Archive for the ‘Events In Cape Charles’ Category

“WOO WOO” DECODED – – AN AFTERNOON SPENT WITH AUTHOR JOE COCCARO

Friday, March 16th, 2018

The Civic Center was humming with activity as  Friends of the Cape Charles Memorial Library wrapped up its Winter Tea season 2017-18 with a convivial program featuring Chris Bannon of Sea Gate B n B in conversation with Joe Coccaro about “Woo Woo”, his recent novel set in Cape Charles, Virgina. Coccaro had me hooked with his comment, “ I’m enchanted with Cape Charles”, to paraphrase “Jerry McGuire”.

DSC_9247Maybe it’s because everyone loves to have their own opinions confirmed, but Coccaro’s decision to move full time to Cape Charles after his purchase of a home on Monroe Avenue because of how much he “loved the vibe” made him a man after the audience’s own heart. This is Coccaro’s first novel after a lifetime spent in journalism and book editing, including a long career with the Virginian Pilot newspaper. His decision to write “Woo-Woo” evolved from interesting stories heard at the Pub and elsewhere, and in meeting so many eclectic personalities with interesting backgrounds around town, spawning a habit of recounting these funny stories in emails to friends. The eventual long string of stories led to a decision to write a novel featuring Cape Charles, which possesses what Coccaro describes as a “high concentration” of colorful personalities, the town essentially becoming a character in the book as well its setting.

As is likely with any tour guide type novel set in a small town, there has been a whole lot of speculation and a bit of controversy too, as to who-might- be-who in the book, which quirky character is based on which particular local person. Chris Bannon is pretty sure, but not absolutely positive, who the “Woo-Woo” Realtor actually is modeled after. But Coccaro sidestepped that whole brouhaha by stressing that it’s really an amalgam, that “everybody in town is in the book, a little slice here and a little slice there”, which is fun and surely keeps everyone guessing, especially since he sees Cape Charles as a melting pot, a North meets South, millionaire meets clammer societal blend. The Q & A after the interview revealed that Coccaro is thinking/working/collecting stories for a new book about Cape Charles, this time more water/waterman centered. Clearly we can anticipate Cape Charles bursting back onto the literary scene in the future.

Library Friends did their usual great job on the goodies aspect of the event, the much anticipated 3 Sweets and 3 Savories. Everyone at our table, particularly moi, loved the melt-in-the-mouth fig pecan DSC_9173scones and thumb- sized Irish soda breads. Crostini with melon and prosciutto and a rich seafood chowder were big all-around hits. And I always find it fun to try the various varieties of tea offered, my personal favorite this time was the Scottish Afternoon Tea, a blend sponsored by the American Scottish foundation. Who even knew ? But they have created a wonderful tea ! The afternoon wrapped up with Coccaro doing a reading from “Woo-Woo”, after which some fun products and services donated to the Friends were raffled off, including a huge, beautiful basket filled to the brim with everything needed to make great tea at home. Last but not least, book signings by Joe Coccaro, after which we stepped out the Civic Center door, an abrupt transition from the cozy warmth and conviviality of this delightful afternoon into blustery wind, dreary cold rain and a mad dash to the car !

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TO SPRINT OR NOT TO SPRINT ? THAT WAS THE QUESTION AT THE 2018 “FEBRUARY FREEZE” IN CAPE CHARLES, VIRGINIA

Friday, March 16th, 2018

DSC_8855The sky was sunny, the air was balmy, the water was a beautiful blue. But the Bay temp was a body- numbing 47 degrees as dozens of excited, derring do “Dipper” teams and individuals got ready to brave the icy Chesapeake waters to raise money for the Eastern Shore chapter of Habitat for Humanity. This year’s event was Habitat’s 22nd Annual “February Freeze” benefit at the Cape Charles beach and it was especially exciting because of the tide, which was exceptionally low, exposing a huge tidal flat along the shoreline. Ordinarily one would think this would be quite beneficial. But, as fate would have it, the tide was rising and during the long run out to the deeper water, about a thousand participating toes were no doubt turning multiple shades of blue as the Dippers traversed ice cold sand covered by several inches of frigid water to get to the deep water beyond. Some sauntered along bravely while others raced headlong into the Bay, figuring that the better part of valor was zip in, zip out ! 3 memebers of the Cape Charles Coast Guard Auxiliary were on site in case of emergency, 1 wading out to what would likely be the furthest distance point for a swimmer, just in case.

