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Outer Banks Area Features

What's New for 2018?

New and exciting events, attractions and businesses are always coming to the Outer Banks. And when it comes to staying “in the know,” Sunny Day Guide does the work for you. We’ll share the hottest news for 2018 so you can make the most of your visit to the Carolina coast.

The 300th Anniversary of Blackbeard’s Death

According to some accounts, Edward Teach (a.k.a. Blackbeard) was shot five times and stabbed over a dozen times before losing his head to the British and THEN swimming around the ship on which he was killed. This is one of the many tales that surround the infamous pirate who was known for his theatrics, but it probably did take a lot of manpower to bring him down on November 22, 1718. In 2018, the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is commemorating Blackbeard’s death with a traveling exhibit of artifacts from the pirate’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. From June 2 to July 29, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras will showcase these items to the public. Later in the year on Ocracoke, homage will be paid to the man who is credited with killing Blackbeard, Lieutenant Robert Maynard. Events including a traditional English tea party, an oyster roast and pig-picking fundraiser, and a memorial service at Springer’s Point with special guests from the British Royal Navy will take place Nov. 21-23. Stop by these places to relive a piece of history and explore the local legend.

For a fun celebration of the pirate’s life and death, make plans to attend Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree on Oct. 25-28. See reenactments and cannon demonstrations off the shores of Ocracoke Island. Meanwhile, pirates will be invading the island and bringing their (fun and festive) mayhem with them. Jamboree attendees will also be treated to live music and have the opportunity to purchase merchandise, food, and beverages from local vendors. Also, Kitty Hawk Kites is presenting the Outer Banks Pirate Festival, Aug. 16-17 at Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head. Kids can attend a “scallywag school” to see if they’re pirate-enough to join Blackbeard’s crew. Cannon demonstrations will take place and the family can walk around the pirate encampment. Feel free to dress up as a swashbuckler and practice your pirate drawl for both the Ocracoke and Jockey’s Ridge events!

Mustang Rock & Roast

Most people on the Outer Banks are familiar with the popular Mustang Music Festival in May—the annual Spring Jam. Now, there’s a new event in the fall! The first Mustang Rock & Roast will take place Oct. 13-14 at Mike Dianna's Grill Room in Corolla. Patrons will be entertained by at least a dozen bands from the Outer Banks and from across the nation while enjoying two foods the region is known for—BBQ and oysters. Get your fill of these delicious foods and purchase some cocktails from the restaurant’s drink menu. As with the Spring Jam, proceeds from the event go to a favorite Corolla charity—the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. The fall Rock & Roast is sure to become a favorite annual event, so be there from the start.

Oregon Inlet Bridge Grand Opening

Two years ago, ground broke for the construction of a new replacement bridge between Bodie Island and Hatteras. The project is near completion and is projected to open in late 2018. The existing Bonner Bridge, dedicated in 1963 and named after Congressman Herbert C. Bonner, has been badly damaged over the years, particularly in 1990 when a barge destroyed a large segment during a severe storm. The new bridge is designed to be substantially more durable to survive the rough Carolina coastal waters and is expected to last 100 years. It’s been one of the most talked about projects on the Outer Banks and it’s almost finished!

Ocracoke Express

A new passenger ferry is coming to the area! Prepare to board what locals call the “Ocracoke Express,” a large, catamaran-style ship for a 70-minute trip between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village. This $9 million project has been in the making for over three years. Completion and launch was expected in July 2018 but has been postponed to the fall. The boat features indoor seating for nearly 100 people, and a second story with 26 seats, bicycle racks and a concession stand. Plus, this ferry takes reservations so passengers can choose the best time for them. Check online at ferry.ncdot.gov to check updates and (when complete) book passage.

New Breweries

Two new breweries have opened their doors and started serving their delicious brews to thirsty patrons. Founded 300 years after Blackbeard’s death, the 1718 Brewery on Ocracoke opened in the fall of 2017. Stop in to try their beers including the popular Mexican Chocolate Stout, Notorious F.I.G. (using local figs) or their Happi Jacq IPA. In Corolla, the Northern Outer Banks Brewing Company began admitting people to their tasting room in late 2017 to try their Corolla Lager, Penny's Hill IPA, Swan Beach Honey Pale, and Corolla Saison Ale. In addition to providing really good, smooth beer, some of their 16-oz. cans showcase beautiful, local art from Zack Lobisch featuring scenes of the region. Take home a 4-pack with an image of a lighthouse or a surfer to remember your trip!

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