NC at A Perfect Knight.

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If running is your game, you can join the crowd in Oak Island, NC on Saturday at the Run Oak Island event. Whatever, you choose to do – have a wonderful weekend.

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FALL = HAYRIDES AND OYSTERS

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Even in ‘the olden days’ when I was young, a favorite fall activity was going on a hayride. Back then we sang songs together, our voices ringing on the crisp fall air, as we huddled together for warmth in the hay telling stories and jokes. In Boiling Spring Lakes, NC, on Saturday, October 21, you can enjoy a very special kind of hayride – a Haunted Hayride. What fun! This annual event is different every year, so if you attended before, prepare to be scared out of your wits again.

Also this weekend, you have two days (Saturday and Sunday) to head out to Ocean Isle Beach, NC and enjoy everything oysters at the North Carolina Oyster Festival. With music, dancing, eating, shucking, crafts, oyster stew, and so much more, you are sure to find something(s) to make your day memorable.

There will be something special happening in the northern part of the Brunswick County, NC that will be of interest to history buffs and kids who enjoy learning at reenactments. Port Brunswick Days will be held at the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site in Winnabow, NC. From 10 AM until 4 PM on both Saturday and Sunday, living historians will wear 18th century clothes and demonstrate how life was lived during those times. You, too, can take part in activities such as candle dipping, militia drilling, sitting in the stocks and other experiences that will take you back to that previous time.

CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES

If you live in Brunswick County, NC and you are looking for something to do this weekend, you will have plenty of choices. On Saturday, you might want to head out to Franklin Square Park in Southport, NC to Participate in the Southport observance of International Peace Day from 2 PM until 4 PM.  Rev and Jeremy Truett will both be performing throughout the event. There will be children’s activities as well as a children’s art exhibit inside Franklin Square Gallery. In the event of rain, the observance will be held inside the Southport Community Building.

From 9 AM until 12 noon on Saturday, you can enjoy the Oak Island, NC beach while helping the Oak Island Beach Preservation Society by taking part in their observance of International Coastal Cleanup Day. To participate, either email beachoki@outlook.com or show up at the beach society’s tent at the Town of Oak Island cabana at the foot of 46th Street on Saturday morning.

Fun for kids seems to be the order of the day on Saturday as there will be two more events focusing on kids that day. One of them will be the Kiwanis Big Toy Day to be held at the Cape Fear Regional Jetport in Oak Island, NC from 10 AM until 3 PM. There will be lots of fun things for kids to do, including small craft airplane flights.

The second event will have a totally different focus. It will be the opening of Go Chicken Coop located at 7 Bell Swamp Connection in Winnabow, NC. (Look for the 9 foot tall roadside gold chicken on U.S. 17) The venue will be open from 10 AM until 6 PM Saturdays and Sundays through November 19 with farm themed fun for the whole family. Activities will include hayrides, a farm train, corn hole, a corn maze, fall festival games, sack races and more.

The air will be filled with music on Saturday evening. Mike’s Garage Band will hold a fundraising concert for the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport from 5:30 PM until 9:30 PM. This free event will be held at Woodlands Park Amphitheater in St. James. Bring your picnics and drinks and enjoy the music and raffles. Non-residents of St. James will need to register by calling 910-457-0003. Entrance for non-residents will be at the Seaside gate off Middleton Boulevard.

The cast of ‘It’s Gotta be Rock and Roll Music’ will hold encore performances of that event at the Amuzu Theatre in Southport, NC beginning Thursday, 9/14 through Sunday, 9/17. Shows will begin at 7:30 PM, Thursday through Saturday and at 3 PM on Sunday. Tickets will be available at Ricky Evans Art Gallery and Color Me Carolina.

Check Six Brewing Company in Southport, NC will offer Trivia Night on Thursday beginning at 7:30 PM; Karaoke on Friday from 7:30 PM until 11:30 PM; and live music on Saturday night beginning at 7:30 PM.

Elvis is alive and well and you can see him in Southport, NC on Friday evening from 6 PM until 9 PM. Elvis and Friends will perform at the St. James Community Center where there will be food, raffles, auctions and dancing and you can BYOB. This event will benefit WAVES 4 K.I.D.S. and tickets can be purchased at www waves4kids.org or on their Facebook page.

KNIGHTS AND CIVIL WAR?

Most little boys like to play at being Knights of the Round Table at sometime in their childhoods. The idea of wearing armor, sword fighting and jousting is fun and stirs their imaginations. If you are a mother, grandmother, sister or aunt to such a boy who is in kindergarten through fifth grade, you might want to call the Boiling Spring Lakes Community Center to arrange to take part in their event, “A Perfect Knight.” The event will be held on Saturday, February 18 from 4 PM until 6 PM.

Some of those same little boys, when grown up, (and some girls as well) will have found an intense interest in history – specifically U.S. history. As adults, they enjoy participating in the reenactment of historical events. If you enjoy being out in the fresh air and seeing these kinds of events take place, you might want to head out to Brunswicktown/Fort Anderson State Historic Site in Winnabow, NC on Saturday or Sunday (2/18 & 2/19), or both days if you like. There you can enjoy the Fort Anderson Civil War Living History.

