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Back You are here: Home Features Events and Features Local Events Local Events Calendar For Week Of December 4th, 2013

Local Events Calendar For Week Of December 4th, 2013

Christmas Parade This Friday

Get ready for the Island of Lights Christmas Parade this Friday! The parade will begin at 7:30pm sharp at Atlanta Avenue and run north, up Lake Park Boulevard to the Federal Point Shopping Center in Carolina Beach. Local elected officials, area queens, floats, bands, and even Santa Claus will all on hand to get everyone into the Holiday Spirit. Please remember to get to your viewing spot, as the Island will be hard to navigate once the parade begins.
Saturday find your favorite spot along the Intracoastal Waterway for the Christmas Flotilla that starts at 6pm. Boats will cruise from Snows Cut to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back. Next weekend December 14th will be the Tour of Homes from 4pm until 6pm. Tickets are on sale now at touché, Checkered Church and Island Tackle and Hardware. Tuesday, December 31st the Island of Lights will wrap up the 2013 season and begin the 2014 season at their New Year Celebration. Festivities will begin at 9:00pm at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. For more information follow the Island of Lights on Facebook or visit

Island of Lights Flotilla Saturday

On the first Saturday in December (December 7th), the Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla in Carolina Beach features electrically decorated fishing boats and pleasure crafts in a spectacular display of light and sound along the Intracoastal Waterway. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. the merry boat parade cruises from Snows Cut to Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back. The best viewing station is at Carolina Beach Boat Basin. Visitors who arrive on Friday can usher in the holidays during the annual Island of Lights Nighttime Christmas Parade on Friday evening (December 6th). Santa’s official arrival in Pleasure Island is preceded by an elaborate procession of electrical floats, marching bands, queens, and more. The Friday night parade begins at 7:30 p.m. along Lake Park Blvd. from Atlantic Avenue to Federal Point Shopping Center in Carolina Beach.
Plan a weekend getaway that includes the parade and the flotilla, as well as a visit to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk for this year’s Christmas by the Sea festivities. While on the island, you can enjoy Kure Beach’s new Ocean Front Park and visit the Fort Fisher State Historic Site & Civil War Museum, Carolina Beach State Park, and the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher.
You’ll also find unique gifts in museum shops and beach boutiques at Carolina and Kure beaches. For details about the Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla and Nighttime Parade:

Tour of Homes to be Held December 14th

Mark your calendar for the Island of Lights Annual Tour of Homes. The event will take place December 14th from 4pm until 9pm and feature 6 beautifully decorated homes and 1 church found right here on Pleasure Island.
You will take a self-guided tour while enjoying Southern hospitality at its best as the owners welcome you into the privacy of their homes for this special holiday treat.
Tickets are only $10 and available at touché, Checkered Church and Island Tackle and Hardware in Carolina beach. For more information on the Island of Lights or to learn how to join visit

Kure Beach Fantasy Christmas Show Shows are: December 13th-15th

Announcing the Kure Beach Fantasy Christmas Show, to be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 13-15, at 7:00 pm. As usual, the show will be held on K Avenue, next to the Kure Beach Fishing Pier, and it will include a pre-show at 6:30 pm to get the crowd "warmed up" for the big show. This whimsical, annual show has become a tradition in Kure Beach and features a cast of singers, dancers and costumed characters. Your favorite Christmas songs are performed by an all-local cast, while beloved Christmas characters like Frosty the Snowman, The Grinch, Santa & Mrs. Claus and their silly elves, keep the crowd in stitches. This FREE show is fun for young and old, alike. Try to arrive early to get a seat in our bleachers, but bring a folding chair just in case. Even when the weather is balmy it always seems to snow at the show, so dress accordingly and have a merry old time!

Fort Fisher Holiday Open House to Celebrate the 2013 Season

Click on image for larger view...

(Pictured Above): The Murray Middle School Jazz Band performs at Ft Fisher State Historic Site. Ft Fisher’s Holiday Open House 2013 will feature seasonal refreshments, music, and
special discounts in the museum store. The event is planned for December 10th from 10-4 p.m.

