OBX BrewFest 2016 Kicks Off Summer Season


It’s a good day when the debate about what was best becomes a question of was it the beer or the music? That pretty much sums up OBX BrewFest 2016

It also didn’t hurt that the weather was wonderful with a nice breeze off Roanoke Sound—ok, it was a wind— and lots of sunshine.

Since it was a beer fest the question of how much beer was it is important. The short answer is a lot. We counted 55 breweries on hand and since almost everyone was pouring two or three beers, it certainly fell under the heading of so much beer and so little time.

And the music . . . wow!

The last two groups to take the stage in particular were amazing.

Keller and the Keels were playing guitar, mandola—that’s a larger version of a mandolin that plays in the alto/tenor range—and standup bass. Those are classic bluegrass instruments, but their sound goes way beyond bluegrass. Their last song was a medley of tunes ending with Pink Floyd’s “Brick in the Wall” —not a typical bluegrass sound.

Soja out of DC is so good. Combing rock, jazz, reggae, Latin and hiphop, their sound is full with horns, a percussion section, keyboard and sax. A tight driving beat and a lot of original material.

Kudos to Crystal Swain of Zen Pops for her Chocolate Stout popsicle. Couldn’t serve it to kids, but it sure was good.

OBX Summer Is Coming, Event Calendar Fills


Yea for summer! It’s almost here. Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, the weather is getting warmer and there’s lots to do.

The Lost Colony kicks off its 79th season this weekend; the Outer Banks Brewfest ups the ante with the Inaugural Outer Banks Craft Beer Week. There’s still a Brewfest—that’s happening next weekend on June 5, but this week will be filled with beer tastings, beer and food pairing and all things beer related.

Summer, of course, is all about music, especially shag music and the weekend will not disappoint.

Sunday at the Whalehead Club in Corolla, the Memorial Day Beach Blast is a day before the actual holiday, but who’s counting. Outdoors on the expansive Whalehead Club lawn with vendors selling food, beer, soft drinks and just about everything that’s needed for a good time. Music from Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band, DJ Harvey Taylor and Aquarium should keep the place hopping for the 12-5 time it’s scheduled..

It is free, but no coolers are allowed.

The Shallowbag Shag Beach Music Festival is Monday—yes, that is Memorial Day—at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo. This one is an all day affair with music with the sound of shag and beach music beginning at 1:00 p.m. and going until 8:30 or 9:00 o’clock at night.

Cory Hemilright has been producing the  Shag Music Festival for a couple of years and it has really improved. He is also brining in some great sounds for the summer at RIFP. First show is this coming Thursday, June 2;  Collin Raye, Dave Atkins and the Lonesome River Band. That should be some great sounds.

#joelamb,jr. #thelostcolony #brewfest

Joe Lamb, Jr. Outer Banks Review of 2015


By any standards, 2015 was a good year on the Outer Banks. Final figures aren’t in yet, but unless November and December post a negative number of people coming to the Outer Banks, visitor spending will set new records. The housing market is back on its feet again. There has been steady improvement for the past five years, and 2015 seems to be the year we can safely say it has come back; new construction is significantly up over 2014, the number of properties sold passed 2014 in November and we’re still waiting for the December figures to finalize the year.

There was other good news as well. NCDOT and the Southern Environmental Law Center reached an agreement that halted lawsuits preventing a replacement for the aging Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet. NCDOT also decided to accelerate the timetable for the Mid Currituck Bridge and with any luck there will be traffic relief in Southern Currituck and Southern Shores by 2021.

We gathered a some of the headlines from bigger events by month to look back over 2015. Some are significant; some remind us how much fun it is to be on the Outer Banks.


Wedding Expo Best Attended Yet

Weddings and events are big business on the Outer Banks and the 2015 Expo brought brides, grooms and their entourage from all over the US. This year’s Outer Banks Wedding Association’s Wedding Expo is January 16-17.


Possibility of Offshore Wind Energy in NC Future

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced lease sites for offshore wind energy development. Located 28 miles offshore, the Kitty Hawk site is one of the potentially most productive on the East Coast.


OBX Opposition Grows to Offshore Oil & Gas

With the news that BOEM was going to reopen the Eastern Seaboard to offshore drilling, a unified Outer Banks rose up in protest. The issue is still undecided, with surveys of potential drilling sites not yet finished.

The Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates BBQ & WINGS Showdown

Part of the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach, the Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates BBQ & Wings Showdown packed them in. Well, we couldn’t help but pack them is since it rained that day and we had to hold the whole event in a giant tent, but we would have packed them in anyway. This year’s Taste of the Beach is March 17-20.


A Special Day for OBX Special Olympics

Held the last Saturday in April, the Dare County Special Olympics brought together over 200 athletes in a remarkable display of love, family and competitive effort.


OBX Brewfest

The first of what we can only hope is many OBX Brewfests. Great beer, great music and a wonderful atmosphere. The initial event for the refurbished and expanded Outer Banks Event Site, the setting could not have been any better. Look for the 2016 version over Memorial Day Weekend.


Bonner Bridge

An historic and hard fought settlement between the SELC and the NCDOT put an end to the litigation holding up construction of the replacement for the Bonner Bridge. The bridge, built in 1964 originally had an 40 life span. Construction for the replacement span should begin this spring.


Jefferson Starship

Under the heading of what’s old is new, Jefferson Starship made an appearance at the Lost Colony. Amazing that after all these years, they still sound as fresh and new as ever.


34th New World Festival of the Arts

Back in 1981 Edward Greene, owner of the Christmas Shop in Manteo, felt there had to be some way to get people to come to the town so he introduced the Outer Banks to the New World Festival of the Arts. He’s handed it off to the Dare County Arts Council—Edward is 91 and wants to slow down a bit—but the festival is still a marvelous combination of craft and high art.


Mother Nature Forces OBX Cancellations

Mother Nature really threw a curve at us in September. Hurricane Joaquin started to come this way then veered out to sea and that was followed by an early season nor’easter. Quite a number of events had to be cancelled and the Beach Road north of Black Pelican in Kitty Hawk was washed out for the second time in 2015.


Brewtag-Can Beer Kegs Fly?

The short answer is apparently not—or at least not well. But the event, sponsored by Kitty Hawk Kites, was a lot of fun.


10th Annual Outer Banks Marathon This Weekend

Blossoming from a single event 10 years ago to a weekend of family fitness time with races from fun runs to the Marathon. Near record times in 2015. The 2016 Marathon Weekend will be November 11-13.


New Town Council in Southern Shores

Capping a year of turmoil a new town council was seated in Southern Shores with three the three incumbents standing for re-election voted out of office.

Record Warmth for the Month

More like spring or early fall that winter, the Outer Banks experienced 60 and 70 degree daytime temperatures all month. The fishing was great, the surfing ok—there wasn’t a lot to stir up the ocean—but the spirit of the holidays was alive and well.