Posts Tagged ‘Cape Charles Virginia Central Park’

Serenaded ūüéł By ‚ÄúSchooner Or Later‚ÄĚ, The 4th Annual Community Potluck Wowed Hundreds From Cape Charles

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

1 FoodA myriad of ūüėč flavors, an abundance of food and plenty of camaraderie marked the Cape Charles 4th Annual Community Potluck Picnic. Sponsored by Citizens for Central Park, the Potluck also coincided with the very last Harbor For the Arts Summer band concert held in the Gazebo- – plenty of catchy ūüé∂ music by ‚ÄúSchooner Or Later‚ÄĚ kept everyone tapping toes. Having a town-wide Potluck is a wonderful idea, absolutely loads of fun, unique on the Shore. Grilled burgers ūüćĒand hot ūüĆ≠ dogs were provided by Citizens for Central Park. Everyone was responsible for bringing a couple side dishes which were as varied as they were delicious. Beautiful ūü•¨ salads and slaws of every description, hot dishes ranging from 3 kinds of baked beans, homemade mac & cheese, (of course), a very creamy chicken Alfredo, German and many other kinds of potato salads, fruit ūüćá salads, watermelon ūüćČ slices and the list goes on. Plus fab desserts, pies, cakes ūüćįcobblers, ūüć™ cookies, muffins and brownies ! An absolute cornucopia of flavors ! Already looking forward to the 5th Annual, planning to bring an even bigger pan of mac & cheese.



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Thursday, August 8th, 2019

67956727_1086112798445044_5267650356296286208_oOne of the many things we love ūüíē about Blue Heron being one of the sponsors of the Harbor for the Arts ūüéĽ music in the Park series is that it just seems a bit more fun to come and enjoy the various bands if you are helping to sponsor them. Last Saturday evening the weather was cool but the music ūüéł was definitely ūüĒ• hot ! The Bobby ‚ÄúBlackHat‚ÄĚ Walters band performed, playing with feeling and wildly popular with the crowd ! A breakout moment came when Bobby ūüé© announced ‚ÄúOK, we‚Äôre going to play ‚ÄúGet Your Red Shoes On.‚ÄĚ And I want to see some dancing going on out there in the audience ! ‚Äú Well, 1, 2, 3 – out poured the music and up jumped the crowd, definitely folks had their red ūüφ shoes on. And just about everyone caught the spirit, young, old and in between, on their feet, dancing ! ( Possibly a first for a Central Park band concert ? ) Bobby also played a touching harmonica rendition of Leonard Cohen‚Äôs famous composition, ‚ÄúHallelujah‚ÄĚ, to much applause, a song made indelible to many when it was performed on Saturday Nite Live a few years ago.

Also super popular Saturday night was Cape Charles Main Street‚Äôs table, brimming , as promised, with colorful Summer of LOVE ‚ô•ÔłŹ T shirts for sale. Business67832277_1086110738445250_8637846159072690176_o was brisk, T shirts in every hue, plus hats, totes, doggy neckerchiefs, you name it, everything ‚ô•ÔłŹ flying off the table and into bags at a dizzying pace. We managed to snag the very last Men‚Äôs Large in burnt sienna for our son-in-law, who has an amazing collection of local event T shirts that he loves wearing all summer. Shirt Mission Accomplished !

67703782_1086112655111725_7030784669536747520_oEverything was downhill easy from there for the rest of the night. The sun set, the music played, people swayed, dogs frisked, kids skateboarded, teens played soccer, Gordo‚Äôs spicy tacos were relished, literature given out, refreshing Italian Ices savored, toddlers twirled, adults laughed, everything went per normal and all was right with the world….. and we had our Men‚Äôs Large Burnt Sienna Summer of LOVE ‚ô•ÔłŹ T shirt !