KURE BEACH — Join us in celebrating the season as Fort Fisher State Historic Site in Kure Beach, NC, holds its Holiday Open House on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the visitor’s center. This event is free and open to the public.
Enjoy seasonal refreshments, decorations, and entertainment throughout the day, including holiday musical selections by the Murray Middle School Jazz Band under the direction of David Tyson, followed by popular musician and storyteller John Golden. For the history lovers on your shopping list, special discounts will be offered on all museum shop merchandise for this one day only, so you can stock up on everything from Battery Buchannan Blend coffee to unique Christmas tree ornaments to great books for the history enthusiast.
Speaking of books, Civil War historian, author, and professor Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle, Jr. will debut his new book Faces of Fort Fisher: 1861-1864. At 12:30 p.m., Chris will speak about some of the memorable people associated with wartime Fort Fisher in the visitor’s center’s Gehrig Spencer Theatre.  Following the presentation, Faces of Fort Fisher may be purchased from the Museum Shop and will be signed by the author. Before the program concludes, the Friends of Fort Fisher will announce the winner of the 2013 rifle raffle, at which a lucky ticket holder will win a reproduction Civil War Springfield Musket. Raffle tickets are available right up until announcement time.
Ft Fisher State Historic Site is located at 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd S, Kure Beach, N.C. 28449.  This free event is sponsored by the Ft Fisher Chapter 2325 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Friends of Fort Fisher and its sustaining members. For more information, contact Paul Laird at 910-612-7067 or plaird

North Carolina Poetry Society Announces Annual Contest

The North Carolina Poetry Society (NCPS) invites submissions to its 2014 adult poetry contests, open to NCPS members and non-members and, except for the Poet Laureate contest, to both NC residents and non-residents. The deadline for submission is January 10, 2014. For the first time, poems may be submitted on-line. Winning poems will receive cash prizes and publication in the annual contest anthology, Pinesong. Winning poets will be invited to read at Awards Day in May 2014.
The Poet Laureate Award is for a serious poem, any subject, any style, maximum of 110 lines. The contest is open to poets currently residing in NC. The winning poem will be selected by the North Carolina Poet Laureate for a single prize of $100.
The other adult poetry contests are open to residents and nonresidents of NC:
• Thomas H McDill Award: any form, any style; maximum 70 lines.
• Caldwell Nixon, Jr., Award: written for children ages 2-12, any form, any style; maximum 36 lines.
• Joanna Catherine Scott Award: traditional forms (except sestinas); maximum 36 lines.
• Ruth Morris Moose Sestina Award: On any theme.
• Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award: any form, any style on theme of American heritage, brotherhood/sisterhood, nature; maximum of 36 lines.
• Katherine Kennedy McIntyre Light Verse Award: any form, any style; maximum 36 lines.
• Griffin-Farlow Award: Haiku.
• Poetry of Courage Award: any form, any style on theme of courage or crisis; maximum 36 lines
• Carol Bessent Hayman Poetry of Love Award: any form, any style; maximum 36 lines.
For the contests above, prizes are: first place: $50; second place: $25; third place: $15. Up to three honorable mentions will be awarded.
For complete rules and guidelines:
About the North Carolina Poetry Society
The North Carolina Poetry Society is an all-volunteer organization especially for poets and friends of poetry. We have approximately 370 members from North Carolina, and numerous locations beyond. The Poetry Society offers a variety of programs, including adult and student contests, readings, panels, workshops, special presentations, and an annual poetry festival. Regular meetings are held in Southern Pines, NC, at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Third Annual Step Up For Soldiers Backyard BBQ Cook-Off “Where the BBQ Meets the Beach”

