It’s all about excellence: a ping pong challenge, stand up paddleboard tournament, comedy festival, even a harpist, it’s all here
We show off the best these next couple of weeks. The best ping pong players, the best Stand Up paddlers, best comedians and even a renowned harp player. Compass News looks at those events, some water adventures, our celebration of Preservation Month, our free summer outdoor concerts and one or two other interesting activities. Find events, restaurants, lodging and more on the website at EnjoyWilmington.com. And don’t forget your sunscreen.
Celebrating Our History with Preservation Month
It’s always time to talk about history around Wilmington but May is preservation month and the lead in always means more history events. Tonight brings a very personal look at slavery with Diary of a Contraband at the Bellamy Mansion Museum. It’s the story of William Gould a slave at the Bellamy who escaped and joined the Union Army. His descendant, William Gould, IV, has edited his diary and turned it into a book, Diary of a Contraband.
We would probably have never seen the rise of cities if we hadn’t gotten a handle on public health. And without those cities and their attendant creativity we would have a very different modern life. Wilmington is the proud home to one of the first public health departments and David Rice, current Director of Public Health will tell that story Thursday at the Latimer House.
Originally Wilmington was just the downtown area. It took the invention of Streetcars for the city to expand beyond its walking area. Next Saturday the Historic Wilmington Foundation leads a walking tour of Carolina Heights which was Wilmington’s first “streetcar suburb.” This walking tour will be followed in two weeks by a walking tour of Forest Hills the first “automobile suburb” in Wilmington.
Talks and tours will continue through May as we celebrate our history. You can find details on these and more of our history events at Our History. You can get a sense of the breadth of Wilmington’s history on Enjoy Wilmington’s Facebook page. We’ve been posting pictures of the area’s many, many historical markers there. History buffs will want to find those markets and to visit the Battleship NC, the Cape Fear Museum of History, the Bellamy Mansion Museum and the Latimer House.
Ping-Pong, Paddleboard, and more Sports
Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) takes over Wrightsville the week as the Carolina Cup SUP competition takes place. It’s a great chance to see professional paddleboarders do their thing or to try the sport yourself. It’s all happening behind the Blockade Runner hotel from Wednesday through Sunday. You can watch the competitors and then jump in and try it out.
Smaller paddles will be out in force the following Saturday for the Port City Ping-Pong Throwdown. Put your team together and head over to the Brooklyn Arts Center. Maybe you’ll win some of the cash prizes or at least enjoy the music and fun. They even promise one of Wilmington’s fleet of truck restaurants.
The UNCW Seahawks are wrapping up their baseball season with visits by Northeastern on May 3/4 and William and Mary May 9/10. The crack of the bat. The whiff of the strike. The shout of the umpire. It’s all at Brooks Field.
Find details on these sporting events and more at Our Sports.
Harps, Symphony, Outdoor Concerts and more
The beautiful notes of a Celtic harp will fill Thalian Hall when Kim Robertson performs this Sunday. Kim has performed in concert halls, grass roots folks clubs, luxury liners and, on this trip, at the Davis Community and Thalian. The organizers urge folks to bring their kids. They’ll have a gathering for the kids after the show to introduce the young ‘uns to the Harp.
Meanwhile, over at Kenan Auditorium, the Wilmington Symphony Youth Orchestra will be performing and showing some of our local talent. They will perform pieces from Glinka and, just in time for graduation season, Pomp and Circumstance.
Fans of the Motown Sound will look forward to Masters of Motown at Thalian the next Sunday. Look for the sounds of The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Commodores, Stevie Wonder and more.
That weekend also kicks off the Summer Concert series at Airlie Gardens. We love our summer concerts. Airlie holds summer concerts throughout the summer as does Mayfaire Town Center, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach at the Air Force Recreation Center and Downtown Wilmington on the Riverfront. There’s a fee for Airlie’s, the rest are free. The complete schedule can be found at Music.EnjoyWilmington.com
Find details on all of this music and more at Our Music.
Enjoy Our Water
Nobody has to be reminded that we have wonderful beaches with Wrightsville, Carolina and Kure each offering unique joys. But have you enjoyed our river, the Cape Fear? Henrietta III riverboat and the Wilmington Water Tours’ Wilmington both want to take you out for the tour you want. Wilmington Water Tours features trips to Eagles Island and other destinations along the river. The Henrietta offers dinner cruises and dance events along the water. You can find many of these at Our Tours.
Arts for All
This Friday is the Fourth Friday Artwalk. Art Galleries throughout downtown Wilmington open their doors as art lovers peruse art in the galleries, in the Pedestrian Art program, at the Bellamy and elsewhere. It’s a great atmosphere. Head downtown about 6 pm and you’ll see the folks wending their way from gallery to gallery.
Another bit of Wilmington’s art scene can be found in its churches. Wilmington Faith and Values will lead a Religious Art tour Sunday of downtown churches with significant religious art. It begins at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Details on those events and other arts events, including ongoing art shows, can be found on the website at Our Arts.
For the Kids
Wilmington’s Children’s Museum and Cape Fear Museum among other organizations always have a host of offerings for the young among us. Parents will want to check out “Parents Night Out” at Carolina Gymnastics. Parents can drop off their kids Friday and Saturday night for safe, free play while the folks have a night out.
Find more about all of these events at Kids Events.
Check out our Theater
There’s theater out there. Cape Fear Playhouse has Contemporary American’s Guide to Marriage, UNCW has Nearly Lear, City Stage has Great American Trailer Park Musical, Brown Coat has William and Judith.
Find times and locations of these shows at Our Theater.
Film and Dance
Cinematique, the film event cosponsored by WHQR and Thalian Hall, brings Ginger and Rosa to the silver screen. Two London girls are best friends in 1962 but head in separate directions under the threat of nuclear war. Iron Man 3 opens May 3rd. This largely made in Wilmington will raise Hollywood East’s profile throughout the film world. Satellite Bar brings Brothers Grimm Tideland to their Tuesday night movie night. Find more about our films at Our Film.
Dancers will enjoy dancing with Cape fear Contra Dancers or seeing Beauty and the Beast at Thalian next weekend. Check these events at Our Dance.
And there’s more to do
Wilmington Downtown Inc. hosts a networking event with details at Networking. Nutt Street Comedy Club has comedy every weekend and a Comedy Festival next weekend with details at Our Comedy. And the Brooklyn Arts Center celebrates area skills with a Made in North Carolina Fair this Saturday with details at Our Fun.
Or just check out the whole schedule at Our Events. We have restaurants for every palette and wallet. You can find a complete searchable listing at Dine Here. And you can find lodging at Our Hotels and more. Use the search function (look for the binoculars) to refine your search.
Our Nonprofit Event of the Week
Thalian Association’s Children’s Theater (TACT) is holding a fundraiser this Friday featuring our young performers. It’s only $12 to help a good cause and enjoy that upcoming talent. Find details of that event and more events on the nonprofit website www.WilmingtonGivesBack.org .
Find your nonprofit
We have a robust nonprofit community around southeastern North Carolina. You can find a great directory of nonprofits at www.WilmingtonGivesBack.org or find a calendar of nonprofit events at SENC Nonprofit Events.
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