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Michelangelo on the Outer Banks?

This one falls under the heading of “strange and hard to believe, but maybe it is true . . .”

There is a possibility that some of the statuary in the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo may be the work of 15th and 16th century Italian masters. If that is the case, there is an outside chance that some of the statuary could be the work of Michelangelo.

According to an article in the Coastland Times by John Buford, the Marketing Director for the Elizabethan Gardens, some of the statuary on the grounds carry the family crest of a northern Italian family known to be patrons of Michelangelo.

Records indicate the statuary was imported from Italy at the beginning of the 20th century, but their Italian origins are somewhat unclear.

Although the style of the statues are consistent with the works of the Italian masters, questions remain about their authenticity. There is no doubt that they originated in Italy; however, other than the family crest found on some of the works, there are no marking indicating who created them or when they were created.

The Elizabethan Gardens is already home to a surprising historic picture of Queen Elizabeth I. Almost all portraits of the queen are flattering—but not this one. Painted on wood, it shows an aging monarch in court dress. Research is continuing to confirm its authenticity, but evidence increasingly indicates it is real portrait of Queen Elizabeth I from the 1600s.

25th Annual Artrgeous-A Spectacular Day

Creating an Artrageous poster

Creating a poster for Artrageous.

In an earlier post we mentioned how much there was to do this weekend and we already wrote about wrote about the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival. The other big event this weekend was the Dare County Arts Council’s 25th Annual Artrageous.

Artrageous is all about art in the community, especially as it effects kids and with spectacular weather on Saturday and a full slate of football and soccer games at Rec Park where the event was held, the turnout was huge.

It was just a wonderfully fun day with multiple tables and booths set up with kid’s activities. Face painting of course, but there was so much more. Farmdog Surf School in Nags Head donated a longboard for kids to decorate, Project Purple—a drug prevention program in the high school had a table, there was music, there was dance and it was a fantastic day.

Personal choice as the best place to see kids channeling their creativity? The table where children could create their own Artrageous poster.

Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival-Amazing

Rhonda Vincent & the Rage performing Friday night at Roanoke Island Festival Park

That was fun.

We just got back from the 3rd Annual Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo and here’s the quick down and dirty reveiw—great music, a great time.

We didn’t get there in time to catch all of the days acts, but the five hours of music we did catch was really impressive. Here’s the lineup that for Friday evening: Blue Highway, the Steep Canyon Rangers, and Rhonda Vincent & the Rage.

It’s really tough to pick out a favorite in this one—Blue Highway has been around for a while, and their musicianship and vocals are amazing. They played an encore number that was really interesting. It seemed to wander into jazz with some discordant notes and nontraditional bluegrass chords.

The Steep Canyon Rangers are high energy, great music with some very surprising touches—as in a little bit of classic violin in the middle of bluegrass. Hard to imagine, but it works.

And then there’s Rhonda Vincent an the Rage. The consummate professional with a band that may be the best out there. So yes, if there was a favorite, she gets the prize—especially after hearing her soulful tribute to the country singer George Hamilton who just passed away.

There’s more on tap for tomorrow and Sunday. 

The Bluegrass Festival is an event Brindley Beach is sponsoring. It’s a good feeling to be associated with so much great music.

First Day of Fall on the Outer Banks

First day of autumn and like clockwork the weather is reminding us of that. It was a  blustery day here on the Outer Banks with a low pressure system sitting offshore churning up the surf.

Forecasts are calling for some pretty good sized waves tomorrow, but surfers, don’t get your hopes up. With a predicted 15-20 mph wind from the northeast, the surf forecasts are calling for a lot of chop and no clean lines.

Oh, and did we mention that it’s supposed to rain tomorrow?

But after that, the weekend is looking good, which is great news for all the events that are scheduled. We’ve already mentioned the 3rd Annual Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival at Roanoke Island Festival Park that’s running Thursday through Sunday. The other event worth checking out is the Dare County Art Council’s 25th Anniversary of Artrageous on Saturday at Rec Park in Kill Devil Hills.

Actually, looking at the forecast for next week, a quick trip to the beach might be the perfect remedy to too many hours at the office.

It looks like the week will feature plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70s.

Outer Banks Oktoberfest

About a month ago we wrote about Trio, the wine and specialty beer bar in Kitty Hawk and how much fun the place is. Today, we offer evidence of that as we write about their annual Oktoberfest.

A two day affair, the staff was dressed in lederhosen—well the male staff was. The women had on those flowery skirts and blouses that everyone thinks German women wear when they’re serving beer.

It was definitely a German-themed weekend. Lots of bratwurst and sauerkraut, a traditional German macaroni and cheese dish called kasespatzle, and lots and lot of German Beer.

Of course the center of attention was the beer, and the selection seemed close to infinite. For the truly adventurous, one liter flagons of beer were offered—that’s almost 34 ounces—although most people seemed to choose a more traditional sized serving.

There was some great oompah music at night, tables were run together to give a traditional beer hall look, and everything was draped in blue and white banners declaring “Oktoberfest”.

In keeping with the traditions of the Munich Oktoberfest, a selection of German wines were also offered.

NCDOT & SELC Negotiating Solution to Bonner Bridge

The joint press release issued by NCDOT and the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) letting everyone know they were working on a compromise that will allow the Bonner Bridge replacement to go forward caught everyone by surprise.

The two organizations have been fighting it out in court for the past three years with no end in sight and in a lot of ways for all that time, energy and money they were right back where they started from. 

Although they weren’t quite back where they started from. Here’s the non lawyer read on what motivated this. 

When the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals decided the case, they ruled that on the one hand, NCDOT had fulfilled the provisions of the law in issuing their Environmental Impact Statement. However, they agreed with the SELC that the state had improperly applied a part of the law pertaining to the original intent and plans for a road through Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge when it was created in 1937.

The ruling for the SELC stopped the project dead in its tracks. The problem for the SELC is that it will not stop the project permanently in its tracks. NCDOT will find a way to comply . . . it’s just a matter of time. 

The much bigger issue really is the Environmental Impact Statement and in ruling for the state, the court guaranteed that at some point the project will go forward.

However, from NCDOT’s standpoint the sooner this project get moving the better; construction costs are rising and repairs to the old Bonner Bridge are becoming more expensive, time consuming and difficult.

So—no one know exactly what they’re negotiating, but it seems clear why they’re talking.

Great Conditions for ESA Finals

Today was not a good day to go swimming but for the competitors at ESA Championships at Jennette’s Pier it was a great day on the water.

A stiff NE breeze kept the surf choppy, but the shore break had some good 4'-5' waves. The break had moved away from the beach so competitors were getting some good long rides.

The Eastern Surf Association—thats the ESA—has been holding their East Coast championships in Nags Head for a number of years, and the level of competition is great. It’s an amateur competition but the qualifying rounds include district and regional matches to qualify for the big event.

Something that really stands out about the ESAs is how inclusive they are. The age range is from 11 and under to the grand legends—65 and up. . . . and every category is filled with competitors.

They also include body boards and are branching out to include SUPs as well.

The event wraps up on Friday with Saturday as an emergency makeup day. For anyone who’s on  the Outer Banks or in the area, stop by and check it out. Take in the competition for a half hour or 45 minutes, then wander up to Jennette’s Pier; spend an hour or so there, then head over to Sam and Omie’s for a late lunch or early dinner. 

Not a bad way to spend a day.


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