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OBX Holiday Happenings

Holiday lights at the Poulos house, Kill Devil Hills.

There is so much happening on the Outer Banks this holiday season that it’s tough to know where to start. Santa will be making an appearance at a number of locations, there’s lots of holiday lights and cheer and some wonderful causes with great events attached.

For those of us lucky enough to live on the Outer Banks, though, one tradition that seems to mark the beginning of the season is the light display at the Poulos house in Kill Devil Hills. The yard is filled with Holiday lights—there’s even a Chanukah Menorah, Christmas music fills the air, Santa is on hand, free hot chocolate and very real sense of community.

The Poulos house is on Ocean Acres, which is the road that goes back to Nags Head Woods. Turn at Pigman’s Barbecue and stay on Ocean Acres. There’s no mistaking the light show.

Speaking of light shows, Kitty Hawk Kites puts on a very different on with Kites with Lights at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. It starts at 4:00 p.m. the Saturday after Thanksgiving—November 27 this year.

A wonderful event that goes to a good cause, the 27th Annual Festival of the Trees will be at the Outer Banks Brewing Station December 3-5—Thursday thru Saturday. It’s the main fundraising event for Outer Banks Hotline, and it’s great time with lots of kids running around and Santa (of course).

For something different check out the town of Duck’s lighting of the Crab Pot Christmas Tree on December 5. The event includes some great live music and a visit from Santa Claus.

Here are some additional Outer Banks Holiday Events.

Hangin’ with Santa

Kitty Hawk Kites, Nags Head

November 27, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

November 28, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Kites with Lights

Jockey’s Ridge State Park

4:00 p.m.

Winter Lights

Elizabethan Gardens, Roanoke Island

November 28, December 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 23, 26,30 (Tuesdays thru Saturdays) January 2,8,9,15,16,22,23 (Fridays and Saturdays) from 6pm-9pm

27th Annual Outer Banks Hotline Festival of Trees

Outer Banks Brewing Station, Kill Devil Hills

December 3-5

Tree Lighting


December 4

Christmas Parade


December 5

Parade begins at 10:30 a.m.

Duck Yuletide Celebration Duck

December 5

3:00 p.m.-5:00p.m.

A Dickens Tale

Roanoke Island Festival Park, Manteo

December 5m 3:30 p.m.

Whalehead Candlelight Christmas Tour

Whalehead Club, Corolla

December 5, 7, 12

Candlelight Tour of the Whalehead Club. Refreshments at end of the tour.

Breakfast with Santa

Pamlico Jack’s, Nags Head

December 6 9am - 1pm. 

Buffet breakfast with the big guy with proceeds going to the Dare County Angel Tree Fund.

Christmas Past at Island Farm

December 12, 10am - 4pm. 

Island Farm, Roanoke Island

Traditional 19th century Christmas including St. Nicholas arriving in an ox-drawn cart.

Dare County Candy Drop

December 13, 12:30 pm

Dare County Regional Airport, Manteo

Original C54 from the Berlin Airlift, the Berlin Candy Bomber will fly over the airport dropping miniature parachutes with candy bars attached.

112th Annual Celebration of the Wright Brothers First Flight

Wright Brothers Monument, Kill Devil Hills

December 17

Winter Lights Dinner With Santa

December 19

Elizabethan Gardens, Roanoke Island

OBX Open Mic Adventures

Grab your guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, sax, trombone . . .  any instrument will do and head out to take a tour of the Outer Banks music scene. This isn’t a listening tour, though. It’s an open mic tour and for the hidden rock ’n’ roll star, the jazz aficionado or bluegrass master, this is a chance to sit in with some really talented musicians and have some fun.

There are three venues featuring open mic nights, the Kelly’s Outer Banks Tavern in Nags Head, Art’s Place in Kitty Hawk and the Jolly Roger in Kill Devil Hills.

The open mic is a once a week happening at all three locations. Scott Franson is the host at the Jolly Roger, with music taking over the bar at 9:00 p.m. Look for Monte Hooker at Art’s Place starting at 7:00

Who knows who the house band will be at Kelly’s, but they’re always really good. The other night it was Bill Rea on bass and Buzz Bissette on keyboards, two of the best musicians on the Outer Banks. Look for the open mic at Kelly’s at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.

There’s a choice of how to play—some people like to get up and do a solo set, others enjoy sitting in with the band. Some people just like to listen and a lot of the sounds are really good.

One other open mic that comes around once a month is a little bit different. The Dare County Arts Council sponsors a literary open mic the second Thursday of every month at Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery in Nags Head. Poetry, prose, essays, short works—it’s all welcome. Free coffee and snacks, the reading starts at 6:30 p.m.

Almost Maine on the Outer Banks

Maiah Tabb as Hope in the "Story of Hope" Almost, Maine

Life is becoming village-like again on the Outer Banks. It does that every year beginning in mid November through mid March. There are a couple of spikes in population when our visitors come back over Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for the most part for the next four months, life slows down a bit and we can concentrate on those things that make life so wonderful.

First Flight High School put on the play Almost, Maine this weekend. A real departure from the shows they have been doing, this play tackled some mature themes of love and relationships, and the kids did an absolutely superb job of handling their parts.

In the play love is a very tangible thing—a physical manifestation that has substance. In the first vignette a wife shows up in Almost, ME to witness the northern lights and say good by to her husband who died three days ago. In a small bag she carries the broken pieces of her heart, that, when they fall, sound like shards of shale that they have become.

As the story of her relationship with her husband emerges, the skit is actually much more lighthearted than it sounds and the kids did a great job of keeping it sweet, funny and romantic.

The full range of the emotions of the human heart came alive on stage; there are stories of relationships just beginning, of a marriage ending and what it means to fall in love—literally . . . the actors fell down when they realized they were in love.

