Thursday, December 27, 2012

CB videos on the old* YouTube

*And isn't YouTube now considered a mainstay enough to describe it as "the old?" I think so.

Thanks to the beauty of the old Google Alerts (see what I did there?), you never know what sort of Carolina Beach-themed items will wind up in the (very) old inbox. A couple the past couple of days have been to CB-related YouTube videos.

The first one comes to us from siradamcotton. It's just :30 in length; I'm not sure at what point of the island it was filmed; but it very much reminds me of the view from Our Beach Place.

The second one is from nightsweeper08. I gotta tell ya: I'm not exactly sure what this just-over-a-minute video is all about, but I like it. I think it's promoting The Lazy Pirate. There's even a theme song!

Enjoy them, kids.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wrightsville bans the cancer sticks

Election Nights are always full of ups and downs. Without getting TOO political, this year's EN was a little more down than up for yours truly. But  I am encouraged by what happened in Wrightsville Beach. Hooray, local politics!

Let's let WBTV tell the story:

 The two-year battle has finally come to an end with Wrightsville Beach residents voting to ban smoking on the beach. 

Of 1,675 residents, 966 voted in favor of the smoking ban at Wrightsville Beach.
Town officials will now have to prepare the beach as a non-smoking zone, putting up signs and violation fines.

Law enforcement will also have to train officers and lifeguards on being vigilant and when to start handing out citations.


Wrightsville Beach is the first beach in North Carolina to ban smoking on its shores. The town was able to put this issue on this year's ballot because the beach is town owned.

Other North Carolina beaches have tried to ban smoking but were unsuccessful because of ownership rights. The Town Council of Carolina Beach passed a smoking ban but in order for it to take effect, the state would have to make it a law.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Freeman Park pass costs going up

We don't drive out onto Freeman Park much. (Well, ever.) But for those of you that like to purchase a yearly pass, be ready to pay more beginning December 1 to be able to access that nice area of wide-open beach via vehicle.

"The town is increasing the price of the yearly pass to Freeman Park from $60 to $100 starting December 1. The town will use the extra $40 to set aside for future water resource projects," according to WWAY.

Friday, October 26, 2012

CB changes roads for repairs; CB to sell pier properties

Once again, Carolina Beach is changing up its road business. Snow's Cut Bridge on Carolina Beach Road was recently reduced from four to two lanes beginning this past week, according to WWAY.

"Crews will do extensive repair work. The project is expected to last approximately four months. The lane closures will remain in place during the entire construction period."

 And in other news, CB is going to see how much it can get for its pier property, according to WECT.

It doesn't mean the pier project is dead because the town can still take the properties off the market. "If we get a good offer the council will have to consider that," said Tim Owens, town manager. "The other alternative would be to move forward on the park as we decided to do. It's really about whether we get a good price or not."
They're hoping a strong bid will help them with their debt.
The town is in the initial stages of listing the properties.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mountains to Coast bike tour ends in CB

About 1,000 amateur cyclists from more than 35 states and four countries finished up the 14th annual Mountains to the Coast Bike Tour on Saturday. They crossed the finish line in Carolina Beach.

From WECT:

The riders started their week-long trek across the state in the mountains of Brevard to the coast of North Carolina. The event is designed to promote physical fitness and health, economic impact and publicity to communities across the state, as well as showcasing the state's scenic attributes.This year's participants range in age from 5 years old to 84 years, with an average age of 56 years. According to the North Carolina Amateur Sports, Cycle North Carolina risers are environmentally conscious.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Island Day!

OK, so it was yesterday. My bad.

From WECT:

Despite possible rain in the forecast, Carolina Beach hosted its third annual "Island Day" at the Carolina Beach Lake Park without a hitch on Sunday.
Locals enjoyed free food and drinks provided by local establishments, as well as the Carolina Beach fire and police departments. Those in attendance enjoyed live music and fun activities around the park.
The event's goal is to bring the community together for a fun day and raise awareness of the efforts of the city's fire and police departments.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mountains to Coast bike tour to end in CB

From the Star-News:

About 1,000 cyclists will cross the finish line in Carolina Beach Oct. 6, ending Cycle North Carolina’s 14th annual Mountains to the Coast Bike Tour.
The week-long tour starts in Brevard and ends on Carolina Beach’s Boardwalk. It’s the third year that the Wilmington area has been the tour’s final destination. In 2000 and 2005, the rides ended at Battleship Park.
The finish line celebration will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at the Boardwalk.
Accomplishing something like this is impressive. I can barely lift my head outta bed most days.

Friday, August 17, 2012

And still more about 'the ban'

From the News & Observer ...

