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Welcome to the holidays on the islands, and let us hear from you

Welcome to the 2015 Christmas on the Islands Page, which features holiday shopping tips and information and news aboutevents during November and December. 
We hope our readers will shop locally for their holiday gifts and other needs.  Our small, locally owned businesses need our support all year-round.
Most of the advertisers in our holiday shopping guide have websites, so you can shop even if you won’t be here.
The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are a great time to be on the islands. Have a terrific holiday season and enjoy
We will be happy to list your event.  Please send information to [email protected]

(Click here for more information about advertising on our shopping guide.)


A Christmas community dinner in northern villages on Dec. 5

A festive community holiday dinner is set for Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo, Saturday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m.

Sponsored by the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Building board and hosted by the villages’ civic association, the evening features a wonderful dinner and special music. Community cooks are preparing ham and turkey for the gathering. Attendees are asked to bring a side dish or dessert.

After dinner, the community will join together to sing holiday songs. For the last several years, when the community sings ``Santa Claus is Coming to Town,’’ the magical man has appeared to listen to children’s and adult’s wishes for the holiday season. The Christmas song is again on the program. Santa also brings gifts for all.

And, as is the community custom, a box will be available to collect non-perishable food and personal care items for the Hatteras Island Food Pantry.

For the holiday season, community volunteers will decorate the villages’ community building for the dinner as well as special, public places in the villages. Decoration Day is Friday, Dec. 4.

All community members are invited to this dinner to start the holiday season.

OBXmas weekend includes Hatteras Island events

The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau has put together a list of special holiday events up and down the Outer Banks, including on Hatteras Island.  OBXmas weekend on Hatteras Island includes events on Friday, Dec. 11, and Saturday, Dec. 12 in the northern villages, Buxton, and Hatteras.

For more information on Outer Banks holiday events, travel packages, and promotions, go to

Enjoy the Holiday Promenade in northern villages on Dec. 11

A full-filled holiday time is ready with special events for Hatteras Islanders and visitors. On Friday, Dec. 11, a Holiday Promenade in Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo is offered to start the OBXmas weekend on Hatteras Island.

The Friday Promenade on the sidewalk in Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo, takes place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Along the sidewalk, villagers and businesses will be serving hot drinks and other goodies. Walk, jog, ride a bike or skate the sidewalk. Bring flashlights and/or wear lights to light the way and illuminate the sidewalk.

The Promenade Finale is a Night Sky Adventure in the Salvo Day Use Area, just south of Salvo in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Night sky enthusiasts will share knowledge on a clear evening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Two art galleries will be open: Michael Halminski in Waves and Pea Island Gallery in Salvo, both of which are Promenade stops. Businesses along the sidewalk in the three villages will be open for shopping. The Rodanthe Thrift Shop will hold its famous half-price sale from noon to 5 p.m. Stop by Kitty Hawk Kites ( REAL Watersports store ( will be open. Nora’s Wish in Rodanthe, a promenade stop, will be open from noon to 5 p.m. North Beach Campground is open. At the north end of Rodanthe, Island Convenience, the Food Pantry Thrift Shop (10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) and the Rodanthe Surf Shop (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) are open.

For those coming from out-of-town, Watermen’s Retreat (, 252-987-6060) and Waves Village (, 252- 305-2629) offer condominium rentals.

For camping enthusiasts, Camp Hatteras (, (252) 987-2777) and Cape Hatteras KOA, (252) 987-2307, are both ready to receive campers.C

Free winter Lighthouse Climb is Dec. 12

The National Park Service will offer a free winter climb of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Children must be at least 42 inches tall to climb the lighthouse. Children under 12 must be escorted by a person at least 16 years old. Climbing the lighthouse is strenuous -- equivalent to climbing a 12-story building. For more information on what to expect, check the park website.

The annual Holiday at the Museum will be on Dec. 12

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum will host its fifth annual Holiday at the Museum on Saturday, Dec. 12, from noon to 5 p.m.

Folks can drop in to the museum either before of after the annual Christmas Parade, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Radio Hatteras at 101.5 on your FM dial.

