Beach Bites

BY Emily Russell

Three-legged Race

YMCA Triathlon

Since 1978 the YMCA Triathlon has been a tradition on Wrightsville Beach — athletes slice through water pound across pavement and bike their hearts out every September straining nonstop for the finish line. There is however a greater goal than winning for these runners: the $50 entry fee collected from each athlete goes to benefit the YMCA. In fact the event is the YMCA’s largest fundraiser — more than $25 000 has been collected in early entry fees already — and all the money goes toward providing scholarships for those who can’t afford the YMCA’s programs and membership.

The YMCA Triathlon which kicks off at 7 a.m. on Saturday Sept. 29 is the seventh oldest in the United States and the largest between Maryland and Florida. More than 1 200 men and women run this grueling race with ages varying from as young as 10 to as old as 78. Part of this large age gap can be attributed to the YMCA’s practice of allowing relay teams to run in the race. Entire families can team up to win one person running each leg of the race. Places are awarded to the top three overall fastest male and female competitors the fastest three competitors in each age division and the fastest three in the novice division. Awards are also given out to the top three “Clydesdales” (men more than 200 pounds) and “Athenas” (women more than 150 pounds).

The race itself is split into three legs: a 1 500-meter swim followed by a 20K bike ride and a 5K run. The swim starts at the Blockade Runner and takes participants through Banks Channel. The bike ride loops over the drawbridge and onto the mainland. And the 5K run is held on the Wrightsville Beach Loop already very familiar to many runners in the area.

For more information on the race call (910) 251-9622. To sign up for the race register online at

Music all around

Area summer concerts

The summer might be winding down but there’s still plenty of fun to be had on the Azalea Coast! Check out some of our excellent local outdoor concerts.

Mayfaire Music on the Town
Mayfaire Town Center behind Linens n’ Things 6 to 9 p.m.

Sept. 7  The Schoolboys (UNCW Faculty Rock Band)

Sept. 14  Waterline (Flip-Flop Rock)

Sept. 21  Labeling Deloris

Sept. 28  Two Step (Dave Matthews tribute)

For more information call (910) 256-5131 or visit

Pleasure Island Summer Concert Series

Fort Fisher Military Recreation Area 6 to 8 p.m. No coolers or pets.

Sept. 21 Mario and The Shakers

For more information call (910) 458-8434 or visit

Airlie Gardens Concert Series
On Airlie Oak Lawn parking off-site at the Galleria shopping center 6 to 8 p.m. Free to members $8 admission charge for non-members $2 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under 6 get in free. Tickets sold at the gate.

Sept. 7 Riverside 8

Sept. 21 L Shape Lot

For more information call (910) 798-7700 or visit

Sand architects wanted!

Ninth annual Castles Scoops & the Loop

The Children’s Museum of Wilmington is happily hosting its ninth annual Castles Scoops & the Loop on Sept. 22 at the Holiday Inn SunSpree in Wrightsville Beach where participants get down and dirty creating masterpiece sand castles. This year in addition to the traditional sand castle contest participants can sign up for the new Fun Run and Walk around the Wrightsville Beach Loop. And for all those hungry builders and their supporters there are ice cream sundaes hot dogs and other summer treats available throughout the event. Megan Gorham deputy director of development for the Children’s Museum of Wilmington says “This event always brings out the most amazing creativity right here on Wrightsville Beach. I’m looking forward to seeing the sand sculptures participants will make.” It all starts bright and early with registration for the Fun Run and Walk at 7 a.m. Visit to register or call (910) 254-3539 for more information. — Michelle Billman

Lunch is fashionable once again

Fashion Lunch & Seaside raises money for local charities

Fashionistas have long hailed the healing powers of retail therapy but Wrightsville Beach local Mary Baggett Martin decided to up the ante on this cherished belief. After years of working on the boards of local nonprofits she began to notice that the overworked and overstretched nonprofits executives were having problems finding time to plan and execute fundraisers.

Martin began to wonder if she could create an event that would benefit local retailers and nonprofits. From those musings the Fashion Lunch & Seaside fashion show was born.

Martin who runs the Blockade Runner decided to pair up a different nonprofit and retailer every show. She then teamed up with Lumina News publisher Pat Bradford to plan and host these seaside fashion luncheons.

Every Wednesday for as long as they can make it last models will weave their way through the tables in the Blockade Runner’s dining room while diners take in the outfits and enjoy a gourmet lunch. One hundred percent of the $20 ticket price goes to local nonprofits.

