April 30, 2013

Carolina Beach Receives $800,000 CAMA Grant to Renovate Boardwalk

We received some wonderful news today from Mayor Bob Lewis regarding a $800,000 CAMA grant to be used for renovating the Carolina Beach Boardwalk.

Here's the email from Bob which outlines the preliminary plans for improving the boardwalk:

We had another great meeting with our legislators, senators and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Steve Shuttleworth, Tom Bridges and I met with numerous representatives this morning in Raleigh to help secure over $800,000 in grant money from CAMA. 

The new boardwalk will feature: gazebos, covered areas, a wide promenade, swings, seating, ocean views, a children's featured playground feature, upgraded showers and more beach access areas. Our plan is to included a number of residents and organizations in various aspects of design features and develop a plan to present to the community within the next 60-90 days. Mayor Bob 

April 26, 2013

Rumor Has It: Indie Surfing Movie to Film on Pleasure Island

Well it looks like Pleasure Island is going to be home to some tinsel town magic in the coming weeks.  The independent movie The Perfect Summer is rumored to heading to Pleasure Island for the bulk of filming and is slated to start in just a couple of weeks.

They are still in the process of casting the movie but according to the blog Wilmywood, Sydney Penny (All My Children and The Bold and the Beautiful) and Jason Castro (season 7 of American Idol) have already been signed on.

Not many details have been released about the film but it does center on surfing and the production company recently held a casting call for surfers ages 16-25.

And for a bit more Hollywood rumor news close to home, the power house movie Tammy, which stars Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, and Kathy Bates, is slated to film at least one scene at Snow's Cut Park.  The movie is described as such: After Tammy (McCarthy) loses her job and discovers that her husband has been unfaithful, Tammy hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother (Sarandon).  It's also worth noting that Will Ferrell is a producer on the film.

Finally, the movie Arthur Newman, which stars Emily Blunt, Colin Firth and Anne Heche is now showing in limited release.  Scenes from the movie were shot in Carolina Beach and Fort Fisher.  You can view some island filming photos here.

April 23, 2013

The Thread Pleasure Island Kicked Off Last Week

The Thread Pleasure Island, a no-fee network group for business owners in the Pleasure Island and Monkey Junction area, launched this past week at an event Thursday evening.

The Thread was founded by Sandpiper Marketing & Communications, LLC and Linquist/Keenan Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage Realty. Members network with other business owners over drinks, learning about each others’ businesses, trading leads, and having fun doing it! Additionally, members will be giving back to the community it serves as they donate as a collective group to a chosen local charity.

The Thread Network:
•Together, we share perspectives of business ownership;
•Help by giving to others readily--don’t worry about “quid pro quo”;
•Recognize that we achieve more together;
•Encourage through sharing your passion and advice;
•Accept and strive to understand others’ challenges and needs; and
•Do! Reach out and expand each others’ network

Spread the word to Pleasure Island business owners about the Thread and ask them to join online at www.thethreadpleasureisland.com and check them out on https://www.facebook.com/WeAreTheConversation?ref=ts&fref=ts

The Thread welcomes business sponsors for upcoming events! The Thread’s quarterly featured business(es) is a special sponsor who is willing to donate food, drinks, and/or a give-away valued at $150 for the event. For that, your business will be advertised as the Thread's quarterly featured business on the web page with their logo (with a link to your website) and during the night of a Thread event. If any business would like to partner with the Thread for a specific quarter, contact them at info@thethreadpleasureisland.com or 443.333.0571.

Business owners, mark your calendar now for the next Thread event on Thursday, July 18th, location TBD!


CELEBRATE MOM WITH A MOTHER’S DAY GETAWAY TO WILMINGTON, N.C. & ISLAND BEACHES

Mother's Day (Sunday, May 12) is a time to celebrate Mom and show her how much you appreciate all she does for the family. Why limit the fun to just one day when you can celebrate all weekend in Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach? It’s the ideal Mother’s Day getaway with great shopping and dining, affordable accommodations, and lots to see and do from the river to the sea. To help plan Mom’s special trip, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com or call 1-866-266-9690 or and request a free official visitors guide. 

