Into food and wine? Then you need to make plans to attend this fun event. The Eighth Annual Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend will be held April 25 – 29 in Beaufort, North Carolina. There are lots of special events to choose from, but a few are already sold out. Ticket cost depends on the event, ranging from free to $95 for gourmet wine dinners. It is one of the largest outdoor wine festivals in the state, but winemakers come from as far as Sonoma, California. And this years promises to be spectacular with an A-list of chefs participating.
One of the chefs participating this year is Chef/Owner Scott Howell of Nana’s in Durham. Nana’s is ranked as one of the top twenty best organic restaurants in America and has won Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” for its wine menu. But I’m especially excited about Chef Nathan Thurston. He is the top chef at one of my favorite restaurants, Ocean Room at The Sanctuary Resort on Kiawah Island. I know firsthand why he’s won numerous American Culinary Federation competitions.
There will be lots of special events, such as wine and cheese tastings with live music, seminars, wine dinners, a contest for the best bartender concoction, and cooking demonstrations. If you’d rather have a cold beer than a glass of Riesling, then plan to attend on Saturday, April 28. There will be barbeque from a couple of top pit masters and some great beer breweries, such as Sierra Nevada and Natty Greene Brewing Company, will be featured.
The event is a fundraiser for the Beaufort Historical Association and the NC Maritime Museum at Beaufort. So, be sure to drink and eat lots in the name of charity!
For more information, visit http://beaufortwineandfood.com
Terrance Zepke, Guest Blogger
Author of Coastal North Carolina and Ghosts & Legends of the Carolina Coasts
The Azalea Festival held on April 11 – 15 in Wilmington is the oldest and largest festival in the Old North State. This year marks the 65th year that it has been held and promises to be one of its best years.
The event kicks off on Wednesday morning with the arrival of Queen Azalea, which will be Erika Dunlap, Miss America 2004. The traditional garden party will be held at Airlie Gardens on Friday and a wonderful two-hour parade will kick off Saturday’s events. The parade will include floats, marching bands, circus animals, clowns, and celebrities. Following the parade will be an all-day street fair on Saturday and Sunday. Participants will be rewarded with live musical and dance performances, a kids’ area, food vendors, dance contests, special exhibits, visiting ships, and lots of arts and crafts. There will be a concert and fireworks on Saturday night.
Some of the spectacular festival-sponsored events that will also be held during this time is the Azalea Garden Tour and Azalea Home Tour. This is your chance to see private homes and gardens that are not normally open to the public. For more information, go to www.azaleagardentour.org and www.historicwilmington.org. For a schedule of other fun events, such as a traveling tent circus, coin show, and boxing tournament, check out
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the magnificant azaleas! You won’t want to miss the beautiful, blossoming azaleas that can be found all over greater Wilmington. For more information on the festival, visit www.ncazaleafestival.org
Terrance Zepke, Guest Blogger
Author of Coastal North Carolina: Its Enchanting Islands, Towns and Communities www.terrancezepke.com
The National Park Service is initiating an ORV (off-road vehicle) plan for Outer Banks (NC) beaches. This new regulation will go into effect on February 15, 2012. Some things you need to know before you go:
- An ORV permit will be required from now on.
- Every vehicle must have an ORV permit. No piggybacking off someone
- else’s permit.
- You must not exceed the speed limit, which is 15mph, unless otherwise posted.
- There are two types of permits issues: ($50) weekly and ($120) annually. Note: No day rate but there is limited access on Hatteras and Ocracoke beaches.
- The permits may be obtained at NPS offices during normal business hours, seven days a week, (but not prior to 2/15/12) at :
- Bodie Island at the north end of the Coquina Beach parking lot (8101 NC 12 Highway, Nags Head, NC);
- Hatteras Island by the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Visitor Center (46368 Lighthouse Road, Buxton, NC);
- Ocracoke Island by the NPS visitor center (40 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke, NC).
You must have a valid driver’s license and vehicle registration. You will be required to fill out a form, pay the money, and watch a brief educational video.
The permit must be prominently displayed on your vehicle while engaging in off-road driving. Maps are available that show designated ORV areas at the permit offices and OB visitor centers, as well as on their website, www.nps.gov/caha
For more information, call 252-473-2111 or visit the park website at: www.nps.gov/caha.
Terrance Zepke, author of Coastal North Carolina and Lighthouses of the Carolinas