The “Story of Hope” is a skit about the loss of hope, how lost opportunity may never be regained. Poignant and evocative, the piece tells a story of lost through one person’s attempt to regain a lost love.

Next up for the First Flight actors—The Drowsy Chaperone in April.

Al Roker Almost Visits Kitty Hawk

Al Roker's stops along the way to almost getting to Kitty Hawk.

Like a TV network version of the children’s book, Where’s Waldo, folks on the Outer Banks found themselves asking the question, “Where’s Al Roker?”

Scheduled to stop by Kitty Hawk this evening on his quest to do a weather forecast from all 50 states in one week, he never did make it to the Outer Banks. Not surprising, perhaps . . . but disappointing.

He did do his broadcast from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, tweeting out his change in itinerary saying, “So sorry we’re running behind,” indicating he couldn’t make the one hour trip from Elizabeth City to Kitty Hawk and back again and stick to his schedule.

Speculation had run rampant all day, the burning question was, Where? Where was he going to stand to do his broadcast? Guess we’ll never know now.

Looking over his itinerary for the day, the only surprise is that he came as close as he did to maintaining what had to be a brutal timeline. The day began in Slidell, Louisiana and will end in Charleston, West Virginia, where he’s headed as soon as he finishes in Elizabeth City. In between he stopped in Mobile, Pensacola, Savannah and Hilton Head. Some of it driving, some of it flying—but that’s a heck of a schedule.

So he didn’t get a chance to stop by and visit this time, leaving us with only one option: Al Roker, when you have some time, contact us here at Joe Lamb, Jr. and let us show you what a great place the Outer Banks is.

OBX Weekend-Outer Banks Marathon & More

Marathon pacesetters at mile 4.25. Peter Chebet in black won. Three runners pictured were top three finishers. 

The big event for the weekend was the Outer Banks Marathon and all the races that comes along with it. The event has really become a major part of the fall scene on the Outer Banks with runners coming from all over the United States to enjoy some time with family, runners and the challenge of running 26.2 miles.

The leaders set a blistering pace this year with winner Peter Chebet from Kentucky exactly matching the previous course record sort 2:20:22 set in 2010. 

What really seems to be setting the Outer Banks Marathon apart, aside from the beauty of the run, is that the whole weekend has become happening for the whole family and runners of every skill level. Saturday is filled with a Diaper Dash, and Fun Run a 5K and an 8K. Sunday is the day for the Flying Pirate Half Marathon and the Outer Banks Marathon.

Something has been added to the mix this year, though, and hopefully Americana Beer Fest will be back next year for an encore performance. Not associated at all with the Outer Banks Marathon, this was still a welcome addition to the weekend. 

Held at Pirate’s Cove Pavilion Saturday night was fun, with lot’s of craft beer from local breweries and veteran-owned breweries, some great music,  and awesome food. What’s not to like?

All for for a good cause, too with proceeds benefiting the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council.

10th Annual Outer Banks Marathon This Weekend

Runners at the end of Moor Shore Road in Kitty Hawk, Outer Banks Marathon 2014.

Tenth time is the charm and with the 10th Annual Outer Banks Marathon coming up this weekend, it’s about as good as it gets.The reason we’re saying the Marathon is coming up this weekend is because it has truly become a weekend long event.

The weekend kicks off on Friday with the Race Expo at Rec Park in Kill Devil Hills, which is also when racers pick up their packets. A couple of really interesting clinics are scheduled so for runners this is must do event.

Saturday is family day—no other way to describe it. Four runs are scheduled, from a diaper dash to an 8K, so this is a day for families to enjoy running and spending time together. 

Sunday is the big day . . . the day of the Marathon.

There are actually three races scheduled, the Outer Banks Marathon, the Southern Fried Half Marathon and the Southern 6 which is a 10K race.

The Marathon is, of course, the big kahuna of the whole weekend, and it has become one of the most popular marathons in the South. Very well organized, the course is beautiful, starting in the maritime forest of Kitty Hawk Woods on the Woods Road in Kitty Hawk, passing through Nags Head Woods and the Wright Brothers Monument and finally ending in downtown Manteo, which is a slice out of a Norman Rockwell painting. 

Outer Banks Sporting Events organizes the weekend and 100 % of the proceeds from are donated to the Outer Banks Community Foundation and the Dare Education Foundation. A great weekend for a good cause—about as good as it gets.

Something Extra for an OBX Halloween

Batman working at his craft with a helping hand from his father at Artrageous 2015.

Halloween on the Outer Banks is probably a lot like Halloween everywhere—lot’s of miniature superheroes, princesses, ghost, goblins an witches. 

There are always the special places to go; the area surrounding First Street in Kill Devil Hills is a madhouse for about three hours on Halloween night with what appears to be almost every child on the Outer Banks descending on the homes. Back in Kitty Hawk Landing there’s a lot of candy to be had, but that’s really local’s type of thing, because KH Landing is buried far back in Kitty Hawk.

This year, though, thinks were a little bit different. The Dare County Arts Council’s Artrageous celebration of the arts in Dare County had been postponed in September and the new date was Halloween.

Somehow it all seemed perfect for the day. Held at Rec Park in Kill Devil Hills, Artrageous is truly n family event, with parents spending the day with their kids checking out the face painting, or running with one of the open parachutes Kitty Hawk Kites had at the event, or creating a comic book story with images.

Because Rec Park is where the football fields are, there are always some kids there still in pads, some still wearing their jerseys. This year what made it so much more fun were all the kids dressed up as zombies, batman, ballerinas or ghouls.

Artrageous has always been about the joy of creativity; this year it seemed as though there was a little something extra.


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