Annual ESA’s Surf Competition Returns to Jennette’s Pier

Amateur but skilled. The ESA’s have something for everyone.

The hurricane is behind us. Except for Ocracoke everything on the Outer Banks is open and welcoming visitors and the Eastern Surf Association finals beginning Sunday and running through next week is what back to normal is all about.

The ESA is celebrating its 50th anniversary—not quite as experienced in the as Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates, but pretty close. The organization is certainly the largest amateur surf association in the US and maybe the world.

The ESA’s are a showcase of what the organization is all about. 

Held annually at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, the event brings together the qualifiers from the regional heats held earlier in the year. Competitors from 8-80 take to the water, and what is particularly nice about the event is it’s not limited to just surfboards.

There are skimboard competitions, and bodyboard competitions. And it’s all done in an amazing family atmosphere.

Why Jennette’s Pier? After it was rebuilt in to a 1000’ concrete edifice, the stability and size of the pier created a sandbar on the south side of the pier. It is a very rare day when there’s not a surfable break there.

From Maine to Florida, families take the week off from school to bring their kids to the competitions. It creates a remarkably wholesome feeling.

The weather is looking pretty good next week at this time. It’s still a bit early to get a good read on surf conditions, but there is tropical storm activity out in the Atlantic—forecast to stay well offshore—so we should be seeing some good surf later this week. Sunday is looking pretty good for the first day of the event.

The ESA’s are a great event to check out. Lots of surfers and families gathered together because of their love of the sport.

Fall-Surfing Time on the Outer Banks

 JLWRVPr.jpg September 1, 2019 859 KB 1050 by 700 pixels Edit Image Delete Permanently URL Title JLWRVPr Caption Chauncey Robinson in his Round 1 heat at the WRV Outer Banks Pro, Thursday, August 29. Photo, WRV Pro Surf.
Chauncey Robinson in his Round 1 heat at the WRV Outer Banks Pro, Thursday, August 29. Photo, WRV Pro Surf.

The waves have been rolling as the surf competitions come to the Outer Banks. Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head is the place to be in September as some of the best surfers around check out the break generated by the sandbar that builds up just south of the pier.

The WRV Outer Banks Pro just wrapped up today with Noah Schweizer from Florida taking home top prize.

The weather this year was just about perfect for the event. Bright sunshine and moderate temperatures throughout the four day event. Surf conditions were pretty good, although they today the break was pretty small.

Still it was good event with competitors from the US, Costa Rica and a number of other countries.

Coming in a couple of weeks are the ESAs, the Eastern Surf Association championship. It’s weeklong competition—September 15-21, that features the best amateur surfers in on the East Coast. 

The ESA is one of the largest, if not the largest, amateur surfing organization in the world. Particularly nice in the way they go about doing things, they represent just about everyone who want to ride the surf—all ages all styles.

As a consequence, the ESAs are a wonderful family affair with parents cheering on their kids, the families traveling from Maine to Florida to meet at Jennette’s Pier.

Ages of the competitors range from 8 to 80 and the age range may even be a bit wider than that.

There are certainly some storms out in the Atlantic stirring things up. As it looks right now, they’re going to stay offshore and send in some great conditions. 

Fall is a fantastic time to visit the Outer Banks. Book your stay in a Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates home and see for yourself why the people who live here love this time of year.

Fire at Christmas Mouse in Nags Head

The fire today caused extensive damage to the Christmas Mouse.
The fire today caused extensive damage to the Christmas Mouse.

Sad news from the Outer Banks today as fire consumed the Christmas Mouse in Nags Head. As the fire burned, the dark column of smoke was visible from Whalebone Junction in Nags Head to Kitty Hawk.

It’s much too early to know what caused the blaze. Luckily no one was in the building at the time of the fire and no one was injured. However, because no one was in the building when the fire began, the fire was not seen until flames reached the roof.

A small copse of trees just to the north of the building was affected. Burning embers, pushed by a strong south wind, ignited a number of fires in the brush. The fires were quickly extinguished, but it highlights how serious the blaze was.

