Area Events Listings for September 24th, 2014

By / Local Events / Wednesday, 24 September 2014 04:00

Pleasure Island Calendar of Events for 2014

• May 11 – Oct 4 - Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market every Saturday (910-431-8122)
• Sept 20 - 2nd Annual Carolina Beach Dragon Boat Regatta and Festival 910-599-2979
• October 3rd - Janis’ Pleasure Island Day of Hope “Toes in the Sand” Beach Walk – 910-458-9453.
• October 11 & 12 - 21st Annual Seafood, Blues and Jazz Festival (910-458-8434)
• October 17-19 - 8th Annual Pleasure Island Surf Fishing Challenge (910-352-0603)
• October 18 - 6th Annual Salty Paws Festival (910-458-9453)
• October 25 - Annual Carolina Beach Firefighters Association BBQ (910-458-8434)
• November 28 - Island of Lights Light Up Celebration at the Lake (910-458-5507)
• Nov 28 thru Dec 20 - 6th Annual Christmas by the Sea (Carolina Beach Boardwalk) (910-470-8666)
• December 5 - Island of Lights Christmas Parade (910-458-5507)
• December 6 - Island of Lights Flotilla (910-458-0211)
• December 12, 13 & 14 - Kure Beach Fantasy Christmas Show (910-279-0459)
• December 13 - Island of Lights Tour of Homes (910-458-5506)
• December 31 - Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Countdown held in Kure Beach
For Chamber information please visit our website at or E-Mail us at
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Island Day - September 28th 1-5 PM

CAROLINA BEACH, NC -Please mark your calendars for the 5th Annual Island Day celebration, sponsored this year by Duke Energy. The event will be held Sunday, September 28th from 1:00PM to 5:00PM at the Carolina Beach Lake Park. Island Day is a cooperative effort between the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, Carolina Beach Downtown Initiative, and the Town Staff, Elected Officials, and Volunteers of both Carolina and Kure Beach. Sponsorships for as little as $50.00 are still available - details can be found on our website at
 Island Day is a celebration that brings together residents of Pleasure Island for a day of “old fashioned” fun with picnicking, family friendly activities and games, music, hands-on educational opportunities, and time to visit with friends and neighbors. Bring a cooler with sandwiches, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages, or make a donation for a hot dog from the Carolina and Kure Beach Fire Departments. Sit on your blankets, relax and enjoy!
 This event could not function without the support and participation of our citizens, and local non-profits and businesses, including a gracious sponsorship from Duke Energy.  We are currently accepting applications at Carolina Beach Town Hall from anyone interested in participating in this year’s event. If you are interested in volunteering or participating, please contact Brenda Butler in Town Hall at (910) 458-8218 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications can also be found at www.carolinabeach. org. Thank you in advance for helping make the 5th Annual Island Day a huge success!

Fall Festivals, Seafood, Blues & Brews

Celebrate fall from riverfront to oceanfront with a ton of exciting outdoor activities and events in Wilmington and our island beaches.  With school back in session and less crowds, fall is also the perfect time to plan a getaway for just the adults.  Round up your friends, or enjoy a trip just for two, with mild temperatures, great deals and seasonal festivals.  In September, explore the self-guided Wilmington Fall Wine and Beer Walk as you sample the wine and beer selections local eateries and watering holes have to offer.  Enjoy Wilmington's thriving music scene with outdoor concerts throughout the season including Jazz at the Mansion located at the historic Bellamy Mansion and the Airlie Gardens Concert Series in the middle of picturesque Airlie Gardens. Celebrate one of Wilmington’s most beloved events in October at the 36th annual Riverfest.  Enjoy over 200 craft and food vendors, live entertainment on two stages, a paddleboard race, fireworks and more at this three-day event.  For all you pirate lovers out there, enjoy pirate entertainers, a treasure hunt and a pirates’ flotilla all along the scenic riverfront.
Our island beaches are hopping with fall activity with signature seasonal events.  Reel in a prize-winning catch in September at the Fisherman’s Post Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge, Wide Open Tech Spanish Mackerel Open or the Carolina Fall King Challenge.  Foodies will delight in the Taste of Wrightsville Beach event, featuring savory dishes from 28 area restaurants with live music and entertainment.  In October, head to Kure Beach and groove to the music at the Pleasure Island Seafood Blues & Jazz Festival as internationally-recognized and Grammy-winning musicians, the Robert Cray Band and Delbert McClinton, take the stage.  This two-day event also features an array of delicious seafood selections from the area's best restaurants.
Book your trip to Wilmington and our island beaches now to enjoy the coastal fall sights, tastes and sounds from the river to the sea!
- See more at:

Carolina Beach Farmers Market Continues Until October 4th

The Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market was established to provide a location for local growers, producers, artisans and crafters to sell their goods directly to the consumers, to encourage and promote the use of locally grown and produced products and to enhance the quality of life in Carolina Beach. This "island-style" market is held every Saturday from 8:00am to 1:00pm until September 28th and is located on the shores around the lake in Carolina Beach. Check out the Market for an abundant selection of fresh and local fruits and vegetables, dairy products, wines, meats, baked goods and natural soaps while listening to live music. Free parking is provided. For more information please visit the market's facebook page (Carolina Beach Farmers Market), website ( or email Janet Knott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

21st Annual Pleasure Island Seafood Blues & Jazz Festival to be held on October 11th & 12th

The air is crisp, the nights are cool and the sky is blue – Welcome to Pleasure Island in the Fall.  And there is no better way to bring in Autumn than to attend the 21st Annual Pleasure Island Seafood Blues & Jazz Festival on October 11th & 12th.  This years’ Festival brings something new and unique to the twenty-year history of this great Festival – DOUBLE HEADLINERS.  
That is right, International renowned artists will headline on Saturday and Sunday this year! First up is the legendary ROBERT CRAY BAND on Saturday night, October 11th.  
With 5 Grammy Awards, 15 nominations, millions of record sales worldwide, and thousands of sold out performances, rock blues icon Robert Cray is considered “one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.” Closing out the Festival on Sunday, October 12th, will be the first-ever repeat headliner – the incomparable Delbert McClinton, with three Grammy awards to his credit. In support of the outstanding talent offered up by Robert Clay Band  and Delbert McClinton, the Festival will also offer other national recording acts including: Opening for Robert Clay Band  will be SHEMEKIA COPELAND – the NEW “Queen of the Blues” (City of Chicago honor) and two-time GRAMMY Award nominee AND Opening for DELBERT McCLINTON will be the ever-popular DAMON FOWLER – With a hybrid blend of roots rock, blues and sacred steel, Damon has become one of the hottest young players on the Blues scene. In Addition to these four, there will be ten other blues and jazz groups on two stages over the two-day festival brought to you by Bryant Real Estate and the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area. The Food selection, as always, will be outstanding as well.  The amazing FREE Kidzone will be back with magicians, face painting, educational exhibits and inflatables and much more!  You can also get a little shopping in at the many and varied vendors as well as having a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. Tickets are just $50.00 in advance for a two-day pass or can be purchased at the door for $60.00 for Saturday (Robert Clay Band  plays Saturday night) and $25.00 for Sunday (Delbert McClinton is the Sunday closer).  Kids 12 and under are free.  We ask that you do not bring coolers or pets, but bring your chairs, towels and blankets for a Pleasure Island style weekend.  See you there!
For more information please call the Chamber at 910-458-8434 or email at  

Legion Auxiliary to Host 2nd Holiday Craft Show Nov. 1 & 2

The American Legion Auxiliary will be holding its 2nd Holiday Craft Show on
November 1 and 2, 2014, at the American Legion Post 129 pavilion building on Carolina Beach.  The address is 1500 Bridge Barrier Road in Carolina Beach (behind the Food Lion).  Hours for the craft show will be 9 to 4 on November 1 and 1 to 4 on November 2. Come on out and get an early start on your holiday shopping with a wide variety of items from local crafters/artisans.  For directions or questions call 910-458-9155. Refreshments will be available.  

