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Southport, NC - Halloween Cape Fear Style

It just doesn't seem possible that Halloween is right around the corner. Here in , Fall has been a tease.... at best, for it seems to have disappeared. It's October 19th and it's 85 degrees, hot and sticky, and once again I'm in denial wearing a long-sleeve shirt.

Signs of Halloween are beginning to appear, and I had a
good time last evening riding around and taking a few pictures. I don't have trick or treaters living at my house anymore. I sure do miss those days. I remember one year, when lacking a proper costume, we wrapped my daughter Kate up in a sheet, pinned a bunch of seashells on it, and sent her out dressed like a "beach!" She was too young to protest and's all about the CANDY.

Some folks here still go all-out with their decorations. I'll have to update with my "best Halloween decorations award" when it gets a little closer. Downtown Southport really is the perfect neighborhood for trick-or-treating with the closeness of the houses, and the "everybody knows everybody" feel to it. I don't know if kids still go door to door in other parts of the country. It does seem as though our newer residents as a whole choose not participate and leave their porch lights off on Halloween night. I think it's just not a tradition they are accustomed to and they are wary of strangers coming to their door. And some of ghosts and goblins can can be awfully scary!

To get you into the spirit, there's "," a community festival to be held at Bill Smith Park on Fish Factory Road on Saturday the 27th. There'll be kid's games, family entertainment, arts and crafts, and food booths, and more. Then Saturday evening at 6:00, if you have a taste for the paranormal, you can head to the and board the "Ghost Ship. While you're exploring the bowels of the ship you'll hear about the tales of voices and apparitions frequently encountered on the ship and discoveries from an episode of "Ghost Hunters" aired last year on the Sci-Fi Channel. On a lighter note, also Saturday evening, a Halloween Hay Ride will be held in Boiling Spring Lakes. BSL will also be hosting on the 31st at the Community Building.

Everyone seems to be enjoying our Indian Summer. The local piers and surf are full of fisherman, the shops and local restaurants are full of late-season tourists, and for those of us who call Southport home, the days are full of promise, for our favorite time of year has arrived. October is one of the "R" months and it has a lot of us thinking about that first oyster roast in the backyard.

Last, but definitely not least, Southport's BIG Fall bash, the is on the 27th. This is a major-fun combined event put on by the Provision Co. and the Cape Fear Yacht Club. Decorated boats of ALL shapes and sizes race in and around the Cape Fear between Southport and Bald Head Island captained by pirates, swashbuckling mates, and wenches of course. The rum-running race finishes up around 5:00 and a huge pirate-themed block party ensues at the end of West Bay Street.

One of the first thing out of anyone's mouth after they've been to Southport for the first time is, "I LOVE THE PROVISION CO!" This little waterfront restaurant still feels like a "best-kept secret" even though it's not a secret any more. There's much that has already been written about the utterly unique "little restaurant that could." You'll just have to come on down and experience it for yourself. You won't be sorry!

H A P P Y H A L L O W E E N ! ! !

One late addendum for your Halloween pleasure is the Halloween Festival at Poplar Grove Plantation in Poplar Grove. They are promising the biggest ever annual event with a HAUNTED HAYRIDE, a HAUNTED BARN, A FUN HOUSE, MAZE, CARNIVAL RIDES, FOOD, GAMES, and more. This has got to be pretty tempting if you have kids. Historic Poplar Grove Plantation itself is in a beautiful setting and a perfect venue for any small event. Now that there's the new super highway that runs from 421 just North of Wilmington straight over to Highway 17N right at Poplar Grove, you can make in about 45 minutes from Southport with NO traffic. It runs til midnight Friday and Saturday night and til 6 on Sunday.

Be Scareful out there!

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All photos by Vicki Burton except "Halloween Dogs" courtesy of