Outer Banks Holidays Begin with Tree Lightings

Seasons Greetings lights up the Town Green in Duck.
Seasons Greetings lights up the Town Green in Duck.

This is certainly a great weekend to celebrate the holidays. Christmas is coming—we know that because there were tree lighting ceremonies in Manteo and the Duck—and tonight, Sunday is the first evening of Chanukah.

For most of the folks that live here and our visitors, the tree lightings really seem to mark the true beginnings of the holidays.

Manteo Tree Lighting

Thanksgiving was so early this year that the tree lighting fell on November 30, first time in a while it’s been in November.

The event is so perfectly all the things we associate with the holiday season that it’s no wonder so many people pack the waterfront area of the town.

There’s free Brunswick stew fromMt. Olivet Church in Manteo, hot chocolate and plenty of sugary treats.

What really makes the evening so wonderful are all the local dancers, singers and performers who take to the stage. Held on the front steps of the old Dare County Courthouse, it is a wonderful showcase for how much people care in the community.

There was a little bit of rain this year, so some of the entertainment was compressed, but Santa still made his appearance—with the combined choruses of all the Manteo schools and the tree lit up the night beautifully.

We weren’t able to get to it this year, but there is a Christmas parade on Saturday every year in Manteo.

Town of Duck and It’s Crab Pot Tree

The Town of Duck has its own distinctive way of lighting up the night with festive lights. Stacking crab pots in the shape of a tree, lights are draped over them and it makes for a different but wonderful way to welcome the holidays and pay tribute to the history of the area.

The Town Green has become the cultural center of the village and that’s where everything happens. The music—Just Playing Dixieland was a lot of fun, with a highlight when they brought some of the younger children on stage to shake bells and sing Jingle Bells.

There’s always cookies and hot chocolate. The Dare County SPCA is always on hand—it is a very dog friendly event—and even though it is very different than the Manteo tree lighting—it still has the same feel of togetherness and joy.

Santa Claus does, of course, come to town, and in Duck he has a bounce in his step and a joy in his laugh that will make all children smile.

The holidays are the perfect time to visit the Outer Banks. Check out our Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates listings for the best accommodations.

Outer Banks Holidays-A Gift to Ourselves

jlmerchrChristmas 2016 wasn’t a very exciting day on the Outer Banks…except for the squeals of delight from children finding a perfect gift under tree.

It seemed almost deserted by the afternoon. There were almost no cars on the our streets and only few convenience stores were open.

Driveways, though were filled with cars and families poured out of their vehicles and into hugs and cries of joy of families reuniting.

When the Holiday Season is described as magical, perhaps this is what is meant—that the magic of families reuniting and the joy of children is a balm to concerns of everyday life. Perhaps the greatest gift is the gift we give ourselves, the knowledge that it is possible to know the simple joys of life and that for at least for one day or perhaps one week, it truly is a part of who we are.

Stores will open tomorrow. Bars and restaurants will be ready of locals and visitors who have come to the Outer Banks.

And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Yet there remains a lingering sense of joy and shared experience that stays with us for days after the holidays—whether the holiday being celebrated at this time of the year is Christmas or Chanukah.

It’s a wonderful topic of conversation that seems to be almost be a greeting for the next few days.

In that way, the Outer Banks is much like any other place. We love talking about gifts and gift giving. We are happiest when we know that family is near, and the holiday season is a time to remember what is truly important in life.

The Outer Banks is truly a beautiful and unique place to live and visit. There is a splendor to the forces of nature at work here that is unlike any other place on earth.

The people who live here, though, and our visitors who come to enjoy an experience like on other, are like people everywhere—seeking the love of family and beauty of nature.

From the staff at Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates to our friends and families everywhere, we wish you the very best this holiday season.

The Magic of the Season-Outer Banks Christmas Lights

Santa and his reindeer at the Poulos House.
Santa and his reindeer at the Poulos House.

Christmas lights are part of the magic of the season. If that is the case—and it seems to be—then the Poulos house in Kill Devil Hills is a spellbinding place.

For 10 months of the year, the house on Ocean Acres Drive, which is the road to Nags Head Woods is nice home by the side of the road. There’s perhaps two acres to the property.

But Thanksgiving week through the New Year, everything changes.

For 37 years, the Poulos family has been creating magic, filling their yard with every imaginable Christmas light, holiday decorations, trains and symbols of religion.

The decorations have been recognized nationally, but this is really a wonderful local tradition—a time for families, or a date night or a place where local kids can go and just be kids.

Visiting the property and wandering about does not take all that long. Maybe a half hour or 45 minutes; but it’s a perfect investment in creating the spirit of the holidays.

Little children run around, their excitement palatable; high school kids seem to gravitate to the lights; families stroll by. And all of it lit by the twinkling Christmas lights, illuminated Santas and reindeer and Christmas elves.

It is an inclusive celebration of the holidays. The Poulos family has placed Chanukah Menorah where most people begin their journey. At the base of the menorah is word “Shalom”—peace in Hebrew.

On the roof of the house lights flash reading “Put Christ Back in Christmas.” One of the first decorations encountered is Noah’s Ark with animals entering.

A string of lights arcs over the road giving the feeling of entering a special place—which it is.

The family does not charge for the display or wandering through their yard. However, their power bills for the month are rumored to be in the thousands. There is a donation jar and donations are appreciated.

To get to the Poulos house is on Ocean Acres Drive in Kill Devil Hills. Turn at the light at Pigman’s Barbecue. The house is just over the rise in a hill when the street turns into a dirt road. On busy nights expect to park a hundred yards or so from the house.