There is still a long way to go before we know the full extent of the damage and whether or even how the Christmas Mouse will be able to reopen

The store has been a part of Outer Banks traditions since the 1980s. Hopefully, the owners will find a way to reopen for the upcoming season.

Nags Head and Kitty Hawk Fire Departments responded to the alarm.

30th Annual Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

An RC truck tows it's passenger at the 30th Annual Kelly's St. Patrick's Day Parade.
An RC truck tows it’s passenger at the 30th Annual Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The Outer Banks Marches along the Beach Road

The Annual Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is about as Outer  Banks as it gets. Sure it’s also a celebration of all things Irish with lot of green and and all the trimmings. 

But really, what the Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is, is the Outer Banks on parade. 

Where else could anyone go to see, in the space of two hours, fire trucks, antique cars, marching bands, dogs in St. Patrick’s Day regalia, a trumpet playing unicycle rider who also juggles, local businesses draping a banner over their work vehicles and a few politician thrown in for good measure. 

And, of course, a a three-year-old riding in a wagon being towed by an RC truck escorted by dogs.

The weather yesterday for the parade was good. A little chilly, but with bright sunshine it wasn’t bad at all.

Because of some work Nags Head is doing to improve storm drainage in Gallery Row, the parade was a bit shorter than usual, but it didn’t really seem to matter all that much. The crowds lining the Beach Road were as large as always, and to seemed as though there were as many participating as there ever was.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is just one of the big event that happens in March on the Outer Banks. The next big event is the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach, coming up the last weekend in March. That’s Thursday-Sunday, March 28-31.

Outer Banks version of the Taste of the Beach is a must experience part of local life. From Corolla to Manteo and even onto the mainland a little bit, there are food prep demos, wine and beer tastings, great food and really good time.

If you have not reserved you home for the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach, check out what Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates has to offer.

30th Annual Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade This Sunday

Scene from last year's 29th Annual Kelly's St. Patrick Day Parade.
Scene from last year’s 29th Annual Kelly’s St. Patrick Day Parade.

A Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade that actually falls on St. Patrick’s Day? Unheard of…unprecedented…and yet it is happening.

The 30th Annual Mike Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be this Sunday, March 17.

The Parade is always held on the Sunday closest to March 17 so evidently 30th time is the charm.

Marching along the Beach Road in Nags Head, this is one parade that absolutely has to be experienced. It’s a bit whacky, with a trumpet playing unicycle rider, dogs dressed in green and the South Nags Head White Trash Marching Band that features drummers playing trash cans and kazoos for instruments.

There are also some very good marching bands mixed in, a lot of antique cars and generally it’s a reminder of just how special and wonderful the Outer Banks can be.

The route is usually a mile long, ending at Gallery Row in Nags Head. However, because of storm drainage work in the Gallery Row area the parade will have to be shorter this year. It will only be a half a mile.

Experienced parade goers know—it’s mid March, the route is right by the Atlantic Ocean and temperatures can go from 60 with the sun out to 45 if clouds roll in from the sea. Dress accordingly. In 30 years, Mike Kelly has never postponed or cancelled the event. Daytime temperatures are forecast to be around 45 at parade time, 1:00 p.m., on Sunday with a brisk north wind. Plenty of sunshine, though.

That’s still plenty of time to enjoy one of the most fun and fantastic parade events anywhere.

There is always a special reason to visit the Outer Banks. Check out our Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates listings for the finest homes in the best locations.

Outer Banks Taste of the Beach Coming Soon

Great food and great times.

Spring is almost here and that means the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach cannot be far behind.

There are a lot of places that do a “Taste of…” but no one does it as well as the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach.

Think of it as a combination amazing culinary adventure and a tour of the of everything from Corolla to Manteo…with a couple of side trips to the mainland.

The dates have been moved back just a bit this year and the event will be the last weekend in March, beginning or Thursday. The dates are March 28-31.

Hopefully that will get us slightly warmer weather. In the past the ToB has been in the middle of March and weatherize we’ve run the gamut from balmy springtime to nor’easter. 

Regardless of the weather, the show must go on. 