On hand to lead the charge against the elements were two Celebrity Dippers, Robbie Marsh, Director of the Eastern ShoreDSC_8952 Chamber of Commerce, breezy in a hilarious green hat with bulging eyeballs, and Evelyn Shotwell, Director of the Chincoteague Chamber, both carrying scepters fashioned from pink swim noodles ! They were terrific sports- – the first in and, shivering only slightly, just about the last out ! An enthusiastic crowd was on hand to cheer the Dippers onward to February Freeze glory, with towels and a hand-warming fire barrel at the ready as they returned, soaking wet, to the beach. Volunteers served hot chocolate by the Gazebo and each Dipper who raised at least $35 was treated to a hot lunch. So it was a beautiful, sunny day for those helping to raise money for a tremendous organization which assists in building safe housing all over the Shore for those in need. Hats off to Habitat, it does great work !

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VIRGINIA OPERA – – ANOTHER WONDERFUL EVENT AT LEMON TREE GALLERY !

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

DSC_8743I don’t know why, but it always amazes me when members of the Virginia Opera Company perform here on the Eastern Shore. Maybe because of its stature as the “Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia”, maybe because its other venues, the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, the Dominion Arts Center in Richmond and the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, are so imposing by comparison. But last Sunday afternoon, there they were at beautiful Lemon Tree Gallery in Cape Charles, 5 members of the Virginia Opera Company’s Emerging Artists program ! Stars in the making, they gave a wonderful performance of “Aria’s and Duets” in the small and intimate Lemon Tree setting in Cape Charles VA, particularly special because the audience can connect so personally with the performers. And such a lovely feel, surrounded by the gallery’s impressive collection of works by local artists and artisans.

Soprano Rachel Mikol led off with an aria from Mozart’s “The Impresario” followed shortly by the familiar and beloved Puccini aria, “ O mio babbino caro”, an audience favorite. The program concludedDSC_8588 with a soaring Marian Anderson spiritual performed by baritone Phillip Bullock and mezzo-soprano Melanie Campbell. Lots of energy was brought to their program which included an interesting mix of classical and modern, including a selection from Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The
Woods,” sung by Bullock and bass-baritone Joshua Arky, all accompanied by accomplished pianist, ChanMi Jean. But the showstopper was Campbell’s strong rendition of Hammerstein’s “Can’t Help Loving That Man of Mine” from Showboat.

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At the conclusion of the performance, the audience gave a standing ovation and Clelia Sheppard’s daughter, Sheila, and her granddaughter, Aven, presented bouquets of lovely pink roses to each performer. After an encore, wine and light hor d’oeuvres were served, giving audience members an opportunity to meet and speak with the performers. All the performers were terrific, and Ms. Whipple and Mr. Bullock were standouts. Definitely we can expect to see all of these “ emerging artists” making their presence felt on the national and international stage.

 

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CAPE CHARLES, VA IS ONE OF TEN FINALISTS IN COASTAL LIVING MAGAZINE “HAPPIEST SEASIDE TOWN” CONTEST !

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

1Aerial 300dpi2We are thrilled that our little coastal town of Cape Charles is in the “Top 10” on Coastal Living Magazine’s 2018 list of the “Happiest Seaside Towns” ! Every year for the past seven years, Coastal Living magazine has created a Top 10 list of the “Happiest Seaside Towns”. Original nominations come via social media. From there, Coastal Living evaluates the nominees for such qualities, outlined on its website, as we looked at their ranking the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, percentage of clear and sunny days, healthiness of beaches, commute times, walkability, crime ratings, standard of living and financial well-being of locals, geographic diversity, and our editors’ assessment of each town’s “coastal vibe.”

Cape Charles is very much a happy little town, relaxed, low-key, with lots of lifestyle amenities and things to do. A beautiful soft sand beach, multipleDSC_2779 marinas and boat ramps, Palmer and Nicklaus1Aerial 300dpi2 Signature golf courses, cute little shops and galleries, an impressive art presence, a theatre, fine and casual dining, all these opportunities are the raw ingredients. Mix in the wonderful Cape Charles community spirit and there we see the possibilities for being voted the 2018 Happiest Seaside Town ! If you want to participate and vote for Cape Charles, click the link below. You can vote multiple times but voting ends at 5pm on February 6,2018. As of this writing, Cape Charles was fifth in the number of votes so we have a ways to go to hit #1 by February 6th. So let’s get voting !!

