Hoedown to Hayrides to Halloween

By Molly Harrison | Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Fall for fun activities at Elizabethan Gardens on Sat.

Everybody is talking about the new New Inlet and the new bridge to Hatteras Island. Have you driven over it yet? I've heard the inlet is beautiful and that there have been a lot of gawkers driving down to the island just to see it. And who can blame them? It's a great excuse to go to Hatteras Island. I have yet to make it down that way since August, though my plan is to go this weekend when I've got visitors to entertain. I'm looking forward to a nice long walk on the beach, maybe a little lunch and shopping too...

Of course, I've got a lot of things competing for my attention this weekend. There's a lot to do this week, from health fairs to Halloween events to fall festivals...

Real quick, let me just do a plug for the Outer Banks Marathon weekend of events. The marathon weekend is coming up on November 12 and 13. If you think you might want to run a marathon, half-marathon, 8K, 5K or Fun Run that weekend and you haven't registered, go ahead and do it now! You still have two and half weeks of training, you know. * And if you're not running but you want to be involved, consider volunteering. Outer Banks Sporting Events needs volunteers all weekend, from indoors at the race Expo to outdoors along the course. By the way, if you run, you're not being entirely selfish. The proceeds of all these events go to two local organizations -- Dare Education Foundation and Outer Banks Relief Foundation - so you're actually running for good causes. Go to www.obxmarathon.org for info on registering or volunteering...

Now, here's some of what you'll find to do around here this week...

On Wednesday, there are Health and Wellness Fairs on Hatteras Island. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the fair will be at the Fessenden Center in Buxton. From 3 to 6 p.m. it will be at the Avon Fire Station in Avon. Local organizations will have informational booths, plus there will be free flu shots and health screenings. Dare County's dental van will also be at the Fessenden Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to provide screenings and cleanings on a first-come, first-served basis. Call (252) 475-5650...

Wednesday is the day for WILDFEST 2011, the kids' event portion of the forthcoming Wings Over Water Festival in November. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, there will be exhibits and activities based on the plants, animals, history and culture of the Outer Banks - all geared toward kids. This is a fun event, but a word of warning: It's crowded! School groups come en masse. It's worth it, but be prepared. Go at the very beginning or very end is my advice. BTW, the Wright Brothers National Memorial admission is free this day for Wildfest participants. Call (252) 475-4180...

FYI: For Dare County students, Thursday is a half-day of school and Friday is a teacher workday (no school). Need to entertain the kids? Try the Outer Banks Family YMCA, NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island, KDH Cooperative, Dare County Parks and Recreation Depts. and Children at Play Museum in Kitty Hawk for day camps and other fun things to do...

Thursday night is the NC Aquarium's really fun Trick or Treat Under the Sea event from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Basically, it's trick or treating in the aquarium, plus a scream contest, costume contests and more. As of this writing there were still tickets available. Call as soon as you read this to see if you can get in for Thursday night. (252) 473-3494...

Friday is the Outer Banks Association of Realtors' 15th Annual Surf Fishing Scholarship Tournament. Held to the beach at Oregon Inlet, and the fishing is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a cookout on the beach from noon to 1 p.m. You can take off work and go to the beach because this is for a good cause -- tell your boss I said so. Cash prizes are available to winners. Cost is only $150 per six-person team, and proceeds benefit local students. Contact Rich at (252) 489-1343...

Hungry? The Outer Banks Restaurant Association's Fall Restaurant Week starts Friday and runs through the next weekend. Nearly 20 local restaurants are offering $20 and $35 fixed price menus and special deals this week. No coupons needed. Just show up and enjoy! Plus there are Dine Around Crawls, including a Kitty Hawk Tapas Crawl, First Flight Dine & Wine Duo and an Outer Banks Oysters Crawl. Get more information about participating restaurants or get tickets for a crawl (they sell out typically) at www.outerbanksrestaurantweek.com...

