October 18, 2014

Extensive Collection of Videos and Photographs from the 2014 Carolina Beach Boardwalk Fire

Collection of photos and videos from the September 2014 Carolina Beach Boardwalk fire.
Here's a collection of photos and videos from the September 25, 2014 fire at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk.

The 14 minute video was posted by Annha-Mae-tion and has the following description:
So proud of all of the emergency personnel who responded to this historical event: Carolina Beach Fire Department, Kure Beach Fire Department, New Hanover County Fire Rescue, City of Wilmington Fire Department, New Hanover EMS, Carolina Beach Police Department, and Kure Beach Police Department.
Photo is a video screenshot. 

PPD Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon & NHRMC 5K Brings More Than 2,000 Athletes to Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

October 17, 2014, Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, N.C.: On Saturday, Oct. 25, the seventh annual PPD Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon will bring nearly 2,300 athletes, along with their friends, family and trainers to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. An additional 300 runners are expected to participate in the inaugural New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s 5K, held in conjunction with the triathlon. An estimated 8,000 spectators will cheer the athletes.

The USAT-sanctioned PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run, and offers a half iron distance triathlon. The full triathlon will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the half distance begins at 8:30 a.m. with a swim in the channel at the southern tip of Wrightsville Beach. The full bike course takes competitors from Wrightsville Beach, through sections of New Hanover, Pender, Sampson and Bladen counties. The run begins at the riverfront Wilmington Convention Center, winds through downtown, loops around Greenfield Lake and ends on the riverwalk with a stunning view of the iconic Battleship North Carolina

This year Michellie Jones, a legend in the sport of triathlon, will serve as the honorary host of the race weekend. Jones is a Kona Ironman world champion (2006), ITU world champion (1998, 1999), XTERRA Triathlon world champion (1996) and Olympic silver medalist (2000). The Australian triathlete has more than 175 wins to her credit across all race distances, both on- and off-road. Jones will be on hand for a meet-and-greet and autographs Friday at the Wilmington Convention Center’s race expo and on Saturday at the finish line. She will also attend the athlete kickoff dinner and celebration brunch.

PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon Heroes, everyday people who overcame illness with medical treatments developed through clinical research, compete in the race to raise awareness about the importance of increasing participation in clinical trials. PPD Hero Wendy Chioji, a breast cancer survivor and triathlete, will speak at the kickoff dinner at the convention center Friday.

The PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon is an internationally recognized iron distance and half iron distance triathlon, ranked among the top five iron distance events in the world by Triathlete magazine.. Competitors from around the country and the world have traveled to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach to experience the race and enjoy the coastal setting. Set Up Events, producer of the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, reports that approximately 95 percent of the participants travel to the event from outside the local area. This year’s athletes are from 45 states and six countries, with an average stay of three nights. During their visit, competitors and their guests will stay in hotels, dine in restaurants, and shop at retailers as they experience Wilmington’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach.

High-profile sporting events like PPD Beach2Battleship provide a welcome economic boost for Wilmington and the island beaches, especially during the shoulder season. Event organizers estimate that the total economic impact of events in previous years was approximately $4 million. This year’s event is expected to bring even more athletes to the area who will participate in the 5K and experience the destination.

A new component to this year’s event is the New Hanover Regional Medical Center 5K.  This USA Track & Field certified 5K event will allow athletes to enjoy the festivities of PPD Beach2Battleship while experiencing a world-class, fast and flat 5K race. This point-to-point 5K will start at Legion Field and run along the streets of Greenfield Lake and downtown Wilmington before finishing at the PPD Beach2Battleship finish line on Water Street.

From the river to the sea, lodging partners involved in this year’s PPD Beach2Battleship race include: Hilton Wilmington Riverside, Bryant Real Estate, Blockade-Runner Resort, Courtyard by Marriott-Downtown/Historic District, Silver Gull, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Best Western Plus University Inn, Baymont Inn, Beau Rivage Golf & Resort, Towne Place Suites by Marriott, Hampton Inn & Suites Landfall Park, Residence Inn by Marriott Landfall, Shell Island Resort, Hampton Inn University Area/Smith Creek Station, Hilton Garden Inn, and Hampton Inn Medical Park. Check-in and a kickoff dinner will take place at the riverfront Wilmington Convention Center. A finish line celebration will take place Saturday afternoon and evening along the riverfront. Sunday, an athlete celebration/awards brunch will take place at the Wilmington Convention Center. According to event organizers, all of the event’s net proceeds are contributed to the Wilmington Family YMCA. Both the half iron and full distance races are sold out. Registration for the 2015 event will open in early November. For details about the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, please visit www.ppdi.com/beach2battleship or www.beach2battleship.com.

PPD, a leading global contract research organization, serves as the event’s title sponsor to support the YMCA and the local community and to educate the public on the vital role of clinical research and participation in clinical trials to deliver new medicines to improve health and save lives. For more info, please visit www.ppdi.com/beach2battleship/our-mission.asp.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC), the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, serves as the title sponsor of the 5K race.

