It’s true, the “second season” on the Outer Banks just keeps getting better and better! Without a doubt, the summer is a great time to visit, but the fall is quickly become a very popular second season for those who love the Outer Banks. The weather has cooled and the crowds have diminished, but that is only a part of the big picture as the fall months are alive with great music, the ESA Surf Competition, a seafood fest and a fantastic marathons.
Music appears to highlight Outer Banks events, especially during September and October. The 4th Annual Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, held at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, is on September 23-26th. If there is one show to check out, this is it! Rhonda Vincent and the Rage will be back for the fourth year, joining headliners Sam Bush and Pam Tillis.
Columbus Day Weekend continues to be an Outer Banks “Music Fest” weekend, leading off with the 5th Annual Mustang Music Festival (October 9-10th), followed by the 9th annual Duck Jazz Festival (October 11th). The Mustang Music Festival runs Friday and Saturday, leaving Sunday open for the Duck Jazz Festival.
At the heart of the Mustang Music Festival is the music, but Mike Dianna, who hosts the Festival, has done an outstanding job of making this a family friendly event. The setting at the Whalehead Club is ideal for an outdoor concert and the music is always great. Back this year, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band with their funky New Orleans sound.
It’s difficult to imagine a better venue for live outdoor music than the Duck Town Green, a beautiful and tranquil setting that lends itself to the intimacy of jazz music. The Duck Jazz Festival has become one of the highlights of the fall music scene and with Maceo Parker headlining this year, it promises to be another spectacular day of music.
It’s not just the music that makes the Outer Banks such a great place to be in the fall. The Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) will bring the 26th Annual Artrageous celebration of the arts to Rec Park in Kill Devil Hills on September 26th. The day will be filled with interactive art projects for kids, and it’s the perfect way to spend a day with the family. The DCAC will also be hosting their Ruby Renaissance on October 24th at the Pirate’s Cove Pavilion to celebrate their 40th Anniversary.
The bounty of the sea is an essential part of Outer Banks heritage, and there are a number of fishing tournaments scheduled in the fall months. One of the longest running tournaments is the Manteo Rotary Inshore Slam, which used to be the Rockfish Rodeo until rockfish runs slowed, and so the focus and the name changed. This is a great tournament and the proceeds go to the Manteo Rotary scholarship fund.
An important part of our fishing heritage, commercial fishermen have always been an integral part of the community. The Outer Banks Seafood Festival, held on October 17th, celebrates this heritage, and attendees enjoy a variety of music and can sample some very fresh seafood from the cooking demonstrations.
No description of Outer Banks fall activities would be complete without mentioning the Outer Banks Marathon. A weekend event, November 6-8th, it has become a family tradition for many with participation in the Fun Run, 5K and 10K courses as well as a half marathon. The marathon is a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon. The course starts in Kitty Hawk Woods and ends in Manteo, making it one of the most beautiful runs on the East Coast.