Category Archives: LOCAL EVENTS

All-U-Can-Eat Oysters & Chili

GRANTSBORO – The Foundation that offers scholarships and other assistance to students at Pamlico Community College raises money each year on the Hwy. 306 campus with a popular Oyster Roast & Chili Cookoff. This year the event runs from 3 until 5 on Saturday, Feb. 25. Tickets are just $30 for all-you-can-eat oysters and chili. Student tickets are $15. Buy them at Nautical Wheelers, Bayboro Pharmacy, Oriental Deli & Subs, the Chamber of Commerce, or the PCC Bookstore. For more information, call Michelle Noevere at (252) 249-1851, ext. 3084.

New Bern Preservation Foundation Antiques Show & Sale next weekend

RIVERFRONT CONVENTION CENTER – Ticket buyers may take advantage of a free appraisal service from noon until 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11 – 12. Show organizers, including Lee Purcell, expect to see a great many family heirlooms and other treasures arriving during the popular show. “Visitors coming from a distance with up to three items each have been disappointed in previous years if they missed the times,”
said Purcell, “so we try to be clear on this point. Please be sure to stress the noon to 3 p.m. time frame on Saturday and Sunday of the show!” Ticket are just $10 per person, and cover admission on all three days. Visit or call (252) 633-6448. The show begins Friday, Feb. 10, and continues Saturday and Sunday.

Antiques Show helps preserve town’s beloved ‘Depot’

NEW BERN — Whether the hunt is for that vintage home decorating piece or for collectable memorabilia or for that special piece of jewelry, it all can be discovered at the Antiques Show and Sale being held at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center from February 10th through 12th.

Your single ticket ($8 in advance) is good for all three days so you can come back again and again! With over 35 dealers attending this year, one will find an array of fine and unusual antiques, collectibles, art, furniture, jewelry and even congressional autographs and circus posters. Step back in time as you browse the aisles of the show, discovering new treasures along with a picturesque view of the river. Experts will be available to evaluate your rare find or family heirloom so feel free to bring in up to three items for assessment.

New Bern Preservation Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the historic, architectural, and cultural heritage. An appearance by the Carolina Coastal Railroaders is design to drive home the point that show funds are intended for special projects like the future ‘Depot’ purchase and restoration!

Tickets available at Mitchell Hardware and

‘Christmas in the County’ resounding success!

Representing Broad Creek Christian Church, Mike Marsh (left) and Jack Brooks, present a check for $3,000 to HOPE Clinic executive director, Sheri Rettew.

By Mike Marsh

PAMLICO COUNTY – Wow! That’s the consensus of folks at Broad Creek Christian Church after the congregation’s first ever ‘Christmas in the County’ old-time celebration, where all comers were invited!

Sheri Rettew, executive director of HOPE Clinic, said the event’s donation of $3,000 translates into health care for 50 people over an entire year at HOPE Clinic!

This event owes so much gratitude to the many folks who made it happen. A very special thank you goes out to Pamlico Community College President, Dr. Jim Ross and his staff – especially to Jane and Barbara, George and Herman. We could not have done it without you guys!

A big thank you also to some of Pamlico County’s finest for providing a blue light presence on Highway 306 to keep everyone safe as they came to, and went from, the event on the coldest night of the year so far!

No Christmas event would be complete without a visit from Santa! We had one of the best in Mr. Barry Monk, proprietor of Aggies in Bayboro. Barry took time away from work to help us celebrate Christmas and thrill the kids. He also exemplified the true meaning of Christmas as he knelt down at the manger as people exited. Thanks, Barry!

It would be impossible to put on an event of this nature without the support folks that made it all come together.

To the ladies of Broad Creek who churned out 60 dozen cookies, and then stood in the cold to pass them out; to the set designers, builders and painters; to the prettiest bunch of elves ever assembled in one location; to all of the cast and the band; to the behind the scene set guys who made commercial Christmas disappear — and a manger appear — during the presentation – and then made everything disappear in under an hour after the show! We say: “Thank you!”!

To Jeff and the fine folks at the County Compass for generating that really neat back-page display that ran for four weeks – super job! And lastly, to the leadership at Broad Creek Christian Church for going above and beyond what is normally expected of them to reach out into the county that we service in a meaningful way – THANK YOU!

Mark your calendars now for 9 December, 2017. We will see you all there at the Delamar Center at 5:30 p.m. for the second annual Christmas in the County!

