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Candy Bomber Coming to Dare County Ariport
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, December 8, 2017

The Candy Bomber on the tarmac at the Dare County Airport.

The Candy Bomber has had the Outer Banks in its sights for the past 18 years, but the 2017 run scheduled December 17 at the Dare County Airport, may be the last candy run for the iconic symbol of the best of the United States.

In 1948 Berlin was a city surrounded by Communist East Germany and the Russians were determined to force the Allies to give up their claim to the city. To accomplish their goal, the Russians and East Germany sealed off all land transport to the city from West Germany.

What followed was one of the most remarkable airlifts ever—the Berlin Airlift. From June 1948 until September of 1949, every 90 seconds a plane was taking off or landing in Berlin, bringing the supplies needed to keep a city of two million from starvation.

One of the pilots, Lt. Gail Halvorsen saw groups of kids gathered at the end of the runway and felt they needed something to lift their spirits. He told them the next time he was flying in he would wiggle his wings and drop candy for them.

What followed was the legend of the Candy Bomber. Tying packets of candy to miniature parachutes he made good on his promise.

In an interview he mentioned he would have gotten in a lot of trouble for his act, but the American press heard about it and spread the word. Soon almost all American planes were dropping candy as they approached the airport.

Halvorson, who is 97 now, retired as a Lt. Colonel from the Air Force. He has kept the legend of the Candy Drop alive, visiting numerous towns and cities over the years, taking the time to tell the story to local school children.

The highlight of his visit is a the C54, the same type of aircraft that flew the candy runs for the Berlin Airlift, and, most exciting of all—the candy drop.

The candy run is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

Berlin Airlift Candy Bomber Dare County Gail Halvorsen

Welcome to the Outer Banks Holidays
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Welcome to holiday time on the Outer Banks. 

If you’re not here, you probably wish you were. Santa is here and there, lights are filling the night sky, and Christmas tradition is upon us. Young, old, athlete or actor…there is something for everyone.

This weekend there are three great events and it’s possible to do all three.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Theatre of Dare stands Christmas tradition on it’s head taking to the stage to perform every Christmas story ever told—with just three actors.

The Theatre of Dare has moved, at least temporarily to the Dare County Arts Council in the old Dare County Courthouse as repairs are done to the COA theater on the Dare County Campus. Although as a cautionary note, it is possible the COA theater cannot be brought back to life.

Saturday is the big day, starting with the 5th Annual Festivus 5K and 10K a the Market Place in Southern Shores. There’s a nice little fun run for kids as well.

Later in the day, St. Nicholas is coming to Island Farm on Roanoke Island.

Island Farm is a restored early 19th century farm and St. Nick will be arriving by oxcart—not the usual entrance by any means.

And if there is a any time left over, a visit to Winter Lights at Elizabethan Gardens is always a nice way to end the evening.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some)
 Theatre of Dare

Dare County Arts Council

300 Queen Elizabeth Ave.


December 8, 9 - 7:30 p.m.

December 10 - 2:00 p.m.

Tickets: $12 Adult/ $9 Season Ticket Holders/ $6 Student

5Th Annual Festivus Road Race The Market Place Shopping Center 
Southern Shores

December 9


& JINGLE Jog 1 mile


 St. Nicholas Arrives At Island Farm
Island Farm 

1140 US Highway 64


Time: 12:00 noon

St. Nicholas will arrive by ox-drawn wagon at 12pm. Visit with him by a warm fire in the farmhouse. A photographer will be on hand to capture your visit with St. Nicholas. Photographs will be available online and downloadable for free. Take an ox-drawn wagon ride around the farm’s trails from 12pm until 2pm. Enjoy hot apple cider and ginger cookies at the visitors center. 

Dare County Arts Council Festivus Island Farm Manteo Outer Banks Theatre Of Dare

Christmas in the Town of Duck
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, December 3, 2017

Santa listening carefully to a whispered request at the Town of Duck Town Hall.

