Surfing Takes Center Stage in September


There’s a lot of surf action coming up in September and it’s looking as though mid month for anyone who’s in to all things surfing, the Outer Banks is the place to be.

Maybe it’s not really “action” but the Surfalorous Film Festival sponsored by the Dare County Arts Council is coming back for its second year September 15-17.

The movies span the gamut of independent film making—there are some two minute shorts, a few that are a little longer and a couple of feature length films.

A couple of local businesses are screening the movies as well as the DCAC Gallery in Manteo. We’re posting a schedule below.

Surfalorous wraps up on Saturday and Sunday September 18-24 the ESA Eastern Surf Championships will be held at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

It’s an amateur competition, but the level of surfing, especially from the masters, longboards particularly, and juniors on shortboards is astonishing.

The Easterns is the East Coast Championship competition for the Eastern Surf Association, an amateur surf association that bills itself as the largest amateur surfing association in the world. The organization has been around for 40 years, and it probably does have more members and does more for them than any other organization.

Surfalorus Film Festival Schedule
Thursday, September 15- Outer Banks Brewing Station

Doors: 7pm Screening: 7:30pm


The Man & The Sea


Austin Keen Wakesurf

Creators: Leah Dawson

Salt Boys

Yeti Presents: The Malloy Brothers

The Wild

Surf N Turf

Feature Film: Psychic Migrations- 9pm

Friday, September 16- Dare County Arts Council

Screening: 7:00pm



Dark Waves

Taking Shape

Southeastern NC Surfing

Feature Film: It Ain’t Pretty- 8:30pm

Saturday, September 17- Front Porch Cafe in Nags Head

Screening: 4:00pm


The Adventures of Nasasa

Forbidden Trim

Saturday, September 17- Outer Banks Brewing Station

Doors: 7:30pm Screening: 8:00pm



Bruhwiler Country



Junk in Public – H2O Patrol

Light Therapy

Beauty and Chaos


Seal Sessions

The Joy of Surfing

Cold Outside: Surfing Winter


Pipe Dreams

The More Things Change

Feature Film: The Zone- 10pm

Surf & Sounds-Better Than Advertised

Katie Hyun, Elizabeth Vonderheide, Jacob Fowler and Luke Fleming performing Debussy's String Quartet in G Minor at the Duck Amphitheater.
Katie Hyun, Elizabeth Vonderheide, Jacob Fowler and Luke Fleming performing Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor at the Duck Amphitheater.

Better than advertised … that is the only way to describe the Surf and Sounds Chamber Music that the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series brought to the Outer Banks this year.

Tuesday night’s performance at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores was absolutely amazing. And then the musicians equaled that with their outdoor presentation at the Duck Amphitheater last night.

Jacob Fowler—cello, Luke Fleming—viola, Elizabeth Vonderheide—violin and Katie Hyun—violin are musicians at the absolute top of their game. Tuesday night’s performance also included Amanda Halstead on piano, which allowed the performers to take on music with a little more orchestral sound.

The performance at the Duck Amphitheater was a traditional string quartet—and it may have been nice if the piano could have been there as well, but moving a concert grand to an outdoor stage doesn’t seem like a good plan.

Nonetheless, the music was sublime leading with a classic Haydn composition, his String Quartet in G Major. They came back with a Debussy piece, String Quartet in G Minor, that challenged the musicians and the audience.

The Tuesday night performance spanned the 400 years, from Mozart to Paul Schoenfield, modern American composer. His Cafe Music written in 1985 was a revelation and a delight to hear.

There are two more concerts scheduled: tonight (Thursday) at the Blue Point in Duck and Friday evening at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery in Manteo.


Chamber Music Comes to Outer Banks


Here’s just about a perfect way to end the summer on a high note—the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series is bringing chamber music to four locations on the Outer Banks.

Looking at the professional experiences of the musicians, these are incredibly accomplished artists with very strong performance backgrounds. The concerts are free, and what is particularly nice about this series are how perfect the settings are for chamber music.

It will be interesting to see how the Blue Point sets up the restaurant to accommodate the musicians, but no matter what it will be great music with amazing food.