Federal Point Historic Preservation Society Monthly Meeting’s

• Monday September 15, 2014 – Membership Meeting. 7:30-9:00 pm. - Norm Melton, will talk about his personal experiences while “Growing Up on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk.”
•  Monday October 20, 2014 -  Membership Meeting. 7:30-9:00 pm. - Local historian and author, Elaine Henson, will present an illustrated talk on the history of the “Cape Fear Beaches.”
• Monday November 17, 2014 – Membership Meeting. 7:30-900 pm. - LeRae Umfleet, of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources will return to us with her program on “Women in World War One.” Watch a snippet of LeRae Umfleet (lead researcher for the North Carolina 1898 Race Riot Report) of her talking about how the 1898 massacre stopped the growth of the city of Wilmington.
 • Monday December 15, 2014 – Holiday Potluck 6:30-900 pm.
The History Center is located at 1121 North Lake Park Blvd adjacent to the Carolina Beach Town Hall. Use the Town Hall side-front entrance.

September 2014 Programs at N.C. Aquarium at Ft. Fisher

Visit for more information on programs and travel directions. 900 Loggerhead Rd, Kure Beach, NC 28449 Phone: (910) 458-8257

• AQUARIST APPRENTICE - Saturdays, September 20, 27 at 2 p.m. and Saturday, October 18 at 2 p.m. - Check out a dirty job you’re sure to love.  Join staff on a behind-the-scenes tour and learn about Aquarium animals, what they eat, how they live, and how to care for them. Then, assist aquarists with food preparation and help feed the animals. Participants also observe aquarists during daily care and maintenance tasks. This limited opportunity is only open to 10 participants. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes and be prepared to smell fishy. For ages 10 and older.  Ages 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.  Fee: $25 for ages 13 and older, $23 for ages 10-12. Aquarium admission included. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
• BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR - Saturdays, September 20 at 11:15 a.m., Sundays, September 28 at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., Sunday, September 21 at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Saturdays, October 4, 11, 18 at 11:15 a.m., Sundays, October 5, 12, 19, 26 at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.  - Check out a dirty job you’re sure to love. Join staff on a behind-the-scenes tour and learn about Aquarium animals, what they eat, how they live, and how to care for them. Then assist aquarists with food preparation and help feed the animals. Participants also observe aquarists during daily care and maintenance tasks. This limited opportunity is only open to 10 participants. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes and be prepared to smell fishy. For ages 10 and older. Ages 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Fee: $25 for ages 13 and older, $23 for ages 10-12. Aquarium admission included. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
• Extended BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR - Wednesdays, September 17, 24 at 2 p.m., Fridays, September 12, 26 at 2 p.m., Wednesdays, October 1, 8, 15 at 2 p.m. Fridays, October 3, 17 at 2 p.m. - Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at an Aquarium? Space for animal holding, husbandry, life support systems, and access to exhibits is hidden behind the aquarium walls. If you have ever cared for a home aquarium, you may have some idea of what it takes to operate a collection of salt and freshwater exhibits, with hundreds of animals. Accompany aquarium staff on a guided tour of animal quarantine, life support, food preparation, and access areas. This unique opportunity is limited to 10 participants. Children under 8 are not permitted. Children between 8 and 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Fee: $15.00 for adults and $13.00 for children 17 and under. Aquarium admission included. NC Aquarium Society Members pay $9.00 per participant.
For Children
• CHILDREN’S DISCOVERY TIME - Friday, September 19 at 11 a.m. – Freshwater Friends, Thursday, September 25 at 2 p.m. – Hermit Crab’s Companions, Thursday, October 2 at 11 a.m. – Slimy Sea Creatures, Thursday, October 16 at 11 a.m. – Camouflaged Critters - Creatures come alive in this story-telling and critter-creating program. For ages 3-5. Fee: $14 per child. Aquarium admission included. Parents pay admission only.  PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED.
• FINS AND FAMILY TOUR - Tuesdays, September 16, 30 at 10 a.m., Thursdays, September 18 at 2 p.m., Tuesdays, September 23 at 2 p.m., Thursdays, September 11, 25 at 10 a.m.  - A short and sweet tour behind the scenes for the young and curious. This 30-minute exploration packs in gallons of hidden fun and learning specifically for families with children 3 to 7 years old. Staff shares fin-tastic animal facts and assists in creating a fishy craft to take home. Then follow the hidden passages to the top of the Aquarium’s largest habitat for views of sharks, rays, a green sea turtle and much more. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes. For ages 3 and older. Fee: $16 for ages 13 and older, $14 for ages 3-12. Aquarium admission included. PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED.