The New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority d/b/a Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization of New Hanover County charged with enhancing economic growth and development through the promotion of travel and tourism. For a free official visitors guide for Wilmington, N.C.’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, call 1-866-266-9690 or visit: www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com

 Review of the 2013 PPD Beach2Battleship Iron and Half Iron distance triathlon:

October 15, 2014

Island Local ™ to Kick-off Arts & Entertainment Week Events, Workshops and Special Deals at Area Businesses October 19-October 25

Carolina Beach, NC (October 13, 2014) – As part of its focus on building awareness around the importance of seeking, supporting and sustaining local business, the Island Local ™ organization is promoting participating island businesses for a week long series of events and special deals starting on October 19. Throughout the week, business patrons are asked to show their pride and support of local business by wearing an Island Local t-shirt and by participating in unique events showcasing the talent and trade of these businesses. Sunday, October 19th, Island Local ™ and the Art Culture Alliance will kick off the week with a unique opportunity for families to help create a community pelican sculpture for public display on Pleasure Island, as well as some other fun activities. The event, held at the Artful Living Group, is free and funded through donations made by Island Local and the Island Arts and Culture Alliance. The week culminates with a Mini-Fall Festival and Jack O’ lantern Art at The Veggie Wagon on Saturday, October 25th.

“Pleasure Island businesses make a tremendous contribution to our local economy and our community,” said Steve Wright, co-founder of Island Local. “In our mission to educate consumers about the importance of supporting local, we aim to ensure that the economy here on the island has sustainability not only during the vacation season, but during the shoulder seasons as well.” He said. “One of the ways Island Local is doing that is by promoting participating businesses, and partnering with them on these community campaign weeks. A key element is creating special events to demonstrate the skill, talents, and products these businesses bring to our local area,” he added.

During the week of October 19 – October 25, Pleasure Island businesses including, Artful Living Group, Beachy Keen Photography, Print-A-Snap, the Art and Culture Alliance, Surfhouse Oyster Bar & Surf, Cut’n Up Hair Salon, Good Hops Brewing, Stella & Dot, and Tip Top Frame will be hosting workshops and events offering special opportunities and deals for consumers who participate. Many events are free and most are for families and pets, too! A schedule of events can be found at Islandlocal.biz. Short videos promoting the events are available on You Tube and on the Island Local Facebook page as well.

Other Island Local ™ activities to help promote a vibrant local economy include:

Island Local ™  Fridays: To bridge community focus and awareness to Island Local ™, visitors and locals of Pleasure Island can purchase an Island Local ™ t-shirts at The Veggie Wagon, Salty Dog Yoga & Surf, Island Wellness Market, or Good Hops Brewing for $20.00 and a long sleeve version for $25.00. Consumers wearing the shirt on Island Local ™ Fridays and during community campaign weeks are able to get additional discounts at participating businesses.

Community Campaign Weeks: Island Local brings focus to businesses and customer deals during upcoming community campaigns including Arts and Entertainment week in October, Merchants Week in November, Wellness Week in January; Hospitality Week in early spring; and Focus On the Home Week in April. In addition, the Island Local organization participates in many island community events to educate the public about seeking, supporting, and sustaining local businesses and to promote participating business supporters. They include events such as Island Day, the Carolina Beach Dragon Boat Regatta and Festival, and the Salty Paws Festival.

Business Supporter Promotion: Island Local business supporters join for $120.00 a year and non-profits join for $30.00 a year. These organizations must be physically located on Pleasure Island. Marketing promotion will extend beyond the borders of Pleasure Island so that visitors and locals throughout the Wilmington region are able to learn about what options are available to them on Pleasure Island. The Island Local ™ website at www.islandlocal.biz provides information on joining, includes a directory of participating businesses, the mission of Island Local™, and discounts provided by business supporters. For more information, please contact Steve Wright at 910.390.0244. Island Local ™ launched in April 2014 and has more than 80 participating business supporters. Efforts of the organization are designed to promote broader awareness and education of supporting and sustaining local. Island Local ™ promotes participating local Pleasure Island businesses, and works to educate the community about the benefits of keeping it local.

October 9, 2014

GET YOUR HALLOWEEN ON WITH GHOSTS, PIRATES, ZOMBIES, NATURE & HAUNTED HAPPENINGS IN WILMINGTON & BEACHES

Halloween is a really big deal in Wilmington, North Carolina and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. And this year is no exception. Single Mom Lifestyle Expert/Author Kerri Zane ranks Wilmington #1 in her roundup of “15 Great Halloween Haunts for You & Your Kids.” More than two dozen Halloween-theme events will take place from the storied banks of the Cape Fear River to the alluring shores of our seaside towns. Visitors can get into the ‘spirit’ with ghoulish festivals, ghostly tours, murder-mystery dinner cruises, pirate adventures, haunted attractions, creepy nature programs, horror flicks and theatrical productions, zombie walks and trick-or-treat events. There’s something for all ages and there’s a special treat this year for fans of Fox Television’s Wilmington-filmed series “Sleepy Hollow”. The Wilmington and Beaches CVB recently released a SLEEPY HOLLOW FAQ Sheet that includes a self-guided tour to several locations that appear in the show.

Here’s a sampling of mysterious, historical and educational happenings:

SLEEPY HOLLOW FAQ—The Sleepy Heads are coming! Riding on the coattails of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman and just in time for Halloween, the Wilmington and Beaches CVB announces a “Sleepy Hollow” FAQ sheet. To download a copy, visit www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/SleepyHollowFAQ

Ongoing (year-round)—Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington. 6:30pm & 8:30pm nightly thru Nov. 1; then at 6:30pm nightly thru March. Costumed guides lead visitors through alleyways with tales of haunted Wilmington. Admission charge. Meets at Water & Market streets. Reservations required: 910-794-1866; www.hauntedwilmington.com    

Ongoing (year-round)—Haunted Pub Crawl. Wed.-Sat. 7:30pm, thru Nov. 1. Ages 21+. Admission charge. Meet at Fat Tony’s, 131 N. Front St., Wilmington. Reservations required: 910-794-1866; www.hauntedwilmington.com

Ongoing (year-round)—Haunted Cotton Exchange Tours. Daily tours; call for hours. Admission charge. Cotton Exchange parking lot street entrance, Wilmington. 910-409-4300; www.hauntedcottonexchange.blogspot.com.  