Carolina Beach, NC  -  On Saturday, January 25, 2014 thirty teams will take to their grills, forks in hand, secret recipes folded and stashed in pockets, all for the glory of the title and the satisfaction of knowing they’ve helped to raise a significant amount of money for Step Up For Soldiers. The competition will start with a level playing field:  everyone will have the same meats, be in the same location and have the same time constraints.  But thrown into the mix will be individual rubs, sauces or marinades, grill temperatures and methods of cooking that will leave someone going home with braggin’ rights for the next year.
The cook-off will be held at the lake in Carolina Beach at the junction of Lake Park Blvd. and Atlanta Avenue, and everyone is welcome.  Admission is free.  Tickets can be purchased to sample the BBQs after the double-blind judging is completed.  There will be three bands; The Cut opens, next is local favorite Bibis Ellison and the headliner will be Wilmington’s own Machine Gun.  In addition, there will be raffles, arts and craft vendors plus more food and drink for purchase.  Gates open at 9:30am and prizes will be awarded at 4:00pm.  All to benefit Step Up For Soldiers. 
This year Step Up is proud to announce a new project, “Soldier Build.” Upon receiving a plot of land in the Monkey Junction area of Wilmington, NC, a plan began to build a transitional home for veterans - along with their families - who are attending local universities.  The house will be built along the lines of a Habitat for Humanity home (i.e. with hard work, sweat and determination), and Step Up For Soldiers is starting a donation program in order to supply the materials needed for the house and the overall project.  Proceeds from this event will help to fund this project.  In addition to monetary contributions, they are also seeking the assistance of licensed professionals who would be willing to donate their expertise.
Step Up For Soldiers is an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of our disabled veterans and their families. 
Step Up For Soldiers was started in November 2004 by Tom Russell, a retired Port Authority police officer and Vietnam Vet.  His intent was to assist wounded soldiers who were sent overseas in response to the 9/11 terrorist attack and he began with building wheelchair ramps for two soldiers who returned home paralyzed from the waist down.  The organization has increased from a single person to a small family of nine dedicated volunteers and continues to develop as it grows. Russell's goal is to help as many families of active and non-active duty soldiers as possible in the Fort Bragg to Camp Lejeune areas by modifying homes and providing other services to veteran and active duty soldiers. There is no better way to spend the day than tasting the best BBQ around, maybe eating some oysters or a burger, listening to great music and browsing through the goods from the arts and craft vendors while helping support such a deserving organization.
To volunteer during the event contact Kevin Holton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 919-274-8617.  For more information contact Janet Knott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 910-431-8122.

P.I. Calendar of Events for 2013

• Nov 29 thru Dec 21 - 5th Annual Christmas by the Sea (Carolina Beach Boardwalk) (910-470-8666)
• December 6 - Island of Lights Christmas Parade (910-458-5507)
• December 7 - Island of Lights Flotilla (910-458-5507)
• December 13, 14 & 15 - Kure Beach Fantasy Christmas Show (910-279-0459)
• December 14 - Island of Lights Tour of Homes (910-458-5507)
• December 31 - Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Countdown held in Carolina Beach
For Chamber information please visit our website at or E-Mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 910-458-8434.

Discover an Unseen World at Cape Fear Museum

814 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401 • (910) 798-4370 or Find Them on Facebook

Wilmington, N.C. -  Nano – Imagine and discover a world you can’t see! is a new engaging, bilingual exhibition for family audiences about nanoscale science, technology and engineering (nano) at Cape Fear Museum. Join us to imagine and discover the nanoscale world – a world so tiny it’s too small to see! This mini-exhibition includes hands-on, interactive exhibits that invite exploration of nano phenomena and real world applications and implications.
 At the nanoscale – the scale of atoms and molecules – many common materials exhibit unusual properties. Our ability to manipulate matter at this size enables innovations that weren’t possible before. Nanotechnology is revolutionizing research and development in medicine, computing, new materials, food, energy and others areas.
 At the Small, Smaller, Nano exhibit component, you can play with magnets to explore how material behaves differently at different sizes. At the Build a Giant Carbon Nanotube component you can use foam construction pieces to make a large model of a tiny structure called a carbon nanotube. There are plenty of examples of nano in nature, technology and your own home. Where Can You Find Nano? lets you listen, look and touch to discover nano all around you. At Balance our Nano Future, a variety of blocks represent the challenge of trying to create a stable nano world – can you balance all the blocks on the tippy table? Throughout the exhibition, interactive panels provide information on tiny solutions for big problems, exciting technologies inspired by nature and different perspectives on nanotechnology. The Nano exhibition includes a seating area with comfortable furniture and additional reading material about this important topic. Visit for more information via digital media, video, podcasts and more! An audio description for blind and low vision museum visitors is available at, which may be downloaded at any time.
 Nano is produced by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Network) with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative has been awarded a copy of this exhibit that will tour museums within the Collaborative. Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, a department of New Hanover County, is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Sunday; Labor Day through Memorial Day. General admission is $7 for adults; $6 for students with valid ID and senior citizens; $6 special military rate with valid military ID; $4 for children 3-17; and free for children under 3. Museum members are admitted free. New Hanover County residents’ free day is the first Sunday of each month. The Museum is located at 814 Market Street in historic downtown Wilmington, NC. More information:

Cape Fear Museum Offers Fascinating Look at Military Mail and Communication

Wilmington, N.C. – A name is shouted out, and a parcel is handed through the crowd to its eager recipient—mail call is a moment when the front line and home front connect. Letters, news, and packages from home unite families, boost morale, and in wartime, elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary. The traveling version of the National Postal Museum’s permanent exhibition, Mail Call explores the history of America’s military postal system, and examines how even in today’s era of instant communication, troops overseas continue to treasure mail delivered from home. Mail Call tells the fascinating story of military mail and communication—from the American Revolution to current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The exhibition will open November 9, 2013 at Cape Fear Museum. Mail Call closes January 19, 2014.
Throughout American history, the military and postal service have combined forces to deliver mail under challenging—often extreme—circumstances. But whether it takes place at headquarters or in hostile territory, on a submarine or in the desert, mail call forges a vital link with home.
 Mail Call features a number of items that bring to life the story of military mail. One such highlight is a kit with supplies for “Victory Mail,” a microfilm process developed in World War II to dramatically shrink the volume and weight of personal letters.
Beginning in 1942, V-Mail used standardized stationery and microfilm processing to produce lighter, smaller cargo—150,000 microfilmed letters could fit in one mailbag. Visitors will also gain access to dramatic firsthand records and heartfelt sentiments through excerpts from letters exchanged between writers on the front line and the home front.
The exhibit also explores how the military postal system works today and describes the new ways men and women of the armed forces are communicating with home. Mail Call is a National Postal Museum exhibition organized and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Cape Fear Festival of Trees at Cameron Art Museum Benefiting Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter and the Museum Features Opening Party in the Pines and a Teddy Bear Picnic Brunch during the Festival Nov. 22 - Dec. 8, 2013

