Mark Twain once famously observed, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” This may be reminiscent of how many people feel about the Outer Banks during the winter months but, in fact, that’s far from the truth.
Yes, it’s true that activities have decreased and seasonal crowds have slowed to a trickle, and the title of a popular song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” has recently come to the forefront of my mind. Okay, it’s not cold like in Montana, but for the Outer Banks it’s definitely gotten chilly.
But, believe it or not, the sidewalks have not been rolled up, and the residents of the Outer Banks have not snuggled up for a long winter’s nap. For Outer Banks locals, this is a time we enjoy immensely, and there are a fair amount of things to do once winter rolls in.
Like most communities across the country, December is a month filled with activities. Starting this Friday, December 6th is the Outer Banks Hotline 25th Annual Festival of Trees, which runs throughout the weekend. The event gives toys to kids who may not otherwise receive them. It is a popular annual event that creates much needed funding for a very worthy cause.
Also on Friday the 6th is “First Friday” in downtown Manteo. This is a family-oriented street festival that features the Manteo tree lighting, high school choirs singing traditional holiday songs and performances by members of the Lost Colony, as well as by Barbara Hird as Queen Elizabeth I. All combine to make this an absolutely magnificent evening.
The following night, Saturday the 7th, is The Town of Duck’s Yuletide Celebration that features the lighting of the crab pot tree, perhaps hard to imagine, but it works! Duck’s Santa is one of the best around, and this year’s musical performance is by Emme St. James & Her Jazz Gentlemen, a group who wowed everyone at the Duck Jazz Festival. This is guaranteed to be another holiday evening to treasure.
The following weekend, on December 14th from 6-10 pm, the Dare County Arts Council presents their annual Chillin’ for the Arts event. This is a fund raiser to support the arts in Dare County, and guests will enjoy a night of live music, food, wine and beer, a dessert bar and art auction. Held in the town of Manteo, last year’s event was a blast, and this year promises the same.
More holiday events are easy to locate by visiting obxmasweekends.com.
Once the hoopla of the holiday season winds down and January settles into February, the Outer Banks doesn’t cease to exist.
Nightlife can be found at Ocean Boulevard Bistro & Martini Bar. Located on the beach road in Kitty Hawk, this popular restaurant features live music every Friday night without fail. Trio, located at milepost 4.5 on the bypass in Kitty Hawk provides an amazing selection of wine, beer and cheese, along with live local music. And Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern at milepost 10.5 on the bypass in Nags Head is a popular nighttime hangout for locals and guests alike.
Things certainly aren’t as wide open as during the summer months. Honestly, it’s doubtful we could maintain that pace year round. This is a time to catch up with friends and neighbors and to enjoy uncrowded beaches, streets and shops. We may have slowed our pace to catch our breath, but we are all very much alive and well!