Each Tuesday in October (7, 14, 21, 28)Murder Mystery Dinner Cruises. Solve an exciting who-dunnit on a 2-hr. dinner cruise along the Cape Fear River. Audience participation; prizes. Boards at 6pm; departs 6:30pm at dock (Water & Dock sts). Admission charge. Reservations required: 910-343-1611; 800-676-0162; www.cfrboats.com  

Each Tuesday & Thursday—Pirate Treasure Hunt Adventure. Arrrrgh! Join a costumed pirate storyteller on an exploration of Masonboro Island’s natural treasures.  Learn about the history of famous North Carolina pirates such as Captain Kidd, Stede Bonnet and Blackbeard. Boards at 4:15pm; sails at 4:30pm. Admission charge. Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours, 275 Waynick Blvd. (across from Blockade Runner Resort), Wrightsville Beach. Advance reservations required: 910-200-4002; www.wrightsvillebeachscenictours.com.  

Each Friday & Saturday (Oct. 3-Nov. 1)—A Wilmington Horror Story, a horror-themed dinner show. Doors open 6:00pm; show at 7:00pm. Audiences will enjoy original theatre that features three tales of terror written by local scribes, served up with a devilishly delicious three-course menu. TheatreNOW, 19 S. 10th Street, Wilmington. Advance reservations: 910-399-3669; www.theatrewilmington.com

Oct. 9-12; 16-19; 23-26; 29-31Halloween Horror Theatre Festival by Big Dawg Productions. Shows at 8pm. Original shows written by local playwrights. Oct. 9-12: A Frightfully Funny Night of Comedy. Oct. 16-19: The Witch, The Troll, The Hairy Man. Oct. 23-31: Death Bed, The Play That Bites.  Admission charged. Cape Fear Playhouse, 613 Castle St., Wilmington. 910-367-5237; www.bigdawgproductions.org    

Oct. 11—Victorian Mourning. Tours 7pm & 8pm. Learn about customs/rituals of death in Victorian America. Five rooms will be decorated in full mourning with authentic Victorian funerary objects, costumed guides, food samples and ghost stories. Latimer House, Wilmington. Admission charge; tickets required. 910-762-0492; www.hslcf.org.

Oct. 17-19; 24-26—Halloween Festival. “Haunted” Wagon Rides, Haunted Manor House, costume contests, non-scary Goblins & Games Fun House with fortune tellers, stories, rides, petting zoo, food & more. Fun for all ages. Activity fees vary. Poplar Grove Plantation, 10200 US Hwy. 17 N Wilmington. 910-686-9518; www.poplargrove.org 

Oct. 17-19; 18-20; 24-26; 30-31— “TWISTED” Haunted House. Fri. & Sat. (7pm-midnight); Sun. (7pm-10pm). Visitors will experience a “twist” on Alice In Wonderland: Alice is no longer in Wonderland. Come see the TWISTED world she now inhabits! Admission charge; NHHS Lyceum Academy fundraiser. Rated PG-13.  Location: 1290 S. 15th Street, Wilmington. 910-251-6100, ext 222; www.facebook.com/NHHSLyceumHauntedHouse

Oct. 17-AquaCamp: Spooky Critters. Halloween day camp (age 5-12) features slippery, slimy animal programs. Admission; pre-register. NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach; 910-458-8257; www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher

Oct. 18-Science Spooktacular. 6pm-9pm. It’s not spooky, it’s science. Meet UNCW mad scientists and create a mini lava lamp, slime and pumpkin Oobleck. Create frozen shadows, examine artifacts from creepy collections or build your own skeleton. Experiment with pumpkin oscillators, melting blocks and much more in the Little Shop of Physics. Make a square bubble and a ghost dance. Examine “ghost eggs” ad see how light works in a two-way mirror. Admission charge. Cape Fear Museum, Wilmington. 910-798-4350; www.capefearmuseum.com

Oct. 18—5K ZOMBIE Fun Run/Walk. 6pm. Poplar Grove Plantation, 10200 US Hwy. 17 N Wilmington. 910-686-9518; www.poplargrove.org/halloween-festival/5k-zombie-fun-runwalk

Oct. 23-24 & 29-30—Trick-or-Treat Under the Sea. 5pm-8:30pm. Families enjoy thrills & gills in the same day. Indoor trick-or-treating, face painting, story-telling, magic shows, spooky divers and haunted gardens are highlights at this family Halloween party. Note: only umbrella strollers permitted. Admission charged (children 2 and under free).  NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Loggerhead Rd., Kure Beach; 910-458-8257; www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher

Oct. 23-26; Oct. 30-Nov. 2—The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Cape Fear Shakespeare presents the classic tale by Washington Irving. Times vary. Please check website for dates/times. Historic Hannah Block USO/Community Arts Theatre. Wilmington. http://wilmingtoncommunityarts.com/Frontpage-Events/legend-of-sleepy-hollow.html

Oct. 24-25 & 29-31—Halloween Ghost Trolley & Barn. 6pm-9pm. Kid-friendly 30-minute horse-drawn trolley ride and a fun spoof in the “haunted barn.” Horses and tour guides are dressed in costume. Halloween-theme stories, songs & treats. Admission charged. Departs at Market & Water sts.; 910-251-8889; www.horsedrawntours.com.