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Thursday, June 20th, 2019

DSC_5630What a fabulous afternoon last weekend in Cape Charles, VA for the 1st Annual Uke Fest ! Cool and breezy, an absolutely perfect Saturday was winding down into twilight as we arrived. The last act of the day, Rachael Manke, was just taking the stage at the Central Park Gazebo as we found seats on a comfy nearby bench to listen to her performance. After wrestling a bit with her hat, which was trying to go airborne in the breeze, Rachael began by creating a little ditty right on the spot as she tossed that uncooperative topper aside, strum, strum ‚ÄúGoodbye Hat‚ÄĚ, triple strum, ‚ÄúGoodbye Hat‚ÄĚ. A self-described Lutheran minister, she wisecracked that she couldn‚Äôt stay too late because she had an 8 am sermon to give in Richmond on Sunday, then launched into a wonderful repertoire of favorites laced with witty parody songs like ‚ÄúHas Anyone Seen My Mom‚ÄĚ to the tune of ‚ÄúHas Anyone Seen My Gal‚ÄĚ and the slightly naughty ‚ÄúShovel Out of Buffalo‚ÄĚ.

The music was delightful but watching the audience was heartwarming. I can imagine that this was the very scene that Citizens for Central Park had envisioned as they DSC_5717worked so long and so hard to get the Park funded and off the ground. Folks of all ages, in lawn chairs short or tall, sitting on the wide expanse of grass in front of the Gazebo, enjoying the performance. Colorful bankets spread by parents whose toddlers were swaying to the music. Dads holding infants, Moms wiping sticky Shave Ice from hands and faces. Guys and gals with the munchies tackling tacos and popcorn. Kids on bikes riding the winding sidewalk, teenagers playing soccer and tossing footballs near the fountain. Tiny groups in laughing conversation on the sidewalk, couples relaxing on Park benches. And dogs and owners ! Dogs of every size and description strolling peacefully on their leases, not a snarl in the air. What an amalgam of happiness, what a sense of calm and delight as the full moon rose, softly spreading pearly beams over the 2019 Uke Fest at the amazing and happy Cape Charles Central Park.





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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 ‚ÄúGrand Illumination‚ÄĚ kicked off the official start of the holiday season in Cape Charles, VA last Saturday evening with the 7th Annual ‚ÄúGrand Illumination‚ÄĚ 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 ‚ÄúGolf Cart Parade‚ÄĚ, started just a few years ago with 11 participating carts. It grew and grew into this year‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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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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 РР“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 ‚ÄúBlue Moon‚ÄĚ as it is the second full moon in a calendar month. So, once in a blue moon … get ready to ‚Äúcroon love‚Äôs tune‚ÄĚ to your honey by the light of these two silvery Super Moons !

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Cape Charles’ Inaugural Clam Slam Festival

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

What do a Shriner’s Parade, a crab skiff race, a fishing boat docking contest,¬† paintings ¬†of whimsical mermaids ¬†and prancing horses have in common ?¬†¬† Surprisingly, they were all a part of a new Eastern Shore Virginia festival, the 2012 Clam Slam in Cape Charles, an inaugural event held last Friday, Saturday and Sunday.¬† The¬†Clam Slam¬†¬†blasted off¬† Friday evening¬† at the harbor with a huge Harbor Party featuring live rock/blues music music from 6-10 pm performed by John Baldwin and the Original Sinners, a well-known Virginia Beach¬† band.¬† I’m still a Glenn Miller-Tommy Dorsey-Benny Goodman-Artie Shaw ¬†fan myself but I’ve spoken to several people who went Friday night¬†and commented that they really enjoyed the¬†music.


10am¬†Saturday morning brought a¬† complete change of pace as the Shriner’s Parade and Car Show.¬† led by the smartly stepping Color Guard from the¬† US Coast Guard’s¬† Cape Charles Station, began¬†winding its way¬†along Bay Avenue¬† and then down Mason Avenue.¬† Following was a colorful assortment of participants including the ever popular fire trucks from Cape Charles and nearby Cheriton throwing candies to the crowd and¬†then what I think was¬† litttle Miss Chesapeake Bay.¬† Everyone loved the¬†crab racing skiffs which¬†would be¬†struting their stuff ¬†in the harbor later in the day, a colorful collection of oranges, greens and blues, ¬†rolling past sidewalks crowded with on-lookers.