Wilmington, NC—Cape Fear Festival of Trees at Cameron Art Museum, now a two-week festival, runs from Nov. 22 to Dec. 8. This year Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter and Cameron Art Museum proudly present the celebrated Cape Fear Festival of Trees. Travel to the museum and meander through the forest of more than 30 beautifully decorated trees on display, enjoy musical and theatrical performances scheduled throughout the 16-day festival, and treat yourself to seasonal fare and holiday goodies in CAM Café.  A festival favorite, the 15-foot Memory Tree, covered by a giant flock of Memory Doves, awaits inscription in tribute to a precious loved one or cherished event. In addition to the Party in the Pines opening, with music by Grenoldo Frazier and Benny Hill on Nov. 22, a special Teddy Bear Picnic Brunch with Santa on Nov. 30 is sure to delight children during this family time of celebration. CAM Café will continue with regular lunch service until 3 p.m. and reopen at 5 p.m. serving special festival suppers until 8 p.m. The festival will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28. Cape Fear Festival of Trees at Cameron Art Museum admission, ages 13 and older are $12, ages 5-12 are $6, and ages 4 and younger are admitted for free. Gallery admission is included in festival ticket price. The festival benefits nonprofits, Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter and Cameron Art Museum. Online ticket sales: or call the CAM to learn more, 910-395-5999.
• Opening Celebration Party in the Pines - 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 - Don your work attire or favorite holiday cocktail dress and join us for the Cape Fear Festival of Trees’ official grand opening event, Party in the Pines, on Friday, Nov. 22. Music performed by Grenoldo Frazier and Benny Hill, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and delicious holiday desserts are yours to enjoy among the magnificently decorated holiday trees and lights. Guests will have a chance to meet their favorite characters from the Wilmington School of Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Party in the Pines admission until Nov. 15 is $35, after Nov. 15 is $45. These tickets can be purchased online or at the CAM.
• Teddy Bear Picnic Brunch with Santa - 8:30-10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 30 - Stay in your pajamas, grab teddy, and join the Cameron Art Museum and characters from Wilmington School of Ballet on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 30, for a special breakfast and storytime with the jolly man himself, Santa Claus! No teddy bear? No problem! Visit the Cameron Art Museum gift shop to purchase a special new friend. These tickets can be purchased online or at the CAM. Tickets for the Teddy Bear Picnic Brunch with Santa are: 3-12 years old, $10; 13 and older, $15.
• Tree sponsors and decorators - All proceeds from tree sponsorships go directly to Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter. Cape Fear Festival of Trees 2013 sponsors include: Bangz Hair Salon and Spa, BB&T, Bob King Buick-GMC Inc., Cape Fear Garden Club, Compass Pointe, Cruisers Car Wash, D&H Marketing Group, Family and Friends of William “Paco” Strickland, George Harriss Enterprises Inc., IronGate Partners, Jamie Cowgill, Edward Jones, Johnson Drug & Home Medical, JWB Insurance Group, Hometown Wilmington Media, Keller’s Inc., Landfall Realty, Linda Brown, Medical Center Pharmacy, Moms of First Baptist Preschool Pre-K Class, Monteith Construction Corp, RuckerJohns– A Restaurant & More. For more information about sponsorships, visit
Tree decorators for the festival currently include: American Heritage Girls, Atlanta’s Art, Cameron Art Museum Contemporaries, Coastal Carolina Clay Guild, Crescent Moon, Elizabeth Hester, The Fisherman’s Wife, Harbor Island Garden Club, Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter staff and volunteers, Verzaal’s Florist (and tent decorator) and The Wedding Dress Shoppe.
• Event and media sponsors - Cape Fear Festival of Trees would not be possible without our generous event and media sponsors. Event sponsors for the festival are Home Depot with Katherine McKenzie for sponsorship of Party in the Pines. The media sponsors are: Encore, Fairway Outdoor, Focus on the Coast, Fox Wilmington, Greater Wilmington Business Journal, Hometown Wilmington Media, Livin’ Out Loud and RSVP Direct. To partner with Cape Fear Festival of Trees visit
• Performance schedule - In keeping with tradition, performances will be take place throughout the Cape Fear Festival of Trees. This year the 82nd Airborne Division's All American Chorus will perform at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4. This extensive line-up continues to grow. As additional performers are scheduled they will be listed on the festival website at:
• 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22: Party in the Pines opening with music by Grenoldo Frazier and Benny Hill
• 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23: Luis Paschoa
• 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov 23: Port City Tubas
• 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov 24: Thalian Association Children's Theater
• 10:30 a.m. weekdays: Children’s Storytime
• 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1: Julie Rehder and Carole Green, harpists
• 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1: Pine Valley United Methodist Handbell Choir
• 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1: St. Paul's Instrumental Ensemble
• 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3: Melanie Walter, pine needle demonstration
• 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3: Theatre Now cast, “A Christmas Carol” excerpt
• 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4: 82nd Airborne Division's All American Chorus
• 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4: David Key, Therapeutic Sound Artist
• 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5: Thaddeus Ferguson
• 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5: Melanie Walter, pine needle demonstration
• 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5: Theatre Now cast, “A Christmas Carol” excerpt
• 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6: Murray Middle School Orchestra
• TBD, Friday, Dec. 6: Ashley High School Orchestra
• 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6: Harmony Bells
• 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7: Sweet Adelines
• 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8: Church of the Servant Choir
Tickets - Tickets may be purchased online at Prior to and during the Cape Fear Festival of Trees an on-site box office will be set up at Cameron Art Museum. Festival admission for 13 and older is $12; 5-12 years old, $6; and 4 and younger are admitted for free. Gallery admission is included in the festival ticket price. Group tickets are available for $8 per person for groups of 20 or more. One individual must purchase tickets for the entire group.
Pre- festival and event on-site box office at CAM - 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22
On-Site, festival and event box office at CAM - 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 22-Dec. 8
• Event hours - Hours for the Cape Fear Festival of Trees at Cameron Art Museum kick off with the opening from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. The festival will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28.
Tickets and updates are available at:
The Cameron Art Museum presents six to eight changing exhibitions annually; ongoing family and children's programs; a unique program of tours for Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers; The Museum School classes for adult and youth education; interdisciplinary programs (lectures, music, films, literature, dance); Healthy Living Classes and ongoing workshops and classes in ceramics at the Clay Studio with resident master artist Hiroshi Sueyoshi. The Cameron Art Museum also features its café, CAM Café. Cameron Art Museum is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday. CAM Café is open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 5-9 p.m. Thursday for dinner. For more information about the museum, please visit
Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter is a nonprofit agency that provides healthcare and comfort to people with life-limiting illnesses; support and counseling to families; and education to the community in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties. It is supported by the nonprofit Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation. For more information about hospice, visit or