Since most of the events are indoors, what’s happening outside shouldn’t matter too much  There are, however, two outdoor events that will certainly benefit from better weather…although experience has taught us that regardless of the weather the BBQ & Wings Showdown is a lot of fun.

Look for the Showdown at the Nags Head Soundside Event Site from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

One other big event to put on the radar  is the Chefs Grand Tasting & Bartenders Bubbly Bash. That also will be held under the tent at the Event Site. 

Although it’s outside, the Event Site tents will allow far more room for the what is a grand finale of the weekend. The Grand Tasting has been growing is size and squeezing everyone into one room has become difficult for the restaurants and at time uncomfortable for the guests.

The Chef’s Grand Tasting will be Sunday from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

As the big weekend gets closer, we’ll call out a couple of events that look especially different and interesting.

Be sure to book your home for this very special week with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Weather Looks Great for Star Party

Brian Baker, A Time for Science Astronomy and Space Science Director, showcasing the portable planetarium at a school outreach event. Photo Credit: A Time for Science
Brian Baker, A Time for Science Astronomy and Space Science Director, showcasing the portable planetarium at a school outreach event. Photo Credit: A Time for Science

Ready for a Star Party?

Jennette’s Pier, Tuesday, February 5 from 6-9 p.m. get ready for an evening of gazing into the night sky.

The weather is looking pretty promising. The forecast calls for evening temperature in the 50s and almost no wind. Clouds are predicted to be scattered so the Milky Way should be out in all its glory. 

February 5 is a new moon so the sky should be at its darkest and the viewing at its best.

Brought to the Outer Banks by the Coastal Studies Institute, the Star Party at Jennette’s Pier is geared toward younger star gazers, but will hold plenty of fascination of everyone.

The guide for the event will be astronomer Brian Baker who is astronomy and space science director at A Time for Science in Greenville.

It does look as though the weather will cooperate, but even if it doesn’t there will be plenty to do. In addition to the the outdoor stargazing there will be games and activities for kids…and really exciting, Baker is bringing a portable planetarium with him.

This is a free event, so pack up the kids and head on down to Nags Head on Tuesday night to gaze at the night sky and discover how beautiful it truly is.

Funding for the Star Party has been provided by the North Carolina Sea Grant and the North Carolina Space Program.

Gazing at the night sky. Strolling along the beach. All activities that make a visit to the Outer Banks so wonderful. Make your visit even better with a stay at a Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates home.

This Weekend Features the Outer Banks Marathon Events

Outer Banks Marathon runners passing the Wright Brothers Monument.
Runners passing the Wright Brothers Monument.

It’s Veteran’s Day Weekend, which means on the Outer Banks it’s also Outer Banks Marathon Weekend.

What is now Marathon Weekend began as just the Marathon in 2006 with two goals in mind—get people to the Outer Banks in the off season and help fund the Dare Education Foundation, a local nonprofit that supports the school system.

Over the years it has grown and added another nonprofit—the Outer Banks Relief Foundation.

It is no longer just the Outer Banks Marathon, although that is the premier event. Sunday is the headline races, with the Southern Fried Half Marathon beginning at 7:00 a.m. at Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head and the Marathon kicking off at 7:20 in Kitty Hawk.

Saturday though is the family day, the time when all the shorter fun races are held. For runners who want a timed race and a bit of a challenge, there’s a  5K and 8K. For families and and especially the youngest runners of all, there are two Diaper Dash races and a one mile fun run.

Sunday is the day for the more serious runners, although there are some pretty outrageous costumes mixed in with the hardcore running equipment.

What seems to set the Outer Banks Marathon apart, according to numerous reviews, is how beautiful the course is.

The race begins beneath the heavily forested canopy of Kitty Hawk Woods on the Woods Road, through a residential area to parallel Kitty Hawk Bay before circling the Wright Brothers Monument. The packed dirt roads of Nags Head Woods are next and that may be the most beautiful part of the course.

The race ends in downtown Manteo, with it’s classic small town look and feel.

