Fun in the Sun!

Fun in the Sun for Everyone
Kayaks, Music, Classic Cars and Festivals
story by: LISA STITES
This month’s calendar is full of activities that will have us flexing our muscles and enjoying the fresh air. There will be music, kayaking, and classic cars. Plan to pick up some produce and trinkets at one of the area’s open air markets, catch some great live music in Southport’s beautiful Franklin Square Park or Oak Island’s soccer fields and sign up for Oak Island’s annual paddle race – you’ll be glad you did.

Southport Summer Concerts – Thursdays in the Park (Franklin Square Park)
Music under the stars is always a big hit, and the City of Southport has plenty of concerts scheduled this year to keep everyone entertained. Bring a blanket or chairs, and sit among the stately oak trees in the park. Snacks or dinner are also welcome additions to the evening, and some Southport eateries even make boxed meals to take to the park.
The concerts are the result of a partnership between Downtown Southport, Inc. and the City of Southport Departments of Parks and Recreation and Tourism.
“We are excited to be offering so many concerts this year,” said Heather Hemphill, Southport’s Director of Parks and Recreation Department. “With the support of local business sponsorships, Downtown Southport, Inc. has enabled Southport to increase the number of concerts from five in 2016 to 14 this year.”
The concerts run from 6 to 8 p.m. and are free and open to everyone. Even dogs are welcome to hang out with their human counterparts.
“We are confident the new concert series will be popular with our visitors, and will also become a weekly must-do for people fortunate enough to live here,” said Randy Jones, Southport’s Director of Tourism.
The concert schedule is as follows:
June 1 – NC Blues Kings (North Carolina Best Blues Musicians)
June 8 – Chance Union Band (Variety)
June 15 – Louisa Branscomb and Friends of Distinction (Blue Grass from Georgia)
June 22 – Sol Sound Company (Jazz, Rock from Duke University)
June 29 – Parrot Party (Jimmy Buffet Beach Music)
July 6 – Privateers (Pop Rock)
July 13 – Parrot Party (Jimmy Buffet Beach Music)
July 20 – Dennis Walton Band (Blues Rock)
July 27 – Chance Union Band (Variety)
August 3 – Christine Martinez Band (Americana)
August 10 – Pantastic Steelband (Caribbean-style steel drum band)
August 17 – L Shape Lot Duo (Americana, Rock, Country)
August 24 – Sam Carteret (Soul on the Beach)
August 31 – NC Blues Kings (North Carolina’s Best Blues Musicians)

Oak Island’s 2017 Summer Concert Series – Middleton Park Soccer Fields
Summer concerts are always popular on Oak Island as well, and this summer’s lineup gets started Memorial Day weekend. All concerts are held at Middleton Park Soccer Field (SE 46th St) from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on Fridays. Bring your own blankets or chairs, and dinner or snacks and enjoy music by the beach.
The concert schedule is as follows:
Friday, May 26, 2017 – Jeremiah McGuire Band
Friday, June 2, 2017 – Selah Dubb Band
Friday, June 9, 2017 – Eastline Band
Friday, June 16, 2017 – Country Line
Friday, June 23, 2017 – Snake Malone & The Black Cat Bone
Saturday, July 1, 2017 – TBA
Friday, July 7, 2017 – Tim Clark Band
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Imitations
Friday, July 21, 2017 – Rivermist
Friday, July 28, 2017 – Signal Fire
Thursday, August 3, 2017 – Chocolate Chip & Company Band
Friday, August 11, 2017 – Country Line
Friday, August 18, 2017 – Brandon
Friday, August 25, 2017 – David Wright
Thursday, August 31, 2017 – The Sand Band

Waterfront Market/Farmers and Artisans Market at Oak Island, Southport
There’s nothing like a vine-ripe tomato or juicy watermelon fresh from the garden and markets in Oak Island and Southport have you covered.
On Mondays, stroll among vendors while enjoying the ocean breezes at Oak Island’s Farmers and Artisans Market. The Market is open on Mondays during the season from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the soccer fields behind Town Hall (4602 E. Oak Island Drive). Vendors offer local fresh produce, homemade jams, cakes, and a variety of homemade goods including jewelry, furniture, rugs and potholders and many more items, according to the Town of Oak Island’s website, There is plenty of parking in the cabana parking lot, directly across the street from the market.
Southport’s Waterfront Market is open for business on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. starting May 3 and going through September 6th (except it is closed on July 5th). The Market is on the beautiful lawn of the Garrison House at Fort Johnston. Vendors will have local produce, baked goods and handcrafted items. Live music and breezes from the river make this venue another great shopping experience. For more information, contact Marion Martin at (910) 279-4616 or Peggy Popelars (910) at 620-2308.


Ride the Tide – Kayak Float and Race on the Davis Canal (Oak Island)
The Oak Island’s Parks and Recreation Department and The Adventure Kayak Company have once again teamed up to host the annual kayak race and float on Davis Canal – Ride the Tide. This race, or float if you’re not feeling in the competitive spirit, shoves off at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 13th. The course is 5.2 miles in Davis Canal, starting at the Recreation Center and ending at Blue Water Point Marina. The most important detail is that the tide will be flowing with the paddlers, making this an easy race even for beginners.
The entry fee is $20, or $30 the day of the race. There will be shuttles to take kayakers from Blue Water Point to the Rec Center before the race starts; there will not be any shuttles after the race. The first 75 participants will receive a t-shirt. A limited number of rental kayaks are available prior to race day.
There are categories for age and gender, and categories for double kayaks as well. There’s also a contest for the best “environmental theme” costumes. Kayaks racers will pick up cards along the route, and the paddler with the best hand will win a special award.

Cape Fear Cruisers’ 12th Annual Spring Car & Truck Show
This popular car show has drawn more than 150 participants in past years, with categories for the best of a particular make of vehicle, best engine, best vehicle from prior to 1920, and more.
According the Club’s website,, the Club’s mission is to “develop and maintain good relationships within the community by offering assistance to local charitable organizations and individuals in need while enjoying the fellowship of other individuals with an interest in collecting, restoring, modifying and owning autos.”
The Club includes members from southeastern Brunswick County; between 65 and 70 members from the Southport, Oak Island, St. James and Boiling Spring Lakes communities are in the Club. Anyone with a vehicle such as a truck from 1926 or a new Corvette or Mustang can join the Club.
Car owners love the chance to show off their vehicles as much as car enthusiasts love to see them. But for the Cape Fear Cruisers, this event is also a way to raise money for charity. The Club is a 501(c)(3), and proceeds from the show will benefit local charities; the Club has given as much as $10,000 a year to local charities. The Southport Police Department will raffle off a bicycle and a child safety seat at the car show as well.
Registration is from 9 a.m. to noon, and awards will be given out at 2 p.m. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and door prizes.



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Southport Area's Culture & Events Magazine