But of course it was the Shriners who  highlighted  the day, going all-out as usual in their efforts to raise money for their 22 hospital network where children are treated for free for a wide variety of very serious issues, including burns.  Dressed in costume, the Shriner contingent led off with marchers, then a good sized marching band attired in teal slacks, white shirts, gold cummberbunds and their traditional red fezes, playing with  plenty of volume and enthusiasm,  followed by their top attractions, horses,  clowns, mini-trucks and of course, the laugh-out-loud, crazy-driving  miniture cars, probably the Shriners most famous parade unit.

Envision exuberant drivers, stuffed into tiny cars¬†¬†¬†barely big enough to hold them,¬†careening¬†¬†around in apparently randomly¬†wild configurations.¬†Further imagine¬†¬†what appears to be total mayhem, with these big guys in¬†minuture cars,¬†zipping every which way but Sunday,¬†about 6 ways on¬†this 2 way street, ¬†all to huge laughs from¬†an appreciative ¬†audience and you’ve pretty much got the picture. The clowns were¬†tons of fun too- dressed up like¬† Beverly Hillbillies, one of the fellows¬†was¬†doing his antics in ¬†bare feet.¬†¬†Given that hot, hot pavement, I’d say,¬†Wow, that’s really¬†dedication.¬† Following all of that fun, a string of sweet antique cars.¬†¬†A ¬†fellow standing beside me kept pointing to¬†one yellow beauty, saying I had one just like that, exactly like that¬† just as the Kedive motorcycle group roared into view, first you hear them, then you see them.

Next up,¬† horses and riders from Triple M Ranch.¬† Located just outside Cape Charles¬† on 150 acres¬†overlooking historic King’s Creek, a saltwater inlet from the Chesapeake Bay,¬† Triple M has a dedicated group of riders and they have consistantly¬†added a lot of interest to local events by bringing their gorgeous mounts to participate.¬† Their ¬†horses were so cute last Christmas at the Cape Charles Grand Illumination at Central Park.¬† Adorned in holiday bells, red bows, plush reindeer horns, red and green saddle blankets, etc., they¬†certainly brought a lot of extra smiles to that special evening.¬† Following the horses, a cute golf cart sponsored by the Friends of the Cape Charles Library advertizing their book sale and then, last but definitely not least, a long string of antique Corvette’s,¬† buffed and shiny, clearly well treated by their proud owners.

I didn’t have time to stick around for the other festivities down at the harbor which included games for kids,¬†a¬†¬†horseshoe contest, ¬†a crab pot cork race and the wildly popular ¬†Smith Island crab skiff race.¬† I did however take a quick stroll down Mason Avenue to see what the sidewalk art booths had on display this year.¬† Looks of good stuff, paintings, crafts, political buttons, you-name-it,¬† for sale along the sidewalk.¬† And at the very end of the sidewalk appeared¬†a little tent filled to the brim with¬†the most adorable mermaid dolls and whimsical paintings, prints and original oils both,¬†¬†all beckoning ¬†me ¬†in,¬†singing sweetly ¬†like¬†the¬†Sirens to Ulysses, come¬† in, come in, see me,¬† touch me, take me home with you……¬†¬†Created by talented Shore artisit,¬† Katherine Kiss, who said she has been working in the fanciful genre for a long time,¬† the¬† mermaid dolls were so absolutely gorgeous,¬† I’d have loved to have bought every one !

P.S.¬† I didn’t attend any of the Sunday events but¬† the Boat Docking Contest was the clear favorite– over 800 tickets for the event were sold, the proceeds to be used for the prizes and to help off-set¬† fuel costs for the boat owners.¬† However, Jennifer Ingram from¬†Blue Heron’s ¬†Cape Charles office did attend,¬†( had a ticket¬†in¬†the VIP section no less ) ¬†and she was kind enough to¬†supply me¬†with the following¬†pictures for this post.

