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.

Christmas is Coming-Outer Banks Things To Do

Queen Elizabeth II at Christmas. Seen from Shallowbag Bay beside Poor Richard's in Manteo.
Queen Elizabeth II at Christmas. Seen from Shallowbag Bay beside Poor Richard’s in Manteo.

Christmas is almost here and our Outer Banks roads are filling up with out of state license plates. Of course some of the families from outside the area staying in our homes are the homeowners who have made coming to the Outer Banks for the holidays a part of their annual traditions.

This year is a little bit different than other years with Christmas falling on Sunday. The last time that happened was 2005, and when it does fall on a Sunday, a lot of our visitors take advantage of the week that schools are out and spend a week with us.

With a little midwinter time on their hands, a lot of our visitors might be hoping for a night out and even though it’s not summer, there are still things to do on the Outer Banks. Not quite as much as during the summer, but the sidewalks have not been rolled up.

Here’s a quick—and certainly incomplete—list of places that feature live music year around. Be sure to check their schedules to see if something is on tap and who will be there.


MP 4.5 Bypass, Kitty Hawk, NC


Huge wine selection, more than 30 beers on tap, wonderful cheese plates and sandwiches—there’s a reason why Trio has become one of the favorite gathering places on the OuterBanks.

Roosters Southern Kitchen

MP 8.75 Bypass, Kill Devil Hills


Great selection of bar drinks, very nice wine list and excellent food. The music is acoustic, a very nice, perfect for the atmosphere.

Kelly’s Outer Banks Tavern

MP 10.5 Bypass, Nags Head


The original Outer Banks nightspot. There is almost always something happening in the bar—live music, DJs and karaoke an open mic on Tuesdays. This is the place to go to dance the night away.

Poor Richards

303 Queen Elizabeth Ave, Manteo


On the waterfront in downtown Manteo, a great little bar with an almost college town feel when there’s live music. It can get really tight in the bar sometimes, but the beer is reasonably priced and the sandwiches excellent.