Seaplanes, float planes, flying boats headed for Bridgeton

By Alan Welch

BRIDGETON — Wings Over Bridgeton is the first (and so far only) seaplane “fly in” to happen on the Neuse River. This Saturday, Nov. 19, is the big day and admission is free!

Organizers expect more than a dozen fly / float aircraft, with the best viewing to take place at Bridgeton Harbor Marina, 1101 B Street in Bridgeton – which is just a stone’s throw from busy Hwy. 17 — which runs through this small waterfront community.

Pilots will begin to arrive Friday afternoon, for hobnobbing with locals and some demonstrations. About 9 a.m. Saturday, pilots will allow the public to view their aircraft and answer questions about taking off and landing on the water’s surface. An hour or so later, the aircraft are scheduled for take-offs – flying over and around Bridgeton, New Bern, and who knows where else??

Some of many highlights include competitions for accurate landings near markers, and other bizarre challenges — dropping missiles (water balloons or grapefruit) on water borne ‘targets’ The fun and excitement will end around 4 p.m. when pilots take off to refuel and begin their flights home. Aircraft from around the Carolinas and Virginia are expected to participate – although some entries may arrive from even further away.

Planners hope this first event will morph into an annual parade as fliers, using the Neuse River as an innovative portal to eastern North Carolina, while at the same time offering incredible entertainment for local residents.

Wings Over Bridgeton is produced by the Bridgeton Improvement Committee, a 501(c)3 non profit organization for the development of projects helpful to the town and areas around Bridgeton, North Carolina. The event is admission free with a modest charge of $5 per car for nearby parking. Information at:
or email:

Away tilt possible – Cancellations pour in


EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA — Small Business seminars, duck hunting, a Gospel Music concert, library book sale, and even the hugely popular MumFest are facing likely derailment, although incessant weather prognostications give some hope that Hurricane Matthew may choose a less destructive path.

As duck season begins this week, hunters in eastern North Carolina will find that access roads have been closed on public game lands. Hunters will still be allowed to access areas on foot. Game land roads will remain closed until personnel with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission have checked and deemed roads to be safe and suitable for public use.

In a statement released late Wednesday afternoon, Sandy Johnson-Clark, executive director of the Pamlico Community College Small Business Center, vowed to reschedule the Center’s popular QuickBooks seminars, while at the same time pledging to assist any small business that may adversely affected by the storm:

Due to the approach of Hurricane Matthew, our upcoming QuickBooks Summit speaker has cancelled her presentations for Oct. 6 and 7. We have rescheduled the Summit for Thursday, Nov. 17 and Friday, Nov. 18. We hope the storm will pass us by. In the event it does not, please contact me if you end up needing guidance in applying for the SBA Disaster Recovery Business loan. Praying for the best. We are here for you.

In downtown New Bern, a host of carnival rides and other amusements are parked along roadways, waiting for official word before beginning tedious, time-consuming setups. Like all of us, MumFest organizers are at the mercy of the weather, yet hold out hope that the show will go on!

‘Down by the Riverside’

Vandemere thanks participants & attendees


WATERFRONT PARK – Immediately after Saturday’s ribbon cutting for the town’s new park and boat ramp, the talented Pamlico Chorale performed a series of popular tunes. One in particular — a classic, down South gospel song — spurred Vandemere Mayor Judy Thaanum (far left) to jump up and join in. “I’ve just got to sing that one,” chuckled the lifelong resident, who leads a community that is determined to rebuild and restore after devastation brought by a double-whammy: The Great Recession, and Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Vandemere Waterfront Park Grand Opening & Celebration




WELCOME PADDLERS! World’s fastest growing watersport embraces region

 Draggin’ Tails, led by drummer and family matriarch Fran Deaton, returns to the Oriental Dragon Boat Race and Festival for the seventh consecutive year. The event is hosted by River Dunes.

Draggin’ Tails, led by drummer and family matriarch Fran Deaton, returns to the Oriental Dragon Boat Race and Festival for the seventh consecutive year. The event is hosted by River Dunes.

RIVER DUNES – Early on Saturday, Aug. 13, this idyllic site will host a beehive of activity. In its seventh year, the Oriental Dragon Boat Festival welcomes 16 incredibly competitive teams. The calm, protected waters of Grace Harbor Marina, nestled deep within the sprawling confines of the River Dunes residential community, offer Dragon Boat paddlers a premier racing experience, according to festival organizer, Flora Moorman.