(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

Carols, Candles And Sleigh Bells Marked The 2nd Annual “Grand Illumination” At Central Park In Cape Charles, VA

Friday, December 9th, 2011

It was a beautiful¬† Eastern Shore night for¬†the Cape Charles 2nd Annual¬† “Grand Illumination”,¬† moon nearly full,¬† skies clear, stars shining down brightly on the event, temperatures in the mid-40’s, ¬†cool-ish¬†but ¬†not cold.¬† ( Unlike last year at the 1st Annual¬† “Grand Illumination”¬† where ¬†the wind was¬†a little ¬†brisk– I was¬† sorry I¬†hadn’t brought a pair of gloves¬†and worn¬†a warmer¬†blazer, finding myself doing¬† jazzercise steps to keep warm — ¬†jingle bells, stomp-stomp-stomp,¬†¬†jingle bells, stomp,stomp,stomp– you get the picture.)¬†¬†¬†Running a bit late, I¬†¬†threaded ¬†through the gathered crowd of¬† happy youngsters, oldsters,¬† teenies and toddlers, ¬†to find Daughter #3,¬† daughter- in- law¬† # 1 and four grandkids who fortunately had already¬†located good viewing spots near the front of¬† The¬† Gazebo at Cape Charles’¬† beautiful Central Park.¬† Caroling was just beginning,¬† kicked off by the¬† Master of Ceremonies,¬† Chris Bannon of Seagate B&B,¬† dressed in a bright red Santa¬†hat and wrapped in a big holiday smile.

Dedicated¬† in September, 2010, the Cape Charles¬†Central Park, ¬†with its wide green, gracefully curving sidewalks,¬†lovely fountain,¬† dozens of¬† Memorial Trees, elaborate children’s playground and The Gazebo,¬†¬†is the glorious result of years of collective effort by the many, many volunteers of¬† ” Citizens For Central Park”¬† and¬†¬†nearly a million¬†dollars¬†in ¬†donations and grants.¬† It’s now the pride of¬† the little coastal town of¬† Cape Charles,¬† the site of¬† public events large and small, ¬†a place¬†for ¬†individuals and families to enjoy a walk,¬† a jog,¬† a frisbee contest on a summer’s eve.¬†¬†And now, ¬†for the holidays,¬† it’s a magical place of trees¬†and old-fashioned Victorian style lamp posts strung with thousands of¬† twinkling lights, colors galore and blazing white, a feast for ¬†the eyes,¬† a sight for every passerby to enjoy as they light up the night.

Meanwhile,¬† back at¬† The Gazebo, folks were still arriving,¬† strolling down the Park’s¬† curving paths,¬† now lined with¬†luminaries glowing brightly in the¬† darkness,¬† twinkling like little stars¬† fallen to earth,¬† everyone receiving ¬†a candle .¬† Up on stage, ¬†Santa and Mrs. Claus¬† ( a big¬†shout-out ¬†to Larry and Trina Veber, long time¬† Cape Charles residents, ¬†for all the time they donate to make so many¬†great local¬†events even better),¬† gathered with the Mayor, the choir, some members of Cape Charles Town Council, Cape Charles Chief of Police, Commander of the Cape Charles Coast Guard Station as Chris Bannon gave a memorial tribute to Melvin Dudley, without whose tireless efforts¬† Central Park¬†would not be what it is today.¬†¬† In fact, ¬†a beautiful¬†red cedar has been been planted in a place of¬† honor near the playground as a Memorial Tree for Melvin Dudley and¬†has been¬†¬†designated as the now and future Official Christmas Tree ¬†of Cape Charles.¬† Its¬†plaque¬† reads:¬†” In honor of his dedication to Cape Charles, his gifts of wisdom,¬† his grand sense of humor,¬† his love of family and appreciation of the beauty of this environment.”¬†¬†Then,¬†a ¬†flip of the switch and the Melvin R. ¬†Dudley Memorial Tree¬† burst into¬†brightly glowing colors, the first¬† tree to be illuminated.¬† As¬† dignitaries came down from the stage to¬† light the candles of those gathered below, golden flickers spread¬† until hundreds of candles glowed in the darkness, spreading¬†light and good cheer as¬† carols continued to be sung and¬†smiles contined to grow.¬†¬† ‘Tis¬† after all,¬† The Season. ¬†Then the big moment- Mayor Dora Sullivan asked everyone to blow out their candles ¬†and turn towards the Park Green.¬† As they¬†turned, ¬†the entire Park leapt into color, everywhere trees¬†and lampposts ¬†glowed and twinkled¬† as thousands of points of¬† shining lights ¬†enveloped¬†Central Park in a brilliant blanket¬† of¬† sparkling luminous energy, evoking a wave of applause from the crowd as the 2nd Annual¬† “Grand Illumination” ¬†was concluded.