Carolina Beach may become the first smokeless strand of sand on the state’s coastline.

The town council voted 4-1 at its regular meeting Tuesday night in favor of an ordinance that would prohibit smoking on the beach. On the advice of their attorney, town officials will seek the state legislature’s approval for the measure, because it’s not clear whether the town or the state has jurisdiction over the beach.

That means the rule wouldn’t go into effect until at least next near.

Read more here:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

If this doesn't move you, you have no heart OR soul


Seven-year-old Mya Bartlett [of Carolina Beach] doesn’t like to talk about the accident that fractured her skull and left her with traumatic brain damage. It happened on April 8, 2010.
She was kicking a soccer ball, fell backward, and hit her head. The Hello Kitty ponytail holder she was wearing damaged her fragile skull.
“As the doctors said, it was as if she had a rock and a knife in her head when she fell. The rock was the plastic, and the corners and edges acted as a knife,”  said Mya’s mother, Tristen Waters.
Waters thought it was a freak accident, but after doing some research, she learned that injuries from hair accessories are fairly common, especially for girls who are very active.
Now Mya and her sister, Kyra, are turning an injury into an investment. They are making and selling safe hair accessories.
“They got no plastic and no metal,” said Mya of her accessories. She and Kyra design and sew the bows themselves, with a little help from Mom.
Waters said Mya struggles with ADD, ADHD, and memory loss among other things, as a result of the injury, but she’s proud that her girls are helping to prevent similar problems, one hair bow at a time.
“The product that they are making is going to save lives.  And because the product their making is saving lives, they are saving the world.”
The girls used the money they made from the bows and bands to pay for summer camp. 
Now they are deciding what charity to help out with the rest of the money they made

Friday, July 6, 2012

CB gets into the "banning smoking on the beach" discussion

Carolina Beach is exploring the idea of banning smoking on the beach, according to WWAY. The reviews are mixed so far.

"I don't think we should be Gestapo," said Lou Belo, who is against a smoking ban on the beach. "It's outside, it's no problem, if people would only clean up after themselves.
"I'm not a smoker, but I'd support it," Keith Hargrave said. "I mean, I walk up and down the beach. You can look in the sand right here there's cigarette butts all over the place. People don't respect the rules."

The town council will hold a public hearing on a possible smoking ban at the beach during its next meeting Tuesday.

Debate over a smoking ban at the beach is nothing new. In november, Wrightsville Beach residents will have a chance to vote yea or nay for a smoking ban along their shores.

Carolina Beach Councilman Lonnie Lashley put the item on next week's agenda after getting several complaints from residents. He would not talk to us on camera, but he says it has nothing to do with Wrightsville Beach. ...

The public can give their feedback during the town council meeting Tuesday night. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Count me as someone who is all for the ban.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Boardwalk gettin' busy with restaurants

Activity is picking up on the CB Boardwalk. Port City Foodies reports that D.J Fries is scheduled to open this week on the Boardwalk.

The addition makes for a new scene full of traditional favorites for foodies on the beach. DJ’s will serve natural, homemade-style french fries as well as funnel fries, said owner Dan Wilcox, who also owns MaddFish Grill. These sweet fries are short, round pieces of funnel cake coated with cinnamon and sugar.  “It’s something we thought would work well,” Wilcox said. “It’s a brand new business here.” He anticipates that DJ’s will be open noon to midnight.

In addition, Island Hots has opened in the old Trolley Stop location. It "serves up a variety of hot dogs – including one named for the store that’s served with onions, jalpenos, and a homemade red pepper relish, said owner Ron Stevens.

Look for other menu items like chicken tenders, root beer floats made with soft-serve vanilla ice cream and beer-battered onion rings that have become a favorite. There are 12 stools inside the shop where you can sit and chat with Stevens and his brother. But there’s also a large courtyard area that seats 50-55 people. “It’s a great spot to sit down and watch the fireworks,” he said.  Also noteworthy is Hurricane Alley’s, a new seafood restaurant, sandwich shop, bar and music venue. There, you can find steam pots and grilled sandwiches and a deck with an ocean view.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

3 CB marinas added to 'Clean' list

From WECT:

Three marinas from Carolina Beach have been certified as North Carolina Clean Marinas, according to state regulations.

The Mona Black Marina, Federal Point Yacht Club and Carolina Beach State Park earned that designation in the Clean Marina program. To get this certification, owners need to prepare spill prevention plans and conduct safety and emergency planning. They also have to control boat maintenance activities to protect the water quality.

Marinas have to get recertified every couple years.