Here’s a sampling of events and activities to enjoy with Mom:
May 10: Birding Tour. 9am. Impress Mom by taking her on a birding tour with a NC Audubon naturalist. Free. Public Access 43 (South end) at S. Lumina Ave. & Jack Parker Dr., Wrightsville Beach. 910-686-7527; www.ncaudubon.org
May 10: Outdoor Concert. 6pm-8pm. Does Mom love music? Take her to hear a free acoustic rock concert with music by The Other Guys & A Gal. Free. Mayfaire Town Centre, Wilmington; www.mayfairetown.com
May 10: National Public Gardens Day. Treat Mom to a blooming good time at world-class Airlie Gardens’ 67 acres of historical gardens and lakes. Admission is free today in observance of National Public Gardens Day. Free (today only), Airlie Gardens, Wilmington. 910-798-7700; www.airliegardens.org
May 11: Super Saturday Fun Time-Theatre: 11am. Is Mom into history and mysteries? Take her to a family-friendly live adventure and variety show where Dock the Dog and the Dock Street Kids solve this week’s history-mystery. Admission charge. Theatre Now, Wilmington. 910-399-3NOW; www.theatrewilmington.com .
May 11: National Migratory Bird Day. Celebrate National Migratory Bird Day with a day filled with bird hikes, presentations, and craft activities for kids. Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach (a NC Birding Trail site). Free. 910-458-8206; www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/events-calendar/national-migratory-bird-day/
May 11: Family Farm Day. 9am-12pm. Introduce Mom to life on the farm: meet farm animals, ride ponies, plant herbs, make butter, create art and enjoy milk-and-cookies during story time. Admission charge. Wilmington Children’s Museum, Wilmington. 910-254-3534; http://www.playwilmington.org/index/page/family-farm-day.
May 11: Farmers' Markets. Saturdays 8am-1pm. Rise early for regional produce, plants, herbs, and fresh flowers. The Riverfront Farmers’ Market (Downtown Wilmington) & Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market (Carolina Beach Lake) feature local farmers, artists, crafters, food, music. Free admission; charge for food and products. www.wilmingtonfarmers.com & www.facebook.com/CarolinaBeachFarmersMarket
May 11: Confederate Memorial Day. Give Mom a history lesson with a tour of Fort Fisher, followed by a special memorial service at 4pm to honor Confederate soldiers. Free. Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Kure Beach. 910-458-5538; www.nchistoricsites.org/fisher/fisher.htm.
May 11 & 12: N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher: Moms love our aquarium and appreciate its special programs: “AUARIST APPRENTICE” (2pm, Sat.); “BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR” (1pm, Sun.) and “SALT MARSH & CRABBING” (2:30pm, Sun.). Admission/program charges apply. Pre-registration required for all programs. NC Aquarium at Ft. Fort Fisher, Kure Beach. 910-458-7468; www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher.
May 12: Mother’s Day Riverboat Luncheon Cruise. 1pm-2:30pm. Board an authentic riverboat and treat Mom to a deli buffet lunch and narrated scenic tour of the Cape Fear River. Admission charge. Pre-paid advance reservations required. Boarding begins at 12:30pm. Henrietta III, riverfront at S. Water & Dock Streets. Cape Fear Riverboats celebrates 25 years in 2013. 910-343-1611; 800-676-0162; http://www.cfrboats.com/proddetail.php?prod=1020.
May 12: Mother’s Day Cruise of Harbor Island. Moms cruise FREE on Mother’s Day (with at least two paid $20 passengers in her party). 1-hour historic harbor cruises depart at 11am, 12pm; 1pm; 2pm; 3pm; 4pm; 5pm. Sunset cruise at 6:30pm. Reservations recommended. Wrightsville Beach Scenic Cruises, Waynick Ave. (across from Blockade Runner Resort), Wrightsville Beach. 910-200-4002; www.wrightsvillebeachscenictours.com.
May 12: Mother’s Day Dessert Cruise. 1pm & 2:30pm. Treat Mom to a 90-minute narrated dessert cruise of the storied Cape Fear River. Admission charge. Advance reservations. Boards at 12:45pm & 2:30pm from Riverwalk at 212 S. Water St., between Orange & Ann streets, Wilmington. 910-338-3134; www.wilmingtonwatertours.net

OTHER MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND IDEAS
OUTDOORS & MORE: There are many ways to explore the natural beauty of Wilmington, NC and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. Learn to surf or standup paddle. Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle around our marshes, rivers, inlets and the Intracoastal Waterway. Watch for birds at one of the NC Birding Trail sites (www.ncbirdingtrail.org) or take a leisurely paddle-boat ride on scenic Greenfield Lake and Carolina Beach Lake. Ride a bicycle or surrey along the Carolina Beach Boardwalk or Carolina Beach Lake. Stroll along the Riverwalk, fish from an ocean pier, or charter a boat for offshore fishing. Hike a nature trail at area parks/gardens, including Carolina Beach State Park. Walk The Loop fitness trail around Wrightsville Beach Park.