Although all of the venues should be excellent for chamber music—with the Blue Point caveat included—one evening in particular may really be worth considering. The Wednesday concert at the Town of Duck Amphitheater is an outdoor setting that is beautiful. Set in a slight bowl, the sound should be perfect and, although now weather forecast is faultless, right now conditions appear ideal for an outdoor concert.

Surf and Sounds Chamber Music Series-Venue Schedule

All Saints Episcopal Church, Southern Shores

Tues August 23, 7:00 p.m.

Town of Duck Amphitheater,  Duck

Wed. August 24, 7:00 p.m.

Blue Point, Duck

Thursday August 25 – 6:00 p.m.

Dare County Arts Council, Manteo

Friday August 26, 7:00 p.m.

Annual New World Festival of the Arts

Lisa Kovac with her pottery on display at New World Festival of the Arts.
Lisa Kovatch with her pottery on display at New World Festival of the Arts.

It was a kind of hot, the sun, especially on Wednesday was intense, but the 36th Annual New World Festival of the Arts on the waterfront in Manteo was as good as it has ever been.

With 78 artists on hand working in a wide variety of medians, this is an annual event worth checking out.

From the beginning, when Edward Greene of the Christmas Store came up with the idea, the Festival has been a celebration of art of all kinds with crafters coming from all over the East Coast.

Five years ago Edward asked the Dare County Arts Council to take over the event and they have done and great job of continuing the tradition.

There’s seems to be something for every taste at the Festival. There is some absolutely remarkable pottery—the Celtic Pottery in particular was stunning—local artist Lisa LeMair was on hand with her very differently styled jewelry and James Melvin, who is in some ways the dean of Outer Banks artists was also on hand.

There are always some first time exhibitors who warranted a second look. Bob Bohannon with his Seashore Carvings had some interesting pieces; also the sea glass work that local jeweler Pembroke Bryant created with did a great job of highlighting the beauty of the glass.


Nags Head Woods-Beautiful and Challenging

Sweet Gum Trail, Nags Head Woods.
Sweet Gum Trail, Nags Head Woods.

The Outer Banks is a far more complex natural environment than it may appear to be at first. A cursory glance may give the impression that it’s ocean, beach and some sawgrass thrown in, and certainly along the seashore, that is what it appears to be . . . although even that’s pretty complex.

But step away from the shoreline, cross over to the sound side and whole new world opens up.

No where is that more apparent than in Nags Head Woods.

Part of the Nature Conservancy, Nags Head Woods is 1100 acres of swamp, marsh and surprisingly steep trails that follow the contours of relict sand dunes. Of all the forests, woods and preserves located on the Outer Banks, the Nags Head Woods trails are by far the most challenging.

Not all of the trails are difficult. The Center Loop Trail is a short trail that is perfect for the anyone five years of age and up.

For hikers looking for a bit of a challenge, check out the Sweet Gum Trail.

Over millennia soil has accreted on the ancient dune system that of Nags Head Woods, and a dense maritime forest like no other in the world has grown up. At the base of the dunes are swamps and fresh water ponds with trees typical of that environment.

The trail ascends rapidly—really, this is akin to mountain hiking although the ascent is not as long—and as it does so, hardwood trees typical of a inland forest dominate.

The best way to get to Nags Head Woods is to turn on to Ocean Acres Drive at Pigman’s Barbecue. Ocean Acres will bear to the right and turn into a dirt road. Continue on until the Nags Head Woods parking lot appears on the left.


Ribbon Cutting at Renovated Roanoke Island Aquarium

The Jellyfish gallery. A soothing and quiet corner of the Aquarium.
The Jellyfish gallery. A soothing and quiet corner of the Aquarium.

With North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on hand to cut the ribbon on the renovated North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, the final step was taken to introduce a remarkable transformation of one of the most popular sites for visitors on the Outer Banks.

With over 300,000 visitors annually, the Aquarium is an important part of the Outer Banks experience, a point McCrory referred to in his remarks noting how important tourism is for the economy of the entire state.

The renovations were long overdue—the last major work on the facility was 16 years ago, although the STAR (Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation) Center was put in place two years ago.

The cost of the renovation was put at $6.5 million with almost all of that—$5.5 million—coming from private donations funneled through the North Carolina Aquarium Society. The success of that public/private partnership was a key point in McCrory’s address.

