BY Shannon Rae Gentry Cole Dittmer Jeff Minnich and Rachel Jackson

Museums Shrimperoo Tradition

Dedicated to a dedicated man


by Shannon Rae Gentry


Theres nothin finer than fresh boiled shrimp shared among community friends especially when paired with all the trimmings and local music.

As Harbor Island used to be known as the Hammocks before the early 1900s its only fitting for the South Hammocks Bluegrass Band to make an encore appearance at the Wrightsville Beach Museum of Historys annual Shrimperoo.

The annual shrimperoo is dedicated to the late Wright Holman who played an integral role when the first hoe-down was held.

He was really a driving force in getting this started says museum director Madeline Flagler. As a local builder he had overseen the museum being relocated from the beach to the town site and he had always been there helping with the preservation of the building itself.

Not only did Holman care about the beach and his community he saw the importance of historic preservation and shared his passion for it in many ways. Whether as a member of the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History Board of Directors or Wrightsville Beach Planning Board Holman put to use his working knowledge of the areas built environment.

This year the museum has also named its front exhibit room the Wright Holman Room and will present the official plaque designed by Holmans nephew in his memory at the shrimperoo on Sunday April 7 from 6-8 p.m. at Lumina Hall.

With local shrimp donated by Motts Channel Seafood and the buffet catered by Middle of the Island beverages of choice will be available for purchase. Tickets are currently available at the museum or via a board member for $20 with additional donations appreciated.

For more information or to purchase tickets call (910) 256-2569 or visit



Coastal Federations New Digs

Palmgren-OQuinn House to Move to Historic Square


by Cole Dittmer


Prior to Memorial Day the historic Palmgren-OQuinn House on South Channel Drive will embark on its maiden voyage to its new home beside the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History and the Wrightsville Beach Visitors Center on Salisbury Street.

The circa 1946 home donated by new owners Mark and Debbie Mitchell will be reborn as the regional headquarters for the North Carolina Coastal Federation a nonprofit state-wide organization that works to protect the states coastal water resources. Mike Giles coastal advocate for the NCCF says the historic house will be much more than an office for them.

We are in an office space now where we are cramped and out of room and we really cant showcase what you can do as far as low-impact development conserving rainwater and reducing stormwater runoff Giles says. The space is also going to allow us to greatly expand our outreach in education programs.

Before all of those things can happen the house must be raised from its foundation floated by barge down Motts Channel through the Intracoastal Waterway under the drawbridge into Lees Cut and hauled over land to its new site on town property.

On April 1 the NCCF will assume ownership of the home. Before Memorial Day Expert House Movers the same company that moved the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will move the Palmgren-OQuinn House with the help of Atlantic Diving and Marine Contractors barge.

After the house is placed on the barge it will take an estimated 45 minutes to travel to a staging area where it will be carted onto a flatbed truck and driven to the new site. The $130 000 process of moving the house will be completed in one day Giles says but the entire reconstruction process will take months.



Asian Native

The Azalea in Wilmington


by Jeff Minnich


Azaleas are part of the huge genus Rhododendron.

The most popular azaleas grown in southeastern North Carolina are the Southern Indian (known as Indica) with their enormous flowers in many brilliant colors. They are considered midseason azaleas blooming halfway through the long azalea blooming season.  Formosa (magenta) George Lindley Taber (white with pink throat) and G. G. Gerbing (white) are popular Indica varieties. These are the main type of azaleas in the great gardens of Airlie Greenfield Lake and Orton Plantation.

There are deciduous azaleas native to the United States but evergreen azaleas are Asian natives. Most of the evergreen azalea varieties grown in the southeastern US are from Japan particularly the Indica and Kurume groups.

Azaleas are originally native to China Japan and Korea and were introduced to European gardens by English and French plant explorers says horticulturist Charlotte Glen local North Carolina Cooperative Extension ageant.

Experts agree the first Indica azaleas came from Boston to Magnolia Plantation near Charleston South Carolina in the mid-1800s. Magnolia is the first garden in the Southeast to grow azaleas. Azaleas may have made their way to Wilmington from Magnolia or from another plantation.

In the mid-1800s there were very few commercial nurseries and  due to the economy plants were available only to wealthier citizens. Plantation owners may have brought azaleas to one another on visits or sent them with interplantation shipments but commonly plants were passed along from gardener to gardener.



2013 Azalea Festival Schedule of Events


Azalea 5k/10k/Fun Walk

Saturday April 6 8 a.m.

Try Sports Field at Mayfaire Town Center

925 Town Center Drive

Get out for a run and benefit Cape Fear Volunteer Centers Big Buddy Program.


