• St. Brendan the Navigator Roman Catholic Church is getting into Cinco de Mayo mode again with its second annual Fiesta Mexicana scheduled from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dos de Mayo — three days early this coming Saturday, May 2.

    Contrary to misconception, Cinco de Mayo is not a celebration of Mexican Independence Day, which isn’t until Sept. 16.

  • Area Mexican restaurants are celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year. Let us count the ways.

    Uno — San Felipe Mexican Restaurant in the Shallotte Crossing Shopping Center will be having all-drink specials (margaritas, cerveza) on Tuesday, May 5. It will also offer free T-shirts to everyone.

    Dos — San Felipe Mexican restaurants in Leland and Southport will also be having drink specials and free T-shirts.

    Tres — Las Palmeras, 1780 Chandlers Lane in Sunset Beach, is having food and drink specials.

  •  By John Nelson


    “I grieve at what I speak,

     And am right sorry to repeat what follows…”

    King Henry VIII.


    Pardon me for repeating a recent mystery plant. Every now and then I do this –– not to grieve my dear readers –– but rather to bring some new aspect of an old friend to bear. Therefore, behold this lovely flower!

  •  By John Nelson


  • The weekend of April 25-26 is ideal for wine connoisseurs who want to help worthy causes.

    The Ocean Isle Museum Foundation is having its annual Wine Fest from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Museum of Coastal Carolina, 21 E. Second St. in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Event-goers will have opportunity to taste a variety of wines provided by a local distributor, accompanied by an array of foods prepared by local eateries.

    Live and silent auctions will offer a variety of items up for bid, highlighted with a 50-50 raffle and cork pull.

  • After more than a year of planning and renovating, Bagel Dock Café and its staff have officially moved to its new, larger location.

    On April 3, the popular Calabash eatery opened in a freshly refurbished building at 1162 River Road near the Calabash boat docks.

    The nearly four-year-old restaurant owned by Long Island transplants Carmine and Margaret Barbaro is now twice the size of its old Beach Drive address, in its new building that previously housed Billy Bass Seafood restaurant.

  • Get ready to bopple in Holden Beach.

    The beach town’s annual bopple race, when numbered apples are released into the Intracoastal Waterway to determine cash winners, will be part of this year’s Days at the Docks festivities Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26.

    Sponsored by the Greater Holden Beach Merchants Association, this year’s annual festival to kick off the spring season kicks off at 9 a.m. both days at the festival site under the Holden Beach bridge.

  • Brunswick Little Theatre is presenting the romantic comedy, “Funny Little Thing Called Love,” April 24-26 and May 1-3, at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at its theater at 8068 River Road in Southport.

    This is Brunswick Little Theatre’s first Director’s Challenge, featuring three directors collaborating on vignettes from playwrights Jones, Hope and Wooten, the same team that brought “Dixie Swim Club.”

  • Fans of John Denver have a chance to hear his music performed live once again.

    Former New Christy Minstrels singer Tom Becker is bringing “Back Home Again: A Tribute to John Denver” to the stage of Odell Williamson Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at Brunswick Community College.

    The folk singer has proven to be a natural in his on-target tribute to late singer who was renowned for his earthy, soaring hits of the 1970s.

  • The Holden Beach chapter of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs will have its seventh annual Blooming for a Cause Charity Gala from 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at Sea Trail Convention Center, 75A Clubhouse Road in Sunset Beach.

    For a $45 donation, guests are invited to enjoy the event with friends while dining on a delicious plated lunch and viewing the latest fashions presented by Island Breeze of Sunset Beach.

  • For nearly 63 years, Bill and Maggie Ehling had been inseparable, dating back to their military days in the 1950s when the two first met in Germany.

    Maggie, who was born in Brunswick County and grew up in New Jersey, was in the Women’s Army Corps, otherwise known as WACs. Bill, who grew up in the Philadelphia area, was an Army man and party animal who was soon tamed by his Margaret Rose, the woman he married about a year later.

  •  By John Nelson 


    Caterpillars and cherries: Is there ever any connection? Yes, and our mystery plant this week demonstrates it quite well.

  • The Carolina Shores Garden Club will have its annual scholarship yard sale from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 11, at the Carolina Shores Property Owners Association Clubhouse, 17 Lakeview Court.

    Highlights will include yard sale spaces and tables filled with a variety of donated household items and a bake sale.

    Revenue from the garden club table, which will be set up inside the clubhouse, will go directly to the garden club’s scholarship fund.

  • They gather monthly, except in July and November, to celebrate and savor varieties of vintage grape.

    Members of the Ocean Isle Beach Chapter of the American Wine Society have been convening since 2011, when original members Stan and Tess Barwikowski had “a dream of raising the level of wine knowledge in their new hometown.”

  • This past October, students in a Fayetteville theater arts class came to Sunset Beach to film “The Heartbeat of Sunset Beach,” a 45-minute documentary about the old Intracoastal Waterway pontoon bridge.

    From start to finish, the film was created, filmed and edited by students in Vivian Wade-Banks’ class at Massey Hill Classical High School.

  •  By John Nelson


    I hereby decree that spring has arrived, along with its fragrant wisterias, brilliant jessamine, and charming crimson clover. Finally! And to celebrate, let me offer one of the most attractive of the spring-blooming southeastern species ... and a woody species, at that.

    Red flowers are not very common in our southern tree species, and certainly not tubular red flowers. This species’ flowers fit both attributes. A flash of bright red in the shady woods is always a treat, especially now.

  • Saturday, April 4, is Family Day at the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach.

    That means it’s free admission day for residents of Brunswick County presenting IDs and $2 admission for all others.

    It’s a way for the museum, which turns 24 next month, to give back to those who have supported the museum in its mission through the years since its inception and launch in May 1991.

    Family Day festivities are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Easter means egg hunts and other festivities. Here’s a roundup of area events this week for kids and adults of all ages.

    Leland egg hunts

    The town of Leland is having its first adult Easter egg hunt at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, at Leland Municipal Park, 102 Town Hall Drive.

  •  By John Nelson

    I’m looking at the calendar, and I’m listening to the weatherman. Lots of things suggest that winter is about to be history, but don’t say it too loud or we will be jinxed!

  •  By John Nelson

    A bizarre plant in a very small package ...

    Here is a fern that you won’t see unless you are way down on the ground, at least on your hands and knees, or better yet, crawling around in the grass. It is only a few inches tall, emerging from the ground in the late winter and early spring. It is one of those tiny little plants that is really delightful, but not very well known. You can find it pushing out of the ground right now, usually in open lawns, roadsides and grassy ditches.