Fresh Veggies, Live Music, Hidden History

By Michael Lay | Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Live music, a new book & fresh produce highlight the week.

One of the first things many visitors do upon their early Saturday morning arrival on the Outer Banks is to make a mad dash for the supermarket to stock up for the week's stay. And that's certainly the place to go for all those family staples. Unfortunately, some of the vegetables you'll find there, especially those tasteless, aroma-less, styrofoam-textured supermarket tomatoes, will be just as perfectly bland as what you'd find at home. After you've come so far, why not come just a wee bit farther over the bridge to Downtown Manteo and do your produce shopping Saturday morning at the Manteo Farmers' Market? From 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. you'll find dozens of vendors at George Washington Creef Park selling home grown, freshly picked fruits and vegetables, delicious baked goods, jams & jellies, handmade crafts, artwork, jewelry and more! If you're checking out on Sunday, pop over to Manteo and pick up some super fresh produce and other goodies to take back home. While you're there, enjoy the vacation's final Outer Banks lunch at one of Manteo's great restaurants. It's worth the trip across the bridge just for a decent tomato alone!

There is still time to get tickets to the Blues Traveler concert to be held Thursday, July 25 at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo. The Grammy Award-winning Blues Traveler will be joined by The Pat McGee Band and Matt McGuire & the Wilders. Three great bands for the price of one! Tickets are $30/person in advance and $35/person at the door and can be purchased at any Outer Banks Brew Thru or online at the Brew Thru website. Gates open at 5 p.m. The countdown is on, get your tickets today! It's gonna be a great show!

I've been a history junkie since I was a child. Growing up, it was not unusual to find me curled up in a corner somewhere with my nose buried in an encyclopedia, reading the history entries for fun. The best history, of course, is that which blends big events with the commonplace daily details to lend insight into a time, place and people. Sarah Downing's Hidden History of the Outer Banks is just such a book. This slim volume, clocking in at about 120 pages, is perfect beach reading, full of brief and enlightening vignettes of diverse historical events from the pre-European contact era to the relatively recent past. Think all the talk about converting the Outer Banks' ever-present breezes to wind power is an entirely modern concept? Think again. Downing tells us of the numerous windmills that once dotted the coast, grinding grain and pumping water from underground aquifers. From tales of shipwrecks to the Manteo fire of 1939 to warm memories of the Galleon Esplanade, Downing's book demonstrates that the Outer Banks has a history that is out-sized in relation to its geographic proportions, making it a welcome addition to the ranks of Outer Banks historical volumes. On Friday, July 26 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Downing will be signing copies of Hidden History at Duck's Cottage in Duck. Stop in Friday morning, grab a copy for yourself or as a gift for someone else and have the author sign it for you. Then, just break out the beach chair and indulge in a little Outer Banks time travel.

Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station's Traditional Hatteras Island Cooking program is perhaps the perfect event for me and maybe some of you, too - history combined with that other great! The Wednesday, July 31 event takes place at 2 p.m. and is divided into two parts. First, local chefs will prepare a variety of traditional dishes using contemporary ingredients and techniques. Following the restaurant presentation, Miz Elsie Hooper, a Hatteras Island elder native, will enter the 1911 Cookhouse (adjacent to the Main Station) for a "show & tell" session about the station's coal-burning cookstove. Miz Elsie will identify the stove's parts, explain what they do and demonstrate how to operate the stove. Some folks claim the best food they ever ate was cooked on a wood stove. Learn why that might be true. Regular admission fee includes samples! Audience size is limited to 50. Advanced reservations are encouraged but not required. To reserve your space, call (252) 987-1552.


Ducks's free Summer Music Series continues this Thursday, July 25 at 6:30 p.m. on the Duck Town Green with a performance by popular local country rock band Whiskey Creek. Next week's musical entertainment will be provided by The Lizzy Ross Band.


The final installment of Children@Play Museum's free Movies on the Sound series will be a Friday, July 26 screening of Tangled, Disney's rambunctiously loose musical take on the German fairy tale Rapunzel. Gates at the Outer Banks Event Site in Nags Head open at 7 p.m. and the movie begins at dusk. Concessions are available. Don't forget your blanket, beach towel or chairs! Call (252) 261-0290 for weather updates and cancellations. Parking is $10/vehicle.

Here's a refreshing afternoon activity! On Mondays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. bring kids ages 6-12 years old to The Elizabethan Gardens for Minty Monday, a one-hour "minty" adventure in which kids search The Gardens for mint, learning all about the herb as they make mint rubbings, plant mint to take home and, ab-so-lutely best of all, enjoy mint cookies and mint ice cream provided by local ice cream emporium Mabel's Scoop Shop! The event is free with paid admission to The Gardens. Children must be accompanied by a parent.

Monday nights are Kitty Hawk Kites Kid Nights at The Lost Colony, making Mondays a great time to check out the Outer Banks' own Tony Award-winning theatrical production - the kids get in free! Kids must be accompanied by a paying adult, and a discount includes a minor ticket processing fee of $2.50/ticket. VIP kids tickets are not discounted. Tickets can be purchased online, in person or over the phone. Pile the kids in the car and head on over to Waterside Theatre for an affordable night of adventure, drama and music! The show begins at 8 p.m.

Surfing, windsurfing and paddleboarding aren't the only popular board sports on the Outer Banks. There's also a sizable contingent of skateboarders here, and many who ride the waves are equally proficient on a wheeled board. Skateboarders of all levels, ages 5 to 14, will find a summer's worth of challenge and fun at the Outer Banks YMCA's OBXtreme Skate Camp. Session 8 of the camp begins Monday, July 29 and runs through Friday, August 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Skate campers will learn to skate ramps, bowls and half pipes with plenty of time dedicated to free skating. New friends will be made, and fun is practically guaranteed! Camp includes swimming, field trips to other local skate parks and camp awards. All campers should bring a skateboard, helmet, pads, healthy lunch, snacks, bottles of water, bathing suit, towel and a change of clothes. Campers must wear closed-toed shoes in camp. Pads and helmets are required while skateboarding. The fee is $75/YMCA members and $95/non-members. Participants can sign up at Member Services or online.


Fishing from a pier is not just a matter of dropping a line and hook over the edge into the water. To learn all the ins and outs of pier fishing from experts, sign up for the Advanced Fishing program at Jennette's Pier on Wednesday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Under the tutelage of Jennette's Pier's seasoned anglers, you'll learn what bait to use, what fish are running and various fishing techniques for specific conditions. The fee is $20/person, and the program is open to ages 12 and older. Pre-registration is required.

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway

This week you have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Peppercorns Restaurant and two tickets to the Outer Banks Comedy Club!

For more information about The Outer Banks Comedy Club, check out their website.

For more information about Peppercorns Restaurant & Lounge, click here!

Last Week's Winner

Congratulations to Robyn Holt!!!

You won a 2 person kayak from Ocean Atlantic Rentals and a $35 gift certificate to Agave Roja!

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway Winner

For more information about Ocean Atlantic Rentals, check out their website.

For more information about Agave Roja, 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