Corolla-Wild Horses Outsmart Fence Looking for Greener Pastures

Corolla Wild mustangs grazing in the 4WD area for Carova.
Corolla Wild mustangs grazing in the 4WD area for Carova.

The Corolla Wild Horses have gotten themselves in the news again. It seems the herd has figured out that the fence meant to keep them in the 4WD area of the Currituck Banks is damaged. The fence runs from  the Currituck Sound to the Atlantic Ocean.

Reports seem to indicate the horses like the lush green lawn of the Whalehead Club, although they’ve been seen grazing in a couple of areas. The folks from the Corolla Wild Horse fund have been doing a remarkably effective job of rounding up the escapees and getting them back north of the fence.

The damage is on the ocean side. There are plans to fix the fence, but the contractor is waiting for a west wind to make the surf a little more manageable. 

It’s a fun thing to think about in the winter of the year—the horses running free…people trying to round them up.

But there is a serious side to it.

Between 1985 and 1996, twenty horses were killed by cars. That’s when that first attempt to build a fence—in 1996—and round up the herd up and move it north happened. There were a lot a lot of problems with that fence and it was rebuilt in 2004 and has been fairly effective.

There’s a good reason to preserve the Corolla Wild horses. Along with the Shackleford Banks herd, they are the last remaining true Spanish Mustangs in the world. The mustangs of the American west, that are often thought of as the classic example of the breed, have crossbred with other horses so much that they are not considered a genetic example of mustangs.

Genetic testing has established that the Corolla herd are direct descendents of the horse of the Spanish Conquistadores. 

A visual study of the horse also confirms that they are unlike any other breed of horse and have the physical characteristics history has said the horses had. 

They are somewhat short and stocky with narrow but deep chests. They have shorter backs compared to their body than other breeds. They are a small breed of horse—700-900 pounds. The smaller ones are barely bigger than a pony.

They are also known to be very intelligent and very determined.

A Lot of Theories But Nothing Confirmed

How they got here is a bit of a mystery.

A shipwreck, perhaps. A wonderful thought—the horse escapes sure death and swims to its safety. It is, however, very unlikely.

At the time, the thought was that a horse’s legs could not handle the movement of a ship at sea, so they were suspended below decks in a harness. To survive a shipwreck at sea, someone would have had release them from their harness, which seems improbable if the entire crew was on deck fighting to save the ship.

It’s more likely that the Spanish explorers left their mounts behind for one reason or another. We know that the Spanish were very active in exploring the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. That is one of the reasons why Queen Elizabeth I granted Raleigh a royal charter to form a colony—as a counter to Spanish efforts.

There were also a number of unsuccessful attempts by the Spanish to establish colonies in the Southeast. When the Spanish left, it is very doubtful that they would have taken their livestock, including the horses, with them.

An interesting theory on that is somewhat plausible is the mustangs came with the ships of the doomed Lost Colony.

Spain and England were at war or on the verge of war in 1585 when Sir Walter Raleigh outfitted his second expedition to Roanoke Island.

Led by Sir Richard Grenville, the expedition stopped in the West Indies to buy livestock, including stallions and mares. 

Approaching Roanoke Inlet from the south, the flotilla’s flagship Tiger, ran aground, probably around Ocracoke Inlet although Diamond Shoals off  Buxton is a possibility. Because it was the largest ship, it was carrying most of the supplies for the colony  including the recently purchased livestock. Attempting to refloat the ship much of the supplies, including the livestock was thrown overboard.

If the livestock were survived, over time they could easily have migrated to the north. At the time that the Tiger ran aground, neither Hatteras Inlet nor Oregon Inlet existed. Those did not open until an 1846 hurricane. Although inlets opened periodically for the most part the Outer Banks was a continuous strand of sand from Ocracoke to Roanoke Inlet, directly across from Roanoke until about 1820 when Roanoke Inlet closed permanently.

That explanation does leave a lot unexplained. As an example, the Banker Horses as they became know, were common throughout coastal North Carolina from the Core Banks to the south to the Currituck Banks and Virginia by the 1700s.

Ocracoke Inlet, separating Ocracoke from Portsmouth Island, has been a wide, navigable inlet for as long as European explorers first marked it in the 16th century. Horses are good swimmers, but it would still have been a difficult crossing.