“The government can’t do it by itself, the private sector can’t do it by itself, but by working together is a win win for everyone,” he said.

Mostly, though, the Governor talked about the wonder of walking through a facility that combines some of the best features of technology with a very hands on experience for visitor—especially children. “When you come here, the first thing you notice are the children,” he said.


Who’s Bad Brings Michael Jackson to Lost Colony

Joe Bell (Jobel) as Michael Jackson on stage at the Lost Colony's Waterside Theatre.
Joe Bell (Jobel) as Michael Jackson on stage at the Lost Colony’s Waterside Theatre.

Now that was a concert for the Outer Banks to remember!

Performing at The Lost Colony’s Waterside Theatre, Who’s Bad brought the genius on Michael Jackson to the Outer Banks. Sheer energy, great choreography, excellent musicians and a show stopping performance by Joe Bell—Jobel as he is known on stage.

The range of Jackson’s music and choreography really come alive in a production of this caliber. What really seemed to bring everything together, though was Jobel. His vocals were on pitch, his dancing had the same fluid yet crisp, precise moves associated with Jackson and teamed up with a band that seemed to be able to do it all and two stellar dancers recreating the Jackson choreography, Waterside Theatre was jumpin’.

With so much of Jackson’s’ repertoire brought to life, it’s difficult to pick out any one performance that was the best. Jobel included a set of Jackson 5 hits— and he did amazingly well. What seemed to make that set work, was the genuine effort he put into bringing those songs to life.

If pressed, the last set that featured Jackson’s best known and earliest hits, would be the pick as best—although given how good everything else was, that’s a tough argument to make.

But Billy Jean, Thriller and Man in the Mirror carry a certain mystique with them to this day.

Joe Lamb, Jr. is a proud sponsor of The Lost Colony and we’re looking forward to next year’s Live at the Waterside Concert Theatre.


Annual OBX Watermelon Festival a Delight

Face painting is one of the many activities that are part of the Kitty Hawk Kites Watermelon Festival.
Face painting is one of the many activities that are part of the Kitty Hawk Kites Watermelon Festival.

Over the years certain Outer Banks traditions and celebrations become favorites. The Fourth of July, of course and Christmas has a marvelous charm, but it’s the smaller festivals that create such a unique experience for anyone living or visiting that that are really what the local culture is all about.

The Annual Outer Banks Watermelon Festival, sponsored by Kitty Hawk Kites, is one of those events. Yes, there’s lots of watermelon, a watermelon eating contest and a watermelon seed spitting contest; but that’s only one part of what makes this one so much fun.

Kitty Hawk Kites has built its reputation on being the place for fun for the whole family and in this case they have done it up right, turning their Nags Head Jockey’s Ridge Crossing location into a fairground that includes an inflatable waterslide, juggling lessons, face painting and a chance to create your own tie-dyed T-shirt.

The really neat thing about this is all the proceeds benefit the Outer Banks Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Coalition, a coalition that was originally sponsored by Food Lion after one of their employees died riding a bike to work.

There are a lot of watermelons consumed and Food Lion has stepped up and donated to the cause.

For anyone coming to the Outer Banks during the first week of August next year, when the event is traditionally held—put this one on the to do list.

Senior Arts and Crafts Show Wednesday & Thursday


Here’s something a little bit different to do. The Outer Banks Women’s Club is holding there 43rd Annual Senior Arts and Crafts Show on Wednesday and Thursday August 3 and 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at The Baum Center in Kill Devil Hills.

The OBWC has been around for 45 years so the Senior Arts and Crafts Show has been going strong almost as long as they have.

It will be a little bit of everything at the show, so much so that it’s a little bit tough to predict exactly what will be there. There are always some great gift items, some artwork and toys, but what this is really about is giving back to the community.

An organization that has made it its mission to give back to the community by supporting the arts, conservation, education, home life, international outreach and public issues through volunteer support and funding.

Admission is $1.00, children 12 and under are free. Proceeds from the show benefit scholarships and community projects.

August Offers Exciting OBX Events

Watermelon seed spitting at Kitty Hawk Kites Watermelon Festival.
Watermelon seed spitting at Kitty Hawk Kites Watermelon Festival.

