Going Local

By Molly Harrison | Monday, March 22, 2010
Support your local shops and artisans.

What locally owned store or restaurant would you miss if it was gone tomorrow? Go there. Today. Spend 25 or 50 bucks. Go there again next month. We've got to support our local businesses, friends, or we're going to lose the character of the Outer Banks...

I'm not telling you this from my soapbox, mind you, because I'm guilty too. I succumb to the convenience of ordering a book online now and then. Yes, it's easier to sit at my computer and order stuff to be delivered to my door, but there's no soul in it. I'd much rather personally engage with Steve at Manteo Booksellers, Bill at Island Bookstore or Jamie at Duck's Cottage Books, who will make me smile and recommend something based on what they know I like. * I can drool on the Sundance jewelry catalog with the best of them, but when I look around locally, I find that there's equally creative and luscious jewelry being made and sold right here on the Outer Banks by local artists and merchants who need to sell jewelry to feed their families. * I, too, go to Harris Teeter or Food Lion for my major grocery hauls, but for quick daily necessities I'd rather go to Cahoon's, my neighborhood grocery, where the staff knows my name...

I'm on this train of thought today for a couple of reasons: 1. Walmart has been approved to expand its Kitty Hawk location exponentially, while national chain TJ Maxx is opening in Nags Head next month; and, 2. In the process of updating One Boat's local guidebooks for the 2010 summer season, I'm finding that an awful lot of locally owned, independently operated businesses on the Outer Banks are closing...

One thing that makes the Outer Banks so great is its locally owned stores, restaurants, recreational outfitters and attractions, places where the owners are working to put their own unique stamp on their business and to greet you when you come in the door. * I get it that it's a constant battle between saving money at national chains and patronizing local businesses, but I'm going to make more of an effort to put more of my money to local businesses ... and, as always, to local fishermen and farmers. Can't wait for the Manteo Farmers Market and the local produce stands to open up this spring ...

OK, moving on. * Women, take the day off this Friday. The 2010 Women's Expo - Empowering Women: Mind, Body & Spirit -at the College of the Albemarle Roanoke Island Campus promises to be an enlightening day. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. there will be speakers, workshops and exhibits of particular interest to women. Topics will range from business to health and nutrition to finding your passion and leadership. Thanks to the Virginia Dare Business and Professional Women's Club, it's free! Visit www.obxwomensexpo.org to see more info and to register...

Lots going on Saturday night. * First up it's the Outer Banks Forum's P.D.Q. Bach - The Jekyll and Hyde Tour, in which satirist "Professor" Peter Schickele plays a fictional composer. It's being staged at 7:30 p.m. at First Flight High School. Supposedly the guy is very funny. * Call 255-2274 for tickets...

Also Saturday night, Roanoke Island Festival Park is hosting the Coastal Cohorts. Well-known throughout N.C., these three guys - Bland Simpson, Don Dixon and Jim Wann - are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a concert that includes songs and stories from their two CDs, "King Mackerel and the Blues are Running" and "Wild Ponies." Their material celebrates life on the coast and is, appropriately, a fund-raiser for the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a most worthy cause. It starts at 7 p.m....

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund has a fund-raiser Saturday night at the Flying Dutchman in Corolla. It's called Night at the Races and includes hors d'oeuvres, drink and dinner specials, play money and horse races. Call 453-8002 for tickets...

Has the arrival of spring got you in the mood to party this week? * Kelly's has open mic on Tues., karaoke on Wed., Martinis and Manicures on Thurs., the Janitors on Fri. * Poor Richard's in Manteo has Ominota on Fri. and the Wilder Brothers on Sun. * Lone Cedar has karaoke on Fri. and Sat. * Outer Banks Brewing Station has Dirty Rock on Fri. and Midwest Hype's funk-rock-reggae on Sat...

On the tamer side, Dare County Parks and Rec is gearing up early for its Easter celebrations. * Take the kids Easter egg hunting on Sat. at the COA Campus in Manteo at 10 a.m. or KDH Family Recreation Park in KDH at 2 p.m. It's not just another candyfest. There will be games and other stuff too.

OK, gotta go shopping - locally! First stop - to try on some of Rabiah Hodges' handmade Chameleon Clogs. Have you seen them? Check the Shopping section of this site. * Keep checking the site all week as businesses and organizations on the Outer Banks are adding new stuff here every day. I'll be back with a new blog of Outer Banks snippets and events next Tuesday. And if you've got a business or organization that wants to get the word out about something - a sale, a special, an event or a fund-raiser - click on Get Involved just on the right column of this page...

Please put your 2 cents in. If you'd like to contribute or add your voice to this blog, you can do that below. Keep in mind that the blog comments are moderated so that this site is only putting positive vibes into cyberspace * We'd really love to hear from you...

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.