At one time there were a few thousand Banker horses roaming the Outer Banks. The story of what became of them is somewhat sad and involved and we’ll save that for another day.

But remember, when a stallion and his harem (that’s what it’s called) are lazing on the Carova beach in the summer, what you are seeing is a living piece of the history of the United States. 

And please, do not feed them and keep at least 50’ away.

There is so much to learn about the Outer Banks. Spend a fascinating week or two in a Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates home and discover a place like no other.

Home Sweet Sandy Home–Life on a Barrier Island

Section of an 1822 map of coastal North Carolina showing three inlets that no longer exist, and no inlets where two are now located.
Section of an 1822 map of coastal North Carolina showing three inlets that no longer exist, and no inlets where two are now located.

Welcome to the Outer Banks where, as the saying goes, we live on island time…except we don’t really live on islands. More like sandbars that have managed to rise from the sea. 

That really is what a barrier island is and the Outer Banks are barrier islands and like all barrier islands they are not a permanent land mass. Left to their own devices, barrier islands migrate, generally to the shore.

The process is well documented. A large storm overwashes the sandbar. Sand is picked up from the ocean side and deposited on the landward or estuary side. 

The evidence of that process can be clearly seen if you know what to look for.

Where the Inlets Lived

On barrier islands, inlets open and close all the time and as they do so they leave a very clear footprint of where they have been.

At the north end of Duck, looking out across Currituck Sound, the water is dotted with small muddy islands. That is the remnants of Caffey’s Inlet that was open from about 1770-1811. The small islands are sand deposits from when the inlet was open.

More evidence? Check out the whole north end of Currituck Sound.

Currituck Inlet was so well known and so well defined that at one time the fledgling US Government established a customs house at what is now the town of Currituck. The customs house closed in 1828, as did Currituck Inlet.

The process continues to this day.

On Pea Island, in 2011 Hurricane Irene opened a passage to the sea that has historically been an inlet. The area is called New Inlet and since it was first noted by European explores in 1656 it has spent far more time open than closed.

Nonetheless, the processes that allow for the ocean to overwash the sandbars and move the Outer Banks to the west have been dramatically slowed by human intervention. 

Although the Outer Banks are barrier islands, there are a couple of true islands that are a part of what is typically included in a description of the area. It should be noted, though, that they are not directly on the shoreline.

Two Real Islands

Roanoke Island, where the Lost Colony tried their luck in the 1580s is now the home of Manteo and the fishing village of Wanchese. It’s unlike any other island in the Outer Banks area.

It was probably an island before the Outer Banks formed some 10,000 or 12,000 years ago. Geologists how have looked at its history feel there were rivers that flowed northward toward what was at one time the Roanoke River Delta. At that time the eastern shore of the Untied States was at least 40-50 miles to the east.

Roanoke Island’s nearest island neighbor is Colington Island about four miles north across Roanoke Sound.

Colington Island, at the end of the road that goes by the Wright Brothers Monument in Kill Devil Hills, is mostly a residential area. It actually is much more similar to the Outer Banks than Roanoke in a lot of ways.

It is actually a series of relict dunes, so it was probably either part of the coastline at one point or very close to it. The soil of the island is very sandy in keeping with its geological history.

Because it was once part of the shoreline and is made up of once upon a time dunes, the terrain is far more varied than Roanoke Island, which is pretty flat.

Interesting little fact—Roanoke Island was the first attempt by the English to colonize North Carolina. Colington Island was the first permanent settlement—1663.

Roanoke island and Colington are fairly close to one another, and for the most part, especially in the northern Outer Banks, things are clustered fairly close together. There is an exception to that though.

Hatteras Island Farthest From Mainland

Very few, if any, barrier islands are as far from the mainland as is Hatteras Island. It’s so far across Pamlico Sound—18-20 miles—that one European explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano first entered it in 1529, he thought he had discovered a passage to the Pacific Ocean.

He probably didn’t sail too far into the sound. If he had, no doubt he would have noticed that the waters were just too shallow to be an ocean. The maximum depth of Pamlico Sound is only 26’.