“Enchanted Airlie” Is A Holiday Light & LEGO Extravaganza
9th Annual Event Features 300,000 Lights, Music, Santa & Colorful LEGOs

Wilmington, N.C.: Tis the season to be enchanted! And what could be more enchanting than a glittering landscape of lighted oaks and twinkling displays in a coastal garden setting?  Visitors who travel to Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and island beaches during the holiday season will have the opportunity to experience “Enchanted Airlie” each Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from November 29 through December 21, with additional dates on Wednesday, December 18 and Sunday, December 22.
Now in its ninth season, Enchanted Airlie (Nov. 29-Dec. 22) presents a holiday light extravaganza with tastefully decorated gardens, magical evenings and fond memories for visitors and local residents. On select dates beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving and continuing into late December, Airlie Gardens is transformed into a visually stunning wonderland of theatrically illuminated large oaks, small native trees, holiday flowers, and elegant displays. Prepare to be enchanted by a world of holiday fantasy that features 300,000 lights and whimsical LEGO exhibits to delight visitors of all ages.
Always a crowd favorite, the colorful LEGO exhibit returns with more than 250,000 LEGO bricks that set a world record as the largest crowd to see a single LEGO display. Inside the garden services center, guests will marvel at an actual running LEGO train set constructed by NCLUG (North Carolina Lego Group Users). Other highlights include: a Poinsettia Paradise with more than 400 holiday plants; live musical entertainment and visits with Santa. Families can also have their pictures taken in Airlie’s 2,400-square-foot floral conservatory. Refreshments will be available for purchase and the Airlie gift shop will be open.  Want to go? Enchanted Airlie runs November 29-30; December 5-7, 12-14, and 18-22 in two time slots: 5:00-7:00 p.m. and 7:00–9:00 p.m. Enchanted Airlie tickets must be purchased in advance, no later than 4:00 p.m. the night of the event. Due to the popularity of this event, it is recommended that visitors purchase tickets for their preferred dates prior to arrival. Tickets are available for purchase online at or in-person at Airlie Gardens service center (300 Airlie Rd., Wilmington) between 9am and 4pm. Single admission tickets cost $10 for individuals over the age of 4. Children under age 3 are free. Couples arriving in the same vehicle can purchase a couples ticket for $15. An economical green option is the carload ticket for $22, which will cover as many people as will safely fit into an automobile; no individual tickets or parking passes are required for this option (excludes buses and large, multi-passenger vans).
Airlie Gardens, located at 300 Airlie Road, is a 67-acre historic public garden bordering Bradley Creek in Wilmington, North Carolina. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly and comfortably for the half-mile outdoor walking tour on gravel, sand, and mulch paths. For details about Enchanted Airlie, please call 910-798-7700 or visit the Airlie Gardens website for event information, rules, restrictions and rain policy. See more at:

Island of Lights 2013 Christmas Card and Ornament
Now Available for Purchase

The 2013 Island of Lights Christmas card and ornament are now available for purchase at these businesses in Carolina Beach: The Checkered Church Gift Shop, 800 Saint Joseph St.; Island Tackle True Value Hardware, 801 N Lake Park Blvd.; touché 201 N Lake Park Boulevard.; Jeanie's Jewels, 1009 N Lake Park Boulevard.; Carolina Beach Furniture, 1021 N Lake Park Blvd.; Nautilus Art and Frame, 1009 N Lake Park Boulevard. The design for this year’s card and ornament is the seventh in the series of ‘Island Creatures’. The card artist is Raffaele Paglia who moved to Carolina Beach seven years ago.  Currently, his work is featured at Artful Living Group, Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach. Using the card design, Mary Jo Madden is continuing to hand paint her wonderful ornaments for the Island of Lights, as she has done since 2001.  She is a talented tole painter and has been selling her work locally for many years. The cards are $10 per pack of twelve and the ornaments are $14 each. 
This sale is a major fundraiser for the Island of Lights.  We deeply appreciate our many loyal customers. We hope to keep our Island ‘glowing’ during the Holiday Season for years to come. The Island of Lights group is a non-profit organization was created to promote tourism on Pleasure Island during the off-season.  Over the past twenty plus years they have made Pleasure Island one of the top spots to visit during the Christmas Holiday and through New Year’s Eve.
The list of available activities occurring during this time is one that all the family can enjoy. The Island of Lights members volunteer their time and help to organize the Light up the Lake Celebration, the Christmas Parade, the Holiday Flotilla, the Tour of Homes and the New Year’s Celebration.  During the non Holiday season, the Island of Lights Fashion Show has become a popular event.  The group is always in need of more volunteers. 
To join, just come to any meeting. The meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at the Carolina Beach Community Center at Raleigh and 3rd Streets at 7 PM. For more info, visit

3rd Annual Wilmington Wine & Chocolate Festival

Here we come again… Wine & Chocolate Unite on January 31st, February 2nd & 3rd, 2014

Ten years ago, we began as a chocolate festival. Two years ago, we united wine with chocolate as the perfect-pairing partners! Please join us January 31st, February 1st & 2 nd, 2014 for VOCAL’s 3rd Annual Wilmington Wine & Chocolate Festival. Regional wineries and chocolatiers will again join local favorites at our new home, the festival-friendly Coastline Event Center, 503 Nutt Street, Wilmington.
The Grand Tasting:  Friday, January 1st,  from 7-10PM. Guests will delight in the delicious abundance of heavy hors d’oeuvres, “live” entertainment & artisan exhibits. Regional vintners, chocolatiers and specialty food purveyors will offer products for tasting and for sale throughout the evening. Opportunities to shop, preview the weekend’s “Marketplace” and a few surprises will ensure a light & effervescent evening. New this year – a cash beer and cigar bar by Chapel Hill’s Carolina Brewery and Downtown Wilmington’s The Cigar Exchange anchor the Riverview Room Bar and Terrace, with Nutt Street Comedy making a Cameo appearance back on Nutt Street, (now Dead Crow Comedy).
The Marketplace:  Saturday, February 1st,  from 11AM - 7PM & Sunday, February 2nd,  from Noon - 4 PM
Our festival returns for two delight-filled days. Carolina wineries, signature chocolatiers, specialty foods and fine artisans present their products for sale, the perfect Valentine and Christmas Gift shopping experience! Festivalgoers sample delectable products for sale, as they explore the shops along our European Street Market. Enjoy entertainment, demonstrations by food and wine experts and/or lunch overlooking the riverfront. Additionally, Sunday you’ll enjoy a multitude of work by Handmade Wilmington Artisans on the Coastline Center’s front deck.