Definitely not the slow season

By Molly Harrison | Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Dress up for the Bike the Light bike parade on Saturday.

I'm so stoked on the Outer Banks Marathon right now. Not only because I just finished my fifth Half Marathon on the Banks (go me!), but also because I love the excitement that the races bring to the community. It's so cool to see all the people of different shapes, sizes, ages and fitness levels moving toward a common goal. Whether it's their first race or their 100th, for runners and walkers it's not all about competing with your fellow athletes (unless you have a chance of winning the thing), it's mostly about setting a personal goal and achieving it. 5,000 people did that on the Outer Banks last weekend and that is really inspiring to see...

For a fitness fanatic like me, it's so amazing to see runners and walkers taking over the town for a day. Who believes they block off a precious lane on the Bypass and the Baum Bridge for the races? And that for a few hours they can entirely redirect traffic to Manteo? That says a lot about our community's priorities. * Speaking of community, it's awesome to see the Outer Bankers get involved as spectators to cheer on their friends and family and total strangers and as volunteers to help the whole thing flow. * And, I just gotta say, the après-run party in Manteo is so much fun - Blue Moon beer and barbecue sandwiches for breakfast anyone? Plus The Crowd is such a fun party band...

The only thing that is kind of lame about running races is that just about everyone listens to their iPods these days. In my first Outer Banks Half-Marathon six years ago I commiserated with my fellow runners along the way, gave a few high fives to strangers, met people from other states and encouraged a few stragglers. Now, everyone is all into their own music, in their own heads. At the top of the bridge on Sunday I let out a whoop because it was exciting to finally be there, panting, with a view you rarely get to see on foot. No one heard me. I gave one of my best yells, and no one even turned their head. Their ears were all plugged with the Black Eyed Peas I suppose. * Not that I don't enjoy my iPod, too, but that's kind of sad, don't you think...

So, congratulations to everyone who participated in the events last week. Kudos to Outer Banks Sporting Events for pulling it off without a hitch, and thanks to all the volunteers who made it happen and to the spectators who gave encouragement along the way. (And thanks to my good friends the Browns for all the GO MOLLY! signs)...

And because Outer Bankers apparently never seem to slow down, not even for a minute in the off-season, I've got to get rolling on telling you what's coming up this week. It's a lot. Are you still with me? Here goes:

On Thursday don't miss OBX Sounds at Kelly's Restaurant. This event is a collaboration between Dare County Arts Council and 99.1 The Sound and it showcases all original, all local music monthly. This month it's the legendary Mojo Collins, Scott Franson and Kim Kalman. Check it out from 7 to 9 p.m. This is a really cool program that is raising funds for the Community Music School, which was devastated in Hurricane Irene...

Outer Banks Hospital is holding a Lunch & Learn event on Friday at noon. It's a seminar on Estate Planning and Medical Directives. Sounds like something we don't want to think about, but should. At least it's free! To attend, call (252) 449-5680...

The Wags and Whiskers Gala to raise funds for the animal charities of Dare and Currituck counties is Friday night at the N.C. Aquarium. The gala features music, dancing, a full buffet dinner, been and wine, silent and live auctions and is an educational forum for all the nonprofits to educate the attendees on their organizations. Tickets are $40 each or $75 for two. Go to http://obxwagsandwhiskers.com/index.htm for info...

Friday is also the 20th Annual Lobster Fest with the North Banks Rotary Club. It's at Mako Mike's in KDH on Friday evening. For $25 you get a cup of Hatteras clam chowder, a 1.5 pound Maine lobster, boiled potatoes, drawn butter, bread and drinks. You can eat in or take out. Funds go to local scholarships and charities. Call (252) 261-4350 for info...

For families and kids, an Owl Prowl Night Hike might be the Friday night ticket. Venture into Nags Head Woods (with a guide) after dark to identify owl calls. Discover neat facts about habits and behaviors of these birds of prey. Meet at 6 p.m. at the Nature Conservancy's Nags Head Woods Preserve Pavilion. Preregistration and fee required. Call the Aquarium to register: (252) 473-3494...

Like clean beaches? Saturday is the (rescheduled) Big Sweep day. Head out to the ocean and sound beaches and waterways to pick up trash between 9 a.m. and noon. I'm definitely doing this with my kids. Bring your bag of trash to the Outer Banks Brewing Station from 12 to 4 p.m. and that will serve as your admission to Trashfest with food, music and fun. For a list of places to pick up trash bags and instructions on Saturday morning, visit http://outerbanks.surfrider.org or call (252) 441-0581...