There is so much to explore and learn about the Outer Banks that it could be the study of a lifetime. Spend a week or so with Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates and begin your journey of discovery.

For The Lost Colony Third Time Is Truly the Charm

Wine, food, some beer, wonderful music, perfect weather and a great time at The Lost Colony Grand Tasting.
Wine, food, some beer, wonderful music, perfect weather and a great time at The Lost Colony Grand Tasting.

For the The Lost Colony Grand Tasting third time’s the charm evidently, although we have to admit the first two times were awfully nice.

But the Saturday wine tasting at the the SoundStage Theater certainly seemed like the best yet.

Maybe it was the weather, with that gently breeze blowing off Croatan Sound; or the bright sunshine. Maybe it the music—some jazz in the beer garden and the vocals and acoustic guitar of Jessica Hudson & Thorne Wiggs inside. Or the food which was sublime.

And then there was the wine. Over 100 different wines from around the world to sample. Probably somewhere in the 550 folks that were on hand tried to get to all 100+ wines, which would be unfortunate because the object is to try the wines and find the best.

The technique is to sip a bit and maybe pour out some of the wine. And be sure to try some of the food offered by the finest Outer Banks restaurants. It all comes with the price of a ticket, so why not.

The Grand Tasting is part of The Lost Colony’s Wine and Culinary Festival, a weekend long celebration of wine, food and the Outer Banks. Friday night there was a wine dinner with five Outer Banks chef’s using their imaginations to create a multi course dinner paired with wines. Sunday it’s brunch at Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe.

But the signature event for the weekend is the Grand Tasting and The Lost Colony management has made some great decisions to insure its success. Perhaps most importantly they limit ticket sales to 500—or 550 if the weather is going to allow people to get outside. The insures little or no line at the tasting tables and quick service for food.

It really does make for a better event.

October seems to be event month with Rock & Roast in Corolla, the Duck Jazz Festival Columbus Day Weekend, the Outer Banks Seafood Festival the following weekend and even more events throughout the month. It’s a great time to stay with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Edward Greene Documentary Tells the Tale of a Remarkable Life

Edward Greene is a very interesting guy. One of the icons of who and what the Outer Banks has become, he’s 93 now, needs a walker to get around but the mind and memories are as sharp as ever.

He’s probably best known to most people as the founder of the Christmas Shop and Island Gallery in Manteo. He sold that about five years ago, and since that time he’s been interviewed and asked to tell the story of his life.

This Sunday at the Pioneer Theater in Manteo, that life comes to the big screen at 5:00 p.m. in “Christmas Everyday – The Wonderful Life of Eddie Greene.” 

The documentary, directed by filmmaker Bryan Jones, brings Eddie Greene’s journey to life, traveling from New Rochelle, NY where he grew up, to the Navy in WWII and and dancing in a Broadway touring company. Finally landing on the Outer Banks in The Lost Colony, marking the beginning of a lifelong love affair with the area.

It’s hard to overstate the impact Edward Greene has had on the Outer Banks.

Although best known for the Christmas Shop, his influence goes far beyond that. By all accounts he has been a powerful and important mentor to many of the young actors who perform in The Lost Colony. 

Along with the actor Andy Griffith, who performed din The Lost Colony at the same time the Greene did, he founded the Outer Banks Community Foundation, an umbrella group that donates to local nonprofits. The Community Foundation recently began an emergency fund for victims of Hurricane Dorian. The fund is nearing $1,000,000 in donations, all of it going to help bring life back to normal in effected areas.

He also helped to create the Friends of Jockey’s Ridge, a group dedicated to preserving one of the Outer Banks most treasured natural wonders.

That’s just a small sampling of what he has meant to the Outer Banks, and the movie is a must see event for those of us who know the man, or anyone wanting to learn about a remarkable life.

the Outer Banks is filled with wonderful people and stories. Stay a while with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates and find out why life on a sandbar is so wonderful.

The Lost Colony Ghost Tour-History & Fun

An evening of fun, history and a touch of fright. What could be better?

Do the spirits of the first English colonists roam the forest of Roanoke Island? Are there, in fact, ghosts wandering about The Lost Colony?

For the next two week, there is a chance to discover for yourself if it’s true or false.

