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Features

  • OCEAN ISLE BEACH — Creativity abounds at the annual North Carolina Oyster Festival.

    This year’s festival, scheduled for Oct. 18 and 19 in Ocean Isle Beach, will be no different.

    On Aug. 26, local artist Keith White and jewelry artisan Michael Abushakra once again unveiled their latest creations officially commemorating the 34th annual oyster festival.

  • Blending funk, soul, blues and Carolina beach music, The Holiday Band provides a festive audio backdrop year-round.

    The band’s been playing since 1991 when it launched in Burlington, playing 175-plus dates annually.

    The award-winning band consists of lead vocalist Doug Neese, saxophonist Bob Martin, and vocalist-guitarist-keyboardist-songwriter Mike Taylor, who penned the band’s 2003 No. 1 R&B hit, “I’m Man Enough,” which won the Song of the Year award at that year’s Carolina Beach Music Awards Show.

  • Several hundred thousands times a year, people in England and Wales file complaints about piles of public dog poop. The costs of accommodating the digestive wastes of UK dogs during trots are estimated to run about $37 million per year. That’s a lot of poop bags, signs, trash bins and telephone calls. A recent scientific study set out to find out what’s up with people and their pet’s poop. Researchers identified five major poop personalities and hope to use this information to reduce all those piles and protests.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

     

    Did you know there are four different palm species that are native to the southeastern USA?

    Of course, there are plenty of different kinds of palms grown in cultivation that are not native. One need only go to central and south Florida, or California, to understand that. But from northern Florida up to coastal North Carolina, there are indeed four different species that occur naturally in the wild.

  • Beach hands will be getting creative as well as sandy Labor Day weekend when the Ocean Isle Beach family sand sculpture contest gets under way.

    The annual competition is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, behind the community center at 44 E. First St. in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Rules and applications are available at the Museum of Coastal Carolina at Ocean Isle Beach or by emailing Pam Batchelor at pbatchelor123@gmail.com.

  • At 87, he’s still entertaining the masses with his haunting tenor and accompanying banjo with no retirement in sight.

    On Sept. 9, legendary Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys are kicking off the new concert season at Brunswick Community College with a 7:30 p.m. concert in Odell Williamson Auditorium.

    “This was supposed to be his final tour, but he has come out with a press statement that says he’s not going to quit,” said auditorium director Mike Sapp.

  • I’m a pet foodie. I’m also a people foodie but my real passion lies with pet food. I’m constantly scouring journals and news outlets for any pet food news. Recently the Institute of Food Technologists(IFT) released a list of nine top pet food trends, particularly dog and cat foods. I thought I’d share their findings and give my opinion on each observation.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

     

    Poison ivy isn’t “evil.” (Neither are spiders or hurricanes.)

    Some plants do cause problems, of course. Poison ivy is a “problem” plant for humans, in that it causes lots of people to break out in allergic reactions, sometimes severely. And yet poison ivy is, in fact, a widespread native species, providing wildlife food for a variety of critters. It is a common component of many natural ecosystems and has been here in our landscapes a lot longer than we humans have.

  • At least nine local men are in the lineup of contenders dragging themselves to the Womanless Beauty Pageant on Friday, Aug. 22, for a night of fun and fundraising.

    The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce’s annual event, when ordinary men transform into questionable beauties for the night, will unfold from 6 to 9 p.m. at Brunswick Community College’s South Brunswick Islands Center, 9400 U.S. 17 in Carolina Shores.

  • Sand hands will be getting creative Labor Day weekend when the Ocean Isle Beach family sand sculpture contest gets under way.

    The annual competition is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, behind the community center at 44 E. First St. in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Rules and applications are available at the Museum of Coastal Carolina at Ocean Isle Beach or by emailing Pam Batchelor at pbatchelor123@gmail.com.

    Participants can also register on the beach the day of the contest. 

  • Pantastic Steel is scheduled for a makeup summer concert at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, in Calabash Community Park.

    The Wilmington-area steel band was previously scheduled to perform there June 26, when the concert was canceled because of inclement weather.

  • The Imitations got their start back in the summer of 1995.

    Three friends — Mike Merritt, Mike Miller and George “Buster” Hobbs — were just having fun and showing off their musical skills.

    Within months, they added a fourth member, George Willetts.

    Tony Creech joined the group, adding expertise on soundboard.

    Many shows later, The Imitations have entertained thousands and recorded three CDs — “Back to Carolina,” “Starrin’ ” and “For Real.”

  •  Humans are very good at coming up with mental images of what various objects around them ought to look like. It is a basic way of bringing order into the chaotic world in which we live. For instance, when you think of the word “flower,” you generally have a reasonably well-defined notion of what a typical flower looks like: sepals, petals, stamens and pistils, even if you don’t know all the parts like a botanist. This week, we have a plant that offers us something that looks like a flower … or is it?

  • Cape Fear Audubon has been promoting a concept of creating a bird-friendly habitat.

    Now a continuing education course, Creating a Sustainable Natural Habitat for Landscaping, is being offered at the Leland Campus of Brunswick Community College, 2050 Enterprise Dr NE in Leland.   The course will be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday evenings, starting Aug. 19 and ending Sept. 25. Some field trips will be scheduled on Saturdays.  The course covers the same basic concepts of the bird-friendly habitat.

  •  By John Nelson

    Our mystery plant may not be familiar to you, because it is fairly uncommon. You will surely know the family to which it belongs, however: the philodendron family.

  • BOLIVIA — Standing 17 hands high, his solid black coat like satin in the morning training ring, Albert the imported Friesian stud stallion is a mighty sight.

    When trainer Lauryn Zepeda approaches her latest equine student with a visitor, Holland-born Albert ambles over toward the gate to greet them, then settles back on the other side to graze and await his new teacher.

    “Look what I’ve got,” Zepeda says, offering Albert a few pellets of grain with an extended hand upon entering the ring.

  • Six Styles performs in the Brunswick County Concert Series at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, at the Village Park gazebo in Sunset Beach.

    Blackwater Rhythm & Blues will perform at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, at Rourk Gardens on Main Street in Shallotte.

    The movie “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2” will be shown starting at dusk Thursday, Aug. 14, in Calabash Community Park.

    Jim Quick & Coastline will perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, in the parking lot of the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach.

  • Get ready for food, fun and produce at an August festival.

    “T” Heirs Vegetables & Herbs Shoppe at 816 Tucker Road in Supply is having its 12th annual Fun, Food & Health Festival from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16.

    Highlights include fun for all ages — free hay rides, face painting, arts and crafts, horseback riding, farm animals, gospel singers and musicians.

  •  IF YOU GO

    What: Darrell Harwood

    When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 20

    Where: The Village Park gazebo, Sunset Beach

    How much: Free; bring lawn chairs

    Food sales on-site; benefitting Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

    Go to: www.SunsetBeachConcerts.com

    The show-biz bug bit China Grove native Darrell Harwood early.

    In the 1970s, his dad played in the local “Cool Water Band” and had an entertainment company that booked local dates.

  • Southport Oak Island Animal Rescue is taking entries for its pet calendar contest.

    The contest is open to any pet — dog, cat rabbie, snake, pig, goat, etc. — and is not limited to the Southport/Oak Island area.

    Rules and entry forms can be printed off at the SOAR website at www.soar-nc.org under the events tab.

    Anyone owning a business who would like to advertise in the calendar can buy a business-card-size ad for $10.