Rogallo Kite Festival at Jockey’s Ridge Saturday & Sunday

Kites flying at Jockey's Ridge State Park during a Rogallo Festival.
Kites flying at Jockey’s Ridge State Park during a Rogallo Festival.

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Something for the whole family?

If that’s the case, check out the Rogallo Kite Festival at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head Saturday and Sunday.

Sponsored by Kitty Hawk Kites, the event is a wonderful celebration of a true American hero.

Francis Rogallo and His Invention

Francis Rogallo doesn’t show up in a lot of history book, but it was his invention of a “parawing” a frameless steerable went that made hang gliding possible. And more than hang gliding. Almost all modern stunt kites are patterned after his designs. Modern parachutes that can be directed to a landing zone; paraglider and more.

All of it because he and his wife Gertrude created a frames wing that would fly to the left when told to, or to the right, or up and down.

Rogallo spent almost his entire professional career at NASA, beginning with the agency before WWII when its acronym was NACA— National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

The Rogallo wing—as it is known—was just one of some 24 or 25 patents that he held, all of them related to flight.

Rogallo Festival

The Rogallo Festival is all about kites and flying. There are stunt kite demos all day. This is a great time to learn how to fly a two or four line kite.

We’re not sure just what kites Kitty Hawk Kites will have on the dune, but in the past there have been power kites as well as regular stunt kites. Flying a power kite is a thrilling, and depending on how strong the wind is, a bit exhausting, experiences.

There are also kites in the sky all day long. Huge kites, often in the form of various sea creatures, but also large deltas and box kites, their strings adorned with spinners and even some small kites.

The weather is looking close to perfect for Saturday and Sunday, so there’s really no excuse for not being there. Bring some water, sunscreen and keep the sandals on—the sand is getting hot.

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.

Easter Egg Hunting Time on the OBX

The Easter Bunnies are revving up their greetings, the weather is looking fantastic for the weekend and there are some great Easter Egg hunts on tap for the kids on the Outer Banks.

We admit it…we’re suckers for watching kids scramble across grassy fields or almost any open space searching for Easter Eggs. There is something so innocent and so fun about seeing the excitement on a child’s face when they find an egg that makes the world seem like a better place.

And there’s a pretty good selection of Easter Egg hunts, or “Eggstravaganzas” as many of them are called on the Outer Banks this weekend. So there’s no excuse for not taking that son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter or yourself to one of the events.

Be sure to check the dates on the events. Some are on Friday the 14th some Saturday and some Sunday.

Have fun, find lots of eggs and take lots of pictures.

23rd Annual Cotton Gin Easter Egg Hunt

Cotton Gin, Jarvisburg

April 16

2:00 p.m.

On the north lawn. Hayrides, the Easter Bunny and 1000s of eggs.

Whalehead Club Egg-Stravaganza

Whalehead Club, Historic Corolla Park

April 14

1pm to 3pm

Little kids (2 & under) at 1:45pm; Older kids (3-5 & 6-8) 2:00pm.  Also, visit with the Easter Bunny, sack races, jellybean counting contest, bean bag toss, bake sale, hot dogs and, much more!

Kitty Hawk Kites Eggstravaganza

Jockey’s Ridge Crossing, Nags Head

Friday, April 14 – Saturday, April 15
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Start the 2017 season off right with Kitty Hawk Kites. Whether you’re visiting for the holiday or “stuck here on purpose,” come out and watch massive 30 – 100 foot kites flying high over Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Across the street from the dunes, take your picture with the Easter Bunny, and let your kids join in the Jockey’s Ridge Crossing egg hun

Easter Eggstravaganza 2017

Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo

April 15

10a.m-1:00 p.m.

Egg spoon races, hat contest, musical acts, dancers, special visit from Sir  Walter “Peter” Wabbit, make and take crafts, egg roll race, find special prize eggs to win: prizes, gift certificates, stuffed animals and more! Hop on over to attend our “Please bring your own Easter Basket for collecting eggs and prizes.”

Thanksgiving Start of Outer Banks Holiday Traditions

Decorations at the Elizabethan Gardens Grand Illumination.
Decorations at the Elizabethan Gardens Grand Illumination.

Thanksgiving is a pretty special holiday on the Outer Banks. It is certainly a family time when many of our homeowners come with their children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters to celebrate the holiday. Of course for the those of us who live here, it’s much the same—a day to treasure time with family and close friends.