The series of fashion shows kicked off Aug. 8 with clothing from R. Bryan Collections benefiting Good Shepherd Ministries Rising Tide Scholarship Fund.

On Sept. 5 the event will feature fashions from Vintage Values a Domestic Violence Thrift Shop and will benefit the Women’s Domestic Violence Shelter. On Sept. 12 fashion show models will wear clothing from The Julia to benefit the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History. Other interesting pairings are on the planning table.

“It’s so hard for nonprofits to raise money. You work and you work and your big event is once a year and sometimes it does not raise as much as you hoped. I wanted to try and help without putting such a burden on the nonprofit executives ” Martin says.

Call (910) 256-2251 for more information. — Laura Royal

Taking it to the streets

Art and Antique Walk

On Saturday September 8 the Downtown Business Alliance and Town and County Real Estate host the sixth annual Art and Antique Walk in downtown Wilmington along Front Street. The show which is juried will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and if there is rain the event will occur at the same time on September 9.

Applications will be accepted until the date of the show. Booth space is first come first served. Price of entry is $75 standard $25 for 50/50 artists and $35 for Emerging Artists. The Emerging Artists Area a new feature for the Art and Antique Walk showcases new Wilmington talent — spaces can be bought for a reduced price but all art must sell for less than $150. The 50/50 Artists area is a space for new or established artists who wish to clear out their studios and are willing to sell their art for $50 or less. The 50/50 Artists area will be located toward the north end of Front Street while the Emerging Artists can be found toward the south. The main artists can be found between the two.

Applications and more information can be found at

Some secrets were meant to be shared

Lower Cape Fear Historical Society’s Secret Garden Tour

The age of “flower power” may be past but that doesn’t mean beautiful blossoms can’t still pack a punch. Indulge your love of all things green at the fourth annual Lower Cape Fear Historical Society’s Secret Garden Tour on Sept. 7 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. For $18 per person guests can explore the magical gardens hidden behind 10 to 15 ordinary downtown homes.

The concept of the “secret garden ” the green jewel waiting quietly out of the public eye is what gives this unique event its name. For two nights only these clandestine gardens are on tour for ticket holders to view at their leisure. While the event is self-guided — the ticket itself is actually a map showing the location of featured gardens — volunteers wait at every location to guide you through and provide you with information about unusual plants and key features. The gardens which are found often by word of mouth are chosen for their unusual beauty and originality. “It’s a fun way to see different ideas in use ” Candace McGreevy executive director of the historical society says. “You might see something in one of the side yards that’s perfect for your side yard.”

Proceeds from the Secret Garden Tour go toward Lower Cape Fear Historical Society programs and help fund the Latimer House’s own famous gardens enjoyable for anyone at any time of year.

For more information about the tour call (910) 762-0492 or visit the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society’s Web site at

Running of the Dogs

Eighth annual Dog Jog at Legion Stadium

Your dog is your best friend right? So spend some quality time with your perfect pooch at the eighth annual Dog Jog running roughly from 8 a.m. to noon on September 8 at Legion Stadium. This fun outdoor event celebrates the special bond between man and his best friend. The entry fee ($20 until Aug. 17 and $25 up to the day of the event) goes to benefit other dogs as well — all of the event’s proceeds go to the Cape Fear Golden Retriever Rescue a nonprofit organization. The entry fee covers access to the pool and entry for all events as well as a Dog Jog T-shirt.

The event begins at 8 a.m. with the opening of the registration area. The pool also opens at 8 a.m.; however the rules have flipped. Instead of the “no dogs” commandment often posted around pools “no humans” is the rule of the day; people are kept out of the water while their dogs have their turn. Dogs of all shapes breeds and sizes take part in the Pooch Plunge paddling and relaxing in the cool water.

While your dog is taking a dip a 5K run for humans begins at 9 a.m. with awards for first second and third place in both male and female categories given out at 9:50 a.m. A 1.5-mile fun walk begins around 10 a.m. for you and your pooch to enjoy together. At 11:15 a.m. a check representing the proceeds from the Dog Jog is presented to the Cape Fear Golden Retriever Rescue. Vendors and sponsors are around throughout the day and door prizes such as gift certificates and gift baskets from local businesses are drawn the day of the event as well.

For more information on this doggy day call (910) 341-4602 or visit