Time then for visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus who had flown in straight from the North Pole just for this event !¬†¬† Kids large and small lined up for a shy chat with Santa and a big hug from Mrs. Claus. It was¬†really sweet and so authentic,¬†¬†The Gazebo wreathed in brilliant blue lights, Santa¬†and Mrs. Claus in bright red,¬† kids waiting patiently in line for a chance to whisper into Santa’s ear their deepest holiday wishes,¬† phone cameras clicking as parents¬†snapped¬†pictures,¬† reindeer nickering¬† just a few feet away,¬† their bells jingling gaily.¬† Well, not exactly reindeer,¬† actually more like horses…. but they definitely were nickering¬† and their manes were entwined with ribbons and little bells which jingled gaily at every toss of their bedecked ¬†heads.


Thanks to¬†the folks from the Triple M Ranch,¬† a 150 acre horse farm with¬†winding ¬†riding trails located just outside Cape Charles,¬† 6 beautiful and patient horses¬†and their ¬†riders had¬†gathered¬†¬†at the entrance to Central Park¬†so that kids of all ages, including myself, would have¬† a chance to pat¬† and talk to them.¬†( Check out Triple¬†M at¬†¬†)¬† My youngest grandson, who is a bit awed by horses, ¬†just loved seeing them all dressed up in their red and green holiday finery.¬† He even ventured a gentle stroking¬† of the neck¬† of¬† a¬†small filly. What an unexpected treat,¬† it brought a real¬†old-fashioned holiday flair to¬†this ¬†great small town event,¬† hope to see these reindeer, I mean horses, ¬†again next year at¬†Cape Charles’¬† 3rd Annual “Grand Illumination” !


(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

Cape Charles Hosts An Elizabethan Faire

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Lord Robert Dudley, High Chancellor of England, and his Court

The citizens of¬† the Eastern Shore of Virginia¬†woke up the week-end of June 4-5, 2011 ¬†with not only the tall masts of Kalmar Nyckel dominating the skyline¬†of ¬†the Cape Charles harbor but also with the tents of an authentic Elizabethan Faire set up in¬†the Town’s¬†¬†beautiful and spacious¬†Central Park.¬†¬†What a perfect setting for a historic reenactment camp right out of the sixteenth century!¬† To celebrate ¬†and compliment ¬†the visit¬†of¬† Delaware’s official tall ship ambassador, Kalmar Nyckel, the historic coastal Town of Cape Charles hosted the visit of¬†¬† “Historic Interpretations” ¬†from Raleigh, North Carolina. They are a group of actors, historians, craftsmen, and educators who demonstrate in incredible detail what life was like 500 years ago in¬†an Elizabethan village.





Sir Brandon being knighted by the Lord High Chancellor of England

The day dawned bright and sunny with tangy, refreshing breezes blowing off the Chesapeake Bay.¬† And as the day progressed, visitors from far and near made their way to¬† the¬† Faire and¬†quickly found themselves involved in playing games, dancing, trying on armour, hefting weapons, and admiring the great detail of reproduction of the time period of 1585, or thereabouts, the height of Queen Elizabeth’s reign in England. I brought to the Faire my grown children and¬†grandsons. When I visited the tent of Lord Robert Dudley, the High Chancellor of England, he was so impressed with my son and grandsons that he knighted them all! Now, I have to call them Sir John, Sir Brandon, Sir Charlie, and Sir Ryan, and do their bidding whenever it pleases them – big mistake!