HERE IS THE LINK FOR VOTING: https://www.coastalliving.com/travel/happiest-seaside-town

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“Festive Friday” In Cape Charles, VA”

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

DSC_7598Happily, there is still one more chance to experience a “Festive Friday” in Cape Charles this season ! Still one more chance, on December 22nd, to enjoy the beautiful and cheery shop windows along Mason Avenue and down Strawberry Street, all dressed to the nines for the holidays. Maybe shop for a unique piece of art at Lemon Tree or Ellen Moore Gallery, enjoy a savory gourmet dinner at Hook-U-Up or a steaming cup of hot chocolate at the popular Cape Charles Coffee House, sample the smooth balsamic vinegars at Drizzles, select your New Year’s Eve champagne at Gull Hummock, visit with a friendly agent at Blue Heron Realty, browse the gift shop at the beautiful, newly re-opened Northampton Hotel, check out the international offerings from Voiajer, take a horse and carriage ride and so much, much, much more ! You might even take time to drop in at the “North Pole” to tell Santa or Mrs. Claus ( aka the ever-effervescent Trina Veber ) what you want, what you really, really want, for Christmas this year ! And so, Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight !

If you’ve never, ever been to a “Festive Friday” in Cape Charles, you probably don’t realize that it is so much more than just a few merchants staying open late each FridayDSC_7503 evening between Thanksgiving and Christmas. At its heart, it is the culmination of the hopes, dreams, efforts and financial investments of a myriad of individuals, businesses and organizations who believed that Cape Charles could rise like a Phoenix from the ashes of its post-ferry, post- railroad, essentially “post-everything” economic doldrums and become, once again, the dynamic little coastal town of its yesteryear, with well cared-for homes and bustling shops, a spirit of civic pride and a sense of fun. And not to get too, too sentimental, but when you think back to the near-derelict homes throughout town and the boarded-up stores along Mason Avenue that were still in existence even 5 years ago ( farewell McCrory’s and BeLo, hello Strawberry Station), the Cape Charles transformation from down-at-heel to sparkling restoration is truly inspiring.

DSC_7510So “Festive Friday” is the actualization of those aspirations rolled into 2017, into lots of happy folks strolling down the street at 8 pm on a windy, cold December Friday evening, beautifully decorated shops serving smiling customers, clever street performers doing their entertaining thing, lively songs of the Christmas carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, delicious gourmet dinners and free holiday movies at the Palace Theatre. And, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus, greeting excited little kids eager to shyly whisper their Christmas wishes. “Festive Friday” is truly like a 1000 points of new light, illuminating historic downtown Cape Charles, amazing and wonderful!!

 

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The 7th Annual Grand Illumination And Golf Cart Parade In Cape Charles, VA

Friday, December 8th, 2017

DSC_7178The 2017 Annual “Grand Illumination” kicked off the official start of the holiday season in Cape Charles, VA last Saturday evening with the 7th Annual “Grand Illumination” in Central Park. This community event was originated in 2010 by Citizens for Central Park and was hosted for many years by Chris Bannon of Sea Gate BnB ( aka Mr. Cape Charles ) as its delightful Master of Ceremonies. A newish addition to these festivities, the “Golf Cart Parade”, started just a few years ago with 11 participating carts. It grew and grew into this year’s dazzling parade of 33 golf carts, all gussied up, resplendent with lights and ornaments, smiling drivers and laughing passengers. Happy to note that Blue Heron Realty’s cart participated again this year for a 2nd time – – looking good, Blue Heron guys and gals !

By tradition, Christmas carols were sung by the gathered crowd, candles were lit and held aloft by the audience in memory ofDSC_7112 loved ones, hundreds of points of light, quite beautiful piercing the darkness of Central Park. And then, with a flip of a switch by the Mayor, thousands of lights on the Gazebo and on all the Park’s trees glowed brilliantly in the dark, a very Grand Illumination ! Afterwards, a jolly Santa Claus took Christmas requests from dozens of children whose heads would soon, no doubt, be dancing with visions of sugarplums. All this made cheerier under a bright moonlit sky, almost but not quite, the vaunted Super Moon, but very special nevertheless.