Outdoors & Exploration
• CANOEING THE SALT MARSH - Saturdays, September 20, 27 at 9 a.m. - A three-hour exploration of the Zeke’s Island Estuarine Research Reserve by canoe. Activities may include crabbing, seining or birding. Participants should be able to swim and be capable of sustained physical exertion. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes. For ages 8 and older. Ages 8-12 must be accompanied by two adults. Fee: $25 per participant. Aquarium admission is not included. PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED.
• SALT MARSH AND CRABBING - Saturday, September 27 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  - Join us for this hands-on program that introduces participants to the challenge of catching blue crabs. Lessons in crab biology and crabbing equipment prepare participants for an exciting expedition outdoors to catch (and release) crabs. All bait and equipment is provided.  For ages 7 and  older.  Fee: $19 for ages 13 and older, $17 for ages 7-12. Aquarium admission included. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
• SURF FISHING WORKSHOP - Saturdays, September 20, 27 at 9 a.m., Saturday, September 27 at 1 p.m., and Saturdays, October 4, 11, 18 at 9 a.m. - This three hour workshop includes one hour of classroom discussion, then surf fishing on the beach nearby. All equipment and bait provided. Program is rain or shine, with extra activities added in event of bad weather (e.g., throwing a cast net). Ages 10 and older. Fee: $15 per participant. Aquarium admission is not included. PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED.
The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located just south of Kure Beach, a short drive from Wilmington, on U.S. 421. The site is less than a mile from the Fort Fisher ferry terminal. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission:$10.95 ages 13-61; $9.95 62+ and military; $8.95 ages 3-12. Free admission for: children 2 and younger, registered groups of N.C. school children, and N.C. Aquarium Society members. General information:
DAY Camp for Kids
• AQUACAMP – SURVIVING IN THE WILD - Wednesday, October 1, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Children are invited to spend a fun filled day learning about the many ways animals survive in the wild. From camouflage to mimicry, campers will learn about the different techniques animals use to stay alive. Happy campers play games, create art and watch live animal presentations. Snacks are provided. Campers will need to bring a bag lunch. Ages 5-12. Fee: $40 per participant. PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED.
• AQUACAMP – INCREDIBLE INVERTEBRATES - Friday, October 3, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Of the million or more animal species in the world, more than 98% are invertebrates. During this session, campers will be introduced to clams, snails, crabs, sea urchins and sea stars.  Live animal presentations and more are all part of this exciting program. Snacks are provided. Campers will need to bring a bag lunch. Ages 5-12. Fee: $40 per participant. PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED.
• AQUACAMP – SALT MARSH INHABITANTS - Wednesday, October 15, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Campers will learn about our salt marsh habitats and why they are important. They will hike through the marsh and discover plants and animals found in this rich environment. Campers will also explore a maritime forest, pull a seine or dip net through the marsh and discover the importance of dunes, marsh grasses and food webs. Snacks are provided. Campers will need to bring a bag lunch. Ages 5-12. Fee: $40 per participant. PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED.
• AQUACAMP – SPOOKY CRITTERS? Friday, October 17, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. It’s almost Halloween, and what better way for your kids to spend the day out of school then at our fun-filled day camp? They will meet some slippery, slimy and cool animals. Once campers learn about them, they will see that these critters are not so spooky after all. Live animal presentations, fun crafts and more are all part of this exciting program. Snacks are provided. Campers will need to bring a bag lunch. Ages 5-12. Fee: $40 per participant. PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED.
AquaCamp Transportation - We are offering limited transportation from the Monkey Junction area to and from Aquacamps. We can accommodate only 13 children per day.  A fee and preregistration is required. AVAILABLE ONLY FOR OCTOBER 15 AND 17 CAMPS.


