What's Going On This Week?

By Molly Harrison | Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Race on the beach at the OBX Sandbar 5k on Sunday.

I'm on vacation this week, at another beach with a whole lot of family on our annual beach-week reunion. Though I always look forward to this trip, I'll admit it's hard to peel myself away from the Outer Banks. I never like leaving the Outer Banks in the summer and fall because those are my favorite times of the year and I don't like to miss a single minute. I might miss a super-dramatic storm and ensuing rainbow or a sparkling green beach day or a piece of blue sea glass or a calm-sound day of paddleboarding or the best morning-run sunrise of the year. I might miss what's going on with the neighborhood osprey family. I will definitely miss some of the events going on this week. If I were on the Outer Banks, here's what I would do...

The nature lover in me would be watching purple martins this week. If you don't know about them, it's a pretty interesting tale. Each year in late July and early August, about 100,000 purple martins converge upon the old Manns Harbor Bridge (it links the north end of Roanoke Island with the mainland). At sunset for a few weeks, the birds flock under the bridge en masse to rest for the night. It's a surreal experience. Whether you're on a boat or on land, you're likely standing there, watching a few small blackish birds flying around, thinking, "What? This is it?" And then, SWOOP, they all come at once, all 100,000 of them. The sky darkens above you as the birds flap into place under the bridge. It's crazy. At sunrise, they depart for the day, swooping back out from under the bridge and heading out to eat. While they're here, the birds are building their fat stores for their annual 2,600-mile migration back to Brazil. You can see the martins on a boat tour or a guided shore-side tour. The boat tour is provided through Crystal Dawn. You can also take your own boat over, but, remember, the martins roost at sunset, so you'll need good running lights and a good sense of direction or a decent navigation system to get home in the pitch-dark Croatan Sound.

The art lover in me would be driving down to Hatteras Island on Wednesday or Thursday for the Hatteras Island Arts and Craft Guild Summer Show. Held at the Cape Hatteras Secondary School in Buxton, the show features numerous Hatteras Island artists, from carvers and jewelers to painters and potters. Show times are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Admission is free, and food is for sale. There's also a raffle in which the proceeds go to an art scholarship.

The exercise fanatic in me would be here running two races: The OBX Great Glow Run on Wednesday and the OBX Sandbar 5K on Sunday. The Glow Run is something new; I haven't done it before, but here's the deal. It's a 1-mile sprint, run or walk on Jockey's Ridge. The best part is that it's at dusk. The organizers say this: "Harness your astronomical powers, as the full moon rises over the Atlantic Ocean at 7:39 PM, while the sun sets over the Roanoke Sound at 8:09 PM. The dunes are the perfect place to watch it all happen." The run is family friendly, and glow sticks, flashlights or other light sources are encouraged. I would do that barefooted, for sure. * I also like to do the OBX Sandbar 5K sans shoes. This one is on the beach in Kitty Hawk, and while I haven't run all 11 of them, I've probably run at least 8 or 9. It's a fun race, mostly locals it seems, starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Kitty Hawk Bath House at MP 4.5. The Sandbar benefits the Outer Banks Relief Foundation. Some on-site registration may be available.

The parent in me would be taking my kids back to The Lost Colony. We've already been once this year and they're dying to go back. It's like this every summer. This time I've promised them that we'll do the backstage tour before the show, so I'll be telling you about that later... If we were home, we'd also be going to the Bear Necessities Program at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge that I've been promising we'd go to sometime this summer. Seeing black bears is an almost certainty this year, I hear...

The wine drinker in me would be heading up to the Acoustic Wine Down at Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg on Thursday. I am digging some Sanctuary wine as of late, and their weekly Acoustic Wine Down with music and wine on their farm is really worth the drive up to Currituck.

The shopper in me would be enjoying North Carolina's Sales Tax Holiday. This weekend school-related purchases like clothing, computers and sports equipment are exempt from sales tax.

I could go on and on. Really, there's a ton of stuff to do here this week. Look around: You'll find it all on our By Day and Nightlife sections. If you're looking for some good deals out there, check our Shopping and Coupons tabs. And if you're wondering what to eat tonight, look at our Restaurants tab, where good ideas about.

Have fun out there! Be safe on the roads and be safe in the ocean.

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway

This week you have a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to The Blue Point and a 25$ gift certificate to Birthday Suits!

For more information about The Blue Point, check out their website.

For more information about Birthday Suits, check out their website.

Last Week's Winner

Congratulations to Laura Cammarata!!!

You won a $50 gift certificate to Open Water Grill and a Triple Threat Package from OceanAir Sports!

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway Winner

For more information about Open Water Grill, check out their website.

For more information about OceanAir Sports, check out their website.

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.