Clouds To Dirt: This Week On The Outer Banks

By Michael Lay | Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Outer Banks has been a hotbed of aerial pursuits since the Wright Brothers began visiting in the early days of the 20th century. Although the Wrights were tracking the secrets of powered flight, many of the aerodynamic principles undergirding their ultimate accomplishment were worked out through the use of kites and gliders. In the 1970s hang gliding enthusiasts discovered that the environmental conditions that worked so successfully for the Wrights — namely dependable, consistent winds and wide open spaces — also worked wonders for pilots in the burgeoning sport of hang gliding.

Gliders at Jockeys Ridge State Park in Nags Head

Fast forward to the present and the 43rd Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular held at Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head this Friday, May 15 at 6:15 p.m. and continuing through Monday, May 18 at 6:15 p.m. Pilots from around the world have been invited to participate in the Spectacular, one of the world’s largest hang gliding events, featuring four days of world-class hang gliding competition from atop the largest natural sand dune on the East Coast. There is an entry fee for pilots, but the public is welcomed to watch for FREE. Parking is available at 300 West Carolista Drive in Nags Head. For more information visit the event website.


Soccer in the Sand at Jennettes Pier Nags Head NCSun, Sand, Surf…and Soccer?
It’s too late to field (beach?) your own team, but soccer fans will want to be among the spectators of the Sand Soccer Tournament, a two-day, 5-on-5 beach soccer competition held adjacent to Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head this Saturday, May 16 beginning at 9 a.m.  The compressed playing “field” creates lots of offense, and goalkeepers will get a workout all day! Teams will consist of four roaming players plus a goalkeeper. Matches average about 45 minutes each. For more information, visit the event website.


13th Annual Coastal Gardening FestivalDig in the Dirt
Finally, the planting season has arrived, and for the past couple of weekends I and many other Outer Bankers have been trying to make up for lost time, spending our Saturdays and Sundays elbow-deep in rich, deep and fertile garden soil and dreaming of color-saturated blooms or that first fresh-off-the-vine tomato worthy of being bacon’s partner in the inaugural summer BLT sandwich. But this Saturday, give your gardening tools —and your back — a respite and attend the free 13th Annual Coastal Gardening Festival at the Thomas A. Baum Senior Center in Kill Devil Hills from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. More than 50 vendors will be on hand offering a variety of plants, garden art, do-it-yourself project demonstrations, handcrafted goods, children’s activities and refreshments. Proceeds will benefit the outreach programs of the Dare Extension Master Gardeners in association with the Dare County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension. For more information, call the Dare County Extension office at (252) 473-4290.


Punning plants at the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo NCThe greening trend will be taking place over on Roanoke Island, too, with The Elizabethan Gardens’ Gardening Workshop: Cloning with Quentin this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. During this class, local green thumb extraordinaire Quentin Bell will demonstrate the proper techniques for plant propagation. Garden and Nursery Manager, Jeff Lewis, will provide cuttings of shrubs, planting trays and soil while Bell shares his knowledge, talent and techniques. A great workshop for parents or grandparents to do with kids! The workshop fee is $15/Members and Friends; $20/non-Members.

If your gardening interests run more toward edibles, you’ll want to take part in the Plant a Victory Garden Workshop, also on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Gardens. During World War II victory gardens were encouraged as a way for American families to assist the war effort by growing their own vegetables. Today, a victory garden can be a winning strategy in the war on expensive, and frequently tasteless, supermarket produce. This hands-on workshop will focus on planting a simple self-watering container-based victory garden. The workshop fee is $55/Members and $65/non-Members and includes one special self-watering container, soil, choice of two vegetables and several herbs. Additional self-watering planters and plants are extra.

For information regarding these or other Gardens’ programs call (252) 473-3234 or visit the Gardens’ website.


Swim Safety Clinic, Diving the U-85, Surfing for Autism
OBX Swim Club Safety ClinicThe OBX Swim Club is hosting a free SEALS (Safety, Education And Life-Saving Skills) swim safety clinic at the Elizabethan Inn in Manteo this Saturday at 10 a.m. Topics will include personal water safety, emergency flotation techniques, drown proofing, ocean riptides and related information. The hour-long clinic is open to children and adults. For more information visit the OBX Swim Club website.


Professional diver Jim Bunch will present Diving the U-85 as part of the Graveyard of the Atlantic’s Salty Dawgs Lecture Series on Tuesday, May 19 at 2 p.m. Bunch has descended for more than 1,000 dives on the sunken German submarine and has written a book on the wreck. For more information on the free lecture call (252) 986-2995, e-mail or visit the Graveyard of the Atlantic website


Sandbars Raw Bar and Grill in Kill Devil Hills will host a Surfing for Autism Benefit Dinner on Wednesday, May 20 from 5 to 9 p.m. Surfboard raffle tickets are already available, and a winner will be drawn Wednesday night at approximately 8 p.m. All proceeds will go to Surfing For Autism.


Mustang Spring Jam and Live Local MusicMustang Spring Jam & Live Local Music
The 4th Annual Mustang Spring Jam, the baby sister of Fall’s Mustang Music Festival, is set for Sunday, May 17 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Mike Dianna’s Grill Room in Corolla. The day-long event will feature New Madrid, The Josh Daniel + Mark Schimick Project, Fireside Collective and additional bands not confirmed at press time. Tickets are $15/advance, $20/day-of-show with children younger than 12 admitted free. Proceeds benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and the Mustang Outreach Program.

Phil Watson at Beachside Bistro in Kill Devil Hills, 6 p.m.
Raygun Ruby at Dajio in Ocracoke, 7 p.m.

Joey Bouza at Beachside Bistro in Kill Devil Hills, 6 p.m.
Live entertainment (TBA) at Awful Arthurs Oyster Bar in Kill Devil Hills, 6 p.m.
Kevin Wilder at Peppercorns Restaurant and Lounge in Kill Devil Hills, 8:30 p.m.
Tailgate Down at Kelly's Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern in Nags Head, 10 p.m.
Jonny Waters & Co. at Poor Richard's After Hours Pub in Manteo, 8 p.m.
Ocracoke Jazz Society at Howard's Pub in Ocracoke, 7 p.m.
Taylor Martin at Gaffer's Sports Pub in Ocracoke, 7 p.m.
Eli Craig Band at Gaffer's Sports Pub in Ocracoke, 9 p.m.

Look Homeward at Trio Wine & Cheese in Kitty Hawk, 7:30 p.m.
Rick Agudelo at Beachside Bistro in Kill Devil Hills, 6 p.m.
Woodwork at Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills, 10:30 p.m.
Tailgate Down at Kelly's Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern in Nags Head, 10 p.m.
Jeremy Russell at Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café in Nags Head, 9 p.m.
Graham Outten at Poor Richard's After Hours Pub in Manteo, 8 p.m.
The Castaways at OBX Marina in Wanchese, 5 p.m.
Taylor Martin at Gaffer's Sports Pub in Ocracoke, 7 p.m.
Yes Team at Howard's Pub in Ocracoke, 7 p.m.

Brent Nultimeier, aka SOULone, at Rooster’s Southern Kitchen in Kill Devil Hills, 6 p.m.

Bobby Soto at Rooster's Southern Kitchen in Kill Devil Hills, 7 p.m.

Dr. Tom at Rooster's Southern Kitchen in Kill Devil Hills, 7 p.m.



About the Author Michael Lay
Michael Lay is a local graphic designer, artist, photographer and writer. He lives in picturesque downtown Manteo, NC, and is the manservant of two beautiful and willful feline princesses, Sophie and Sassy. You can contact Michael at