The weekend is full of fun stuff. Topping the list is The Elizabethan Gardens' popular Harvest HayDay event for kids and families on Saturday. Head out to the gardens for hayrides, a hay bale maze, stuffing the scarecrow, hot cider, pumpkin pie, bonfires and a whole lot of activities for kids, all in the great setting of the Gardens. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for kids ages 6 to 17. * Adults can come back to the gardens on Saturday night for the Harvest Hoedown! Diamonds and Denim. This fund-raiser for The Elizabethan Gardens promises a good time. Wear your blue jeans and diamonds and enjoy dancing, hay rides, auctions and more. Guys, be sure to bust out the jean tuxedos for this one; you know, the good old jeans and jean jacket combo. It doesn't work in all situations, but here it does. * Cost is $50 per ticket. Call (252) 473-3234 for information on either event...

If you want to help raise funds for disaster relief, head down Colington Road to Genesis Tattoo for the Food, Fun and Music for Disaster Relief event on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. They'll have live music with Brass Roots Swill Band, Three Rivers Band and Steven Canady, along with raffles, a cornhole tournament, a costume contest and more. All proceeds go to the Outer Banks Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. Genesis is at 1085 Colington Road...

Want to make a fool of your pet? Bring him or her to the Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume Contest at Sugar Creek Restaurant on Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. Price to enter your pooch is $10 the day before, $12 the day of the event. Proceeds benefit the Outer Banks Relief Foundation. Call (252) 441-4963 for info...

There's a big Fall Coat and Harvest Festival going on this Saturday at the Marketplace shopping center in Southern Shores. There will be a festival atmosphere, with a bounce house and trick or treating from store to store. They'll also be accepting coat donations for men, women and children. You can drop off coats at any Marketplace merchant this week, or drop them off at any OBX Bank or Ace Hardware this week...

If you've got time to get off the island, the big Albemarle Craftsman's Fair is Friday through Sunday in Elizabeth City. More than 60 crafters from N.C. and Virginia fill this show with fiber arts, jewelry, woodwork, leatherwork, stained glass, dolls, weavings, toys and so much more. The event takes place at the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center at 200 Ward Street in Elizabeth City. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Call (252) 338-3954...

Of course Monday is Halloween. If you want to celebrate a little early, Island Farm on Roanoke Island is having its Draped in Black event on Friday night. This is a spooky, lantern-lit tour through the farm and graveyard, and you can come at 7 or 8:15 p.m. Call (252) 473-6500 for details. * There's a Halloween Parade and Party from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Rodanthe. The parade starts at North Beach Campground and ends at the Community Building. * Port O Call is having Halloween parties and costume contests on Friday and Saturday nights. * Outer Banks Brewing Station has a big weekend of events: the ASG Brews & Ghouls Tour is Friday night with three bands, a costume contest and a haunted house in the back yard. Halloween night is the locally famous Exotic-Erotic Halloween Ball X. DJ Sho will be spinning tunes, and there will be a costume contest. * The Hatteras Coast Guard Station Haunted House is on Halloween from 7 to 11 p.m. Admission is a canned good to the food pantry. There will be a kids' area for kids who might get scared in the haunted house...

If you're wondering where to take the kids trick or treating on the Outer Banks, look for a well-lit neighborhood street (not all local neighborhoods are well lit). First Street in Kill Devil Hills has long been a popular spot, if you like a crowd. Downtown Manteo is also a very popular spot; the Manteo residents definitely have great Halloween spirit. Nags Head Church on Soundside Road in Nags Head offers a free, indoor trick or treating event from 6 to 8 p.m....

Think about this for next week: a Dare County Arts Council Workshop on Self Portraiture and the Human Face. Led by Daryl Urig, it's a three-day painting event at DCAC in Kitty Hawk. Cost is $350 per student. Dates are November 1 to 3. Go to www.darearts.org...

And now, I have GOT to go. I have stuff to do and I know you do too. But if you have time, look around the site. We've got tons of events listed in our By Day and By Night sections, and there are deals to be found in the Restaurant and Shopping sections...

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.