If the Manteo Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is perfectly small town America, the Town of Duck offers a small town America version with a twist. 

All the elements are there—music, lots of people, kids everywhere and of course Santa Claus.

The difference is that Duck seems to view the tree lighting in a more creative way. Rather than light an evergreen tree, the town has made the decision to honor its history and stack crab pots in a pyramid, drape Christmas lights over them and have a crab pot Christmas tree.

Music—well, for the past few years it’s been the local group  Just Playing Dixieland, which is what they play…and they do it very well.

There’s plenty of hot chocolate, cookies and brownies and a nice touch—it’s all very pet friendly. Dare County SPCA has been on hand since the beginning and they had two really cute rescue dogs waiting for a home.

And then there’s the Duck Santa.

It may not be fair to judge how well Santa does at some locations, but there is something about the Town of Duck and Santa’s appearance there that is special. He certainly dresses in more of an old world style than is usually seen—more of a St. Nicholas look, perhaps. 

What really sets him apart, though, is how he interacts with children. He listens carefully; he’s patient; and there is genuine humor that the kids seem to truly enjoy.

Saturday, then, was a great day in Duck. A little bit different, creative, but very much in the spirit of the holidays.

Christmas Christmas Tree Jut Playing Dixie Santa Claus Town Of Duck

The Tradition Continues-Manteo Tree Lighting a Perfect Small Town Treat
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, December 1, 2017

No one is quite sure when Manteo first started lighting that large fir tree on the waterfront at Christmas. It probably doesn’t matter all that much.  What does matter is what a remarkable evening the Manteo Annual Tree lighting is. 

It seem to take all of the best elements of small town life, gift wrap the contents in song and dance and spread the joy of the Holiday season.

Little girls take the stage to dance, youth and high school choirs perform, a local church dance group swirls around the stage. And all of it takes place on the front steps of the old Dare County Courthouse, an iconic building built in 1903.

This years gathering seemed like the largest in some time. Certainly the Brunswick stew the Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church hands out every year seemed to run out earlier than usual…as did the hot chocolate that is usually on hand.

Santa Clause, of course, made an appearance, and then took up temporary residence upstairs in the Courthouse. Now the home of the Dare County Arts Council, the building got full use tonight as hundreds of kids, holding their parent’s hand made their way to present their lists.

It seems apropos that Santa was sitting in what was once the Dare County Court. He was, after all, sitting in judgement of the children’s requests—although his judgments seemed universally benign and positive.

Tomorrow it’s the annual parade—another Manteo tradition that seems to have started some time ago without any sure knowledge of just when that was.

The Town of Duck will also hold their tree lighting tomorrow, although their tree is a stack of crab pots shaped like a tree with lights draped over it. The day also includes a visit for St. Nick—the Duck Santa always seems to be on his game—and entertainment on the Town Green.

Dare County Dare County Arts Council Manteo Santa Claus Tree Lighting

Holiday Traditions on the Outer Banks
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Some of the Christmas lights at the Poulos house.

The holidays really are all about tradition, and on the Outer Banks there are a few of them that we have truly come to treasure.

Certainly our tree lightings are wonderful. This Friday they’ll be lighting that huge fir tree on the waterfront in Manteo. It’s an amazing celebration of small town life and the spirit of the season and highly recommended. That’s followed on Saturday by the Manteo Christmas Parade. 

Saturday Duck has their own unique way of welcoming the season with the lighting of the Crab Pot Christmas Tree and a visit from Santa. A great time and Santa is always at his best at Duck Village.

If there is one tradition, though that many locals have come to treasure its the Christmas lights at the Poulos house in Kill Devil Hills. This will be the 38th year the family has been doing this and as far as anyone can tell they do it simply because they want to.

It is an absolutely spectacular gathering of every conceivable Holiday light, including a Chanukah Menorah and numerous toy trains. And hot chocolate.

There are also visits from Santa, although they aren’t scheduled tightly.

