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Southport NC - Spring Activities Abound

camelia_246I am behind in my reporting of local events here in Southport NC. Easter Weekend is upon us and with it, the beginning of "tourist season" and the abundance of activities that comes with it. We've had our share of winter this year, and even a couple rare , but nothing compared to the wrath of "Old Man Winter" that was felt in many parts of the country. We are ready...and with the smell of jonquils in the air, it's time to sit back and have a look at all the opportunities for fun and frolic in and around .

purple easter egg_206 Getting on with it, will hold its annual Easter egg hunt "extraordinare" on Saturday March 28-10AM at the Garrison lawn on the Waterfront. So as not to get a "sneak peek" beforehand, all kids 7-12 will meet at Franklin Square Park. For anyone visiting the area who has not experienced this much-anticipated Southport event, do not be dismayed when you arrive with your kids and see several hundred children. There will be literally thousands of candy eggs (malted chocolate) plus numerous prize eggs. I remember one year my oldest daughter found an egg with a $20 bill in it. It was "a very BIG deal." In addition, on Saturday before Easter, I believe, is the only "adult easter egg hunt." Stewart Hardware has been having one every year as long as I can remember. You can call them at 457-5544 for details. I also hear that their Spring shipment of baby chicks and ducks has arrived!

For the grown-ups, on March 29th at the Southport Community Building is a "Red, White, and Brew" wine tasting, sponsored by the Friends of the . Time: 2-4. Call 457-0003.
Susan Dade Whenever you're in Southport, you owe it to yourself to check out the the latest collection of local art at . I am always amazed at the talent in our midst. If you're not familiar with any of our artists, here are a few favorites. (I have a weakness for watercolors.) I love the whimsical works of , the haunting Empty Porch series by , the unique jug art/pottery of , and the nostalgic coastal scenery of . From now until May 1, you can see the budding art work of Brunswick County High School students.

To officially kick off the upcoming season, and welcome the arrival of warmer weather, Southport will host its annual Spring spring festivalFestival hosted by and the . It will be held on Easter Weekend, April 10 and 11 at Franklin Square Park. There will be over 100 craft booths, lots of food vendors, live music, kid's games, plant sales, and much more. This festival gets bigger every year and honestly the attendance is staring to remind me of the 4th of July. It seems like everyone vacationing on our area beaches makes a point to get to Southport for at least one of the days. And Saturday only, is the not-to-be-missed Robert Ruark Chili ruark_200 Cook-off. Ruark spent much of his beloved childhood under the salty eye of his colorful Grandfather whose home has recently been converted to fabulous bed and breakfast. I was a little skeptical when I saw the white clapboard seaman's home turn to gold, but I have to admit, it is absolutely striking. The new Robert Ruark Inn is on the corner of Lord and Nash St. I wrote about Ruark's Old Man and the Boy in another . It's a wonderful book.

where we live_120 Where We Live is a local grassroots organization in Boiling Spring Lakes which gives testimony to the "can do" attitude of its founders of Jen Iapalucci and Eleanor Erickson. They saw a need to build communities and provide outlets for children and families, and boy have they taken the bull by the horns. When there wasn't a good playground for their children to play, they raised the money for one through many a creative endeavor. Now the Grand Opening of Muse Park Playground is April the 18th! When local kids were having to drive to Wilmington for music and art lessons, they started of offering and . Check out the calendar and other offerings. You'll be amazed. So the BIG thing they have coming up is their 1st Annual Live Green Music and Arts Festival, "a celebration of music, art, and Mother Earth," in Bolivia on April 11th. Click to view the flyer or print one to put up in your neighborhood.

For the theatre go-ers among you, you know that Spring means the "Spring musical" for local theatre companies. For , it means Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, which will be performed at the Amuzu April 24-25, and April 30-May 3. Shows at 8:00, Thurs. - Sat and also matinees Sat. and Sun. at 3:00. Founder of Stage II, Briton Campbell was a pirate in 2000 run of Pirates. Now she has a chance to direct and I'm looking forward to seeing it inside the historic walls of the Amuzu. Tickets on sale at their office on 807 Howe St. and ...or call Briton at 540.2801. You'd better hurry....opening night has already sold out!
beehive logo_235 In what has become a popular outdoor event every year, will present at Franklin Square Park. It is a retrospective of the great female acts of the 60s and 70s including the Shirelles, the Supremes, Petula Clark, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, and more. The show has just been cast and word on the street is that the voices in this show are unbelievable! I'm excited just hearing about it. This is a free show folks...donations appreciated of course. It will run two weekends, May 22-24 and May 29-31. Bring your chairs or blanket and a bottle of wine and enjoy an evening under the stars. Co-sponsored by the Southport Department of Tourism.

battery island ibis rookery john ennis_300
Now here's something new and different .... on May 12-16, the City of Southport and the Cape Fear Audubon Society are sponsoring , celebrating the unique ecology of the Lower Cape Fear. Besides classes and presentations on topics such as birding, nature writing, photography, and native plants, you will be transported to various study sights by van, bus, or . For those who aren't familiar with Southport, right across the river lies Battery Island, North Carolina’s largest breeding rookery for ibises, egrets, and herons. It is a welcome sight around here each spring when the ibis fleet arrives. Every morning at sunrise you can view thousands of white ibises overhead as they leave the island for a day of inland feeding. Then the last couple hours of sunlight brings them back to roost. I can sit on my porch in the evening and watch them heading home, flock after flock, in well-rehearsed migration.
Orton_286 And finally, something that has really caught my eye.... on April 26th is the Sweet Tea Jamboree from 3-6PM at Orton Plantation Gardens. Everyone knows how much I love Orton...and sweet's pretty much a done deal. Oh and I forgot, there will be bluegrass music....check.... And speaking of bluegrass, we will miss our annual Spring trek to Wilkesboro and this year. This is mostly due to belt-tightening but I can promise you it is the most phenomenal gathering of musical talent you're ever apt to experience in one place spread out over a four-day weekend. Just ask the 80,000 who come back year after year. You may have never heard of it but it is a very big deal. Music is such a blessing.

Well that's about all the damage I can do in one blog. There's plenty more on the . I've just hit the high spots. If you want to know more, I'll be happy and try to steer you in the right direction, just email me or give me a call at 910.540.0551.