Community spirit

By Molly Harrison | Monday, September 27, 2010
Pick out a pumpkin at the NHES Pumpkin Fair on Saturday.

From the outside looking in, one might think the best thing about living on the Outer Banks is the proximity to the ocean and the abundance of outdoor opportunities. Those are awesome things to be sure, but those of us on the inside know that the best thing about the Outer Banks is the community of people. * I am constantly amazed at the local residents' generosity of time, material goods and spirit...

Every week, literally every week, there is some event or fund-raiser (or two or three) to which business owners, artists, musicians, residents, whoever, donate sponsorship money or goods or time for good causes. At the couple of events I went to just this weekend, I witnessed thousands of donated dollars in raffle prizes and auction prizes and sponsorship money and people going above and beyond the limits of ordinary volunteers. * The Isabela Rainey Fund-Raiser at the Brewing Station on Sunday was just another strong reminder of the generosity of Outer Bankers and Outer Banks businesses...

This week, too, is packed with events that depend on the generosity of volunteers and donors. And it's not just one - wait until you see exactly how many events I'm talking about...

The Artrageous Art Extravaganza, now in its 21st year, is the Dare County Arts Council's largest fund-raiser, and the amount of donations and volunteers involved is mind-boggling. * Saturday is the family event at Dare County Family Recreation Park in Kill Devil Hills (behind the Brewing Station) from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. Bring the kids for arts-related crafts and activities, a collaborative art project, artwork for sale, music, food and more. (There's also a playground on site.) * Sunday is the adults' party - cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and silent and live auctions of artwork and other goods. That one's at the Ramada in KDH. Call (252) 473-5558 for info...

Nags Head Elementary School has its annual Pumpkin Fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. * It's THE place to pick up your Halloween pumpkins because there is such a huge selection - tall, tiny, fat, round, white, etc. * If you're one of those mom-of-the-year holiday decorating types, you can also get mums, gourds, corn stalks and straw for stuffing the scarecrow. My decorating abilities stop with the pumpkins. * Anyway, there will also be High Cotton BBQ, Outer Banks Kettle Corn, a bake sale, games and activities and, the hottest new activity on the beach, Beach Bungee Trampoline...

Saturday is the 2010 N.C. Big Sweep for the entire N.C. coastline. For the Outer Banks cleanup, trash bags, data cards gloves, water and other supplies will be given out at several locations from Southern Shores to Pea Island. * Go out from 9 a.m. to noon to pick up trash from the beaches, then from noon to 4 p.m. head to Outer Banks Brewing Station for the Trashfest party. Your bag of trash is your ticket to food, live music and good times. See www.surfrider.org/outerbanks for a list of locations to pick up bags...

And then we have the smile-inducing Outer Banks Family YMCA 5K Walk and Dog Swim on Saturday. * Dog owners meet for a group 5K walk, then they turn the dogs loose in the outdoor pool (it's closed to humans by then) for a wild romp. The dogs in the pool is truly hilarious, worth seeing even if you don't have a dog. Preregistration is required; call (252) 449-9987 for info...

So my problem on Saturday is that I can't be in four places at once. I would participate in all four of these Saturday events if possible, but it looks like I'll be holding court at the Pumpkin Fair for my son's school. * Bu maybe you could hit them all...

This just in from facebook as I am writing: The 2nd Annual Throw Down - North of Town Surf Contest. * This is going down at the Chicahauk Beach Access in Southern Shores on Saturday. A $10 donation gets you a T-shirt, entry in the contest and entered into a surfboard raffle. It benefits the Isabela Rainey fund...

Oh, I almost forgot, down in Hatteras this week is the Cape Hatteras Kiwanis Club's Bike the Light 8K on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. You have to dress up in zany costume for this one. It benefits Cape Hatteras Kiwanis Club...

So what else? * Friday night is the First Friday celebration in downtown Manteo. Live music, art, shopping deals, great food - it's all fun. * The Dare County Arts Council will be opening its annual Beach Book Cover Competition show with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. during First Friday. * It would be cool if you could stay at a Manteo inn that night because you could wake up the next morning and hit the Manteo Farmers' Market - the last one of the season...

On Sunday in Manteo, don't miss the opening of the October/November art show at Roanoke Island Festival Park. Wildlife Illustrator Duane Raver and Flora and Fauna Photographer Jeff Lewis have teamed up for this show, and both of these artists are amazingly skilled at their crafts. Reception is Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m...

Sunday is also the big Heritage Day in Corolla festival at the Whalehead Club. From noon to 4 p.m. there will be live music, educational talks, a ribbon cutting at the new Maritime Museum in Corolla Village, horse patting, kids' activities, Magic Mike, local art, a car show, food and more. County residents can climb the lighthouse for free that day. Call (252) 453-9040 for details...

Couple more things: Feline Hope Art for the Cats Fund-raiser at the Ramada in KDH on Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. Call (252) 235-3365 for information. * Thursday is Writers Open Mic at Front Porch Café in Nags Head from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. * If you want to go to the N.C. Aquarium's immensely popular Trick or Treat Under the Sea event on October 28, you'd better go ahead and get your tickets now. It usually sells out. Call (252) 473-3494 for details...

And, for one final note: Starting Friday stores on the Outer Banks will no longer be allowed to package your purchases in plastic bags. That's right, plastic has been outlawed for stores of all sizes starting October 1. * Stores will be required to supply you with a paper bag, but, honestly, you should bring in your own reusable bags -- even to the drug store and convenience store and seafood store. * And don't forget to wash those things once in a while! Studies show that reusable cloth bags are veritable petri dishes for unsafe bacteria like coliform, E coli, yeast and mold. Unwashed bags in hot cars are part of the problem...

Well, thanks to everyone out there on the sandbars who makes this such a great place to live. I'll see you this weekend...

Keep surfing around the site to look for more things to do in the day and the night...

Peace...

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.