Great weather greeted Manteo First Friday visitors. Perfect for a sidewalk cafe meal.

We had our first official First Friday of the year in Downtown Manteo tonight and the Outer Banks weather could not have been more cooperative.

Tomorrow and Sunday looks like a different story, but this first First Friday was jut about perfect…And the crowds reflected that.

It was a glorious night to sit at a sidewalk cafe and have a bite to eat or to stroll around and listen to some music.

The old County Courthouse is now the Dare County Arts Council Gallery, which has become the center of the First Friday celebration.

Upstairs at the Gallery, Suzanne Tate, the author of the Suzanne Tate Nature Series of books for children and the artists James Melvin were celebrating a 30 year partnership and the release of their 39th book. The latest book is Merri-Lee Monarch, a Tale of a Big Trip.

The story is based on a true event. There is a swarm of butterflies—officially called a Kaleidoscope— that migrate between South Nags Head and the mountains of Mexico every year.

The subject fascinated Suzanne and she researched extensively to write her book about the Big Trip.

Compared to her other book, there is a bit more text and a little more explaining what happens to in the life cycles of butterflies. Te book is still very appropriate for children ages 3-7, but there is a bit more writing than usual.

Along with the writing, Melvin’s artwork may be the best he has done of the Nature Series. The use of color and texture is outstanding.

The DCAC Gallery was packed tonight, and the crowds certainly seemed to spill over to the Manteo Waterfront—a great evening and a great way to welcome spring to the Outer Banks.