“We are so appreciative to Ed Mitchell, president of River Dunes Corporation; to all of the wonderful residents of the community; and to the employees and staff for their hard work and tireless efforts,” said Moorman. “This beautiful spot, just a few miles from downtown Oriental, has quickly become recognized as perhaps the best venue for Dragon Boat racing throughout the southeastern United States. Not only is Grace Harbor great for the 300-plus paddlers, the layout of the marina is ideal for spectators! If the weather cooperates, we expect a blockbuster crowd for 2016.”

Salty Serpents – an all Navy team and last year’s overall champion – returns to defend its title along with the remainder of the Military Division: Devil Dogs, Neuse Winds Freedom Riders, Chesty Pullers and Spartan Longpaddles.

The Riverside Knights, a high school team from Williamston, was the Champion of the Community Division last year. Super fast and synchronized, these young people are back to defend their title. Look for the Boy Scouts of America – local Troop 683 – to give Riverside Knights a run for their money! The Boy Scouts are known as BSA Waverunners!

Also in the Community Division and new for 2016 is the recently formed First Citizens Bank Dragon Team, with Capt. Sally Belangia (who also serves as Mayor of Oriental). Yet another new welcome goes to Rum Rowers Dragons, led by Deborah Harris, from New Bern – these folks were spectators last year and resolved to return in 2016 as a formal team captained by Deborah Harris from New Bern.

Perennial crowd favorite Draggin’ Tails, is a local team fielded by Oriental-based Deaton Yacht Services. The Deaton clan schedules its annual Family Reunion to coincide with the festival. Family matriarch Fran Deaton, now in her late 80s, has been known to take her place as team drummer – and led Draggin’ Tails to an overall championship in the 2010 inaugural event.

Other local teams include: Oriental Dragon Masters, comprised of club members who practice year round in their own official Dragon Boat; PotashCorp Fossil Floaters – dangerous wild-cards in previous Dragon Boat Festivals, often coming from way back to finish high on the leaderboard; and, the Economic Drivi’n Dragon team, comprised of Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce businesses, is always in contention.

For the second year, River Dunes Dragons, representing the festival’s host site, returns. Friends and family of property owners comprise the team, although vacant spots are usually filled with local firefighters, representing Southeast Pamlico Volunteer Fire Department.

Another powerhouse is ‘Raleigh Relentless’ – officially the Raleigh Dragon Boat Club. These guys and gals to are known for their streamlined performances, and spectators should expect to see this group produce some of the fastest times over the 300-meter course.

Emotions and sentiments always run high for the Cancer Survivor Division, which includes some amazing stories. DragonBoat Beaufort, a SC Cancer Survivor Team; our local Dragons With A Cause Team; and Chris Hart and his team mates of HOPE FLOATS NC combine their passion for kayaking with their desire to raise awarness of Cancer and keep HOPE alive.

Each of the teams have pre-set practice times, which begin at around 3 pm. on Friday, Aug. 12. Opening ceremonies begin promptly at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 with a parade of teams – and actual racing to follow shortly thereafter.

Brantley’s Village Restaurant will be our breakfast vendor and we have othere vendors with all sorts of mouthwatering foods for lunch. Bring a lawn chair, blanket, sunscreen, and perhaps some bug spray! We do have tents up and bleachers for our spectators. Visit for more information. Last minute registrations email: or call or text (252) 675-9424.

Battle of the Paddles! Teams almost set for Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon-Boat-LogoORIENTAL – With just over a week to go before the big date on Saturday, Aug. 13 at River Dunes’ Grace Harbor Marina, the list of teams committed to participate in the Seventh Annual Oriental Dragon Boat Race & Festival is taking shape. Here is a quick up-to-date list, with other teams pending:

Oriental Dragon Masters: This is the local Dragon Boat Club Team, which took 2nd place
Silver Medals in the Community Division Championship Final in 2015. Insiders report this crew is practicing like crazy on the waters in and around town – they will be in the hunt for sure, again this year.

Draggin Tails: Returning for the SEVENTH consecutive year, this team is always a contender. Comprised of Deaton family members and employees of Deaton Boatyard, the squad took 3rd place Bronz Medals in the Community Division Championship Final in 2015..

