An Outer Banks Weekend

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This past weekend was wonderful here on the Outer Banks with an even better one on tap for the this coming weekend. That would be Thanksgiving for those who have lost track of time.

There was a time–and not too long ago–when the summer ended and almost all activities stopped. Not so anymore. As more and more people have discovered the Outer Banks–even in the fall–is a wonderful place to visit, more events are being scheduled, especially on weekends.

The Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) annual Artrageous celebration of kids and the arts was held this past weekend. If memory serves this was the 21st Artrageous. It has become an event that Outer Banks parents really look forward to.

It’s usually held in early October, but a quick glance at the calendar for what had been the normal weekend made it clear there was too much happening so the event got bumped into November.

Yes, it was a little bit chilly, a little bit blustery, but Wow! what an event. Watching kids with the unfettered opportunity to be as creative as they wish to be is a remarkable reminder of the things that are best in life.

There were activities for kids from six months to 16. Lots of creative objects that a younger child could just grab and manipulate in any manner that held their interest.

For the older kids, local musician and guitarist, Ruth Wyand, brought Garage Band–a program that allows anyone to create even the most complex music on a computer. One of the most bizarre sights was to see three 12 or 13 year old kids looking at the screen on a laptop, sharing earplugs, all bobbing their heads to the music they were creating.

The Scrap Exchange was there. Based in Durham, they show up with all the stuff that is normally thrown away–paper towel rolls, plastic containers, scraps of material–lots of masking tape and some tables. They put everything out and tell the kids, “Go crazy”. And the kids do. Of all the activities, those tables and all that scrap, were the one place everyone seemed to end up–or begin. There were kids of all ages there–really. It was difficult to tell who had more fun . . . the parents or their children.

Since the DCAC is all about the arts, organizers made sure there was plenty of live music–and there are some extraordinarily talented musicians on the Outer Banks. Nonetheless, the highlight of the day was the First Flight High School Jazz Band. This is a band that consistently wins national competitions, and listening to their set leaves no doubt about how good they are.

Thanksgiving is coming up, of course. A great holiday–how can you not love a day whose only requirements are that you spend the day with friends and family and eat a lot. Regular visitors to the Outer Banks and residents already know that following Turkey Day local businesses go crazy. Not Black Friday crazy like all those other stores in the rest of the world, but really crazy because every business down here knows this is the last chance to get some significant cash in the registers before Easter.

So–eat a lot, go crazy . . . and don’t forget to have fun.