Beach Bites

BY Lia Kerner and Lindsey Johnson

Park it here

WB parking rules and regs

It happens to the best of us. Sun-fried and strewn with chairs and sandy towels we tiptoe across the scalding asphalt. Steps from the car we spy it: that spiteful strip of colored paper plastered to the windshield. A parking ticket can ruin any sunny afternoon so lather up with the highest SPF you can find grab flip flops then listen up before heading out into the waves. You’ll save yourself at least one unnecessary burn.

The parking season runs from March 1 to October 31. During this time all meters and pay stations are enforced seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. But just because the clock says 6:05 that doesn’t mean you can park in a fire lane or a loading zone. Safety always comes first so be sure to obey all clearly marked restricted areas.

The parking rate for meters and pay stations is $1.50 per hour. Parking meters accept nickels dimes and quarters. Need change? The Lanier parking office off Causeway Drive (on Live Oak Drive) is available to provide up to $10 in change and parking ambassadors strolling along the beach strand may offer up to $2 in change on the spot. Or the way-cool Park-By-Phone allows you to use your cell phone to pay for parking. Sign up at for an annual membership of $5.95 then pay for parking each time by calling (888) 310-PARK and entering the lot or meter number which is marked on bright yellow signs. Pay stations require coins bills ($1 $5 $10) or Visa or Mastercard.

For those looking for a smart alternative to pay-by-the-hour parking $8 daily passes and $50 weekly passes may be purchased from the parking office. Broken meter? Don’t think you’re being treated to a day of free parking. The rule is that a spot with a broken meter is considered out of order and out of play. Any car parked there is subject to a fine.

We all make a parking mistake now and then. Either we think we can make it back to meter in time we imagine that the spot outlined in red means Reserved for Me! or we space out and forget we even have a meter running. If you get a parking ticket (or two!) remember that citations are $20 or $30 depending on the violation and may be paid by cash check or credit at the parking office or by credit online. Be sure to pay on time too because the late fees rise like the tide.

The Lanier Parking office is located at 5 Live Oak Drive just off the Causeway in Wrightsville Beach. You can reach them at (910) 256-5453. — Lia Kerner

All Jazzed Up

Live jazz at WB Park

On Sunday June 8 at 1 p.m. get all jazzed up for the 12th annual Jazz in the Park at beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Don’t miss this opportunity to bring family friends and good tunes together for a fun-filled afternoon at Wrightsville Beach Park. Lawn chairs and picnic baskets — for added comfort and midday snacks — are a sound idea for enjoying jazz performed by Dick Van Gorder’s Port City Five Lee Venters and Vermillion Sands and Jeff Simmons and the Cape Fear Community College Jazz Orchestra. This free concert is sponsored by Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation and the Cape Fear Jazz Society a nonprofit organization working since 1997 to promote and preserve “America’s only true art form.” The event’s media sponsor is Lumina News. For more information visit  or call (910) 256-7925. — Lia Kerner

Paw Jam

Seventh annual Paw Jam proves it’s still a dog’s life

Summer heat can make our pets retreat
But on June 14 Paw Jam can’t be beat
And your pet will want to be outside
On all four feet! — Fido 2008

The seventh annual Paw Jam hosted by PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) will take place at Battleship Park on June 14 from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. This all-day event will feature live music from Fooling Betty Tommy B. & the Stingers L Shape Lot Cosmic Groove Lizards and more. There will be food and drinks arts and crafts and plenty of pet-related vendors. Bring your pup out for the day on the green and remember leashed pets get in free!

“Paw Jam is an event that celebrates the bond between people and their pets ” says Donna Best-Klingel founder and treasurer of PAWS of North Carolina. “Everyone comes out to have fun but you learn a lot too. You can go shopping or just bring a blanket for the music festival and sit by the river. It’s a great festival!”

The entrance fee is $5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and $10 from 6-9 p.m. For more information visit  or call Donna Best-Klingel at (910) 232-1165. — Lindsey Johnson

Happy Trails

Hip hiking for the 16th annual National Trails Day

It’s sun-scorched mid-summer. The beaches are plastered with anxious out-of-towners. Backyard sunbathing has lost its languid appeal. Want to escape? A shady trail and a pair of old hiking boots are just what the doctor — and WBM — ordered!