Oct. 24—Kooky Spooky Jam-Boo-Read! 4pm-7:30pm. Kids’ literacy event disguised as a street festival with scary stories and non-scary fall-theme activities. Kids dress in costume or as book character. Other Halloween/fall activities throughout October. Admission charge. Children’s Museum, Wilmington. 910-254-3534; www.playwilmington.org

Oct. 25—Fort Fisher Fall Festival & Haunted Trail. Fall festival 11am-5pm; Haunted Trail 7pm-9pm (ages 10+). Food, games, crafts, prizes, inflatable obstacle course, and a sand castle contest (11am-3pm). Free. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, Loggerhead Rd., Kure Beach. 910-458-5798; www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/fofi/main.php

Oct. 25: ZOMBIE Run. 4pm. Course features zombies lying in wait for runners (costumes encouraged). It's a friendly event that raises funds for Paws4People. Hugh MacRae Park, Wilmington. www.wilmingtonzombierun.com.

Oct. 26—Halloween Musical Matinee. 4pm. Introduce kids to the WSO youth orchestra and junior strings. Admission charge. Wilmington; www.edu.wilmingtonsympohony.org/youthconcert   

Oct. 27 & 28—National Theatre Live’s “Frankenstein”. Monday at 2pm & Tuesday at 7pm. National Theatre Live broadcast of Frankenstein. Monday showing features Johnny Lee Miller as the creature. Tuesday showing features Benedict Cumberbatch as creature. Admission charge. Thalian Hall, Wilmington. 910-632-2285; www.thalianhall.org

Oct. 28—Batty Battleship’s Halloween Bash. 5:30pm-8pm. Batty Battleship is a fun, family-oriented event for little ghouls and goblins. Lots of fun and no scares. There’s a carnival, face-painting, henna tattoos, bounce house and trick-or treaters, a petting zoo, and Batty’s special guests: Anna and Elsa from “Frozen.” Admission charged; tickets required. Battleship North Carolina, Wilmington. 910-251-5797; www.battleshipnc.com

Oct. 30 & 31—Phantom of the Opera. 7pm. Gaston Leroux’s romantic mystery thriller by City Ballet. Friday evening gala includes a masquerade ball with optional masks and elegant attire. Thalian Hall, Wilmington. 910-632-2285; www.thalianhall.org

Oct. 31—Halloween Movie Night. Bring a chairs, blankets, coolers and candy for a scary screening of Hocus Pocus (7pm) and Psycho (9pm). Popcorn and beer/wine for sale. Admission charge. Bellamy Mansion, Wilmington. 910-251-3700; www.bellamymansion.org

Oct. 31—Halloween Concert. The Right On Band: Motown, disco, 70s. funk. Free. Riverfront Park, Wilmington: 910-763-7349.

Oct. 31—Trick-or-Treat at the Mall. 4-6pm. Kids arrive in costume and retailers provide candy. Independence Mall, 3500 Oleander Dr., Wilmington. 910-392-1776; www.shopindependencemall.com


See where the water takes you! For more information about seasonal specials and great October rates, featured Halloween/Fall events and experiences, visit www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/seasonal-page. For a FREE official visitors guide to Wilmington, N.C.'s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, please call 910-341-4030 or 1-866-266-9690. Before traveling any distance, contact event venue to confirm details. 

October 5, 2014

The Poisonous "Furry Puss Caterpillar" Showing Up in Carolina & Kure Beach, NC

Furry puss caterpillar found in Carolina Beach, NC
Have you heard of the furry puss caterpillar which is considered to be the most venomous caterpillar in the U.S?

They are on the rise in our area and I just found this one in my mulch bed here in Carolina Beach. Keep an eye out for these cute little 'toxic' furry devils.

According to Nat GeoYoung children from Florida to North Carolina are reporting excruciating pain after coming into contact with the most venomous caterpillar in the U.S., the furry puss caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis), according to news reports. Some have petted the insect; others have been injured when the caterpillars fell onto them from trees.

The puss caterpillar got its name because it resembles a cuddly house cat, said University of Florida entomologist Don Hall. While these insects may look soft, their outer comb-over hides small, extremely toxic spines that stick in your skin.

“A puss caterpillar sting feels like a bee sting, only worse. The pain immediately and rapidly gets worse after being stung, and can even make your bones hurt,” Hall said.
Kristie Fessler shared this photo of a  furry puss caterpillar
on her home in Carolina Beach, NC

“How bad the sting hurts depends on where you get stung and how many spines are embedded in your skin. People who have been stung on the hand say the pain can radiate up to their shoulder and last for up to 12 hours,” Hall said.

Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein, the director of the Florida Poison Information Center in Miami told the Sun Sentinel  back in 2012 that he has even seen patients pass out from the pain.

"We don't see any deaths from it, but it is very painful, judging by the number of people that just are out-of-control hysterical when they call," he said.

According to Nature Wold News, they described the sting on a finger to feel similar to that of someone driving a nail through it.

Closer to home, we are hearing from some people who have had contact with the little buggers. Kristie Fessler shared a photo with us (right) of one of the caterpillars on her home in Carolina Beach.

In another account from Karen Campbell, she tells us that a friend of hers, who lives on the on the Intracoastal Waterway north of Figure Eight Island, was stung on the arm yesterday and ended up in urgent care due to spasms in her arm.  The caterpillar was hidden in the cushion of an outdoor chair. Karen notes that her friend is better today but that her arm is very stiff and sore. 

