Downtown Manteo Weekend Party Welcomes Summer

The 2017 Dare Days in Manteo may have been the best attended yet.
The 2017 Dare Days in Manteo may have been the best attended yet.

With a generous contribution from the weather, downtown Manteo was definitely the place to be this weekend.

On Friday the first First Friday of the summer kicked the season off in spectacular fashion followed by what may have been the best Dare Days celebration in some time.

First Friday

The June First Friday has traditionally featured musicians from area high schools and this year was no exception. The Jazz bands of First Flight High School, Manteo High School and First Flight Middle School were on hand to fill the air with music and they were good.

A small group of singers from the First Flight High School Advance Choir was also on hand. They, too, were excellent.

First Friday is a wonderful way to get ready for the month and with near perfect weather and great entertainment, it certainly achieved its goal.

Dare Days

The big event for the weekend, though, was the 42 Annual Dare Days.

This is an event that needs to be experienced to fully appreciate. Part street fair, part celebration of small town life and a way to bring in the summer season, this year’s event seemed bigger and better than ever.

There was a nice little touch with a map of the United States that the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau was displaying. People who stopped by their booth got a little sticker that they could place on the map showing their hometown. It was astonishing seeing how wide the geographic distribution of visitors was—and it’s not even peak season yet.

The music was fantastic. The original Rondells kicked things off at 11, but with two stages, there was always music happening.

This was truly a family friendly event with a real effort to make it fun for kids. There were rides and Kitty Hawk Kites brought their climbing wall. Island School of Dance was on hand with tap shoes for kids to try out. A little girl about three was on the floor holding the owner’s hand and the hand of a student, learning how to tap. Great stuff.

No one was starving on Saturday—four or five booths serving funnel cake; lots of lemonade; food trucks were on hand…the streets of Manteo seemed to be brimming with color and people.

Manteo Is the Place to Be This Weekend

With Dare Days and First Friday on tap, Manteo is the place to be this weekend. Making it even better, the Outer Banks weather is looking great for Friday and Saturday.

First Friday

First Friday is the Manteo celebration of small town life the first Friday of the month from April through October. What makes the June First Friday special is it’s the first one of the summer.

Centered around the Dare County Arts Council Gallery, that used to be the County Courthouse, First Friday includes live music on the steps and inside a featured artist every month.

First Friday, though spreads out across the downtown waterfront area of the town, with live music from two or three other venues, food prepared from carts on the street and shops open late.

Dare Days

Dare Days, though, is certainly the highlight of the weekend.

This is the 42nd Annual Dare Days and it has become a wonderful celebration of Dare County and its culture.

A family oriented day, there are street vendors out serving food, lots of game and great live music.

The games are imaginative and look to be fun.

There is the Blue Ribbon Competition, a cooking contest with contestants in age groups 6-12, 13-17 and adults. And what are they preparing: Cookies, Breads, Pies, Candy, Cakes, Pickles, Jelly, Jam and Preserves, and Salsa and Relish. In other words, a little bit of everything.

There is also an “Everything That Floats but a Boat Race,” a Kid’s zone and, more.

There are two stages set up for live music, and looking over the lineup…it’s pretty impressive. The Original Rondells bring amazing vocals to the stage; Jonny Waters will be on hand with his tight rocking country rock arrangements. Also a new band that’s getting a lot of recognition, The Ramble will be playing.

Arts and craft booths will line the streets, music always playing, lots for kids to do…it should be a great day.