BLOOMING GOOD TIMES: Dazzle Mom with beautiful spring flowers at the world-class Airlie Gardens (www.airliegardens.org). Other showcase gardens are at Latimer House (Victorian), Burgwin-Wright House & Gardens (Colonial), and Bellamy Mansion (Antebellum). There’s also a free arboretum with 4,000 species of native plants on seven acres (www.gardeningnhc.org). In addition there are public parks and gardens, and a university ‘arboretum’ campus (www.uncw.edu). You can search for rare Venus Flytrap and other carnivorous plants at Carolina Beach State Park. Just outside of town, the grounds of Poplar Grove Plantation are lovely in the springtime. 

THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE: DINING, SHOPPING, DAY SPAS: Introduce Mom to regional cuisine served at casual bistros, upscale restaurants, old-fashioned diners, and outdoor caf├ęs. Restaurants from the river to the sea serve Sunday brunch. Mother’s Day is a busy day so reservations are strongly encouraged. On Saturday, treat Mom to a Heart of Downtown restaurant tour (2:30pm-5:30pm; www.lizbiro.com/tours.html). For restaurant listings, visit www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/restaurants. Find a unique gift at specialty shops, beach & downtown boutiques, custom jewelers, museum shops, antique shops & art galleries. Or, Mom can rejuvenate at a day spa. 

TOURS DU JOUR: Impress Mom with a guided tour. Downtown tours that depart at the foot of Market & Water streets include: Horse-drawn carriage/trolley tours (www.horsedrawntours.com, 910-251-8889); Wilmington Trolley Company (www.wilmingtontrolley.com, 910-763-4483); Culinary Adventures with Liz Biro (Sat. 2:30pm-5:30 pm; www.lizbiro.com/tours.html; 910-545-8055); Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington (www.hauntedwilmington.com, 910-794-1866); Hollywood Location Walk of Old Wilmington (www.hollywoodnc.com; 910-794-7177); Tour Old Wilmington walking tour (http://touroldwilmington.blogspot.com; 910-409-4300). Just a few blocks north: Cape Fear Segway Tours (www.capefearsegway.com; 910-251-2572).
MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS: Explore the history, art and culture of the Wilmington region at one of our fine museums! 

Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design Arts: “IVEY HAYES RETROSPECTIVE” art exhibit (thru May 17). Admission charge. Bellamy Mansion, Wilmington. 910-251-3700; www.bellamymansion.org
Cape Fear Museum of History & Science: “CAPE FEAR STORIES: LAND OF THE LONGLEAF PINE” (ongoing); “IMPRESSIONS OF THE LOWER CAPE FEAR” (through Oct. 27, 2013); “COLLECTION SELECTION: BREAKFAST” (opens February 11, 2013), collection includes more than 100 artifacts that document how Wilmingtonians made breakfast at home and also represent the Port City’s breakfast eateries of the past and present. Admission charge. Cape Fear Museum, Wilmington. 910-798-4350; www.capefearmuseum.com.
Cameron Art Museum: “HERE & NOW: A DECADE OF CONTEMPORARY AQUISITIONS” (through July 21, 2013). Admission charge. Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington. 910-395-5999; www.cameronartmuseum.com
Wilmington Railroad Museum: Learn about Wilmington’s railroad history, climb aboard a real train, operate a scale model railroad, and participate in a scavenger hunt. Admission charge. Wilmington Railroad Museum, Wilmington. 910-763-2634; www.wrrm.org
 
Family-friendly activities abound in Wilmington, N.C.’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. Before traveling great distances for an event, please contact organizer/venue directly to confirm details. To find out about special offers, events and experiences in Wilmington, N.C. and its island beaches, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com, www.visitcarolinabeachnc.com, www.visitkurebeachnc.com, and www.visitwrightsvillebeachnc.com. For a free Official Visitors Guide, call 1-866-266-9690 or visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com.

2013 Pleasure Island Entrepreneur of the Year Award

The Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the UNCW Entrepreneurship Center has selected Matt Piccinin and Sean Cook, owners of Shuckin’ Shack in Carolina Beachand downtown Wilmington winners of the 7th Annual Pleasure Island Entrepreneur of the Year for 2013. Shuckin’ Shack will be honored at an awards breakfast held May 23rd at the UNCW Burney Center along with other Chamber winners and the 2013 Coastal Entrepreneurs of the Year.