My “Sir” Knights then lead me by the collar around the Park’s field to another tent that sheltered the Armoury. There, to my huge surprise, were racks of weapons from the 16th century – long bows and arrows, 10′ long pikes, and other implements you cannot imagine, all of which could do serious damage to an opponent on the battlefield or the jousting.

Sir Brandon ready for battle!

arena! Suited up for battle there stood a soldier straight out of antiquity! Helmet, breastplate, chain mail … I tapped on his chest and rapped on his head much to the detriment of my poor knuckles!¬† That armour sure is good stuff! My little knight needed some shining armour, so I asked the good soldier in attendance to fix him up. And with Sir Brandon being now officially knighted and all, the soldier had no choice but do his bidding.

Then on to the Tavern tent, stocked with good victuals and brew, and furnished with collapsible wooden tables and chairs from the Elizabethan period. Gathered around the tables were the prettiest Ladies- in- Waiting, beckoning me to play a game of chess or checkers.¬† It didn’t take long at all for Sir John, Sir Charlie, and Sir Brandon to get into the spirit of things and we all broke out in rollicking songs, timeless sea chanteys and Irish tavern tunes.¬† Next thing I knew, the ladies had pulled us out of the Tavern and we were dancing on the Green,¬†¬†stepping lively¬†around in a circle with our hands on our hips, twirling and swinging our partners here and there and everywhere!

Catching my breath finally, I broke free and followed my knights further around the Green for some refreshment and relaxation. What a wonderful opportunity to learn about the habits and dress and language of the Elizabethans at the time that Sir Walter Raleigh sent his ships across the Atlantic to establish the first English settlements in America, including the historic settlements on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  home to the oldest continuous court records in the US.   I heard talk that this troupe loves Cape Charles so much that next year they plan on bringing Queen Elizabeth and her whole court !   Really looking forward to that !





A Quick Trip To Lewes, Delaware To Check Out The Tall Sailing Ship “KALMAR NYCKEL”

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
Kalmar Nyckel Tall Sailing Ship At Her Berth In Lews Delaware

The Tall Ship “Kalmar Nyckel” At Her Lewes, Delaware Berth

Saturday before last was a very pleasant day,¬† spent with my husband driving¬† round trip to Lewes, Delaware¬† to check out the on-board facilities of the tall sailing ship,¬† the¬† Kalmar Nyckel ¬†which¬†is currently ¬†moored at the Lewes Ferry Terminal.¬† In June she is making a¬†¬†5 ¬†day¬†stay at the¬†deep water ¬†harbor in¬†Cape Charles, VA.¬† Lots of great activities have been planned around her arrival including a private on-board reception given by Blue Heron Realty Co., ¬†which is one of the principal ¬†sponsors of¬† her¬†trip to Cape Charles.¬†¬†¬†Having been advised that space is very tight, ¬†on the¬† “better safe than sorry”¬† theory, ¬†I decided that in preparation for the reception I should see the physical set-up and measure the spaces the ship has to offer well in advance.¬† ¬†And I am sooooo glad I did !¬†¬† Communication is an amazing thing, ¬†involving bringing one’s own frame of reference¬† into the equation.¬† So what I had envisioned as “tight”¬† didn’t compare to the reality at all.¬†¬† When translated to space on a sailboat, ¬† of course¬†I already knew ¬†that ¬† “tight”¬† actually means almost no room whatsoever.¬† But I had¬†envisioned that it would be quite different on the 143 foot¬† Kalmar Nyckel —¬†¬† not at all !¬†¬† There is no room to set up tables for food or beverages so it was clear that we will ¬†have to make do with¬† the ship’s various built-ins– the Captain suggested serving beverages¬†from¬†a small chart box in the stern, ¬†food¬†from a flat surfaced 6 ft. by 4 ft. low cabinet near the bow ( which the crew has nicknamed “the doghouse” ),¬† a real challenge which would have been even more¬† so on the day had I not¬†previewed ¬†it in advance.¬† So,¬† really glad¬† we made that¬† 5 hour round trip drive to Lewes.¬† Plus we had time to stop¬†and tour the Lewes Lifesaving Station which was very interesting and then had one of the best brick oven pizzas ever at a little Italian restaurant in Fenwick Island called Mancini’s, ¬†so not all work and no play.

