Easing into the Season

By Michael Lay | Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Make new friends at Island Farm on Roanoke Island!

Winter ended with a burst of activity here on the Outer Banks as we rolled from the success of the epicurean festival known as Taste of the Beach into full-on preparations for the opening of the 2013 visitor season before diving headlong into the Easter holiday and Spring Break. If these events are any indication, we can expect good things for the coming summer season. But, now that Taste of the Beach and Easter are behind us, life on the Outer Banks will temporarily revert back to a more leisurely pace while the gradually improving weather slowly beckons increasing numbers of visitors to our little strip of sand. This is a special time, a sort of buffer zone between the desolation of Winter and the on-the-edge hectic pace of summer. And it's what Outer Bankers live for. Enjoy.

The Week Ahead

Spring Break will be over before you know it, so don't let all this beautiful weather go to waste. Here's an opportunity to get out and about and slip in a little education for the kids at the same time. Come to Roanoke Island for the reopening of Island Farm for the 2013 season Wednesday, April 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Island Farm is a living history site interpreting daily life on Roanoke Island during the mid-1800s. The site's centerpiece is the Etheridge farmstead, where Adam Etheridge built a house on land farmed by his family since 1757. Explore the restored farmhouse, cookhouse, smokehouse, outhouse, dairy, barns, chicken coop, blacksmith shop and more as you learn about Outer Banks living circa 1847. Kids will get a kick out of the chickens that range freely on the grounds as well as the sheep, a cow, an ox and two banker ponies grazing in the pastures. Admission is $6 for visitors age 6 to adult; children age 5 and younger are admitted free.

The respite from the daily routine provided by Spring Break also presents the perfect opportunity to attend the Dare County High School Student Art Show at Roanoke Island Festival Park Art Gallery in Manteo. The exhibit is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and runs through Friday, April 26. The exhibition features the work of youthful artists attending each of our three local high schools and includes ceramics, stained glass, wood and fiber art, mixed media, digital art, printmaking, sculpture, paintings, drawings and photography.

If you're seeking an entertaining, creative and educational activity for you and the kids, check out Jennette's Pier's Marine Crafts Class on Thursday, April 4 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. for a morning of crafts and children's stories and while you learn about animals native to the local marine ecosystem. Each week has a different theme. Admission is $5/child. Pre-registration is required.

The Dare County Center hosts BLAST! - Babysitter Lessons and Safety Training - on Friday, April 5 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Participants will learn the essentials of pediatric first aid, childcare basics and household safety tips. The cost of the class is $25/person due at registration. Call (252) 475-9270 for more information or to register.

Friday kicks off another season of First Friday events and along with the art openings, live music, sales and family-friendly activities, Ducks Cottage Downtown Books is hosting a reception for Wayne Gray, a local educator, businessman and the author. Wayne will be on hand from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. greeting friends and neighbors and signing copies of Portsmouth Island Incident and Other Stories, his collection of short stories. Refreshments will be provided.

If you're like me, and the recent touch of Spring in the air has reawakened your desire to dig in the dirt and grow things, then the Dare County Extension Master Gardeners Spring Yard Sale is the place you'll want to be Saturday, April 6 from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. Held at the Baum Senior Center in Kill Devil Hills, all proceeds from the Yard Sale support ongoing construction and maintenance in the Outer Banks Arboretum and Teaching Garden as well as other outreach programs. Admission is free.

The specter of cancer has cast a shadow over the lives of many of us and the lives of many we love. It's exceedingly rare to find anything celebratory associated with the disease. But the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation's 13th Annual Spring Dance might just fit the bill. The annual dance, held Saturday, April 6 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Hatteras Village Civic Center, brings together good friends, great music and delicious culinary creations from local restaurants to raise funds to assist community members facing the challenges of cancer. The $50 ticket covers admission, hors d'oeuvres, a full buffet, beer, wine, set ups and live music from The Main Event Band, a top-notch rock and R&B outfit from Greenville, NC. Tickets can be purchased at all Hatteras Realty locations and at Klub Koru in Avon. Bring your dancing shoes and help raise money for a great cause!

For the past several months Outer Bankers have been gifted with the rare opportunity of screening a number of remarkable documentary films courtesy of the Dare County Arts Council and South Arts' innovative Southern Circuit Film Tour. The last film in the 2012-2013 series, director/producer Jonathon Goodman Levitt's Follow the Leader, will be shown at Outer Banks Brewing Station on Wednesday April 10 at 7 p.m. Levitt's film traces the experiences of three conservative 16 year olds - Ben, DJ, and Nick - who each dream of being President. Over three life-changing years, the three split into Republican, Democratic and Independent camps as each is forced to reconsider his political beliefs and career ambitions, and each set off on different paths. Tickets, which can be purchased at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery in Manteo or at the door at the Brewing Station prior to the screening, are $10/adults, $8/students, and $5 for children 12 and younger. There will be an opportunity to meet the director after the screening.

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway

This week you have a chance to win a $35 gift certificate to Kinnakeet Clay and a $35 gift certificate to Atlantic Coast Cafe!

For more information about Kinnakeet Clay, check out their website.

For more information about Atlantic Coast Cafe, check out their website.

Last Week's Winner

Congratulations to Candace Roberts!!!

You won a $50 gift certificate to Duck's Cottage Downtown and a $35 gift certificate to Full Moon Cafe & Brewery!

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway Winner

For more information about Duck's Cottage Downtown, check out their website.

For more information about Full Moon Cafe & Brewery, check out their website.

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 mike.lay@oneboat.com.