The Lost Colony is offering their annual Ghosts of the Lost Colony tour, that may even include a chance meeting with a spirit form beyond.

The tour dates—April 15-27—give lots of chance to see if the spirts really do remain from the ill-fated attempt to build an English town on Roanoke Island.

Is The Lost Colony and the site of what was briefly “The City of Raleigh” haunted? There is speculation that it is and unconfirmed reports of sightings of spirits.

The tour is a half mile nighttime walk through the forest the borders The Lost Colony. It’s about an hour long and include a talk about the history of the Colony and perhaps a chance meeting with a spectral presence. 

Tours are scheduled to leave at 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. 

Unlike the earlier Halloween tour, that was designed to scare everyone, this tour has been created with the whole family in mind. So, bring the kids—they’ll have a great time.

A couple of suggestions. Comfortable shoes are a must. It is a half mile walk through the woods. The paths are well-marked, but it is at night. A light jacket is also a good idea. April nights on the Outer Banks can get a bit chilly.

The Lost Colony Ghost Tour is just one of many great events happening on the Outer Banks. Spend a week with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates and discover what life on a sandbar is really all about.

Outer Banks 2018 Year in Review

The year in review.
The year in review.

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to look back over the year and some of the stories that we covered in our Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates blog. There were some tough choices that we had to make about which story to highlight for each month, but here it is—our 2018 recap.


January-Two Winter Snowstorms

Generally speaking the Outer Banks experiences one snowfall every winter. Two within two weeks of each other in the same month? Unheard of…until 2018.

February-Pea Island Bridge Named for Lifesaving Service Hero

Naming the bridge for Richard Etheridge is appropriate.

Etheridge was the captain of the Pea Island Lifesaving Station from the 1880s through the 1890s. 

The Pea Island Lifesaving Station was the only all African American crew in the Lifesaving Service and was consistently rated as one of the best on the Outer Banks.

March-Nor’Easters Create Perfect Winter Surf

Maybe it was the back to back nor’easters that created the perfect conditions for the waves that rolled in on Wednesday. Maybe it was the wind shifting just enough to the west to stack those massive waves, so they were no longer an unreadable swirl of currents.

Whatever it was, something happened yesterday to create an almost perfect winter surfing day. 

April-Record Breaking Bluefin Tuna

Caught on the last day of 2018 of the North Carolina bluefin tuna trophy season, there is a new state record for the largest of the tuna family.

Weighing in at 877 pounds the tuna was landed on March 17—that’s St. Patrick ’s Day. It does take a while for the weight to become official, but here it is a little less than one month later and there is a new record in the books.

May-Permit Needed for Carova Beach Parking

Heading to the Carova area of the Currituck Banks? If so, be sure to get a permit before parking on the beach.

Beginning this weekend—Memorial Day—a permit is required for anyone who is parking on the Carova beach. The very important word in that sentence is parking. In other words, if a family is planning on driving to the 4WD area, and stopping to go swimming or fishing, a permit will be needed. 

(The jury is still out on how successful Currituck County’s permitting experiment has been.)

June-Fourth Outer Banks Microbrew Opens

And now we are four—four locally owned microbreweries  on the Outer Banks, that is.

The Northern Outer Banks Brewing Company in Corolla just joined the mix this spring, and that brings the number of microbreweries on the Outer Banks to four. Or maybe five if 1718 Brewing down in Ocracoke is included…although we think that’s a bit of a long way to go for a beer.

July-New Book on the Lost Colony

There is a new book out on the Lost Colony and it may be the most comprehensive study of the fate of the 115 colonists that has been published.

Andrew Lawler’s The Secret Token, Myth, Obsession and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, is an amazing book that manages to incorporate elements of a a mystery or spy novel into a book filled with a detailed study of the history of the Lost Colony and why—and how—it has to hold such a dominant place in the American psyche.

August-Village Table and Tavern Opens in Duck

It seems like Village Table and Tavern in Duck has been under construction forever—but at long last it’s open!

For visitors who have been driving up to Corolla, that’s the building that’s been under construction at the Nor’Banks Sailing Center since February.

Was it worth the wait?

A soft opening visit this past weekend would say that yes it was—most emphatically.