October 3, 2014

The “Sleepy Heads” Are Coming! Wilmington and Beaches CVB Develops “Sleepy Hollow” FAQ Sheet to Facilitate Visitors and Fans

Sleepy Hollow
Wilmington, N.C., October 2, 2014: The “Sleepy Heads” are coming! The “Sleepy Heads” are coming! Fans of Fox Television’s popular weekly series “Sleepy Hollow” (a.k.a. “Sleepy Heads”) have been coming to Wilmington, North Carolina since the show debuted in 2013. Why Wilmington? Because: Wilmington, North Carolina is television’s “Sleepy Hollow.” Riding on the coattails of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman and just in time for Fall and Halloween travel, the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) announces a free SLEEPY HOLLOW FAQ Sheet to facilitate visiting fans of the show. Visitors can also book a Halloween getaway with special October rates: http://tinyurl.com/FallSpecialRates.
  
Visitor interest in “Sleepy Hollow’s” stars and locations has been steadily on the rise since its first season. To coincide with its second season premiere in late September, the CVB developed a Sleepy Hollow FAQ Sheet in response to the uptick in visitor interest. The self-guided tour includes Season 1 locations and will be updated as Season 2 episodes air, focusing on locations that are easily accessible and open to the public and/or those that welcome exterior photography.

Dawson's Creek
The Sleepy Hollow FAQ Sheet follows the same format as its predecessors, answering six questions on a one-page handout, printed on front and back. In 1999, the CVB developed a Dawson’s Creek FAQ Sheet in response to an influx of calls over spring break. The Wilmington and Beaches CVB Communications/PR Director Connie Nelson refers to the hundreds of inquiries the visitor information center received that spring as the “Dawson’s Creek Phenomenon.” Ten years following the end of the show’s six-season run, the Dawson’s Creek FAQ Sheet is still in demand with more than 18,000 distributed at Wilmington visitor information centers. Similarly, the One Tree Hill FAQ Sheet remains popular long after the show wrapped its ninth and final season in 2012. To date, more than 9,000 One Tree Hill FAQ Sheets have been distributed to visiting fans. The CVB is hopeful that the Sleepy Hollow FAQ Sheet will experience similar success. All three FAQ Sheets are available on the destination’s website: www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/news-articles.

One Tree Hill
“Our television FAQ Sheets are designed as simple and useful tools to help maximize the visitor ‘Hollywood East’ experience,” states Nelson. “Our Visitor Information Specialists hear many of the same questions from fans. Naturally, everyone wants to know where the shows were filmed, so the FAQ sheets include self-guided tours that can serve as a mini-guide to easily accessible locations. There’s also information on how to become a background actor, details about studio tours and location walks, and where to buy film-related merchandise.”

Free SLEEPY HOLLOW FAQ Sheets are available at Wilmington Visitor Information Centers and online at www.WilmingtonAndBeaches.com/SleepyHollowFAQ. Visitors interested in film/TV productions can also experience “Hollywood East” with weekend walking tours of EUE/Screen Gems Studios (call to confirm tour dates/times: 910-343-3500; http://studios.euescreengems.com/nc/tours/). There’s also the Hollywood Location Walk, a guided walking tour of Downtown movie/TV locations (910-794-1866; www.hollywoodnc.com).   The destination’s “Hollywood East” web page is another great resource: www.WilmingtonAndBeaches.com/Hollywood-East.     

See where the water takes you! Wilmington and its island beaches offers one destination with four unique settings that claim more than 400 production credits, as well as film festivals and guided tours year-round. With so many film and TV connections, you never know when a chance star-sighting might occur. For a FREE Visitors Guide to Wilmington, North Carolina and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach, please call 1-866-266-9690 or visit the website www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com.    

September 30, 2014

DOUBLE YOUR EXPERIENCE ON PLEASURE ISLAND THE 21st ANNUAL SEAFOOD BLUES & JAZZ FESTIVAL PRESENTS THE ROBERT CRAY BAND & DELBERT McCLINTON


Kure Beach, NC – The air is crisp, the nights are cool and the sky is blue – Welcome to Pleasure Island in the Fall.  And there is no better way to bring in Autumn than to attend the 21st Annual Pleasure Island Seafood Blues & Jazz Festival on October 11th & 12th.  This years’ Festival brings something new and unique to the twenty-year history of this great Festival – DOUBLE HEADLINERS.  That is right, International renowned artists will headline on Saturday and Sunday this year!

First up is the legendary THE ROBERT CRAY BAND on Saturday at 8:00 pm, October 11th.  With 5 Grammy Awards, 15 nominations, millions of record sales worldwide, and thousands of sold out performances, rock blues icon Robert Cray is considered “one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.”  Rolling Stone Magazine in their April 2011 issue credits Cray with reinventing the blues with his “distinct razor sharp guitar playing” that “introduced a new generation of mainstream rock fans to the language and form of the blues” with the release of his Strong Persuader album in 1986.

Since then, Cray has gone on to record fifteen Billboard charting studio albums and has written or performed with everyone from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan, from Bonnie Raitt to John Lee Hooker.  Recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at the age of 57, he is one of the youngest living legends to receive the prestigious honor.  And while he can look back over an astonishing three-decade career punctuated by his trademark sound and distinct playing style, Robert Cray is too busy moving forward on an amazing journey that has him releasing his sixteenth studio album and embarking on yet another world tour.

Closing out the Festival on Sunday, October 12th, will be the first-ever repeat headliner – the incomparable DELBERT McCLINTON, with three Grammy awards to his credit.  The venerable Delbert McClinton is  a legend among Texas roots music aficionados, not only for his amazing longevity, but for his ability to combine country, blues, soul, and rock & roll as if there were no distinctions between any of them in the best time-honored Texas tradition.  A formidable harmonica player long before he recorded as a singer, McClinton’s career began in the late '50s, yet it took him nearly two decades to evolve into a bona fide solo artist.  A critics' darling and favorite of his peers, McClinton never really became a household name, but his resurgence in the '90s helped him earn more widespread respect from both the public at large and the Grammy committee.