The UNCW Entrepreneurship Center, the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, and local Chambers of Commerce organized the competition to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the Cape Fear region and to help foster entrepreneurial activity in our region.

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar was the brain child of two local friends Matt Piccinin and Sean Cook. They felt that Pleasure Island needed an Oyster Bar and a place to enjoy great local steamed seafood in a relaxed atmosphere. Shuckin’ Shack opened 5 years ago in Carolina Beach with only 6 employees. It has now expanded to include a downtown Wilmington location and over 30 employees. You can also find Shuckin’ Shack Oysters and Shrimp at local events such as The Seafood Blues and Jazz Festival, Pleasure Island Chowder Cook Off and Step Up For Soldiers Back Yard BBQ. The Shack can even bring the party to you including an oyster steamer, official shack shucking tables, and all the fixings!

Shuckin’ Shack has received rave reviews from local print media and is a hot spot for locals and tourists. This year they were honored to be runner up for best oysters in Encore Magazines “Best of Wilmington”. When you walk into the new location It is obvious, from the local memorabilia and photographs displayed on the bar top, that even though The Shack is expanding its roots are deep in Carolina Beach and the local customers who have become more like family. Owners Matt and Sean give back to their community by supporting local children’s athletics including sponsoring and coaching Myrtle Grove Baseball and the new Pleasure Island Youth Baseball as well as sponsoring a team for Pleasure Island Soccer for the past 4 years. They are also involved in several charities including Got Em On Live Bait Club, Nourish NC, and Ashley High School Boosters.

Listed below are past recipients of this prestigious award:
6th Annual 2012 Ea Ruth & Anne Brodsky Palm Air Realty
5th Annual 2011 Michael & Shelly McGowan Michael’s Seafood & Catering
4th Annual 2010 Duke & Tracee Hagestrom Wheel Fun Rental, Fudgeboat & Krazy Kones
3rd Annual 2009 Janet & Mike Hoffer Snow’s Cut Media
2nd Annual 2008 Jackie Oakes Coastal K9 Bakery
1st Annual 2007 Roxanne Thompson Island Floiras by Roxanne

 For more information please call the Chamber at 910-458-8434 or email at greg@pleasureislandnc.org.

April 11, 2013

Pic of the Day: Seagull in Carolina Beach

Free as a bird in Carolina Beach. Photo by Benson Stephens.

Huffington Post: Best U.S. Island Getaways: 10 Tranquil Destinations For Rest And Relaxation

An island vacation is the perfect way to leave the everyday stress of urban life behind -- but you don't have to head halfway around the world to Fiji or Bali to enjoy a tranquil beachside getaway.

Take advantage of the stress-relieving benefits of some of the U.S.'s best islands, from the tropical beaches of southern Florida to the beautiful Northern Islands...

Bald Head Island, North Carolina
Take a trip to "Old Baldy," the oldest standing lighthouse in North Carolina, when you visit Bald Head Island, located across the Cape Fear River from Southport, NC. Hop on the ferry to the small, southernmost Cape Island, and enjoy 10,000 acres of quiet, serene beaches, marshlands and maritime forests...
 
Click here to read about the other U.S.locations that made the list
Photo from article.

Photo: Suring on my Mind

One of the problems of living at Carolina Beach while going to school...it can be hard to focus at times.

Photo credit.

Video: Time-lapse Carolina Beach Pier

Carolina Beach in high gear. Video by Michael Sing.

Pic of the Day: Carolina Beach 1940's

Sarah Jane Efird allowed us to share this very cool photo showing Carolina Beach boooming in the late 1940's or early 50's. She notes that her mom in on the bottom left (behind the dark headed girl) and the lifeguard stand is labeled with her Dad's name as it was his stand.


Pic of the Day: Sea of Shadows at Wrightsville Beach

Today's pic of the day is from OTB (over the bridge) and was taken by Chris Brehmer Photography. He titled it 'Sea of Shadows' and it was taken at Wrightsville Beach.

Pic of the Day: Pelican in Carolina Beach

Pelican R&R in Carolina Beach. Photo by Michael Sing Photography.

Pic of the Day: Sweeping View of Carolina Beach

Beautiful wide shot of Carolina Beach, NC. Photo by Michael Sing Photography

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