The holiday weekend is also when many of the traditions that have become so much a part of our season fill the days.

We’re highlighting four that are occurring over Thanksgiving weekend but there is much more to do on the Outer Banks. Check out our Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates Event Listings for more information.

Grand Illumination


Friday, November 25

Elizabethan Gardens, Roanoke Island

Every December the Elizabethan Gardens fills the paths, plants and trees of the Gardens with hundreds of thousands of lights. It is a wonderful, dazzling spectacle and one that creates a lifetime memory.

The Grand Illumination is the first night of the event and includes children’s and high schools choirs, hot chocolate and a visit for Santa Claus.

Hanging with Santa and Kites with Lights


Friday & Saturday, November 25, 26

Kitty Hawk Kites, Nags Head

Thanksgiving is traditionally when Santa makes his first appearance and the jolly elf has been stopping by Kitty Hawk Kites at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing for as long as anyone can remember. Friday and Saturday, Santa stops by for a visit, late morning to early afternoon. Saturday evening, huge kites take to the sky over Jockey’s Ridge State Park festooned with lights.



Saturday, November 26

Sanctuary Vineyards, Jarvisburg

Oysters, and lot of them…all you can eat. Steamed to perfection, local beer and wine, crab and barbecue while it lasts. Sanctuary Vineyards is part of a working farm and there are hayrides for kids and kids at heart as well as live music.

Christmas Arts and Craft Fair


Saturday, November 26

Baum Center, Kill Devil Hills

A great event for a great cause. Proceeds benefit the Outer Banks Woman’s Club scholarship program and charitable giving. Arts, crafts and homemade goodies. What’s not to like?

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.

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.

30+ Years for Wright Kite Festival

Chris Shultz of HQ Kites helping a young kite flyer.
Chris Shultz of HQ Kites helping a young kite flyer.

All things considered it was a really nice day for the Wright Kite Festival at the Wright Brothers Monument. Kitty Hawk Kites has been sponsoring the event for a lot of years—30+ by our calculations—and it’s always a good time.

The event was mostly rained out on Saturday, but Sunday the sun was out with a few scattered cloud. The winds . . . well the winds were not perfect for kite flying but they weren’t all that bad either. A little bit light, but the real problem is they were variable; from the east for a little bit . . . then south . . . then southwest . . . then east again.

Nonetheless, there were a lot of kites in the sky. There was a great demonstration of kite ballet—quad line kites dancing to music, the music mostly jazz with a little bit of classical thrown in.

The folks at Kitty Hawk Kites always break out the kite making kits for kids, the sled kites they make really do fly and they’re so small that a child running full tilt is guaranteed to get the kite into the sky.

It was a great chance for adults to try their hand at some of the stunt kites, although even some kids got into the act. We noticed Chris Shultz of HQ Kites flying a power kite with some young enthusiasts.

They must have had a good time because the kids were laughing the whole time.


Jockey’s Ridge-Kite Flyers Dream & More


The sun has come back to the Outer Banks; we’re getting some nice breezes from the south, which is what is expected as the weather turns to spring and summer. We had a couple of rugged days in there, but spring is always like that as the atmosphere makes up its mind about what the season is going to be.

Kites are starting to pop up again on Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head—a sure sign that more pleasant days are here.

In a landscape filled with symbols of the beach life, Jockeys Ridge seems to have taken its place an icon that people look to and remember. With over 1,000,000 visitors every year, it stands to reason that visitors and locals see the massive dune structure as a symbol of the Outer Banks.

It was almost destroyed.

Back in the early 1970s developers were ready to level Jockeys Ridge and build vacation homes. In fact, the bulldozers were ready to move when Carol Lista (there’s road named after her in Nags Head) stood in front of the ‘dozers and refused to move.

Her actions inspired others and from that People to Preserve Jockey’s Ridge was formed. Some intense lobbying and excellent marketing followed and in 1975 Jockey’s Ridge State Park was established.

People to Preserve Jockey’s Ridge eventually became Friends of Jockey’s Ridge and nonprofit organization that continues to advocate for and support the park. Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates is a proud sponsor of the organization.

There is nothing like Jockey’s Ridge anywhere. It is a living dune—meaning the sands are in constant motion, changing the shape and landscape throughout the year. The highest sand dune on the East Coast, it is home to the Kitty Hawk Kites hang gliding school and may be the finest place in the world to fly a kite.

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.