Queens Coronation

Wednesday April 10 3 p.m.

Riverfront Park Downtown Wilmington

Your chance to meet the officially crowned North Carolina Azalea Festival Queen Azalea as she and her court
disembark from North Carolinas largest riverboat the Henrietta III.


Lynyrd Skynyrd Presented by the Hilton Wilmington Riverside 

Thursday April 11 7 p.m.

CFCC Festival Site 411 North Front Street  Downtown Wilmington

Lynyrd Skynyrd rocks Wilmington.


Avett Brothers

Friday April 12 7 p.m.

CFCC Festival Site 411 North Front Street Downtown Wilmington

North Carolina natives blend bluegrass folk and rock.


Visiting Ships

Friday April 12- Sunday April 14

Cape Fear Riverside Downtown Wilmington

Experience a variety of ships docked along the Cape Fear River.


Colt Ford and the LACS

Saturday April 13 7 p.m.

CFCC Festival Site 411 North Front Street Downtown Wilmington

Country music legend entertains Downtown Wilmington.


Street Fair & Fireworks

Friday April 12 6 -10 p.m.

Saturday April 13 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fireworks 9 p.m.

Sunday April 14 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Water Front and Market streets

Downtown Wilmington

Wide variety of arts crafts and food vendors.


Street Fair Main Stage

Sunday April 14 noon to 6:30 p.m.

411 North Front Street


Street Fair Multicultural Stage

Saturday April 13 Sunday April 14

1-5 p.m.

Corner of Walnut and Front streets   

Downtown Wilmington


NC Azalea Festival Amateur Boxing Tournament

Saturday April 13 Sunday April 14

2-6 p.m.

Williston Middle School

401 S. Tenth Street

Showcases some of the finest boxers from the national and international level of competition.



Saturday April 13 9 a.m. to noon

Downtown Wilmington Third Street

Come enjoy this free Azalea Festival classic in Historic Downtown Wilmington.


Cole Bros. Circus Big Top

Thursday April 11 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Friday  April 12 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Saturday April 13 1:30 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Sunday April 14  1:30 and 4:30 p.m.

ILM Airport

Daring performances and exotic animals for the whole family to enjoy.


Coin Show

Saturday April 13 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday April 14 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

American Legion Hall

Learn about US and foreign currency with more than 30 vendors from the surrounding area.


Juried Art Show

Friday April 12 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Saturday April 13 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Sunday April 14 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hannah Block Center 120 South Second Street Downtown Wilmington

Features paintings from more than 100 artists from North Carolina and the US.


60th Annual Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour

Friday-Sunday April 12-14 see p. 70


Historic Wilmington Foundation House Tour

Saturday and Sunday April 13-14 see p. 56



Courtroom Guardians

Celebrating 30 Years


by Rachel Jackson


T he rewards come back in humane terms in making a difference in a childs life says Liz Kachris-Jones district administrator of the Guardian ad Litem Program (GAL). The volunteer is the single person in the process who speaks on behalf of the child so you have to know the child themselves. Its a wonderful sense. What youre doing will have an impact on them for a long time. It really is pivotal.

As the nation turns its full attention to the month of April and the 29th anniversary of Child Abuse Prevention Month the GAL program turns 30. Beginning as a state pilot program in 1983 GAL has served thousands of neglected and abused children by representing them in the courtroom and ensuring their best interest.

District Court Judge J. Corpening one of the programs earliest supporters has been an instrumental part of its development and longevity.

I was one of the first attorney advocates Corpening says. I was already involved in juvenile court and it was a wonderful change. I had asked to have the job. In the beginning there were a lot of trust issues between agencies and turf guarding. We had to develop relationships with other departments like DSS (Division of Social Services) over the years.

Since then GAL has evolved into a volunteer-based program vital to the juvenile court system.  Last year the program served more than 591 children in more than 1 200 court hearings.

We train volunteers four times a year and we have an effective screening process says Kachris-Jones. Not everyone is meant to be a volunteer and we dont accept everyone. Our children really need the commitment that we ask. Its very gratifying that 192 volunteers were able to give that last year.

Though the work can be straining Kachris-Jones believes the satisfaction from advocacy is worth it.

Judge Corpening recognizes the importance of GALs in court and values the relationships cultivated between volunteers and the kids they represent.

They really step into the childrens lives to advocate particularly with children that are a little bit older Corpening says. Ive watched them hug their guardians when they come into court. They have developed strong relationships and are a wonderful source of information. I dont know how we would do without them.