In support of the outstanding talent offered up by THE ROBERT CRAY BAND  and DELBERT McCLINTON, the Festival will also offer other national recording acts including: 
  • Opening for THE ROBERT CRAY BAND will be SHEMEKIA COPELAND – the NEW “Queen of the Blues” (City of Chicago honor) and two-time GRAMMY Award nominee 
  • Opening for DELBERT McCLINTON will be the ever-popular DAMON FOWLER – With a hybrid blend of roots rock, blues and sacred steel, Damon has become one of the hottest young players on the Blues scene.
In Addition to these four, there will be ten other blues and jazz groups on two stages over the two-day festival brought to you by Bryant Real Estate and the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area.

The Food selection, as always, will be outstanding as well.  The amazing FREE Kidzone will be back with magicians, face painting, laser tag, educational exhibits and inflatables and much more!  You can also get a little shopping in at the many and varied vendors as well as having a glass of wine or a bottle of beer.

Tickets may be purchased through EVENTBRITE or by contacting the Chamber offices at 910-458-8434 or go to www.pleasureislandnc.org.  Tickets are just $50.00 in advance for a two-day pass.  If the event does not sell out, you can purchase tickets at the door for $60.00 for Saturday (THE ROBERT CRAY BAND plays Saturday night) and $25.00 for Sunday (DELBERT McCLINTON is the Sunday closer).  Kids 12 and under are free.  We ask that you do not bring coolers or pets, but bring your chairs, towels and blankets for a Pleasure Island style weekend.  See you there!

Besides the Pleasure Island Chamber office, locally you can buy tickets at Gravity Records and Southern Signs in Wilmington or at Island Tackle & Hardware, Carolina Beach Furniture, Silver Dollar, Bank of America and Olde Salty’s on the Boardwalk in Carolina Beach until close of business on Friday, October 10th.

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

September 27, 2014

THE ROBERT CRAY BAND & DELBERT MCCLINTON DOUBLE-HEADLINE PLEASURE ISLAND SEAFOOD, BLUES & JAZZ FESTIVAL

Kure Beach, N.C., September 24, 2014: Picture yourself this October in a serene coastal setting being entertained by cool jazz and hot blues. All this and more awaits visitors during the 21st annual Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival, October 11-12, at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area near Kure Beach. This year’s musical lineup is double the fun with two renowned blues headliners: The Robert Cray Band and Delbert McClinton. As if that’s not enough, more than a dozen more local and regional jazz and blues artists are also scheduled to perform--not to mention the seafood, vendors, and kids’ activities.

For the first time in the festival’s history, two Grammy-winning blues rock icons will share top billing. Blues sensation Robert Cray and his Band will headline on Saturday night. Texas blues/country/rock/soul legend Delbert McClinton returns for a second turn at headlining the festival on Sunday afternoon. Opening for The Robert Cray Band on Saturday is Shemekia Copeland, a two-time Grammy nominee who was proclaimed “Queen of the Blues” by the City of Chicago. Opening for Delbert McClinton on Sunday is Damon Fowler, one of the hottest young players on the blues scene with his hybrid blend of roots rock, blues and sacred steel. 

Set against a scenic backdrop of the Cape Fear River, the relaxed riverfront setting is ideal for enjoying a weekend of great jazz, blues and seafood. In addition to headliners The Robert Cray Band and Delbert McClinton, the two-day Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival (October 11-12) features 12 other musical acts, including national and regional blues bands such as: Blues World Order; Big Bump & the Stun Gunz; Justin Fox; Fatty Lumpkin and the Love Hogs; Shemekia Copeland and Damon Fowler. Jazz bands include: Lee Venters & Vermillion Sands; Lynne & The Wave; Jaime Michele & Friends; Nina Repeta, Nita B & The Swinging Soiree, and Snake Malone & The Black Cat Bone. A full performance schedule is available online at www.pleasureislandnc.org. While grooving to live music, attendees can also enjoy fine wines and savory seafood prepared by area restaurants. The Arts & Wine Garden will host crafts and wine tastings. The free Kidz Zone features magic shows, face painting, educational exhibits, inflatables, laser tags and more.

If your idea of the perfect fall weekend getaway includes great blues, jazz, and seafood on a beautiful barrier island, then make plans to attend this year’s Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues and Jazz Festival presented by Bryant Real Estate, the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce and Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area. On October 11-12, double headliners will entertain at the 21st Annual Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area, near Kure Beach.  Two-day tickets are $50 in advance. If event does not sell out, daily tickets may be purchased at the gate. Saturday only tickets are $60; Sunday only tickets are $25. Tickets are available for purchase at the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce office located at 1121 N. Lake Park Blvd. in Carolina Beach. Children 12 and under are admitted free of charge.  Gates open at 11:00 a.m. and the music begins at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Pets, coolers, videos/cameras and political materials are not permitted. The Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area is located along Hwy. 421 South in Kure Beach. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 910-458-8434. Tickets are also available for purchase online via www.eventbrite.com and www.pleasureislandnc.org/seafood-blues-and-jazz-festival.      

See where the water takes you! From the island beaches of Carolina, Kure, and Wrightsville to Wilmington’s historic river district, visitors will find great food and live music at every turn. For information on specials and packages, seasonal events and experiences in Wilmington, North Carolina and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com.                      

September 26, 2014

Video of Carolina Beach Boardwalk Fire Prior to Arrival of Fire Department

The first video shows the fire in full force prior to the arrival of the fire department.  You do hear the sounds of approaching emergency vehicles in the background.  Video was taken by Jenn Beddoe from the Glynne's Soaps & uploaded by Gayle Tabor.