September-Outer Banks Icon Glenn Eure Passes Away

We meet very few truly memorable people in our lives. Glenn Eure was one of them.

Anyone meeting him felt immediately as though he would be a friend for life. Glenn was funny, outgoing, irreverent and a remarkably complex man.

He passed away this past week, and for the Outer Banks and hundreds if not thousands of visitors that met him there is a void that will be hard to fill.

October-Mustang Fall Mustang Music Returns to Corolla

The first day of the Mustang Rock & Roast is now in the bag and whatever the expectations were, they were exceeded. 

It helped that the weather was perfect, but the sunshine and autumn temperatures, just made an amazing day or music that much better.

The headliner, Big Something, didn’t disappoint…at all. 

November-Kitty Hawk Winks Closes

Change is inevitable but somehow it seemed the Kitty Hawk Winks was immune to that. Through 65 years it remained at the corner of Ocean Boulevard and the Beach Road, the perfect beach town convenience store, dispensing food, sandwiches, teeshirts and cheap souvenirs in equal measure.

Change, evidently has finally caught up with the icon to beach living and Thanksgiving Weekend will be the store’s last hurrah. 

December-Weather Delays Bonner Bridge Ribbon Cutting

The ribbon cutting for the new Bonner Bridge has been moved back to sometime in January or February next year. NCDOT had hoped to get the replacement span for the aging bridge opened by the end of this year, but a series of storm event have delayed the final touches for completing the bridge.

Structurally the new span is completed. However, there is ongoing work to finish guardrails, remove construction equipment and minor work that goes into finishing any major project.

Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival on Tap for This Weekend

Tasting wine at last year's Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival.
Tasting wine at last year’s Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival.

Great Wine, Great Food and a Great Time

The 2nd Annual Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival is here. Last year was great time with over 100 wines available to try and some local microbrews on tap. All of it in one of it at The Lost Colony on the north end of Roanoke Island.

It would be hard to imagine a more beautiful setting to sip some wine and some fantastic hors d’oeuvre from some of the finest Outer Banks chefs to go with it.

The weekend is actually two events wrapped up into one weekend.

Friday night is the Vintner’s Dinner. This year at 108 Budleigh in Manteo, The Lost Colony is bringing in two chef’s from Durham—Josh DeCarolis of Mother & Sons Trattoria and Phil Bey who will be working with Sam McCann of Blue Point in Duck.

it should be a very interesting evening. Francis Ford Coppola’s Virginia Dare Winery will be on hand to pair their wines with each course.

Saturday is when the fun really gets going with wines from around the world and a couple of local breweries on hand. Elevating the whole experience, there will be tasty treats from some of the best Outer Banks restaurants—Argyle’s, Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café, BlueWater Grill & Raw Bar, Café Lachine…and that’s just a partial list.

There will be a silent auction as well and live music. A real treat—look for Joe Mapp to perform. One of the finest guitarists around, Joe very rarely performs in front of large audiences, so be sure to check him out.

There will also be a number of seminars on wine offered: Uncovering the Mystery of Sparkling Wine; Wines and Hard Cider from the Russian River Valley; and Taking the Mystery out of the Craft Beer Aisle.

For more information or to purchase tickets, check out Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival online.

There’s lots to do on the Outer Banks this fall. Be sure to book your fall getaway with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Local Vocalist Tshombe Selby to Perform in Southern Shores

Tshombe Selby in concert last December at Holy Redeemer Church performing Handel's Messiah.
Tshombe Selby in concert last December at Holy Redeemer Church performing Handel’s Messiah.An Afternoon of Great Music on Tap

Tshombe Selby is one of those local lad makes good stories that makes everyone feel good.

Born and raised in Manteo, Tshombe dreamed of a career singing classical music. With a powerful yet beautiful tenor voice and a stage filling presence, it only seemed natural that at some point he would be successful.

The journey includes a degree in vocal performance from Elizabeth City State University and stint as assistant musical director at the Lost Colony.

A few years ago he left for NYC to develop his career and it’s looking more and more as though that was a good choice. He’s not a household name (yet), but by all accounts he is earning a living at what he is for him a dream job.

And now he’s coming back for a one afternoon concert this Sunday at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores.

