Upcoming Spring Events & Festivals in NC’s Brunswick Islands

Oak Island Lighthouse Run

Think past the chilly winter months and bulky sweaters forward to basking in the sun in your new bathing suit! Get rid of the winter blues by planning a picturesque coastal getaway this Spring to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Springtime in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands means tons of local events to entertain the whole family. The views are breathtaking, the food is exquisite, and the memories will last a lifetime.

Here’s just a taste of everything North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands has to offer this spring:

Spring Art Show

Website: http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/spring-art-show-southport-nc

When: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  February 27 – March 18

Where: Franklin Square Gallery, Southport

Contact: 910-457-5450

Southport’s Franklin Square Gallery hosts the annual spring art show featuring paintings, pottery, sculptures, and handmade jewelry by both members of the gallery and local guest artists. The historic building is located near the live oak trees behind Franklin Square Park three blocks from Southport’s waterfront at 130 E. West Street. Over 100 artists will be displaying their work during the exhibit and an award ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 3rd from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. This ongoing event is free and open to all ages.

First Friday Gallery Walks

Website: http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/first-friday-gallery-walk-southport-nc-mar

When: Every first Friday of the month, ongoing

Where: Downtown Southport

Contact: 910-457-1129

Art enthusiasts of all ages are invited to attend this free event hosted by Franklin Square Gallery, The Ricky Evans Gallery, Lantana’s Gallery, Silver Coast Winery and Tasting Room Gallery to view the beautiful pieces created by some of North Carolina’s finest artists. Wine and appetizers will be served at each of these locations.

Badwater Cape Fear – Ultra Marathon Race

Website: http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/badwater-cape-fear-bald-head-island-nc

When: March 16, 2018 – 9:00 a.m. – March 18, 2018 – 10:00 a.m.

Where: Old Baldy Lighthouse, Bald Head Island

Contact: 910-477-3122

“The world’s toughest foot race” features a 12-mile warm-up on the peaceful, car-free roads of Bald Head Island and is followed by a 19 or 39 mile run through the beautiful and serene beaches that run between Cape Fear and Fort Fisher. Entry pricing is $195 for the 32-mile race and $225 for 51.4 mile race.

Southport Spring Festival

Website: http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/southport-spring-festival-nc

When: March 30-31, 2018

Where: Franklin Square Park, Southport

Contact: 910-279-4616 or 910-253-0731

Celebrate Easter weekend with friends and family at one of Southport’s biggest traditions for more than 30 years. Enjoy the 160 vendors of handcrafted home décor, jewelry, goodies and more. It’s not a party unless there is live entertainment for everyone to enjoy! Take walks around the historic waterfront and eat at one of the many restaurants. Admission is free to all.

Oak Island Lighthouse Run/Walk

Website: http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/oak-island-lighthouse-run-walk-oak-island-nc

When: April 20-21, 2018

Where: Middleton Park, Oak Island

Contact: 910-457-6964

Enjoy the views of North Carolina Coast’s salt marshes, beautiful beaches, foot bridges, and have a lighthouse as your cheerleader as you run or walk this years 5k, 10k and 1-mile run. The festivities start on Friday the 20th from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The next day after the run enjoy the After Run Celebration at Middleton Park extension. Participants will receive drink tokens and be eligible for cash prizes, while the half marathon runners will receive a finisher award. The price of admission ranges from $25-$75 depending on the race.

Days at the Dock Festival

Website: http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/days-at-the-dock-holden-beach-nc

When: April 28-29, 2018

Where: Jordan Blvd- Under Holden Beach Bridge, Holden Beach, NC 28462

Contact: 910-523-8523

Appreciate the finest arts and craft vendors, eat the delicious foods around the festival or go listen to some awesome bands. Don’t forget to watch the infamous Bopple Race, where you buy “Bopples” from the festival, drop them from the Holden Beach bridge and let the current push them towards the finish line. If your “Bopple” wins or comes in second, then you win a prize! Curious to find out what a “Bopple” is? You’ll have to come to Days at the Dock Festival to find out! With free admission and free parking, come out with your family and partake in this exciting tradition!