Wow! There is so much to do in August we can’t even list it all. Here’s a good start to all the great things there are to do but by all means, check locally for even more.

One of the great things about the Outer Banks is there seems to be something to do for just about everyone.

Some great music is coming to the area with John Michael Montgomery on August 4 at the Outdoor Pavilion at Roanoke Island Festival Park (RIFP). There is probably no better outdoor venue anywhere, so that gets a five out of five star recommendation.

For the outdoors people, check out the events at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Fun and educational, they are sure to be experiences that will be remembered.

And . . . there’s lots for kids to do with the 10th Annual OBX Watermelon Festival at Kitty Hawk Kites in Nags Head and a puppet show at RIFP.

Alligator River Refuge Van Tour

August 2, 16 7:00 am – 9:00 am

Creef Cut Trail Parking Lot, 5.5 miles west of Roanoke Island, Hwy 64 & Milltail Rd.

Join us for a personal tour through popular areas for viewing and photographing wildlife. Our two photographer leaders know the refuge. $30 per adult. $20 children 6-12. Limited to 5 participants. Reservation required. 252-216-9464 for reservations and details.

43rd Annual Senior Arts and Crafts Show

August 3, 4  9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

The Baum Center, 300 Mustian St., Kill Devil Hills

Sponsored by The Outer Banks Woman’s Club. Admission is $1.00- children 12 and under free. Proceeds from the show benefit scholarships and community projects.

10th Annual OBX Watermelon Festival

Jockey’s Ridge Crossing in Nags Head

August 4 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Enjoy games, food, face painting, tie-dye shirt making, arts and crafts activities, an inflatable waterslide, TONS of watermelon fun and more. Compete in classic competitions like seed spiting and watermelon eating. Benefits Outer Banks Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Coalition.

Movies On The Sound

Dusk, Weekly on Tuesdays

Town of Duck, Town Green

Although FREE, donations are appreciated to benefit Children @ Play, the films’ presenter. Blankets and chairs are encouraged.

August 2 – Maleficent

August 9 – Tangled

August 16 – E.T.

Lighthouse 5K

The Whalehead Club, Corolla

Wednesday, 8:00 am

Lace up your running shoes and see the sights. Add the fun of a run and fitness to your vacation joining us for a Summer morning 5k run/walk through the Historic Village of Corolla Light.

August 3rd

August 10th

August 17th

August 24th

August 31

Rainbow Puppets Children’s Show Really Big Dinosaur Show

August 3 – 5, 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Roanoke Island Festival Park- Indoor Theatre

It’s not called “The Really Big Dinosaur Show” for nothing… there’s a long-necked dinosaur that stretches out over 16 feet from nose to tail, there’s a nine foot tall T-Rex, and there’s a mountain that comes to life and begins singing a song. Tickets are $5/ ages 2 and younger-free.

John Michael Montgomery

August 4, 6:00 pm

Roanoke Island festival Park- Outdoor Pavilion

One of the best voices in country music comes to the Outer Banks.

Red Wolf Howling-Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Date: August 10, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Creef Cut Trail parking lot, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Hwy 64 & Milltail Road

Refuge staff/Red Wolf Caretaker offer you the experience of a lifetime! Come and learn about the endangered red wolf during a short presentation. Then journey to the heart of the refuge for an adventurous attempt to hear our captive red wolves produce their haunting sounds. Call 252-216-9464 with questions.

OBX Pirate Festival

August 10 – 11

Kitty Hawk Kites, Nags Head

Ahoy Mateys! Get ready for a swashbuckling good time as pirates and their friends invade Jockey’s Ridge Crossing in Nags Head.  Kids are invited to participate in a free Scalawag School to see if they have what it takes to be part of Blackbeard’s Crew!

Donavon Frankenreiter

August 22

Kelly’s Outer Banks Tavern, Nags Head

Singer/songwriter and professional surfer, rforming from his catalog and latest album, The Heart. 

2016 BIC SUP One Design Series

August 25

Kitty Hawk Kites, Duck

BIC SUP is a series of stand up paddleboard races featuring BIC’s One Design race style SUP. This event is a fun and friendly competition. Brief clinics will be held prior to each competition. Registration and clinics start at 9:00a.m., Races begin at 10:00a.m. for most events.