In addition to the one video, we are including some other Youtube videos that were posted by various news outlets.

We should note that the immediate area around the arcade is blocked off but the majority of the boardwalk is accessible. So if your favorite boardwalk business is normally open at this time of year, you can expect they are operating as normal.

[Related story: Carolina Beach Boardwalk Fire Photos 09/25/2014]





UPDATE
News release from the town at 8:30am on 09/26/2014:

Carolina Beach Fire Fighters responded to a call at approximately 11:15 AM September 25th for a commercial structure Fire Alarm at the Boardwalk Arcade. After several hours of fighting the blaze the Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and New Hanover County Fire Department’s were able to contain and control the fire. Three businesses on the Boardwalk were impacted by the fire; the Arcade, Frank’s Pizza and a Gift Shop associated with the Arcade. All other local Boardwalk businesses are open for business. No one was in the building at the time of the fire and no injuries have been reported. All fire fighters are safe and none were harmed during the fire.

State, County and Local Fire Marshals, the Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and other investigators have reviewed the scene but have yet to determine the cause of the fire. Property owners and tenants of the affected businesses have been contacted and the town is working closely with them on cleanup and containment.

Thank you to the men and women of the area fire departments, the Carolina Police Department and Operations Department for their dedication and protection of our community and our historic ocean boardwalk district.

September 25, 2014

Carolina Beach Boardwalk Fire Photos 09/25/2014

This morning at about 11:30am a large fire broke out in the arcade at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. The fire was contained within an hour and a half and crews are still on the scene to make sure no hotspots reignite.

Both the arcade and Frank's Pizza sustained significant damage.  At this time, the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Here are some photos taken by Paul Boroznoff, from Southern Digital Art, including a pic taken using his drone aircraft.












September 14, 2014

SAVOR COASTAL FLAVORS WITH FALL CULINARY EVENTS & TOURS

 Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival at Kure Beach
 Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival
Wilmington, N.C., September 13, 2014: Fall’s bounty brings a banquet of opportunities to savor coastal flavors with culinary events and food tours in Wilmington, North Carolina and the island beaches of Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville. From restaurant tastings and beer walks to oyster roasts and food festivals, there are more than a dozen flavorful happenings that showcase local cuisine and regional spirits. Three signature food events will take place the weekend of October 11-12: the 21st annual Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival near Kure Beach, the Taste of Wrightsville Beach Festival, and the Back Door Kitchen Tour in Wilmington.

A dynamic dining scene presents a full spectrum of restaurant choices to suit every budget and taste, along with a hardy serving of Southern hospitality.  The week of October 22 through 29 more than 40 area restaurants will offer special menus during the bi-annual Encore Restaurant Week, now in its 6th year.

Farmer’s markets, dinner theatre, theme cruises, and food tours are another way to spice up the season. Foodies can sign up for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours of Wilmington restaurants, bars, and the weekly farmer’s market tour/cooking class. In Carolina Beach Tasting History Tours showcase island eateries with a dash of history for group tours. With outstanding restaurants and chefs serving up fresh seafood and other regional specialties in one destination with four unique settings, visitors will discover that Wilmington and its island beaches will satisfy the palate and feed the soul.

Here’s an appetizing roundup of fall food happenings:

• Sept. 23: A Taste of the Town. Walking tour/tastings. Thalian Hall, Wilmington, www.thalianhall.org
• Sept. 27: Wilmington Wine & Beer Walk. Downtown Wilmington. http://wineandbeerwalk.com/
• Sept. 26-27: NCBS BBQ Boot Camp. Castle Hayne. www.ncbbqsociety.com
• Oct. 11-12: 21st Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival. Ft. Fisher Air Force Rec Area, Kure Beach. Seafood & blues/jazz. Robert Cray & Delbert McClinton headline. www.pleasureislandnc.org/events-details.php?id=20
•  Oct. 11: Taste of Wrightsville Beach. 5pm-8pm. Showcase of 30+ Wrightsville Beach eateries and beer/wine vendors. Marine Max, 130 Short Street, Wrightsville Beach. www.wrightsvillebeachfoundation.org
•  Oct. 12: Back Door Kitchen Tour. 9 kitchens + a garden in Downtown Wilmington. This year’s tour is dedicated to the memory of Miss Dolly Pearson. www.rowilmington.org/info.php?pnum=5
•  Oct. 17: Airlie Oyster Roast. Airlie Gardens, Wilmington. 910-798-7700; www.airliegardens.org
•  Oct. 17: Voracious Craft Beer Tasting. Shell Island Resort, Wrightsville Beach. www.lighthousebeerfestival.com
•  Oct. 17: Mellow Mushroom Movie Night in the Park. Movie “Monsters University” & gourmet pizza. Wrightsville Beach Park: www.townofwrightsvillebeach.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=4r55cwghv28%3d&tabid=149
•  Oct. 18: Lighthouse Beer Festival. Battleship Park, Wilmington. www.lighthousebeerfestival.com •  Oct. 22-29: ENCORE Restaurant Week. 40+ restaurants in Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach serve delicious meals at fixed prices. Restaurants/ menus online at www.encorerestaurantweek.com.
• Oct. 24-25: Oktoberfest. Government Center Complex, Wilmington. www.oktoberfestwilmington.com
• Oct. 24: The Vintage Event. Fine wines & cocktails, restaurants, caterers. St. Thomas Preservation Hall, Wilmington. www.historicwilmington.org/vintage-event
• Nov. 1: St. Stan’s Polish Festival. St. Stanislaus Church, Castle Hayne. www.ststanspolishfestival.org
•  Nov. 8-9: Festival Latino. Ogden Park, Wilmington. 910-341-0007. www.facebook.com/festivallatino2012 MC900322466
Ongoing - Farmer’s Markets: Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market, Carolina Beach Lake (Saturdays thru Oct. 4; http://carolinabeachfarmersmarket.com); Riverfront Farmer’s Market Downtown Wilmington (Saturdays thru Nov. 22); www.wilmingtonfarmers.com);Poplar Grove Farmer’s Market, (Weds. thru Nov. 26; www.poplargrove.org) MC900322466
•  Ongoing - Culinary Tours: Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours (www.tastecarolina.net/wilmington) & Tasting History Tours (www.tastinghistorytours.com). MC900322466[1]Ongoing - Dinner Theatre & Cruises: TheatreNOW (weekly shows), 19 S. 10th St., Wilmington, www.theatrewilmington.com & Henrietta III murder mystery cruise (Tuesdays thru October), Wilmington; www.cfrboats.com & Theme dinner cruises aboard Wilmington Water Tours, Wilmington, www.wilmingtonwatertours.net.