Howl at The Moon

Website: http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/howl-at-the-moon-bald-head-island-nc-april-29-2018

When: April 29, 2018

Where: East Beach Access 39, Bald Head Island, NC 28461

Come grab a spot on the beach and enjoy the largest beach party every month. Watch the full moon rise and “howl!” around a bonfire. Bring food and drinks to share while Maritime Market provides soup and appetizers. After the moon rises head to Mojo’s for “Moonrise to Midnight.” Admission is free to all.

To learn more about these spring events and others in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, and to plan your trip, visit www.NCBrunswick.com  Follow NC’s Brunswick Islands on social media at www.facebook.com/NCBrunswick/ and www.instagram.com/ncbrunswickislands/

Celebrate Independence Day at the Historic NC 4th of July Festival

grab your flag and bring your patriotic spirit to this year’s North Carolina 4th of July Festival in Southport. Since 1795, Southport has celebrated our nation’s Independence Day in grand style.  The NC 4th of July Festival is one of the most historic Fourth of July celebrations of any small town in America and annually draws crowds of 40,000 to 50,000 people. Scheduled for June 27 – July 4, 2015, the Festival commemorates our nation’s freedom with a multitude of events including a grand finale of fireworks over Southport’s waterfront.

For those who wish to start the celebrations early, the annual Freedom 5K, which begins and ends at Waterfront Park, and a one-mile fun run is set for June 27 at 8 a.m. This year, runners even have the opportunity to partake in the Color Gauntlet, where multi-colored cornstarch will be thrown as participants run past.

IMG_2023For endless family fun, head over to Oak Island on July 1 for Beach Day – a relaxing and entertaining family affair, chock full of fun activities like sand sculpture building, volleyball, skateboarding, bocce ball, evening entertainment, a shag contest and anniversary fireworks. Beach Day starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 9 p.m. with a fireworks show at the Oak Island Pier.

The Festival’s more formal events include a Naturalization Ceremony and Flag Retirement Ceremony both scheduled for Friday, July 3.  Last, make sure youstar flag don’t miss the N.C. 4th of July Parade,an annual crowd favorite at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 4, in Southport, that is so colorful and festive that it was featured in the movie “Safe Haven.” Live concerts, arts and crafts, concessions and a boat raffle all lead up to the main event, a spectacular fireworks display over the waterfront starting at 9 p.m.

For more information on the NC 4th of July Festival and other Brunswick Islands July 4th events and activities visit our calendar of events.

Oyster Lovers, This Festival is Just for You!

Love fried and steamed oysters? Then plan to be in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands the weekend of October 18-19, 2014 for the 34th Annual North Carolina Oyster Festival.

This two day event is full of food and fun activities that everyone can enjoy. Popular events at the North Carolina Oyster Festival include the Oyster Shucking Contest (Saturday, October 18), where festival goers can enjoy watching the shuckers compete for the title of 2014 North Carolina Oyster Shucking Champion. At the Oyster Stew Cook-off (Sunday, October 19), competitors are given the chance to show off their culinary skills and draw attention to their delicious oyster stew.   The NC Oyster Festival Road Race (Sunday, October 19) will include a 5K, 10K and 1 Mile Fun Run.

Two new events added this year are an Oyster Eating Contest as well as a Shag Competition, where people can compete for the “Shaggin’ Oyster” titles hosted by the Coastal Shag Club. The festival will also feature live music, arts and crafts vendors, a kid’s area and plenty of other local cuisine, including seafood, BBQ, pizza and crab cakes, desserts and beverages.

The festival will be located adjacent to the Museum of Coastal Carolina on Ocean Isle Beach, which will be open and decorated for Halloween. Admission to the Festival is $5.00; children eight and under, free.

Parking for the festival is on the mainland of Ocean Isle Beach, just across from the airport as well as Causeway Drive.  Handicap drop-off is available, while parking and shuttle service to the festival are complimentary.

If that’s not enough oysters for you, you’re in luck.   The Shallotte Oyster, harvested from the creeks and marshes along the Shallotte River starting in October, is highly-prized for its extra-salty flavor. Distinguished from more well-known single oysters, the Shallotte Oyster is longer and narrower in shape and grows in clumps of four to five, making it best served steamed. During the fall, visitors can find them at area seafood markets and restaurants – if the locals haven’t scooped them all up yet!

North Carolina Oyster Festival

Ocean Isle Beach

Saturday, October 18, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.