It is worth a visit every year and for anyone who has not seen what this family has done, a trip to the light show is well worth it.

The property is a bit off the beaten path, immediately adjacent to Nags Head Woods. Easiest way to get there is to turn at the light at Pigman’s Barbecue in Kill Devil Hills and follow Ocean Acres Drive. The house is just over the rise in a hill when the street turns into a dirt road. Expect a bit of a walk to the house because there are so many cars parked along the side of the road checking out the decorations.

Christmas Manteo Outer Banks Poulos House Santa Claus Tree Lighting

Big Curri-Shuck Great Big Time
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Sunday, November 26, 2017

Fresh steamed oysters for the whole family. Father holding baby and preteen in middle of image wait for oysters.

We’ll say one thing for John Wright of Sanctuary Vineyards and Hunter Stuart of I Got Your Crabs—they sure know how to throw a party. That’s what the Big Curri-Shuck is—a gigantic steamed oyster, crab picking, eastern North Carolina barbecue all-you-can-eat party.

It’s an annual event—every year the Saturday after Thanksgiving; and every year it just seems to get better and better.

It’s really all about oysters. The crab is great…the barbecue is as good as it gets, but there is a reason why it’s the big Big Curri-Shuck, as in shucking oysters. 

And wow were the oysters good this year. That is on the basis of an informal if somewhat complete survey of participants. The consensus this year—in what appeared to be universal agreement—was a little bit saltier this year, and just a bit better than in years past. 

What makes the Big Curri-Shuck so great though is not just the food—it’s the whole package. The setting at Sanctuary Vineyards next to the Cotton Gin with picnic tables and giant tents for the feasting of oysters and crab; the beer and wine—wine, of course, from Sanctuary Vineyards, and local breweries Weeping Radish and Lost Colony on hand to pour drinks for food pairing.

Then there was the music. This year from the Daniel Jordan Band from Elizabeth City and Buckshot out of Virginia Beach—they were outstanding. And a big thumbs up to the kids from Ruth Wyand’s Mustang Music Program ages 8-14 who took the stage for a set.

In other words—it was about as good as it gets; great food, great entertainment, refreshing drinks and perfect weather.

Big Currishuck Cotton Gin I Got Your Crabs Sanctuary Vineyards Thanksgiving

Getting in the Holiday Spirit
Posted by Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales | Friday, November 24, 2017

Winter Lights at Elizabethan Gardens.

Now that Thanksgiving is safely behind us and the holidays are officially here, it’s time to get in the spirit of the season. And to help that along, we have two easy and wonderful suggestions.

One of our suggestions will be here and gone, but for anyone on the Outer Banks on Sunday, what better way to get ready for Christmas than with Handel’s Messiah. Our other suggestion, Winter Lights at Elizabethan Gardens, lasts until the New Year.

Here’s the information about them.

Handel’s Messiah at All Saints Catholic Church

4:00 p.m. Sunday, November 26

Kitty Hawk

With a soaring, rousing chorus, Handel’s Messiah has become a classic of Christmas music. Although a classic of chorale music, the melody seems perfect for audience participation, making it a great way to get into the Christmas state of mind that include kindness and forgiveness when the person next to you hits a wrong note.

All Saints Catholic Church is an ideal location for this type of music. Its high ceiling and spacious interior seems to hold the sound of music allowing it fill the air with beautiful sound.

Winter Lights-Elizabethan Gardens

6-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday

Roanoke Island

If there is one Outer Banks holiday tradition not to miss, it has to be Winter Lights at the Elizabethan Gardens. At any time of the year strolling through the paths of the gardens is wonderful; on a winter night, with footsteps illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights…it’s otherworldly—it a very good way.

There is so much that has been done to transform the Gardens into a wonderland that it truly is something that has to be experienced. 

A nice touch—the fire pit  in the great lawn seems to have an endless supply of marshmallows for roasting.

All Saints Catholic Church Christmas Elizabethan Gardens Handels Messiah Kitty Hawk Winter Lights

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