Other current clean marinas include Cypress Landing Marina, Harbour Village Marina, Wilmington Marine Center, Joyner Marina, Southport Marina and New Bern Grand Marina.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Some nice CB improvements

I don't know for certain it's been completed, but Carolina Beach Inlet was slated to be dredged and improved by now.

The [US Army] Corps [of Engineers] expects its side-caster dredge Merritt to finish clearing New Topsail Inlet in Pender County by June 8. Carolina Beach Inlet is next on the list [according to this report].

The dredge boat already passed through New Hanover County shores, but left for some emergency work in the northern part of the state.

Roger Bullock with the Army Corps said Carolina Beach Inlet needs to be at least 8 feet deep, so the job should take about a week.

And in addition, Snow's Cub Bridge has some improvements coming its way, according to the Star-News.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has awarded a $4.6 million contract to resurface the Snow's Cut Bridge to Pleasure Island

The contracts was awarded the American Bridge Co. of Coraopolis, Pa., according to a DOT news release.

The work can begin as early as July 1 and is scheduled to be completed within 390 days after the start date.

The bridge will be resurfaced using a new technique called hydro-demolition. Using that technique, crews will remove the old concrete on the bridge deck using high-pressure water. "Hydro-demolition is more precise than traditional pavement removal with a jackhammer, and it reduces the potential for damage to the bridge," the release states.

The bridge will be resurfaced with high-strength concrete, and contractors will also paint the structural steel and make repairs to the substructure concrete.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bluegrass festival coming to Pleasure Island, restaurant changes 'vibe'

In the mood for some bluegrass (and apparently moonshine)? The Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce presents the 1st Annual Bluegrass By The River on May 12th at the Ft. Fisher Air Force Recreation Area. 

From a press release:

This year will feature a variety of bluegrass music with five of the best bands in the southeast. Starting out the afternoon will be local favorites South of K from Kure Beach, NC. with their traditional and inspiring bluegrass selections. To mix it up just a little, we are bringing you The Mystery Hillbillies from Winston-Salem with their special renditions of bluegrass standards as well as some Patsy Cline and a little rock-a-billy to boot. ...

In addition to the great music on the stage, we encourage musicians to bring their instruments and voices to participate in the Open Jam that will be going on all day at the Beach House (inside and outside on the deck). We will also have clogging demonstrations, antique tractor exhibitions as well as mule rides for the kids, ¦we might even have a wash-tub bass exhibit or maybe some moonshine to sample. ...

Tickets are just $10.00 in advance or can be purchased at the door for $15.00 for this one day event. Tickets are available on-line at or at many local establishments. Kids 12 and under are free. Gates open at 11:30 am. We ask that you do not bring coolers or pets, but bring your chairs, towels and blankets for a Pleasure Island style shindig! Remember, Pickin’ and Grinnin’ are encouraged. See you there!

In other news, the Hang Ten Grill in CB are "going for a surfer vibe," according to the Star-News,  "and now the space at 308 S. Lake Park Blvd. (the former Treehouse Bistro location) is decked out with vivid oranges and blues. They've created an open floor plan and blonde-wood seating lines the walls. The menu features traditional favorites like nachos, burgers, wings and hand-cut fries. Hang Ten will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with menu items priced at $10 and less. Bre Danel, one of the owners, also mentioned that menu items like the burgers will be fresh-made in house. The restaurant should open soon."

Monday, April 2, 2012

Happy times! Britt's is open

Ah, the joys of fantastic donuts!

The day that locals anxiously wait for and visitors hear about as they cross into Carolina Beach is finally here…Britt’s Donuts is open for the season.

The Nivens family has operated Britt’s Donuts on the Boardwalk in Carolina Beach for more than 30 years.

The line began forming for the infamous donuts well before the doors opened at 4 p.m. on Friday.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wing Fling a success, next comes a celebration of chowder

The 16th annual Wing Fling took over CB on Saturday. According to reports, thousands attended. WECT's Jon Evans won the wing eating contest by devouring 12 wings in one minute and three seconds. Well done, sir.

The next big event for CB will be the 16th annual (what was it about 16 years ago?) Chowder Cook-Off, which will be Saturday, April 14.

The 2012 Pleasure Island Chowder Cook-off is a family-oriented event that is all about delicious food, good music, and fun for all ages. Chefs from Carolina Beach, Wilmington, and beyond will prepare their best seafood chowder recipes between the hours of 12:00pm and 4:00pm. Children will enjoy the park's playground and a Kidz Zone with face-painting, a giant inflatable house, and more.