A word or two on the history of the¬† Kalmar Nyckel.¬†¬† According to a very informative little book entitled “Mallets, Chisels & Planes”¬† written by Charles Ireland, Jr., the original¬† Kalmar Nyckel¬†was¬†used as a merchant ship, an exploration vessel and finally as a warship.¬†¬† Built by the Dutch in the late 1620’s,¬† in 1637¬† she was selected for a special voyage¬†¬†by the¬†Swedish Crown,¬† the purpose of which was to explore and colonize¬† the New World, i.e., North America. She arrived in “New Sweden”¬† ( now the state of Delaware)¬† in 1629 and there her passengers established a colony and built a fort.¬† In 1645 she was re-commissioned ¬†as a warship after having made three more voyages to “New Sweden”.¬†¬†¬†350 years later a group formed with the express purpose of¬† creating a foundation to replicate the¬† Kalmar Nyckel¬† using¬† basically the same shipbuilding methods and tools that were used to construct her namesake.¬† One of the biggest challenges by far was to pull together¬†an architect and¬†the skilled craftsmen with the dedication and capability ¬†to successfully undertake such an arduous and complicated endeavor.

Poster of the events in Cape Charles, VA

Cape Charles Events Schedule

Starting with locating an old shipyard on the banks of the Christina River near Wilmington,¬† Delaware,¬† close to the¬†1638 ¬†landing site of the original¬†vessel,¬†¬†then converting it¬†to become what a 17th century shipyard would have been,¬† the¬† Kalmar Nyckel Foundation gathered together¬†volunteers and financial backers plus ¬†an enthusiastic ¬†team of shipwrights and¬† blacksmiths,¬†sail makers and riggers¬†from all over the globe who were interested in becoming¬†¬†part of¬†¬†this¬† faithful reproduction including her 8 miles of rigging and very ornate decorations and figurehead.¬†¬†¬†The rest, ¬†as they say,¬† is history.¬† And so¬†the first week of June, ¬†this amazing ship,¬† considered to be the queen of¬† modern day¬† tall ship reproductions, ¬†will for the first time sail proudly into the Cape Charles harbor where she will be most heartily welcomed by Dora Sullivan,¬† Mayor of Cape Charles¬†and other dignataries prior to¬† Blue Heron’s private reception.¬†¬† Over that week-end,¬† the¬†¬†Foundation is offering tickets for 4 different sailing trips into the Chesapeake Bay of ¬†about 2 1/2 hours each , which¬†should be lots of fun, ¬†as well as offering public tours on the following Monday.¬†¬† So if you’re nearby, come on down and see what a tall sailing ship from the early 1600’s looks like,¬†¬†she is ¬†a pretty dramatic and interesting sight,¬† well worth coming to take a tour.


(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

Candles And Carols, Lights And Smiles Highlighted The 1st Annual Grand Illumination In Cape Charles, Virginia

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Follow The Luminaries To Find The Gazebo

