In the summer of 1985, Carolina Beach’s first beach music festival made its debut along the shores of this classic seaside town. Today the popular festival is still going strong, and on June 6, 2015, the Carolina Beach Music Festival will celebrate 30 years as one of the longest-running on-the-beach music festivals.
With a scenic backdrop that showcases the Atlantic Ocean and the newly renovated historic Carolina Beach Boardwalk, this year’s entertainment lineup will feature regional favorites Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot (11:00am), The Band of Oz (1:00pm), and Jim Quick & Coastline (3:00pm). Each band is renowned for beach music, a laid-back style of rhythm-and-blues that has strong ties to the Carolina coast. In fact many claim that the uniquely coastal Carolina “shag dance” may have originated on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk.
The 30th Annual Carolina Beach Music Festival is presented by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce. Gates open at 10:00am, so bring your chairs, sunscreen, coolers and plan to spend all day listening and dancing to classic beach tunes. Coolers, beverages and food are allowed. No glass; no pets; no refunds. Tickets ($20 in advance; $25 cash only day of show) are available at the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce (1121 N. Lake Park Blvd., Carolina Beach), Island Tackle & Hardware, Silver Dollar and Olde Salty’s in Carolina Beach. Attendees with an Anheuser-Busch product in their cooler can register to win prizes. The official After-Festival Beach Party will be held at The Lazy Pirate (701 N. Lake Park Blvd.) with music by The Dark 30 Boogie Band. For online festival tickets, visit www.pleasureislandnc.org/events-details.php?id=427 or call 910-458-8434 for details.
For an original beach experience that’s complete with beach music, shag-dancing, a classic Boardwalk and good old-fashioned summer fun, plan to visit Carolina Beach on June 6 during the 30th annual Carolina Beach Music Festival. Start your weekend early on Thursday night (6:30pm-9:30pm) with a free concert by “TJ Jones & Pamlico Sound Machine” (Motown/dance), followed by fireworks over the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Continue the fun on Friday at the newly renovated Carolina Beach Boardwalk with rides and amusements, souvenir shops, surrey rentals, and the legendary Britt’s Donuts. Rise early on Saturday so you can shop for local produce and crafts at the Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market at Carolina Beach Lake Park (8am-1pm). Then spend Saturdayafternoon dancing on the beach to three live bands at the Carolina Beach Music Festival (11:00am-4:30pm). Enjoy a laid-back Sunday brunch at an island restaurant, relax at the beach, and wind down on Sunday evening with a free outdoor movie at the Carolina Beach Lake amphitheater. This week’s family film is “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” (PG; 8:45pm). Or, travel down the road to Kure Beach Oceanfront Park for a Boogie in the Park concert with music by “The Mid-Atlantic” (folk/Americana/bluegrass)on Sunday (5pm-7pm).
This summer, discover the island’s simple pleasures and unexpected treasures in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Take a Carnivorous Plant Hike with a park ranger at Carolina Beach State Park and see rare plants such as Venus flytrap, bladderworts and pitcher plants. Cast your rod and reel from the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier. Sign up for a party cruise or fishing excursion at the Carolina Beach Marina. Take a surf or SUP lesson at local surf schools. Just minutes away, explore Kure Beach—North Carolina’s small wonder—where you can fish from the state’s oldest fishing pier and relax at an oceanfront park. Just a few miles down-island you can visit the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher’s new Lorikeet Landing, see the enhanced sea turtle exhibit and meet the Aquarium’s bald eagle and albino alligator You can also stroll along a 5-mile stretch of undeveloped beach at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, explore Civil War history at Fort Fisher State Historic Site, or take a ferry across the Cape Fear River.
Go with the flow and see where the water takes you when you visit Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. For a free Official Visitors Guide and a complete calendar of events, visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com. For seasonal specials and summer highlights, visit www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/season/2015-summer-highlights/