There are a couple of challenges on the course. Nags Head Woods is a little bit hilly, but the real heartbreaker comes at mile 23—the Washington Baum Bridge, 640’ of a 4% grade connecting the Outer Banks with Roanoke Island.

The difficulties aside, runners have been almost universal in their praise of local support and organization.

The Outer Banks Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying race.

The Holidays are coming and there is no better place to spend time with family than the Outer Banks. Check out our listings at Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

BrewTag 2018-Beer, Wind and Flight on the Outer Banks

The winning team. The BOOBS took home tip prize with a flight of 39'.
The winning team. The BOOBS took home tip prize with a flight of 39′.

A Possible Nor’Easter Can’t Keep Beer from Flying

Somehow, flying into the teeth of a brisk northeast wind, the BrewTag competitors proved conclusively that beer can almost fly.

The weather was iffy on Saturday, but that didn’t keep the aeronautical engineers who created the Flying Chicken and other wonders of the imagination of flight from climbing the tower and launching their creations.

In the end it was the Boys Of the Obx Brewing Station (the Boobs) who took home the top prize with a flight of 39’—a remarkable achievement given the 10-15 mph winds and gusts to 20+.

Organized by Kitty Hawk Kites, BrewTag may be one of the most fun events of the year. Taking place at the Event Site in Nags Head, teams compete with homemade gliders with a (small) keg (empty) attached. In the past gliders patterned after the Rogallo Wing that is used for hang gliders seemed to do best. This year, though, the BOOBS mono-wing glider took top distance, although it’s landing was not the most graceful.

What makes BrewTag so much fun is that it refuses to take itself too seriously…that and the 20 microbrews on hand. There was also some great food from local vendors.

Like all events that has the Kitty Hawk Kites stamp on it, though, it is very family friendly with well-thought out and well planned activities for kids.

The Outer Banks Brewtag is a benefit The Rogallo Foundation. The Rogallo Foundation was created to honor Francis and Gertrude Rogallo, inventors of the flexible wing. Proceeds will be used to build a museum featuring Rogallo’s work, designs, history and advancements since its development.

Look for the 2019 BrewTag on Saturday, October 26.

There is still lots to do on the Outer Banks. Make your reservations today at Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Seafood Festival a Celebration of Outer Banks History and Culture

The Outer Banks Seafood Festival was a fun day celebrating the history and culture of Outer Banks fishermen.
The Outer Banks Seafood Festival was a fun day celebrating the history and culture of Outer Banks fishermen.

Great Food & a Great Time at the Outer Banks Seafood Festival

Now that the 2018 Outer Banks Seafood Festival is history we can safely say that it was a blast. There was a little bit of rain but nothing an umbrella or rain jacket couldn’t handle, and the rain was on again, off again, making it easier for festival goers.

There was so much to see and do at the Festival that it’s a bit hard to even know what to talk about.

The food, of course…that has to take center stage. Fresh North Carolina seafood prepared by some of the best of the Outer Banks restaurants—that’s a reason to go right there.

We probably didn’t even have a favorite, although the Shrimp and Corn Chowder from Dirty Dick’s got high marks for flavor and lots of shrimp.

The Festival was also a day filled with music, starting almost as soon as the gates opened at 10:30. Headlined by The Main Event Band out of Greenville, the sound was great dance music and a lot of people were up and moving.

The kids especially were dancing. Evidently the same music that had people moving in the 1970s and 1980s still works its magic on the preteen set. It was wonderful to see parents and their children dancing to the music.

The Seafood Festival is a wonderful celebration of the culture and history of the Outer Banks. Visitors are such an important part of the local economy that it be easy to forget or overlook the role commercial fishing has played in local life.

But the before there bridges connecting these strips of sand to the rest of the world, fishermen were working the sounds and waters of the ocean, and the local fishermen remain an important part of our community.

Next up on the festival calendar is BrewTag next Saturday, October 27 at the Nags Head Event Site. Proving somewhat conclusively that beer can fly, BrewTag is a fun and funny festival celebrating flight.

Fall is a great time to visit the Outer Banks. Check out Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates for the best listings.