Sponsored by the Bryan Cultural Series, Tsombe’s appearance promises a performance of virtuoso caliber vocals and a wide and challenging range of music. We haven’t seen the program yet, but as a performer Tshombe never disappoints.

The last time he performed on the Outer Banks was in December when he made sang at the annual performance of Handel’s Messiah at Holy Redeemer Church in Kitty Hawk.

Although his voice blended beautifully with the choir, the he could still be heard, that resonate tenor sound seeping through the choral arrangement. And when he sang a solo, it was powerful and beautiful

This should be a great afternoon of music and one not to miss.

Tickets are $15 and are available at Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books in Duck, Downtown Books in Manteo, Grays Department Store in Kitty Hawk and Sea Green Gallery in Nags Head.

Lost Colony Weekend Examines the Evidence

Virginia Pars Map Holds Tantalizing Clues

The Virginia Pars map.
The Virginia Pars map.

Will the mystery of the Lost Colony ever be solved? Probably not. That, at least, is the consensus of experts who gathered at an international symposium hosted by the First Colony Foundation.

As one of the archeologists on hand remarked in an offhand moment, “Unless we find the skeletal remains of Virginia Dare (the first British child born in the Americas) holding a doll, probably not.”

Nonetheless, the conjecture goes on.

Much of the focus at the symposium was on the Virginia Pars Map, a map of coastal Virginia and North Carolina that has resided at the British Museum for some time.

It was an innocent question that one of the researcher of the First Colony Foundation—a North Carolina group trying to unravel the mystery—asked. Looking at the map, there appeared to be a spot that had been blotted out.

If it was blotted out, what was under it?

As it turned out, what was under it may have been very significant.

It appears as though what lies hidden was a symbol often used to designate a fort or permanent structure. The location would be at the mouth of the Chowan River across from Edenton.

The map itself, drawn by John White, the first leader of the expedition, is remarkable in it’s detail. One of the presentation at the symposium presented the minutiae of White’s drawings, that even in miniature depicted individual soldiers, officers and the activities of the troop.

The map is also very accurate—a map certainly designed to be used for navigation. Although not as precise as anything we can produce today, the Chowan River is clearly marked and in the right place. Cape Hatteras is denoted, as well as a number of inlets that no longer exist.

Because it was so accurate and contained such detail, there are a number of questions about why White covered up the fort when he finished the map. Did it no longer exist? Was he concerned that if it fell into Spanish hands, the lives of his colonists would be endangered?

We have no way of knowing and the quest goes on.

Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Weekend a Big Hit

Tasting wines at the Lost Colony Wine and Culinary Festival.
Tasting wines at the Lost Colony Wine and Culinary Festival.

Sometimes everything seems to come together to create an ideal event or happening. That seemed to be the case today, Saturday, for what we hope is the first of many Lost Colony Wine and Culinary Festivals.

Great Condition for Lost Colony Festival

The weather—perfect, bright sunshine with temperatures in the low 70s and a nice breeze off Croatan Sound.

The setting—sublime. Waterside Theater where performances of The Lost Colony are presented sits right on the Sound. Locals and visitors alike are often aware of the theater, but not many have had an opportunity to see how beautiful the backstage area is.

The wine—excellent with a remarkable range of styles on hand. The event was actually sponsored in part by Virginia Dare Winery, a part of the Francis Ford Coppola family of wines.

Coppola Winery sent out a representative from California to tell the story of their wines—and their wines are very good. Hard to pick out a favorite, but the White Doe would be an ideal summer sipper. Definitely on the dry side, it was crisp, citrusy flavor with a floral finish. At least that’s how one taster described it.

The Coppola wines were not the only ones on hand. They were just one of many, with wine from North Carolina, the West Coast and the rest of the world being offered.

There were also local beers available from Weeping Radish, the Outer Banks Brewing Station and Lost Colony Beer.

And…no one was going home hungry with eight local restaurants handing out samples. Again, tough to name a favorite, but the pulled pork sandwich from Black Pelican was awfully good.

According to Lost Colony management, Coppola Winery has committed to another year supporting the Wine and Culinary Weekend, so we can expect at least one more year of great food, wonderful local beer and excellent wine.