• GALLERY TALKS: School Pride Conversations. Thurs. Sept. 25 at 7:00 pm. Brown WingMuseum Admission, CAM Members: Free. An informal series of discussions focusing on alumni from the sixteen Cape Fear area high schools closed during desegregation.  From the good times of school dances and sports to their perceptions, experiences and feelings during the era of the battles fought for educational equality. Rev. Moses E. Stanley (Union), Dot DeShields and Barbara Smith-Walker (Williston) lead off the School Pride Conversations.
• JAZZ @ THE CAM Series - A concert series by the Cameron Art Museum and the Cape Fear Jazz Society. September 2014 – April 2015 from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Series: CAM/CFJS Members: $45.00. Non-members: $68.00. Students: $30.00 with valid ID. Individual: CAM/CFJS Members: $8.00. Non-members: $12.00. Students: $5.00 with valid ID
• 1st Thursday of each month - Cameron Art Museum, Weyerhaeuser Reception Hall (
 The fifth season of the popular seven concert series offers a mixture of new and familiar musicians in a variety of combinations performing a range of jazz genres for your listening pleasure.  Series seat sales currently in progress online on CAM’s website. Purchase the Series and in addition to the cost savings, table seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Purchase seats on CAM’s website: cameronmart, by phone 910.395.5999 or at the door.
Jazz @ The CAM season 2014-15 roster:
• October 2, 2014:  Reggie Buie Group
• November 6, 2014:  “An Evening with Bob Russell and Michael D'Angelo”
• January 8, 2015:  Max Levy and the Hawaiian Shirts
• February 12, 2015 The Gregg Gelb Jazz Quartet with Kathy Montgomery Gelb, vocalist  
• March 5, 2015: Doug Irving Trio “Trios@Standards”
• April 2, 2015: El Jaye Johnson and the Port City All-Stars
Special 2nd Thursday date - GROUP SINGING: Wilmington Sacred Harp Singers. Sun. Sept. 28 at: 1:30 pm Instruction for beginners; 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Entire Group. Songbooks provided, beginners welcome!
Free and open to the public, donations appreciated
Weyerhaeuser Reception Hall. Wilmington Sacred Harp Singers presents a traditional Sacred Harp Singing and invite you to join in the music. This dynamic form of a cappella social singing dates back to Colonial America, using a modern reprint of an 1844 songbook called The Sacred Harp. Sacred Harp and related shape-note styles are the oldest continuous singing traditions in the United States. Surviving as a living tradition in parts of the South, notably Georgia and Alabama, Sacred Harp music has been discovered by new generations of singers who have spread the heritage across North America and to Australia and Europe.  The music is loud, vigorous and intense. It is meant to be sung, not just observed. No previous experience is necessary. Learn more about Sacred Harp singing at and this singing at Held in collaboration with WHQR.
MUSEUM SCHOOL 6-Week Classes and 1 + 2-DAY WORKSHOPS REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR FALL I SESSION: Sign up for 6-week classes and 1 to 2-Day art workshops. Beginners are always welcome to sign up! For more information call 910.395.5999 ext. 1008.
 CAM CAFÉ - Come sample CAM Café’s menu of fresh and seasonal delights 11:00 am - 3:00 pm Tuesday - Saturday, Thursday Dinner 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm and Sunday Brunch 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Stop by and enjoy drinks, appetizers, or a great meal. Every Thursday evening Chef Jessica Cabo creates specialty dishes with ingredients from NC farms. Reservations are appreciated and suggested: 910.777.2363. Visit to see lunch menu items.
 School Pride: The Eastern NC Story . An Installation by Willie Cole. On view thru Nov. 2, 2014. In observation of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act (July 2, 1964) Cameron Art Museum, in collaboration with Countywide Community Development Corporation of Navassa, NC presents the exhibition School Pride: The Eastern NC Story  An Installation by Willie Cole June 29-November 2, 2014. Nationally renowned artist Willie Cole is creating new installations investigating the closing of sixteen Cape Fear area schools and other aspects of desegregation in southeastern NC and its impact statewide.
 Cole states that the visual intent of this exhibition is to create “a multi-gallery installation that reflects the real or physical history of desegregation in North Carolina through the use of conceptual or emotional triggers and historical documents.” Cole will look deeply into historical and found objects – from students who attended these schools, from regional museums, and from area families. Together, the juxtaposition of these objects will demonstrate a powerful narrative of the struggle of a community for equality in education. In their search for source material, museum staff and volunteers have spent hours digitizing photographs from alumni and teachers from these schools. Ultimately, the story that has emerged is one of pride: school pride, community pride, and pride in the battle well fought for educational equality.
Cameron Art Museum Galleries Open on Thursday Evenings. Open late Thursday Evenings until 9:00 pm. CAM Members: NO COST | Non-Members: $8 | Students w/id $5, Seniors and Active Military | Children 2-12 $3. Join friends or bring the family and enjoy viewing current exhibitions in the Hughes Wing and Brown Wing each week.
ABOUT THE CAMERON ART MUSEUM: Cameron Art Museum is located at the corner of South 17th Street and Independence Boulevard in Wilmington, NC.  Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm, Thursday: 10:00 am –9:00 pm. During the time there is only one exhibition, Museum admission is:   Museum members no cost , $8 Non-members, $5 Students with valid student identification card, active military (with ID) and Seniors (65+) and Children age 2 -12 $3. For updated information on programs, exhibitions, classes and events, visit   or call 910.395.5999.