See where the water—and your appetite—take you! For a free official Visitors Guide, call 1-866-266-9690 or visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com. For seasonal events and special offers, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com; www.VisitCarolinaBeachNC.com; www.VisitKureBeachNC.com; and www.VisitWrightsvilleBeachNC.com.

September 11, 2014

REDISCOVER RIVERFEST – A CELEBRATION OF HERITAGE, CULTURE & FAMILY FUN ON THE CAPE FEAR RIVER

Riverfest in Wilmington, NC
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Wilmington, N.C., September 10, 2014:  October is just around the corner and organizers of the 36th Annual Riverfest wish to invite everyone to visit Wilmington’s historic river district the weekend of October 3-5 to “Rediscover Riverfest” and experience the exciting ways in which the festival has grown and changed in recent years. With the Cape Fear River as its focus, Riverfest captures the river’s heritage, culture, and natural beauty with a schedule of events that all ages will enjoy.  

Since its humble beginnings in 1979, Wilmington’s annual Riverfest celebration has become the area’s largest fall festival. What started as a small cultural street fair to entice residents to venture Downtown now extends from the Coastline Conference & Event Center on Nutt Street all the way to Chandler’s Wharf on South Water Street. Today’s Riverfest remains true to its roots as a family-friendly, cultural festival. It now boasts a half-mile of free entertainment with more than 200 craft vendors and concessions, as well as continuous live music, fireworks, a Kidz Zone, visiting ships, pirates, competitions, and lots of exhibits and special events.

The 36th Annual Riverfest celebration begins on Friday, October 3 with a Garden Party (11am-3pm) at Greenfield Lake’s Rotary Garden, home of the world’s largest rotary wheel. Garden Party tickets ($55 each) are available online at http://greenfieldlakecollaborative.org/ and parking/shuttle service will be at Legion Stadium. At 6pm, the Riverfest concert series jumpstarts Friday evening festivities at Wilmington’s Riverfront Park in the Beer Garden. On Saturday and Sunday, a street fair winds its way through Wilmington’s historic river district with special exhibits, along with vendors selling art and handmade crafts and over 30 food vendors serving festival edibles. Continuous live entertainment is another hallmark of Riverfest with a variety of performances that underscore the influence of arts and culture on the Cape Fear lifestyle. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the Main Stage at Riverfront Park and the Beer Garden stage will showcase live bands. The Kid Zone stage also offers family entertainment. And what river celebration would be complete without pirates? The 85-foot pirate ship Liana's Ransom will offer tours (admission charge) both days from the dock behind the Hilton Wilmington Riverside (www.lianasransom.com).

Other Saturday events include: the Sun Coast Cruisers Classic Car Show (Sat., 10am-6pm, Market Street), a Standup Paddle Race (10am), and a Kids Pirate Treasure Hunt (1pm-4pm).  At 6pm, the Beer Garden music stage welcomes live bands. Returning this year is the Invasion of the Pirates Flotilla (www.invasionofthepirates.com/Flotilla.html), a lighted pirate-theme boat parade and competition at 7:20pm, followed by a dazzling display of riverside fireworks at 9pm. Sunday’s special events include the 24th Run the River 8K Race (race at 8am; registration 7am), the Great Waiter's Wine Race (2pm) and the Antique Car Show (10:30am-3pm, Market Street). New this year is a Rowing Regatta (11am) on Sunday.

There are also plenty of free family activities at the ever-popular Kidz Zone at the Cotton Exchange, such as face/hair painting, balloon art, games, amusements, arts/crafts, clowns, rides, obstacle course, mascots, live entertainment, and more. Older kids will enjoy exhibits at the Adventure Zone. Affordable event parking is available in public parking decks located at 2nd & Princess streets, at Front & Market streets; and at 2nd & Chestnut streets.  


See where the water takes you! Annual events like Riverfest afford visitors a great opportunity to experience our region’s traditions. An estimated 200,000 gather at Riverfest to celebrate the heritage, beauty, and culture of the Cape Fear River. Riverfest continues its commitment to Cape Fear Community College with an endowment that helps support its Marine Technology Program studies and environmental efforts.  For more information about Riverfest 2014, visit www.wilmingtonriverfest.com. For visitor information on Wilmington, N.C.’s Historic River District and the Island Beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com, www.visitcarolinabeachnc.com, www.visitkurebeachnc.com, and www.visitwrightsvillebeachnc.com. Visitors may also call 866-266-9690 or email visit@wilmingtonandbeaches.com to request a free Official Visitors Guide.   
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