Beach Bites

BY Emily Russell



The purple coneflower perhaps better known as Echinacea is a bright spot in any garden — its daisy-like blooms are a cute splash of color amidst darker greenery and its cheerful orange center resembles the summer sun itself. This pretty plant which ranges from 18 to 30 inches tall in adulthood grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. A low-maintenance flower Echinacea blooms vivaciously in most conditions when given plenty of sun and space. Best of all Echinacea attracts plenty of butterflies! If you don’t think Echinacea’s pinkish-purple blooms are a good fit for your garden new hybrid versions come in yellows oranges pinks and reds.

Reel ‘em in

Cape Fear Blue Marlin Tournament

If sportfishing tips your scales the Cape Fear Blue Marlin Tournament is happening July 5-8 at the Wrightsville Beach Marina. A 34-year institution in the Cape Fear area the Blue Marlin Tournament is part of the North Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series an annual event focusing on the conservation and proper fishing regulation of large billfish like blue marlin as well as tuna wahoo and dolphin.

The tournament headquarters and weigh station will be located at Wrightsville Beach Marina while all events will take place at Bluewater Grill. All boats should be registered and the required entry fee of $3 000 per boat for billfishing — and an additional $500 per boat for meatfishing — paid by 6 p.m. July 6. Fishing times are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 6-7. For more information visit

So hard to say good-bye

Anderson Clothing closing after 32 years

Located in Anderson Square on Oleander Drive Anderson Clothing Co. has been a familiar name in New Hanover County for a long long time. Now after 32 years in business the Andersons are retiring — but not to golf or play on the beach. Steve Anderson is diving full time into commercial real estate development something he has been interested in for several years. “It’s very emotional to close a business you started in high school ” Anderson says “but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing right now than commercial development.”

Anderson Clothing Co. has been around since 1976 — the year a teenage Steve Anderson began selling clothing from the trunk of his car in the Hoggard High School parking lot. He’s come a long way since then. From that humble beginning Anderson Clothing has become a sentimental favorite featuring fun fashions for woman and men. “It’s been a lot of fun ” Anderson says. “I’ve raised a family out of this business.”

Anderson Clothing Co. plans to close on July 14 though the date isn’t yet set in stone. The space will be filled by Dragonflies Baby an extension of the Dragonflies gift shop located next door.

For more information on Anderson Clothing Co. call the store at (910) 794-4448 or better yet stop in to say good-bye.

Down by the river

The eighth annual Wooden Boat Festival

The eighth annual Wooden Boat Festival presented by the Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) Boat Building Program is a celebration of the tradition and craft of wooden boat building. Held on the riverbank of the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington on July 28 students of the program exhibit their work and conduct demonstrations of traditional boat building including techniques such as bending wood using steam. Tours of CFCC’s ocean-going research vessel the Dan Moore are also given.

For more information call 362-7020.

 — Mary Catherine Logan

Yoga and camps and concerts oh my!

Wrightsville Beach Parks and Rec

Looking for something to do to beat the heat this July? Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Department offers classes and camps to keep you and your family amused and in shape throughout the summer.

In addition to familiar exercise classes like yoga (Wednesday 6:30-7:30 p.m.) low-impact aerobics (Monday Wednesday and Friday at 8 and 9 a.m.) and pilates (Monday Wednesday and Friday at 10:15 a.m. and Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 a.m.) surfing lessons are given weekly and you can strengthen your muscles with tone and structure classes on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30-9:15 a.m.

For the artistically inclined both art and drama camps are in session. A basic art camp will take place July 16 – 30 for students 7 years of age and up and a jewelry camp from July 30 to August 3 for children 11 and older. In addition there is a drama camp focusing on musical theatre from July 9 -13 for children ages 9 to 14.

The WECT Concert in the Park will take place on July 26 from 6:30 to 8 p.m at Wrightsville Beach Park.

For more information on the summer programs offered by Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Department call (910) 256-7925 or check out its Web site:

Postcards from the past

It’s hard to imagine now but there was a time when Wrightsville Beach was just a sleepy village bordering the sea. Summer residents reached the island by a yellow-orange trolley known simply as the “beach car.” And nothing but a skiff or the trolley could get them back to the mainland. So beach residents gathered ’round for anything different — canoe races bathing beauty contests Colonial costume exhibits or simply a new movie showing at the oceanfront “cinema” just east of dazzling Lumina Pavilion.

Fifteen images from Wrightsville’s charming past are now available on picture-perfect postcards through Arcadia Publishing the nation’s leading publisher of local and regional histories. The distinctive images were gleaned from Arcadia books written by frequent Wrightsville Beach Magazine contributing author Susan Taylor Block: Along the Cape Fear Cape Fear Lost and Cape Fear Beaches. Cape Fear Museum a nonprofit organization that serves southeastern North Carolina benefits from every postcard package sold. Look for them starting July 4 at local shops.

Surf’s Up

Surfing safety tips

If you’re one of the many who will be hitting the waves this summer Rick Civelli founder of Surf Camp has a few tips for staying safe on your board.

1. If you’re a beginner get professional instruction.
“Most beginners just rent a board and go out there; it creates a dangerous situation for themselves and other beach goers ” Civelli says. Professional instruction is key to keeping safe in the water — you can’t go wrong learning from the pros!

2. Keep an eye out for rip currents.
Visible as a channel of choppy water or a break in the oncoming waves rip currents are strong enough to suck you out to sea. Avoid getting taken out with the tide by never surfing or swimming alone or in red flag conditions.

3. Watch out for the sun!
Overexposure to midday sun can lead to painful sunburn eye damage and even skin cancer. Keep off the beach from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and don’t forget your sunglasses. If the waves are rocking and you just have to get out there slather on the sunscreen. Don’t be stingy.

4. Know the area around you.
Be aware of other surfers near you in the water at all times and remember — surfers “riding out” on waves have right-of-way over those paddling in.

5. Never surf in conditions you can’t handle.
We know you want to impress your friends but you have a greater chance of injury if you’re uncomfortable on your board and getting hurt isn’t cool for anyone.

For more information on staying safe in the surf visit or visit for information on current surf regulations and conditions.