N.C. Shell Show Rolls into Cape Fear Museum
WILMINGTON, N.C. –  The state’s annual gathering of shell collectors, exhibitors and enthusiasts returns to Cape Fear Museum of History and Science September 20th and 21st.

The 2014 North Carolina Shell Show, co-sponsored by the N.C. Shell Club and Cape Fear Museum, will feature hundreds of seashells – remnants of bivalves and gastropods alike – collected far and wide by club members and other exhibitors. Participants from Pennsylvania to Florida will install museum-quality displays.

The general public is encouraged to attend and learn about various aspects of shells and shelling. Shell club members will be on hand throughout the weekend to answer questions. Dealers will be onsite selling shells and shell-related items.

The Shell Show will feature scientific and arts-and-crafts exhibits in more than 20 categories, from North Carolina collections and single shells, to molluscan natural history and shell photography. Rare, beautiful, large, tiny, freshwater, saltwater, shell anomalies and fossils will fill several spaces within the Museum, including the lobby.

Experience the largest gathering of shell collections in North Carolina on Saturday, September 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 21 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The 2014 North Carolina Shell Show is free for members or with Museum admission. For more information, call 910.798.4368.

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, a department of New Hanover County, is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Sunday September through May. General admission is $7 for adults; $6 for students with valid ID and senior citizens; $6 special military rate with valid military ID; $4 for children 6-17; and free for children under 6. Museum members are admitted free. New Hanover County residents’ free day is the first Sunday of each month. The Museum is located at 814 Market Street in historic downtown Wilmington, N.C.  More information:

Autumn Train Excursions Return To Our Most Popular Past Destinations November 1st