During the cook-off, enjoy live music and chowder-tasting (and voting) between 12:00pm and 4:00pm, but make sure to arrive early while the chowder is abundant. Area restaurants that are participating this year include: Havana's Fresh Island Restaurant, The Lazy Pirate, Seaside Grille at Courtyard by Marriott, SeaWitch Café & Tiki Bar, and the Veggie Wagon in Carolina Beach. Wilmington restaurants include Cape Fear Seafood Company and O'Charley's. The Grille in Shallotte is a first-year contender. The day-long chowder showcase features live entertainment by the Mark Roberts Band (variety dance band) at Carolina Beach Lake Park's Stingray Amphitheater. At approximately 5:00pm, be sure to join in the celebration of People’s and Judges' Choice awards.

Want to go? Gates open Saturday, April 14 at 11:30am. A modest admission charge of $5 for adults will provide a taste of some of the best chowder this area has to offer during a friendly culinary competition. Admission is free for children ages 12 and under. No coolers permitted, as beverages and food will be available for sale. Chairs, blankets and children are welcome, but please leave pets at home.

Friday, March 23, 2012

That Coastal swing

It's hard to grow up in North or South Carolina and not be exposed to beach music. It's pretty much in our blood.

Well, an article from Wrightsville Beach Magazine is an insightful one about the genre.

Its a hot summers day. Its the rushing wind through a topless car. Its a midnight stroll on the beach. Its a hotdog on the boardwalk. Its a trip to the fishing hole. Its boy meets girl. What is it, you may ask? It is the smooth, coastal sounds of southeastern Carolina beach music.

For nearly 50 years, beach music has engaged multiple generations in a musical tradition that was born in the Cape Fear region. It is the convergence of soul, rhythm and blues, country and a little bit of rock and roll. All of these influences are wound up to produce a sound that is distinctively regional and characteristic of the fun-loving lifestyle that is portrayed in the lyrics.

On a Thursday night in Wilmington, N.C., Jim Quick and Coastline take the stage at a local music venue. The dance floor is empty, but all of that changes once the band plugs in. Vibrations bounce from the instruments and speakers off the wall and into the listeners ears, uniting everyone in the room. For some, fond memories well up from within. For others, the music evokes the anticipation of good times yet to be had and memories yet to be made. Like a magnet, the music pulls both young and old to their feet and onto the dance floor.

"It is hard for anybody to listen to beach music and say, I dont like it. It is just happy, feel good music," says Jim Quick, the lead singer and frontman of the band. Quick grew up in Scotland County, North Carolina, in a place known as Gum Swamp. He had his first taste of music listening to the soulful sounds of The Dominoes and Sticks McGhee, which were favorites of his caretaker, Miss Ruby.

Quick and his band began working with beach music legend, the late General Johnson of the Chairman of the Board in the 1990s. It was a chance for the young band to learn from a man that had recorded beach music classics such as "Carolina Girls" and "Give Me Just a Little More Time."

"He was the number one lure," Quick says. "We have to go in and grab those college kids and the General was the best at that. He was a pro." General Johnson mentored Quick, teaching him how to hook listeners and create disarming set lists that had crowds, in a sense, dangling on a string.

At any given Chairman of the Board show in Wilmington, it was not uncommon for the room to be shoulder to shoulder. Lifelong fans would shag dance casually in an open area while college kids crowded the stage, shouting the words of Motown classics that were written decades before they were born.

But this scene is not unique to the Chairman of the Board. Other beach music bands like Band of Oz, which also worked with General Johnson, include songs in their set list that are targeted to attract new generations of beach music fans.

"You will be shocked to see how many high school and young college age kids are out there shagging and just like the beach music," says David Hicks, the drummer for Band of Oz, "but we also want to give them a little bit of dynamite and throw that mix in."

Click here for the rest of the article.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

CB's 'road diet' reversal set

Seems CB's "road diet" problem is not quite over. Not quite. But almost.

"The reversal of a hotly contested road project in Carolina Beach looks like it will finally be coming to an end," says WWAY.

Fattening Lake Park Blvd on Pleasure Island is on track to be completed by one of the busiest weekends of the season.

Since it was implemented a few years ago the “road diet” has caused public outcry about traffic and parking problems. In 2010 the "diet" reduced the four lane road to two lanes with a center turn lane and bike paths along with diagonal parking.

Town manager Tim Owens says the reversal should be completed by Memorial Day weekend. ...

The road diet was originally part of a plan to give downtown Carolina Beach more of a "main street" feel.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wing Fling to return

I can't say I'm familiar with this event, but it's typically good to see events return.

