History Detectives, Fashionistas & Tin Cans

By Michael Lay | Tuesday, July 30, 2013
This Fay Davis Edwards' work is part of the new DCAC show.

Let's begin with a bit of a re-cap...The past week saw an enthusiastic Thursday night audience of 2500 music fans entertained by three great bands for nearly five hours at Roanoke Island Festival Park, an undiscovered gem of a music venue. After weeks of brutally hot summer weather the show date dawned overcast and breezy, and while the sky looked threatening at times, the rains held off and northerly breezes kept the day's temps in the comfortable upper 70s. The cooperative weather allowed a diverse audience ranging in age from toddlers to grandmothers to partake of one of the best musical experiences to grace the Outer Banks in a long time.

Openers Matt McGuire and the Wilders more than held their own with the larger acts to follow and, I have to admit, it was thrilling to see friends and long-admired local musicians hold the stage in such a fantastic venue and gain the exposure they deserve. The Pat McGee Band took the stage next and I was surprised how many songs I recognized. The guy has crafted some great tunes over the years. By 8:30 or so, Blues Traveler took the stage and they never let up until the encore was over. Playing a mix of hits, new music and mash-ups of their own material with the songs of others, the Grammy-winning band honored the crowd with an eclectic display of the musicianship and good will for which they are famous. By the end of the night, the canopy of scudding clouds overhead, punctuated at times by kaleidoscopic bursts of sunset sky, had combined with the musical talent onstage and the audience's joie de vivre to create a memorable event and, hopefully, a hint of things to come.

Kids and Families

The Frogsodders Family Educational Adventure on Wednesday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Whalehead offers a little something different for everyone, including the kids. The educational program made possible by Whalehead Preservation Trust, Coastal Studies Institute, Outer Banks Conservationists and Partners in Education exposes visitors to the realities of life in the original Corolla Village and the Northern Outer Banks before the advent of modern conveniences (which sometimes doesn't seem all that long ago - even now, electricity can be an iffy thing on the Outer Banks). A second component of the program allows families to become history detectives while exploring the techniques of archaeologists on cultural and maritime dig sites. Admission is $15/person, and pre-registration is required.


The U.S. Life-Saving Service once required all stations to practice the Beach Apparatus Drill rescue method weekly. Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station is now the only site where the complete drill, popularly known as the Breeches Buoy Rescue Reenactment, is performed by active-duty U.S. Coast Guard personnel, including the live black powder firing and live shot. It is a reminder of the courage and physical prowess that has always been required of our lifesaving heroes! The program, held Thursday, August 1 at 2 p.m., is free with paid site admission. Arrival by 1:30 p.m. is recommended.

First Friday

Friday, August 2 brings us another festive First Friday celebration. The jazz quintet Chez Says will be on the Courthouse steps playing standards and contemporary jazz selections. A variety of other musicians will be performing throughout the downtown area all evening. At the Dare County Arts Council, a vibrant and entertaining new show will open for the month. The show, "AmeriCAN Girls," features new works in tin collage by local artists Julie Moye, Shirley Ruff and Fay Davis Edwards. The exhibit is a playful collection of colorful, mixed media art with the unifying element of tin cans. The reception for the exhibit accompanies the opening. Of course, you'll find all the other First Friday activities you've come to expect, from wandering historical interpreters to sales and special deals to the challenge of a rock climbing wall right on the Waterfront. A good time will be had.


Author Danny Bernstein will be at Duck's Cottage Downtown Books in Manteo from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. during First Friday to celebrate the release of her new book, The Mountains-To-Sea Trail Across North Carolina: Walking a Thousand Miles Through Wildness, Culture and History. Stretching from Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey's Ridge in Nags Head, the Mountain-To-Sea Trail weaves through the spectacular, historic and quirky elements of the North Carolina landscape. The route, partly on footpaths and partly by back roads, includes Fraser firs and pelicans, old textile mills and working cotton farms, Revolutionary War sites, small towns, historic monuments and two British cemeteries complete with Union Jacks!

Arts & Crafts

Downtown Manteo offers the only traditional walkable downtown on the Outer Banks, and there is much to see, not the least of which is all the art you'll find, as expected, in several galleries, but also in boutiques, restaurants and shops throughout the Downtown Waterfront area. Stop in at the Dare County Arts Council on Tuesdays (or any other day, really), pick up a map and take yourself on a self-guided tour of local art.

The 40th Annual Senior Arts and Crafts Fair come to the Thomas Baum Senior Center in Kill Devil Hills Wednesday, August 7 and Thursday, August 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. For a $1 admission (which benefits Outer Banks Women's Club scholarships and community projects) you can view and purchase the works of dozens of Outer Banks artists and artisans.

Other Happenings

Get in touch with your inner fashionista at the Koru Village Beach Klub on Thursday, August 1 at 6 p.m. for the 2nd Annual Avon Fashion Show to benefit Outer Banks Hotline! Check out the newest trends in swimwear, accessories, jeans, dresses and more! Be one of the first people to show up and take home a swag bag full of free goodies. Businesses represented include Jobell Creations, Fisherman's Daughter, Hatteras Island Boardsports, The Slough, LeMair Handcrafts and Under the Seam. The Tiki Bar will be open and Haoles Sushi will be rolling up fresh and delicious creations. Admission is free with a cash or clothing donation to Outer Banks Hotline.

Looking ahead a bit, jot down Thursday, August 8 on your calendar or in your "smart" device of choice, and make plans to attend the 7th Annual Watermelon Festival at Kitty Hawk Kites in Nags Head. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Thursday you'll find a bevy of fun activities for kids and parents alike, including the dunk tank, moon bounce, inflatable obstacle course, watermelon seed spitting distance contests, pie eating contests, face painting and of course tons of watermelon! Kitty Hawk Kites staff will be on hand demonstrating juggling sticks, balance boards and letting the kids try out all the top selling toys. You'll also find great music, onsite food vendors and raffles! The Watermelon Festival is a fundraiser for the Wright Flight Foundation to support the local non-profit organization's efforts to improve fifth grader's academic performance by rewarding them with a gift of flight (via hang gliding or plane rides) if they achieve their academic goals. Admission is free but donations are accepted for participation in all activities. Proceeds go directly to the Wright Flight Foundation. For more information please contact the Events Coordinator at {encode="events@kittyhawk.com" title="events@kittyhawk.com"} or call (252) 441-1719, ext. 206.

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway

This week you have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Blue Pelican Gallery & a $35 gift certificate to Gidget's Pizza and Pasta!

For more information about Blue Pelican Gallery, check out their website.

For more information about Gidget's Pizza & Pasta, check out their website.

Last Week's Winner

Congratulations to Richard Noble!!!

You won a $50 gift certificate to Peppercorns Restaurant and two tickets to the Outer Banks Comedy Club!

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway Winner

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

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

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.