The N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation and the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum are again sponsoring Autumn Train Excursions, day trips by rail to two great destinations.  This year’s excursions will return to some of the most popular past destinations.  The “Virginia Autumn Special” departs for Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Nov. 1.  The “Georgia Autumn Special” will head to Toccoa, Ga., Sunday, Nov 2..  Providing amazing views of the changing leaves and a rare journey by rail, getting there is truly half the fun.
Departing Spencer at 7 a.m., Saturday's "Virginia Autumn Special" will offer a second passenger pick-up at the Greensboro Amtrak Station at 8 a.m., allowing those living in the Triad a more convenient boarding opportunity. 
Passing through the North Carolina cities of Thomasville, High Point and Reidsville, and the Virginia cities of Danville, Lynchburg and Oak Ridge, passengers will experience beautiful views of the Piedmont and rolling hills of North Carolina and the western part of Central Virginia offers spectacular views of the fall foliage, crossing the Dan River.
In Charlottesville, travelers will have nearly three hours to explore the historic downtown area. It is a short walk to the downtown outdoor mall, considered one of the finest urban parks in the country. Unique shopping and dining opportunities can be found in boutiques, specialty wine, coffee and tea shops and outdoor dining spots. Travelers may also enjoy relaxing walks under a lush, leafy tree canopy.
Departing Charlottesville at 3 p.m., the train will arrive back in Greensboro at 7 p.m. and in Spencer at 8 p.m. 
Sunday, the Georgia Autumn Special will also depart from the N.C. Transportation Museum at 7:00 am with additional stop/pickup at the Spartanburg, SC Amtrak station at 9:00 am and will traverse what was once Southern Railway’s main line, running from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, Ga. Passengers will enjoy the gala fall colors of Carolinas’ rolling foothills, before crossing the 100-foot Seneca River trestle spanning Lake Hartwell to arrive at Toccoa.
Nestled into the foothills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, the historic town will be bustling with activity during the 38th annual Harvest Festival. Passengers will have approximately three hours to enjoy the festival, which features handmade, handcrafted and home-grown items from more than 200 vendors, as well as delicious regional foods, great entertainment on two stages, children and youth activities, buggy rides and much more.
Toccoa Falls, named for the Cherokee word “Toccoah” meaning beautiful, is a must see. Located on the campus of Toccoa College, the 186-foot falls are 26 feet taller than Niagara Falls. Shuttle buses will be making a continuous loop between downtown Toccoa and Toccoa Falls.
Departing Toccoa at 3 p.m., the Georgia Autumn Special will return to Spartanburg, SC at 5:45 pm and back to Spencer, NC at 8 p.m.
Three seating classes are offered for these Autumn Train Excursions.  Tourist class features the convenience and comforts of modern Amtrak cars. Each car has a center aisle with two adjustable seats and a wide window on each side. This seating area provides convenient access to the souvenir and cafe cars. Tourist class seating is $155 per person.
Deluxe coach seating will be offered in vintage and Amtrak cars, featuring spacious seating with adjustable seat backs and leg rests, as well as large windows for better viewing. Lunch will be served in classic table and dining cars. Light snacks and beverages are also provided.  Deluxe coach seating is $190 per person
First class passengers will be seated in restored, vintage lounge or parlor cars. Each car is configured differently with a variety of seating options.  Compartment seating may be requested for small groups but is not guaranteed.  Fare includes continental breakfast, newspapers, light snacks and dinner.  First Class seating is $265 per person.
Additional for those wishing to eat on the train to provide more time for sightseeing, an optional Gourmet Boxed Lunch will be offered. Delivered to your seat, the $15 meal will be served in a souvenir lunch tote, including chicken salad on a croissant, pasta salad, fresh fruit, homemade pound cake and a drink. This option is only available in advance and can be purchased with your ticket.  Served in a souvenir tote, the meal includes a half turkey wrap, pasta salad, tortilla chips and salsa, a cookie and drink. This option is $15 per person and available only in advance with ticket purchase. Travelers can also take home a souvenir T-shirt.  Featuring the “Autumn Rails” logo, these T-shirts will be distributed with passenger boarding passes.  T-shirts are $20 each and are available in green or rust. Photos of the T-shirt design are available at
Tickets are on sale and now can be purchased by calling 704-636-2889 ext. 237 or visiting online at


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