March/April 2008

March/April 2008

Land of Beginnings Festival

Celebrates Culture, History of the Outer Banks

The April 4-12th Event Has Something for Everyone

The history of the Outer Banks is one of the most extraordinary sagas of the American experience. Before the first European settlers set foot upon its shores, there was a thriving Native American culture. One of the first English settlements in the New World was founded in Manteo and then promptly lost in the shadows of time.

Stories abound recounting the resilience and independent spirit of the first permanent settlers, and from that heritage has emerged a community at once very much a part of modern society, yet with its roots firmly planted in its legacy of independence and resilience.

A tourist destination for almost 180 years (the first beach front cottages were built in 1830 in Nags Head), the thin strip of sand just south of Virginia has long been viewed as a refuge from the urban centers of the East Coast.

It is that heritage and culture of resilience, independence and gracious host that the third annual “Land of Beginnings” celebrates. An eight day event beginning Friday, April 4th, it ends with a black tie gala on the evening of April 12th.

Sponsored by “The Lost Colony” , the longest running outdoor drama in the United States, the festival highlights the diverse society that grew from that first experiment in the “Virginia Colonie”. “The idea is to celebrate our culture and our history,” says Amy Wood of the Outer Banks Visitor’s Bureau.

The event itself brings together a diverse collection of activities and businesses that highlight how varied and dynamic the Outer Banks has become. “The festival gives businesses, non-profits, and other historic sites a rare opportunity to celebrate our common heritage,” says Carl Cunnutte, Executive Director and Producer of The Lost Colony. “It is also an opportunity to showcase the greater Outer Banks community to visitors in the shoulder season.”

Many of the events take place at the Wright Brothers Memorial--an iconic reminder of where mankind first learned that controlled flight was possible.

Friday, April 4th is for the kids--North Carolina schools are not in session that day. The festival kicks off with a fun run around the Wright Memorial at 9:30. There will also be a kid’s faire featuring featuring just about everything a kid can have fun doing from face painting to balloon art to storytelling.

Last year’s Children’s Faire exceeded everyone’s expectations with over 2000 kids attending, and the 2008 version promises more of the same. One of the most exciting events of the day will be a storytelling and book reading with Suzanne Tate. Suzanne is the author of more than thirty illustrated nature books for children and has lived on the Outer Banks for more than 30 years. She read at last year’s event and had a magnificent time. “I thought it was just wonderful that everyone came out,” she says. “We had such fun. There was just so much for the children to do.”

Last year’s event also featured the Hampton Roads magicial show, Krendl and Company, and they are coming back for an encore performance. This year’s Saturday appearance will feature a magic camp for kids of all ages.

The tale of the Outer Banks is a rich history, filled with stories of fishing, subsistence living and memorable characters. The Waterman’s Day is an all day event that celebrates that tradition. Held on Tuesday on the Manteo Waterfront, it is a exciting way to explore the town--a hidden gem that is not as well known as the towns that line the beach.

The day ends with one of the favorite events from past years--storytelling. Featuring both tall tales and true stories of the history of the Outer Banks, the evening event pays tribute to a long tradition of oral histories that are so much a part of the local culture. Held in Festival Park in downtown Manteo, the event is a great introduction to anyone, young or old, who has never heard first hand the magic of oral storytelling. The storytelling evening will be reprised on Thursday evening at the Pavilion in the Wright Brothers Memorial.

One of the most important aspects of Outer Banks life is a vibrant and thriving arts community. Sponsored by the Dare County Arts Council two tours of local artist’s studios are being offered. On Saturday April 5th he studio tour south will take visitors to artist workshops north of the Oregon Inlet and on Sunday, the tour will travel south of the Oregon Inlet (Hatteras Island).

There is something happening everyday of the event--from a kite festival sponsored by Kitty Hawk Kites on the first weekend to a fashion show in downtown Manteo on Wednesday.

The overriding theme of this year’s event is “Sustainable Tourism”, and local state Senator, Marc Basnight, President Pro Tem of the North Carolina senate, will be the featured speaker at the community luncheon Monday afternoon.

Although events range across the greater part of the Outer Banks, most of the activity will be taking place at the Wright Brothers Memorial, a National Park. Because the National Park Service has very strict guidelines governing monetary transactions, most of the festival events are free. However, some events do require reservations and a prepaid ticket.

Overview: Experience a seven-day festival that promotes the uniqueness of the Outer Banks with exciting cultural, educational and entertainment events for residents and visitors. Various entertaining activities throughout the festival celebrate the history, culture, and people of the Outer Banks. Participating sponsors include both nonprofit organizations and businesses that subscribe to promoting the future of the Outer Banks by preserving its past.

FRIDAY 4/4/08
Our Feet Have Wings—a Fun Run
9:30 a.m., Wright Brothers Memorial Pavilion—Kill Devil Hills FREE ADMISSION
For info, call: 252-473-2127

Children’s Faire
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Wright Brothers Memorial Pavilion—Kill Devil Hills. FREE ADMISSION. For info, call: 252-473-2127

Are You Smarter than an Outer Banks 5th Grader?
7:00-9:00 p.m., Wright Brothers Memorial Pavilion—Kill Devil Hills FREE ADMISSION. 252-473-2127

“Fly into Spring” Kitty Hawk Kites Kite Festival
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Kitty Hawk Kites—Nags Head. FREE ADMISSION. 252-441-1719 x204

Magic Camp
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Wright Brothers Memorial Pavilion—Kill Devil Hills TICKETS: $50. Space limited. For info, call: 757-291-4557

“THE Studio Tour”
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Professional Artist’s Studios North of Oregon Inlet. Tickets: $15 Adults, $5 Students. For info, call: 252-473-5558

SUNDAY 4/6/08
“Fly into Spring” Kitty Hawk Kites Kite Festival
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Kitty Hawk Kites—Nags Head. FREE ADMISSION. 252-441-1719 x204

“THE Studio Tour”
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Professional Artist’s Studios South of Oregon Inlet Tickets: $15 Adults, $5 Students. For info, call: 252-473-5558

MONDAY 4/7/08
Living Legend Community Luncheon
12:00 – 2:00 p.m., Wright Brothers Memorial Pavilion—Kill Devil Hills. Tickets: $15. 252-473-2127 x 223

TUESDAY 4/8/08
Maritime Heritage Day
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Manteo Waterfront—Manteo FREE ADMISSION. For info, call: 252-216-5732

Story Telling Session – “Outer Banks Memories”
7:00 – 8:30 p.m., Roanoke Island Festival Park—Manteo FREE ADMISSION. (Seating limited to 250). 252-473-3761

Island Ladies Fashion Show
4:00 – 6:00 p.m., 108 Budleigh—Manteo. $25 per person. For info, call: 252-473-5558

THURSDAY 4/10/08
Story Telling Session – “A Night of Tales”
7:00 - 8:30 p.m., Wright Brothers Memorial Pavilion—Kill Devil Hills. FREE ADMISSION. 252-473-3761

FRIDAY 4/11/08
Workshops TBA

SATURDAY 4/12/08
Black & White Ball: a Masked Evening
6:00-11:00 p.m., Wright Brothers National Memorial—Kill Devil Hills TICKETS: $100, Corporate Tables: $1,500. Tickets/ info: 252-473-2127


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