DragonBoat Beaufort, S.C. — Cancer Survivor Team; loved the venue to race but especially the People in Oriental so much they are COMING BACK!! The team took 1st place in the Cancer/Survivor Supporter Division and 2nd place in the Community Division Consolation Final.

Dragons with a Cause: Carolina East Medical Center a Community Outreach Partner supported in 2015 and 2016 the paddle for the forming Cancer Survivor & Supporter Team. Last year in it’s first racing opportunity the newly forming team finished 2nd in the Cancer Survivor/Supporter Division and 4th in the Community Division Consolation Final.

Hope Floats: In 2013 this team kayaked into Oriental at the annual Oriental Boat Show after paddling for eight days from Raleigh. After looking at the Dragon Boat they said “we want to paddle” in the Dragon Boat Race in 2014. Hope Floats NC features 22 paddlers, doing 8 days, we represent 6 states including Virginia, District of Columbia, Florida, Michigan, Texas, and North Carolina, and supporters from all over the country. And this spread out network has one common mission; The mission of the Hope Floats NC is to help find a cure, bring awareness to the fight, and honor those who have battled cancer. This Team is amazing and in 2014 they took 2nd place in the B Division Championship Final.

River Dunes Dragons: A new team last year with Southeast Pamlico Volunteer Firefighters embedded into the team took 4th in Community Division Championship Final. A Great Race for their first year. The team also donated $1200.00 to Heartworks. They are getting ready this year and are looking forward to the Race!

Warp Speed Dragons: A new team last year from the New Bern area, comprised of teachers took 3rd place in the Community Division Consolation Final. They will again be must be considered a wild card in the competition, as they bring with them Star Trek-induced tricks of the trade.

Boy Scouts of America Troop 683 Wave Riders: A perennial favorite these young men and troop leaders always come prepared. Sponsored by PotashCorp-Aurora. Look for them to compete with the best of the best!

Riverside Knights: Unbelievable! These are kids – many of them can’t even drive yet, but man oh man, can they paddle! This high school and junior high team hail from Williamston. In last year’s festival, these competitors took top honors in the Community Division. We welcome them back to Oriental, where they will quickly become a crowd favorite!

Fossil Floaters: Known for their ‘come from behind’ finishes, this squad is one exciting outfit. They, of course, are valued employees of nearby mining behemoth PotashCorp-Aurora. In 2015, they had everyone screaming when the 1st Place in the Community Division Consulation Final. Look forward to the “Come From Behind Kids” again this year.

Economic Drivi’n Dragon: Want to start a business, or improve the success of an existing business!? Check with any of the paddlers who make up a ‘combined team’ – Chamber of Commerce members from Pamlico County, Aurora and Havelock.

First Citzens Bank Team Shipwreck: newly forming team for Sally Belangia this year is taking the name of “Team Shipwreck” and looking to WIN! Team Shipwreck Finished 1st in 2013 in the Second Flight Division and 1st in the B Division Consolation Final in 2014.

Devil Dogs: Deaton Boatyard, a six-year Community Outreach Partner for military men and women teams supported a powerhouse Marine team, who took 2nd place Silver in the Military Division Championship Final in 2015.

Chesty Pullers: CarolinaEast Medical Center, a Community Outreach Partner supported the military named team named after Lewis Burwell “Chesty Puller” a United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General who is the most decorated Marine in American History

Neuse Winds Freedom Riders: This all-Marine unit holds the record for fastest time over a 250-meter course and were Gold Medal Winners in 2013. In 2015 they took Bronze and came in 3rd in the Military Division. Once again, our sincere appreciation to John Weinerth MD and his wife Peggy for renewing their pledge to serve as a Community Outreach Partners for these fine young men and women.

Salty Serpents: Last year thanks to Tori McNeill and Jennifer & Frank Roe (a combined Community Outreach Partnership) Salty Serpents were given the opportunity to paddle and to everyone’s surprise they took the Gold #1 in the Military Division in 2015. They will be a team to watch this year!

Spartan Longpaddles: PotashCorp—Aurora All Marines, and 100 percent muscle. This team blew away the competition in 2013, taking home the Gold in the Championship Division. No doubt about it, this unit remains a force to be reckoned with!!!

Free admission for spectators, but please bring a canned food item for FISHES & LOAVES! There’s still time to register, either as a team or as a single paddler.