Beach Bites

BY Staff

Life Rolls On: They Will Surf Again takes children and adults with spinal cord injuries on a ride of a lifetime

In the life of a local beach activities such as swimming and surfing are second nature. But regular trips to the shore may not be the same for some. From this Ocean Cure was formed in an effort to offer medically fragile and at-risk children and adults the opportunity to do what seems impossible: surf a wave. This year the Life Rolls On: They Will Surf Again event will take place at Wrightsville Beach on August 27 to give children and adults with spinal cord injuries the chance to catch a wave.

“My goal was to make it as large as many of the local surf contests we have in the area in order to give our participants that same feeling we all get when we show up to a big surf event ” says Kevin Murphy who will be running the event for the third year.

Last year Life Rolls On: They Will Surf Again gathered 200 volunteers and 30 participants. Murphy hopes to make this year even bigger. In order to remain safe the participants will wear life jackets and some of the surfboards are constructed with hand holds.

“An Ocean Cure instructor who has worked with disabled children and adults will take the surfer out and remain with that person on the board at all times ” Murphy says. The experience will be nothing short of magical for the participants and their supporting family members as they feel the thrill of surfing as any other person might feel.

Wrightsville Beach is also the host to other camps for those with special needs. This summers surf camps include Surfers Healing on August 22 for those diagnosed with autism. Ocean Cure will assist with Surfers Healing as will Indo Jax Surf School which also takes its camp overseas in the offseason for women in the Homes of Hope orphanages in southern India. Jordan Smith

Gillian Welch yall: WinocaFest lineup features Grammy winner August 27 at Battleship Park

Winoca a clever acronym assembled from the first two letters of Wilmington North Carolina was the inspiration for Kevin Rhodes and Lincoln Morris local studio and music production house.

Wilmingtons very own music company Winoca Records nurtures regional artists and produces top-quality music. As a testament to the musical talent in North Carolina Winoca Records will be hosting its first ever eco-friendly music festival on August 27 from noon to 11 p.m. at Battleship Park.

Along the banks of the Cape Fear River an audience of all ages will have the opportunity to listen to Grammy-winning headliner Gillian Welch and David Rawlings along with The Felice Brothers Those Darlins Mandolin Orange The Old Ceremony Hammer No More The Fingers and Wilmingtons very own Onward Soldiers featuring Rhodes and Morris.

Rhodes co-owner of Winoca Records and one of the brilliants behind the festival said that the caliber of music at WinocaFest is something to write home about. Striving to promote only the best high-quality talent is one thing that Rhodes says sets this festival apart from other shows in the coastal city.

“This is a big deal for Wilmington ” Rhodes says. “We want this festival to showcase how great this city is all the incredibly talented people and beautiful historical areas we have. WinocaFest is about celebrating Wilmington.”

Twenty-five nonprofit organizations will set up tented tables among the concertgoers sharing stories and the purpose of their cause. Groups like The Full Belly Project Surfers Healing Stop Titan Action Network and Cape Fear River Watch will display how they help the community and how others can participate. WinocaFest attendees are encouraged to visit these tables in between performances to educate themselves about the various projects.

“These organizations from the beach to the river do really important work in our community ” says Rhodes whose contagious excitement about the event and the nonprofits parallels the passion he has for Winoca Records itself.

Going along with the community-conscious theme WinocaFest will strive to minimize plastic consumption by encouraging guests to bring their own water bottles. Kinetico Home Water Systems Blue Green Machine will provide cooled and purified water to all who bring their own vessel. Leaning away from plastic forks cups and plates Rhodes says that only corn-based products will be used by venders serving food.

“We want to reduce as much waste as possible ” Rhodes says. “Our stage will use LED lights and solar generators.” WinocaFest is about more than a fabulous lineup of fantastic artists. Its about giving back to the environment and the community.

Tickets can be purchased ahead of time on Winoca Records website ( for $35 and at the door for $40. All children under 15 are free of charge and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets chairs and backpacks to ensure their festival experience is a successful earth-friendly one. Sara Leary