 

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THE SILVERY BEAMS OF THE 2017 SUPER MOON ON THE EASTERN SHORE OF VIRGINIA

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

DSC_7212What appears brighter and bigger and might only appear but once a year ? A Super Moon ! And during the December 3rd the 2017 Super Moon, our moon orbited to its closest distance to earth for this entire year, making this silvery orb appear much brighter and larger than a normal full moon. Here are a few Eastern Shore Virginia Super Moon shots we took that night. From the vivid pink moonrise as it climbed above the horizon in Oyster, VA  to its pearly white aspect and glittering beams high in the sky above Cape Charles, it really was a beautiful sight !  I think Shakespeare said it best – – “How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank ! Here we will sit and let the sounds of music creep in our ears. Soft stillness and the night become the touches of sweet harmony. “

By the way, soon, another Skywatchers delight ! A Blue Moon is coming – – In just a few weeks, the two Super Moons of 2018 will both take place in January, on the 2nd and 31st. The Moon on the 31st will be a “Blue Moon” as it is the second full moon in a calendar month. So, once in a blue moon … get ready to “croon love’s tune” to your honey by the light of these two silvery Super Moons !

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The 15th Annual Eastern Shore of Virginia Artisan’s Guild Holiday Tour. A Real Pleasure, Always !

Friday, December 1st, 2017

DSC_6979If an event has been on going for 15 years and counting, it’s a pretty sure bet that its been very successful and is back yearly by popular demand. Such is clearly the case for the traditional Eastern Shore of Virginia Artisan’s Guild Holiday Tour held annually on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year was another delight and a terrific opportunity to shop for unique gifts, large or small, for those special people in your life.

From little items like the adorably cute “mismatched” sox from Ten Good Sheep or a bottle of luscious Chardonnay from Chatham Winery to strikingDSC_7004 handcrafted furniture at Windsor Chair to gorgeous paintings and jewelry at Lemon Tree Gallery, plus lots of creative offerings from artists too numerous to mention at the many other venues, Tour 2017 shone with the multi-talents of our many Eastern Shore artists. ( Including that so-cute and so-silky herd from By The Bay Alpacas who gave their wool that others might purchase hand- woven super- soft scarves and more ! )

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And, even though not on the official Tour and time was short, we took a moment, after a quick lunch at the always- delicious Janet’s Cafe in Onancock, to drop in at the gallery of Danny Doughty. We love to check out his latest work and his always elegantly decorated Christmas tree. Wrapped up our day in Cape Charles at Lemon Tree Gallery which has a most impressive collection, showing variety of work from artists all over the Shore. By then, nearly sunset, can’t help myself, it was down to the beach for yet another shot of the ever- photogenic LOVE sign before heading home. Tour 2017 over – – but there is always next year !

 

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Looking In The Rear View Mirror, It’s Goodbye Eastern Shore Summer 2017

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Golf carts sunset.brighter croppedDefinitely past time to bid farewell to that sweetest season of sun, sand and fun here on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Summer. We clung tightly, reveling in the extra gift of many lovely days of Indian Summer we had this year. But now it’s time to just face it – – summer’s over ! The colorful vibrancy of Autumn is now upon us, with some chilly days in winter soon to follow. But not to worry, just close the eyes and memories of those lazy, hazy, glorious days of Summer 2017 shall ever sweetly spring to mind….  Goodbye Summer….

 

 

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4th ANNUAL “ART ROCKS THE INNS” IN CAPE CHARLES, VA WAS A BIG SUCCESS

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Bay Haven 1This past weekend, art lovers on Virginia’s Eastern Shore were treated to the 4th Annual “Art Rocks” walking tour to discover the many creative treasures to be found on the gracious porches and grounds of the 5 Bed & Breakfast inns in Cape Charles. Part of the annual Cape Charles, VA “Harbor For The Arts” Festival, “Art Rocks The Inns” featured numerous local artists showcasing their work on the porches at Alyssa House B&B, Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles, Cape Charles House B&B, Fig Street Inn and Sea Gate B&B. Attendees traveled between venues not just by car but by bike, golf cart and shank’s mare, and lots of oohs and aahs could be heard over the beautiful art pieces being shown at every Inn. Even Foster, the brown dog mascot of the famous Brown Dog Ice Cream, winner of many awards, came to support the arts.

Lots of art mediums were represented— from painters, potters and photographers to weavers, jewelers and Fig Street 4carvers, plus lots of other artisan types, including copper working and garden art. A myriad of beautiful original creations were on display and available for purchase at each venue. Food “art” was available from Parisian Sweets, which makes gorgeous and delicious handmade macaroons and Bay Haven’s famously colorful homemade chow-chows were on display, along with some juicy looking heirloom tomatoes. Thanks to innkeepers Kathy Glaser, Tammy and Jim Holloway, Bruce and Carole Evans, Donna and Greg Kohler and Chris Bannon for hosting this charming annual event and to the many accomplished artists who participated, it was definitely a delightful afternoon and many who attended when home with a new treasure!

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