Family, Fireworks & Fun at Manteo New Year’s Eve Celebration

Spectacular fireworks welcomed in the New Year in Manteo.
Spectacular fireworks welcomed in the New Year in Manteo.

Manteo, New Year’s Eve Celebration and oh, what a difference a year makes!

With temperatures hovering in the low sixties and a gentle breeze off Shallowbag Bay, the celebration bringing in 2019 could not have been much more different that 2018.

Last year…that gentle breeze was was a 12 mile an hour wind with occasional gusts, the temperatures never did quite get to 20 degrees and there were snow flurries.

There was a brief light shower last night, but the rain arrived late in the evening and it came and went very quickly.

When Cory Hemilright of Bluegrass Island and Tod Clissold owner of Poor Richard’s came up with the idea last year, this is what they had in mind. The evening was a wonderful celebration of many of the things that are best about the Outer Banks.

A very nice touch, though, that was fun and funny was dropping a lighted ball from the old Dare County Courthouse at 8:30 so the kids could get in on the fun. OK, the timing might have been just a bit off and there might have been a brief technical delay, but hearing all those little voiced counting down from ten and the squeals of joy when the ball lit was a true joy.

The Original Rhondels provided the sound track fo the evening and their blend of classic beach music with a couple of modern songs that matched their stye was perfect. They began playing soon after the ball dropped and kept playing right up to midnight.

Many of the parents opted to keep their children with them waiting for the fireworks that had been billed as the largest New Year’s Eve pyrotechnics in the state. Maybe they were the largest…maybe not…but they were spectacular and were the perfect way to welcome in the New Year.

Now that we’re into 2019, be sure to book your Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates vacation as soon as you can for the best selection of our Outer Banks properties.

Outer Banks New Year’s Eve Celebrations Promise Fun for All

Manteo promises the largest New Year's Eve fireworks in the state. If the weather holds, it may be.
Manteo promises the largest New Year’s Eve fireworks in the state. If the weather holds, it may be.

We had a fantastic Christmas here on the Outer Banks and with Christmas past, the next holiday to greet us is New Year’s Eve.

It’s kind of nice—the Outer Banks offers our visitors and residents a couple of different ways to celebrate the coming of New Year.

For families, check out what’s happening in downtown Manteo.

Tod Clissold owner of Poor Richard’s and Cory Hemilright, owner of Bluegrass Island, got together and with some help from the town and other organizations have put created an event with something for everyone.

Plenty of great live music, permitting—last year it wasn’t—and street vendors and games. One really nice fouth… Fireworks? Yes, in the past, although last year the wind was too strong.

Lot’s of food from restaurants and local street vendors and what might be one of the nicest touches, an 8:30 p.m. ball drop so kids can get in the fun.

It can get a bit cold on the waterfront. OK, last it was painful cold, but the forecast right now doesn’t seem quite that extreme.

There is, of course, lots of celebrations at local bars and restaurants. We did some looking around and here’s a few of the New Year’s Eve events we found.


Bypass, Kitty Hawk

The Conch Shells


Locals Dee Thornley, Hugh Hammers and Rob Evans perform high energy favorites for your New Year’s Eve celebration! Music Starts at 9:30 and goes right on through when we ring in the New Year!

Village Tavern

Route 12, Duck


Ring in the New Year with the Village Table & Tavern! To celebrate we’ll be offering a special 3-course menu which includes an appetizer, entree, dessert and a glass of bubbly.

Chose from two dinner seatings: one at 5:30 pm and the second at 8:30 pm. Live music from Mama’s Black Sheep starts at 9:30 pm, and the party goes until 1 am! Advance reservations are required for the 3-course dinner which is $50 for the 5:30 seating and $65 for the 8:30. We’ll also be offering an a la carte menu at our communal tables and bar where seating will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Ocean Boulevard

Beach Road, Kitty Hawk


We like to usher in the New Year by creating a special five (5) course menu. This special menu is offered exclusively on New Year’s Eve.  We save live music for another night simply because the main focus is on dining well and space is limited.  We celebrate at midnight by counting down with a complimentary glass of bubbly, watching the ball drop, and making a lot of noise (with the help of noise maker favors that, thankfully, only come out once a year).  

There is always something happening on the Outer Banks. Come stay with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates and explore our world by the sea.

A Great Celebration to 2018 on a OBX Night

Queen Elizabeth II lit up to welcome in the New Year at the Manteo New Year's Eve celebration.
Queen Elizabeth II lit up to welcome in the New Year at the Manteo New Year’s Eve celebration.

Frigid Temperatures but Great Welcome to 2018

As the first ever New Year’s Eve Celebration on the Manteo waterfront proved, you can plan for everything but the weather. And wow did the weather throw us a curve last night.

It’s not as though the Outer Banks wasn’t in the same deep freeze the rest of the East Coast was experiencing, but this was the first time anything like this had been tried in Manteo.

Cory Hemilright, who has been bringing the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival to Roanoke Island Festival Park for the past few years and Todd Clissold, owner of Poor Richard’s, got together with the town and came up with a great plan.

There was live music—and Sassagrass and the Original Rhondels were excellent. Street vendors were read to go with hot soup, pizza and dinners. There was even an 8:30 ball drop so kids would have a chance to countdown to the New Year.

And it all went of without a hitch.

Except for the 26 degree temperatures, wind from the north at 16 mph and the wind chill approaching 11 degrees. Oh, and did we mention the snow flurries. It was cold…brutally cold.

But kudos to everyone involved and the small crowd that did make it out.

Yes it was very cold, but two roaring fires helped. A local church was there with hot chocolate. They were also selling cold drinks but that just seemed like it would piling in temperatures like we experienced last night.

A couple of businesses did stay open.

Poor Richards was doing a booming business. And on the corer of Budleigh and Queen Elizabeth Island Perks was so busy they finally ran out of milk for hot chocolate and lattes.

Cold or not, it was a great evening and a wonderful way to welcome in the New Year, and we hope this will be the first of many more New Year’s Eve celebrations on the Manteo waterfront.