The 16th annual Wing Fling will be back in Carolina Beach this spring. The event moved to Pleasure Island last year after problems getting a liquor license in Wilmington [says WWAY].

This year's Wing Fling is March 24 at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. General admission tickets are $15. VIP tickets are $20. Admission includes wing tasting from area restaurants and live music.

Proceeds benefit Wilmington's Residential Adolescent Achievement Place (WRAAP) and the National Education Foundation Scholarship Fund.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A new couch ... and some new sand!

We are excited to report that Our Beach Place should have a nice, sparkling new sofa come this weekend. Those of you who have stayed at the OBP know that it's long overdue. We're very excited.

We're also excited about this:

Congressman Mike McIntyre's office announced [last week] Carolina Beach is one step closer getting much-needed dredging.

The memorandum of agreement or MOA between the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the state of North Carolina to pay for the project has been approved. The agreement will allow the state and local communities to pay the Army Corps to dredge the Carolina Beach inlet as well as the Lockwoods Folly and New Topsail inlets.

State leaders say the waterways are critical to commercial and recreation fishermen and the tourism industry.

Huzzahs all around!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Filmmakers look to promote Pleasure Island

There will soon be a new "welcome to" video to promote Carolina Beach and Pleasure Island, according to the Star-News.

Albert Hedgepeth III, founder of Rendered Communications and a producer, is hiring seven or eight people who have experience in the local film industry to help him with the video. They'll be shooting at various events and venues in Carolina and Kure beaches for the next several weeks, including inside one of the tanks at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

"Our objective is to give a modern, hip overview of the island to show the activities that are going on here," Hedgepeth said.

While he already has some of the footage on file from summer months, one of the biggest challenges will be shooting warm-weather activities now, such as surfing, paddleboarding and kiteboarding, he said.

The video should be a part of the site by mid-February, Hedgepeth added.

Blu Zeus Interactive Marketing of Wilmington is designing the new website. The last time it was updated was in 2007, said Gail McCloskey, president of the chamber. ...

"Our goal is to get people across the bridge, and once they do that they'll see all the things we have to do," [Chamber Assistant Director Greg] Reynolds said. "They'll say, ‘Wow, I didn't know that about that place. I didn't know there were so many things to do.'"

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Get creative and original this winter in Carolina Beach

From a press release:

This winter, the adventurous are skipping the trip westward and trading their snowmen for sand castles. Why hit the slopes when you can hit the sand with an original winter getaway at Carolina Beach?

For some travelers, Carolina Beach ( puts a decidedly original spin on the winter getaway they seek. Lively local festivities, including the 147th Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Fisher, complement a fantastic variety of area amenities, including locally owned shops and restaurants, as well as rentals and accommodations at discounted rates.

Budget-Friendly Beach
Looking for a wallet-friendly winter getaway after the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Carolina Beach makes it easy to plan for a long weekend or extended family getaway with rental options for any budget. Motels, hotels and many beach condos offer low off-season rates that make Carolina Beach an attractive destination during the winter and throughout the year( Others might check out the special offers at area hotels and motels ( ...).

A Different Kind Of Winter Chill
With high temperatures often reaching into the 60s in January, Carolina Beach offers milder winter getaway weather than other traditional destinations. Outdoor adventurers seeking an active getaway will be pleasantly surprised at nature’s bounty this time of year. Speckled trout and striped bass are especially plentiful in area waters, much to the delight of both seasoned and amateur anglers (
pLY3Uv). And an array of unique birds make their winter homes at Carolina Beach State Park, from the belted kingfisher and Boat-tailed Grackle, to Bonaparte’s Gull, the Bufflehead, Forster’s Tern and more ( Bundle up and hike along one of the park’s six nature trails. Sugarloaf Trail, named for the 50-foot sand dune near the bank of the Cape Fear River, offers a three-mile journey that is an excellent place for watching water birds, exploring the tidal marsh, and observing fiddler crabs as they travel over the mudflats.


CB gets another grant, but pier project still on hold

From the Star-News' Shannan Bowen:

Another state grant has been awarded for Carolina Beach's proposed Ocean-to-Sound Park and state fishing pier, but the project itself still remains on hold.

The N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund awarded $369,179 to Carolina Beach for the project, and the town will have to match that amount, according to a news release Wednesday from Gov. Perdue's office.

The town already received $250,000 in state grants, and all grants will help pay off $4.3 million in land the town purchased in hopes the state's Aquariums Division would build its third aquarium fishing pier here.

Carolina Beach manager Tim Owens said the town is still applying for other grants to help cover the costs of the land. He said the council, which has three new members, will decide the future of the park and fishing pier.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012