Posts Tagged ‘Events in Cape Charles VA’

“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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25 Years Later Still Going Strong- – The C.B.E.S. Annual Eastern Shore VA Bike Tour!

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

DSC_5861The annual “Between the Waters” Bike Tour sponsored by CBES, Citizens For A Better Eastern Shore, is one of the largest eco-tourism events held annually on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. This event is capped at 1000 participants and was again sold out this year which marks the event’s 25th Anniversary. The 2017 weekend actually began on Friday afternoon with a “Fun Ride” from Nassawadox into the surrounding neighborhoods. The official Tour start was from Sunset Beach Resort, with the 100 Mile Ride kicking off as the rooster crowed at 7:30 am. We arrived about 8:30 and registration was very brisk for the 25, 40 and 60 mile Rides as folks checked in and picked up their route info. In another corner of the room, raffle tickets were being sold for the original of the striking and vibrant Bethany Simpson painting which was commissioned to represent the Shore for this year’s Tour

Smiling bikers swirled around the room, selecting a treat or two from the complementary snack bar offerings of fruits, muffins, etc., trying to consume a last DSC_6086bit of energy before setting out to travel over hill and dale, traveling the Shore’s countryside. Oops, no hills and dales here, just delightfully flat terrain, easy on the legs, and a marvelous opportunity to enjoy the blue water vistas, serene fields and woodlands, the scenic views of autumn on the Shore.

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We set out to get some photos the 25 Mile Ride which took the bikers, peddling mostly on singles but some tandem bikes too plus a few recumbents, from a Sunset Beach departure. The route wound basically up the Seaside Road scenic byway, eventually to a crossover at Arlington Road with a rest and water break at a farm shed across from a field of ripe soybeans. From there, bikers pushed on past the Custis Tomb historic landmark on the Old Plantation Creek inlet and a pedal through the lovely little Chesapeake Bay neighborhood surrounding it, enjoying picturesque vistas of the Shore’s farms, woodlands and blue waters. The 25 Mile riders then headed south along Seaside Road back to Sunset Beach, then drove to Eastville for lunch. But the 40 Mile riders continued on north, with a rest stop at historic Travis Chapel near the harbor in Oyster, then north to a Rt. 13 crossing at Eastville’s Willow Oak Drive traffic light for lunch.

At picturesque Windrush Farm in Eastville, hungry bikers were treated to a rest and a boxed lunch of delicious assorted wraps, chips and fruit catered by wellDSC_6148 known Bill’s Restaurant in Chincoteague. Music and song entertainment by Nathan Travis & Company as well as plenty of tail wagging from a friendly dog with interesting face markings who was delighted to soak up much petting from just about everyone there. A little medic tent was on-site for those who might need it but fortunately there didn’t seem to be many in need. A volunteer with a pickup truck drove behind the bikers on each route, ready to help anyone with equipment or other problems but, fortunately, it didn’t seem like there were many of those problems either.

Clearly the real stars of this event are its many, many volunteers. I can only imagine the effort and organization it takes administratively to put on a 1000 participant Bike Tour each October. But on the actual day, the sheer number of volunteer “boots on the ground” needed to make the event run smoothly clearly is tremendous. From the Friday Fun Ride, to Saturday’s bustling registrations, pre-start helpers, all the different rest stops, the various lunch venues, etc., cheerful volunteers were there to make sure everything ran smoothly for the four different Rides. And run smoothly it did ! Plus special kudos to the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel whose personnel stood out in Rt. 13 for hours on end to assure safe crossings over the highway because nothing can take the fun out of an event like an accident ! Crowned by the evening Oyster Roast, the 25th Anniversary Tour was over and now it’s onward to organizing the 26th !

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First Annual Live Auction At Lemon Tree Gallery And Studio

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Crowds Looking at Art 2Another exciting  “First Of ” event in Cape Charles,VA  kicked off recently with the “1st Annual Live Art Auction” hosted by the Lemon Tree Gallery and Studio in Cape Charles to benefit Experimental Film Virginia.  At the door, attendees were greeted with a sparkling limoncello prosecco cocktail before moving on to the registration table (manned by Blue Heron’s own Luisa Gazzolo), then flowing into the main gallery to view the tables laid out with the myriad works on auction. Entitled the “Sail On Sale” and sponsored by GEAR ( Global Exchange Arts Roundtable, a 501 (c)3 non-profit led by Renata Sheppard, daughter of Clelia Sheppard ), the Silent Auction and the Live Auction proceeded simultaneously.

 

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Ranada and Pink Art

Well-known names such as David Turner, Christine Harris,  Anne Bois and dozens of other talented local artists donated 100% of auction proceeds from the sale of their work to GEAR. Pieces ranged from embroidered wall hangings, oil paintings, prints and carvings to exquisite blown glass, jewelry and bronze sculpture. Gift baskets, a romantic weekend getaway, etc., even an eye procedure, were donated by local businesses for this event. Item # 4, a cocktail party at Lemon Tree Gallery for 20 guests including live music, beer, wine, mixed drinks plus cheese and antipasto platters resulted in some fast paced bidding action.

 

 

 

 

Beautiful CrabRanada showing pottery piece

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Crowd and Stage

Several of the donating artists present were coaxed to take the stage while their works were being sold, including Melinda Blanchard, who paints amazing pet portraits. During her item’s bidding, Rosilina, Clelia’s super-soft, super-cuddly long haired dachshund, whose portrait is featured on Melinda’s brochure, made a surprise appearance on stage to the delight of the audience. Auctioneer William Summs kept the bidding lively throughout and by the end of the evening over $5000 had been raised to support this year’s crop of experimental filmmakers. Concluding with musical entertainment by Bruce Brinkley and Scott Wade, it was definitely a delightful evening. Much fun was had by all — especially by the successful bidders!

 

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Signing up for Photos

P.S. A group of nearly 50 experimental filmmakers who will be accepted by GEAR for its 2017 program will arrive here in July and spend 2 weeks living in Cape Charles, creating unique 3-5 minute films centered on the Shore. And the public will be able to see the results when their films are premiered on July 15th at the Palace Theatre. So save the date on your calendar, it’s going to be an interesting evening.

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)