Posts Tagged ‘Cape Charles Virginia Central Park’

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  www.triplemranches.com )  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,  www.blueheronva.com . )  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.