Beach Bites

BY Staff

Walking in a winter wonderland
A Wrightsville Beach tradition since 2005 Enchanted Airlie helps make the season bright

Want to stroll through an enchanted forest full of beautiful plants and airy music set aglow by the luminous shine of majestic light? Look no farther than Wilmingtons own Airlie Gardens this holiday season Airlie makes its annual enchanted transformation. Through December 21 there are two viewings per evening on Thursday Friday and Saturday nights of each week except for the last week when the nightly showings will be on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday.

The LEGO display will be back this year after setting a record for the largest crowd to ever view a single LEGO display in the U.S. last year. There will also be gorgeous holiday flowers festive lights and live music. Tickets are available either individually or by car and must be pre-purchased as there will be no ticket sales at the gate the nights of the event.

For more information visit the website at Cole Dittmer

Its baaaaack!
The beloved Festival of Trees makes its way back thanks to the Wilmington Ballet Company

After a three-year hiatus a beloved 25-year tradition returns to Wilmington.

When Elizabeth Hester executive director of the Wilmington Ballet Company was brainstorming events to coincide with the annual Nutcracker Ballet the idea of
reimagining the Festival of Trees seemed the perfect fit.

The festival will retain all of the brilliance it garnered a reputation for in its illustrious past with 35-40 decorated trees. For ballet ticket holders the festival offers a holiday cheer-inducing warm-up before the curtain rises.

In addition to the beautifully adorned Christmas trees there will be live entertainment from choirs singing groups ballet dancers and theater performances for kids. Plus model trains will be displayed beneath some of the larger trees courtesy of the Cape Fear Model Railroad Society.

The Land of Treats an on-site caf will feature main courses beverages and desserts provided by Gibbs/Efting Catering the Wilmington Tea Room and Happy Days Diner.

Other temptations include a boutique showcasing local artisans and pop-up stores from local retailers such as Brilliant Sky Toys and Books Sweet and Sassy and a variety of vendors from the Blue Moon Gift Shops.

The gala ballet festival weekend begins Saturday December 3 through Sunday December 4 at the Minnie Evans Art Center on the Ashley High School campus. Tickets for the public showing on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon are $10. Purchase of a ticket to one of the performances of The Nutcracker for $25 includes admittance to the Festival of Trees which will be open for two hours before each performance. Festival hours are 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday December 3 before ballet performances at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Festival of Trees will open at 1 p.m. prior to the ballet curtain at 3 p.m. on Sunday December 4.

The Wilmington Ballet Company is organizing both events but a large portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice. For more information visit Cole Dittmer

Star of wonder
In a lovely brick church on College Road a 25 year tradition continues

Taking place for more than 25 years the Moravian Candle Tea is considered one of Wilmingtons greatest traditions! Occurring December 2 – 3 at Covenant Moravian Church (4126 South College Road) this festival is a celebration of Moravian culture for all ages to enjoy. Come experience Moravian cuisine music and history along with viewing the Moravian Putz an amazing showing of the Nativity scene! Learn about the Moravian Star and its history including the illuminated stars origin in Germany and original name Herrnhut named after the Moravian Mother Community. Along with these features Moravian crafts and treats will be available for sale including cookies and hot spiced tea. For more information on this event contact the church at
910-799-9256 or visit Courtney Houston