Head down to beautiful Hatteras Island on Saturday for the first annual Hatteras Island Community Fair on the grounds of Cape Hatteras Secondary School in Buxton. From 2 until 8 p.m. they'll have rides, inflatables and bounce houses, laser tag, games, lots of fair food (fried local fish, cotton candy, funnel cakes), live music and more. There will be a lawn dance with live music following the fair at 8 p.m. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Find them on Facebook for info: HICommunityFair...

In conjunction with the fair, the Kiwanis Club of Hatteras Island is holding its Bike the Light event on Saturday. This is a zany bike ride, more of a costume contest really. It's an 8K ride from the Cape Hatteras Secondary School to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and then back. Organizers encourage riders to come dressed in their craziest costumes, and prizes are awarded for creative dressing. Registration is $5 and begins at 11 a.m.; the ride starts at noon...

The Manteo Rotary Club has its 14th Annual Rockfish Rodeo this Saturday. Hopefully some stripers will be biting, but if they're not it's okay because it looks like a great weekend to be on the water, and the Rotary Club puts on a really fun party at Roanoke Island Festival Park too. Go to www.rockfishrodeo.com or call (252) 473-6644...

Saturday night is the Outer Banks Forum's presentation of Pianafiddle, the combined improvisational talents of a pianist and violinist/fiddler. It's at 7:30 p.m. at First Flight High School. Call (252) 255-2274 for info, or go to www.outerbanksforum.org...

The March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction is on Sunday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk. This eating event features samples of signature dishes from Ocean Boulevard, Left Bank, Bad Bean Taqueria, The Hilton, Coastal Provisions, Black Pelican, Mike Diana's Grill Room, Cakes by Robin, Roadside Bar & Grill, Blue Point, Argyles, Atlantic Shores, Carolina Cupcakery, and Metropolis Martini & Tapas Restaurant. Funds raised will support the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign. In addition to fabulous culinary samples, guests will enjoy silent and live auctions. Find them on Facebook...

If you're on Ocracoke next week, don't miss the Ocracoke Alive Fall Artist Film Series on Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Deepwater Theater. Ann Ehringhaus has created a documentary film series for this fall focusing on M.C. Richards, Andy Goldsworthy, Georgia O'Keefe, architect Louis Kahn, a cowboy artist, and a skeptic's journey into the world of yoga. All films will be followed by optional discussion for about 20 minutes, facilitated by Ehringhaus. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Proceeds benefit the non-profit group Ocracoke Alive. The final film in the series is scheduled to take place Dec. 6. For more information, log on to www.ocracokealive.org...

There's a cool exhibit on display at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island right now. It's called Refuge: Seventeen Months in the Wilderness and it includes 32 photographs by D. J. Sharp, who spent 17 months in a tiny cabin with no electricity and no plumbing in the middle of the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. As the resident caretaker for the red wolves at the refuge, Sharp observed wildlife and nature every day, and the show is the result of those observations. Very cool! You can see it anytime during the Aquarium's hours: daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving). You do have to pay Aquarium admission to see it...

Here are some cool things from the Buy Local Dept.: Friday and Saturday it's the very popular Holly Days Bazaar at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores. They get about 35 artists selling jewelry, woodwork, paintings, photography, glass, food and more. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Call (252) 261-6674 for info. * Friday is the Holiday Craft Bazaar at Ocean View Baptist Church in KDH. You'll find arts, crafts, a bake sale, a flea market and more. Hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (252) 441-7633. * Friday is also Shopping Addiction with Outer Banks Epicurean at The Wine Specialist in Kitty Hawk. Enjoy Amy's Addition Dip and Buttermilk Country Cake while you shop for local honey, jams, spices, Outer Banks Sea Salt, wine, art, kitchen stuff and more separately or in gift baskets...

Here's something to be proud of in the Teen Dept.: Students from both FFHS and MHS are heading to Raleigh this weekend for the state conference of SADD. It's cool, I think, that these kids are involved on the state-wide level and willing to take time out of their busy lives to do it...

Soooo, that's certainly not all that's going on this week. Check our By Day and By Night listings for more events, and be sure to check our Shopping Must Haves and Great Plates sections too. Enjoy this warm weather while it lasts. See you at the beach...

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.