If you have lots of energy and are a morning person, you might consider starting your day on Saturday by taking part in Run Oak Island before you head out to the other events. There will be an awards ceremony and a party after the race. This race will benefit the Oak Island Turtle Patrol, so get up and get out even if you only do the 1 mile fun run/walk.

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FOCUS ON CHRISTMAS

Southport, NC  Winterfest has begun! The sailboat wreaths are lining the streets and the trees are shining with lights. The cookies in the cookie baking contest have been gobbled and judged (winner to be announced). Supper with Santa’s Elves has been enjoyed by all the little kiddies. Tonight from 5 PM until 8 PM you can tote your chairs, snuggle under your blankets and watch the movie, The Polar Express, on the Fort Johnston Garrison Lawn. Friday’s lineup includes a Costumed Holiday History Tour and the NC Maritime Museum at Southport beginning at 3 PM and the Fire Engine Parade with the fire engines loading the kids at the Southport Fire Station at 5:30 PM and the parade beginning at 6:30 PM. (Heads up – Howe Street will be closed for the duration of the parade). After the parade, the kids will visit with Santa and enjoy refreshments.

Saturday will be the big day with events all day and into the night. From 9 AM until 4 PM you can enjoy the handmade and home grown offerings at the Winter Craft Festival on the Fort Johnston Garrison lawn. From 9 AM until noon you can browse the Friends of the Library book sale held at Southport Realty at 727 N. Howe St. Books make great gifts! There will be a Santa’s Workshop for the kids at the Southport Recreation building from 10 AM until 11 AM. From 1 PM until 3 PM, the Southport Community Building will host an Old Timey Gospel Fest, sponsored by the Smithville Township/Southport Black History Committee. The Old Brunswick County Jail will offer tours from 2 PM until 7 PM. The Christmas Tour of Homes will begin at 2 PM and continue until 7 PM. It provides the opportunity for you to see lovely local homes all decorated for Christmas. At 7 PM, be prepared to find a great spot to watch the Christmas Flotilla as the beautifully decorated boats sail past.

You could also head for Leland, NC on Saturday for the North Brunswick Christmas Festival & Parade. The parade will begin at 10 AM, with the festival entertainment beginning at noon. On Sunday from 1 PM until 5:30 PM, you can experience An 18th Century Christmas at Brunswicktown/Fort Anderson State Historic Site in Winnabow, NC. Whatever you choose to do – enjoy!

VALENTINES DAY

Valentines Day is nearly here and the florists are all in a flurry. When we think of this day we think of love, flowers, candy, special dinners out, gifts of jewelry – all the traditional things associated with it. In Brunswick County, NC you will find some of the restaurants will have special dinners to celebrate the occasion. There is no shortage of florists, jewelry stores and places to purchase Valentine candy either. But there is a number of other events to choose from as well – some of them not so traditional. Why not do something different this year – maybe something your special sweetheart has an interest in or something in which the whole family can participate.

If you have an interest in North Carolina history, you might want to think about heading to the Brunswick Town State Historic Site in Winnabow, NC. On February 14 and 15 there will be dramatic interpretations of the fall of Ft. Anderson to commemorate the 150th anniversary of that event. (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/february/fort-anderson-civil-war-living-history/profile/)

If you like the fun and excitement of the Mardi Gras, you can head on over to Oak Island, NC for their three day event. Wouldn’t it be fun to spend Valentine’s evening in front of a bonfire on the beach? (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/february/mardi-gras-by-the-sea/profile/)

For a more traditional evening of dining and dancing, you can participate in The Golf Ball in Carolina Shores, NC where all proceeds benefit a good cause. (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/february/the-golf-ball/profile/)

HISTORIC CHURCHES

One of the main reasons immigrants to the new world gave up most of their worldly possessions and endured treacherous voyages across the wild and green Atlantic Ocean was because of their search for religious freedom. And so, many original towns were either established around churches or churches were built there soon after the towns were established. Religious freedom is an important part of life in the United States. Though the original churches in Brunswick County, NC are Christian churches, you will find Jewish Synagogues in nearby Wilmington, NC and a Buddhist Temple on Midway Road in Bolivia, NC. You will also meet people who find their spiritualism next to the sea. There are many spiritual places on Oak Island which are recognized by those who tune themselves in to the universe. Because the first European settlers were Christian, the historic churches are Christian churches. They are interesting to people of all faiths because of their architecture and their beauty. Here are a few that you may enjoy visiting:

St. Philip’s Parish at Old Brunswick Town State Historic Site in Winnabow, NC (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/attractions/southport/st-philips-parish/profile/) is the oldest and the only Colonial church in southeastern, NC.

Photo by Alice Paul Gray

The Chapel of the Cross at St. Philip’s in Southport, NC (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/attractions/southport/the-chapel-of-cross-at-st-philips/profile/)

Trinity United Methodist Church in Southport, NC (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/attractions/southport/trinity-united-methodist-church/profile/)