On June 7 venture outdoors to participate in the American Hiking Society’s 16th annual National Trails Day. Hikers and nature enthusiasts throughout America are stepping out to celebrate the glorious trail system blazed from coast to coast. If the epic hiking experience is what you’re looking for then you’ve picked the right state to call home. Ambitious hikers of high to intermediate experience can consider the Mountains to Sea Trail (MST) of North Carolina a more than 935-mile trail winding through footpaths roads and state bike routes. The trail started in 1973 when the North Carolina General Assembly passed the North Carolina Trails System Act stretches from Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge State Park by the Atlantic Ocean. Efforts are underway by the Friends of the Mountain to Sea Trail (FMST) so that one day a complete foot trail will reach across the state literally from the mountains to the sea.

If a simple afternoon jaunt is all the refreshing you need consider a six-mile stroll through the scenic trails at William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh.

Or closer to home visit Carolina Beach State Park. Located off Dow Road on Carolina Beach it was home to the Cape Fear Indians prior to the European settlement of the area. The park’s six trails Flytrap Sugarloaf Campground Snow’s Cut Swamp and Oak Toe cover more than 6 miles of ground through the marshlands and pine forest of this 761-acre park. There are some unique natural habitats to observe along the paths. The park is bordered to the west by the Cape Fear River/Intracoastal Waterway so some of the trails afford spectacular views of the Snows Cut area where the waterway and the river become one. One highlight is Sugarloaf a 50-foot sand dune that allows walkers a view of the river.

Other trails in our area include the Fort Fisher State Historic Site and Fort Fisher State Recreation Area the Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve Boiling Spring Lakes Preserve the Holly Shelter Game Lands and the Lake Waccamaw State Park. If you just want to take a leisurely stroll without leaving the beach walk the Wrightsville Beach Loop or head across the bridge to Summer Rest Trail Airlie Gardens or other local parks.

Since 1993 National Trails Day has been inspiring thousands to enjoy trails on foot by bike horse or paddle. So help make this year’s National Trails Day a success and hit the trails! For more information on the Mountains to Sea Trail visit and for hiking opportunities at William B. Umstead State Park call (919) 787-3033. To learn more about the American Hiking Society and other outdoor activities in your area visit  or call (301) 565-6704. — Lia Kerner

Downtown Wilmington sizzles all month long

Galleries concerts theater and yes saving the world

On June Historic Downtown Wilmington is full of events that promise fun and entertainment you can enjoy more than once!

Fourth Friday Gallery Walk

The fourth Friday of June (and the fourth Friday of every month until December!) we’re all invited to join Historic Downtown Wilmington art galleries — Three Hounds Acme Art Studios New Elements and others — in their celebration of local art. This popular walking tour features showcases receptions artist discussions live music and other art-related activities. The event serves to advance the knowledge and appreciation of local art and creativity. For more information call (910) 763-3737.

Downtown Sundown Concert Series

Fridays in June enjoy drinks food and live music — including Michael Jackson the Beatles and Journey tribute bands — at Riverfront Park on Water Street. The concerts start at 5:30 p.m. and are free of charge. A free summer music series at sunset on the river? You can’t beat it. For more information visit  

South Pacific at Thalian Hall

Starting Wednesday June 4 and continuing each weekend evening in June South Pacific will be performed by the Opera House Theatre Company on the main stage at Thalian Hall. Enjoy an evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s passionate musical of love longing and struggle on a Polynesian island during World War II. For more information visit  

Change the World

Every Saturday in June from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. join local volunteers who are helping the Full Belly Project develop simple solutions that will have a profound impact on the lives of those in developing countries. Full Belly is located at the corner of 11th and Chestnut Streets. Volunteers will learn carpentry metalwork and more. We’re lucky to live by our beautiful beach; volunteering for Full Belly gives us the opportunity to offer a helping hand to those less fortunate around the globe. For more information contact Jeff Rose at [email protected].  — Lia Kerner

Shakespeare on the Green

Wilmington’s annual outdoor festival of Shakespearean theatre

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” No need to compare! Instead join locals (and whomever your heart desires) for the 16th celebration of Shakespeare on the Green Wilmington’s annual outdoor festival of Shakespearean theatre. The newly renovated Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre will hold productions of The Taming of the Shrew each weekend in June including the last two Thursdays of the month. Shakespeare on the Green is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving local artists and audiences. “Our mission is to continue to offer Shakespeare — 400 years of it — to the masses ” says Cherri McKay artistic director and managing producer for Shakespeare on the Green. The event is free and open to the public. Concessions will be available. For more information visit  or call (910) 762-6393. — Lia Kerner