Newly dedicated this past September,¬†¬† the Cape Charles, Virginia ¬†Central Park was the site of¬†¬†the¬† 1st Annual Grand Illumination¬†scheduled for ¬†6:30¬†Saturday evening,¬† December 4th.¬†¬†My granddaughter and I arrived¬†¬†early after having had a nice afternoon on the Victorian Stroll,¬† touring three lovely Cape Charles Victorian B&B¬† historic homes.¬†¬†( If you are thinking about buying a¬†Victorian home on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,¬† check out our website, ¬†¬†. )¬† Volunteers,¬† like busy¬†elves, were lighting the hundreds of¬† luminaries that had been placed¬†on each side of the ¬†Park’s long curved walkways and around the perimeters of the fountain,¬†welcome ¬†points of light¬†gleaming in the¬†falling darkness.¬† ¬†About 6:15¬† people started to arrive,¬†¬†eager to participate in this very first Illumination event for the Park, young,¬† old,¬† teenagers,¬† toddlers,¬† everybody¬†wearing ¬†a smile,¬† ready with cheery¬†¬†holiday hello,¬† heading over to the Gazebo,¬†¬†¬†following the curving path¬†outlined by¬†glowing ¬†luminaries.

Chris Bannon, Master of Ceremonies, With The Choir

Chris Bannon¬† ( of ¬†Seagate B&B,¬† part of the earlier Victorian Stroll ),¬† dressed in a bright red Santa jacket and hat, ¬†acted as Master of Ceremonies.¬† Once everybody had gathered round the huge Park gazebo, ¬†organizers passed out candles and¬†a ¬†choir sang a selection of carols,¬† audience joining in.¬† It was a pretty¬†chilly night by¬†¬†Eastern Shore Virginia standards and I hadn’t brought a coat, ¬†just a blazer and scarf,¬† having not properly accounted for the strong breeze factor.¬†¬†So ¬†by the time¬†everyone was singing¬† Jingle Bells,¬† I was stomping my feet to the beat of the music to keep warm.¬† Jingle bells,¬† stomp, stomp, stomp,¬† Jingle Bells,¬† stomp, stomp, stomp…¬† You get the picture.¬†¬†Fortunately, ¬†my granddaughter had come prepared — ¬†jacket,¬† beanie,¬†¬†mittens,¬†¬†so at least she was toasty warm even as I was doing¬† jazzercise steps.¬†¬†¬†The candles were then lit,¬† in honor of ¬†and in memory of loved ones, ¬†by the¬† Town Manager, the Chief of Police and a representative of the Cape Charles Coast Guard Station who all came down into the audience to do¬†the honors¬†after being introduced by Chris.

Candles and Carols

Candles¬†burned brightly,¬† another round of carols was sung,¬† more jazzercise for me.¬†¬† Then the big moment was almost there,¬† time for the Countdown to Illumination,¬† time to turn on the thousands of lights that had been strung to decorate¬†¬†Central Park by the Cape Charles Public Works Department.¬† Mayor Dora Sullivan did the honors ….¬† 5, 4 ,3, 2, 1.¬† Simultaneously, as instructed,¬† the audience blew out their candles and as they did so,¬† Mayor Sullivan threw the light switch.¬† Voila,¬† lights shone brightly throughout the Park,¬† beautiful to behold, ¬†a¬†reward in sparkling¬† colors,¬† a gift to everyone there from¬† “Citizens for Central Park”,¬†¬†a ¬†group ¬†which¬†worked¬†tirelessly over the years to help make the Park and moments like this¬†possible ¬†for the Town and its residents !¬†

Straight From The North Pole, Santa And Mrs. Claus

¬†With¬† the dazzling blue lights¬† decorating the¬†roof ¬†of the¬† gazebo shining brilliantly above them,¬† Santa and Mrs. Claus made a¬† “surprise” ¬†appearance,¬† even did a little¬† North Pole style do-se-do¬†for the delighted crowd,¬† then settled down¬†to¬†visit ¬†with¬†some¬†very¬†excited kids.¬†¬† Santa dispensed smiles and hugs,¬† kids¬†shyly whispered their gift requests,¬† then said goodbye,¬†¬†smiles on their faces, ¬†candy canes in their hands,¬† no doubt visions of sugar plums dancing ¬†in their heads. ¬† Candles, carols and candy canes,¬† lights, ¬†smiles and¬†friendship —¬† highlights of¬† the¬†very first of what we hope are many more Grand Illuminations¬†to come at ¬†the Cape Charles Central Park.