 Children and adults alike will marvel at Winter Wonderland train display by master model builder Charlie Klein.  There will be a children’s holiday craft table and letters to Santa, which are almost certainly to receive a reply. 

 Live entertainment will be provided by local choral groups and individual performances by local musicians, as well as professional musical entertainment throughout the day.  Refreshments will include a variety of hot soups, ham biscuits, holiday cookies and punch.

 There will be multi-themed fully decorated holiday trees, and shoppers will continue to receive an additional 5 percent off purchases when they bring a donation for the island's food pantry. 

“This is our fifth annual Holiday at the Museum and is quickly becoming a holiday tradition,” stated Melanie Schwarzer, administrative director of the Friends of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.  “The museum's celebration of the Hatteras Island community and its resilience was begun to boost everyone's spirit after the devastation of Hurricane Irene” she said.

 The event, including the entertainment and refreshments, is free to the public and is sponsored by the Friends of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.  For more information, visit or call 252-986-2995.

 The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is located at 59200 Museum Drive, Hatteras, NC 27943 near the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry dock.

Hatteras Village Christmas Parade is Dec. 12

The very popular and well attended Hatteras Village Christmas Parade will be on Saturday, Dec. 12 , at 2 p.m. The parade begins at Teach’s Lair Marina and continues up Highway 12 to the Hatterasman Drive-In.  Locals and tourists park along the route and get out to cheer on the floats, fire trucks, bike, horses, motorcycles, emergency and Coast Guard vehicles, bands, and, of course, Santa Claus. 

After the parade, cookies and cocoa will be served at the Hatteras Community Building for the announcement of winners. This year, the parade sponsor, the Hatteras Village Civic Association is offering a $750 grand prize for the best float.  The second place float will win $300 with $200 going to the third-place entry.

Again this year, the parade will be broadcast live on Radio Hatteras.  Tune to 101.5 on your radio dial with listen to the commentary while you watch.

Anyone interested in entering the parade, please call Dennis Robinson at 475-4388 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

OBXmas weekend in Hatteras village will conclude with a holiday dance

Wrapping up this exciting holiday Saturday on Dec. 12 is the 2015 Hatteras Village Christmas Dance, which runs from 8 p.m. until midnight at the Hatteras Village Civic Center. Live music from the Virginia-based band Snackbar Jones will provide the beats for dancing.

Admission is $10 a person and light appetizers and setups will be provided. Put your dancing shoes on and be ready for a great night. The dance is for people ages 21 and over. Tickets are available at the door.

Island Living: Hatteras for the Holidays, 2015 Edition

The arrival of Thanksgiving and Christmas on Hatteras Island is when our columnist Joy Crist internally takes stock and recollects all the reasons why the islands are amazing during the holidays.  And inevitably, this leads her to think about how she spent all her past holidays, and revisit the joys and tribulations of Christmases past.

And she assures readers that a decade or two make a big difference in spending holiday on the islands.
Read more

Most Hatteras and Ocracoke post offices will extend Saturday hours for holidays

 The U.S. Postal Service, Greensboro District announces the extending of Saturday retail hours for some of  eastern North Carolina post offices during the three weekends before Christmas 2015. The dates for extended hours are December 5, 12, and 19.

On these dates, offices listed below will observe their weekly retail opening time Monday – Saturday, and Saturday hours will be extended until normal weekly close of business. These extended hours are designed to provide additional mailing and shipping convenience to customers during what is projected to be a busy shopping season.

Among the post offices with extended holiday hours are Rodanthe, Avon, Buxton, Hatteras village, and Ocracoke.  The Frisco Post Office will not have extended hours.

Holiday shipping tips and suggested mailing dates, along with other information, are available online at Postal officials encourage customers to ship their gifts and greetings as early as possible to avoid the rush that culminates with the busiest mailing day of the year on Monday, Dec. 14.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Below is the complete list of post offices with extended Saturday hours during the holidays.

ELIZABETH CITY----- 27909, AVON ----- 27915, BUXTON ----- 27920, CAMDEN ----- 27921, COLUMBIA -----27925, COROLLA ----- 27927, CRESWELL ----- 27928, GRANDY ----- 27939, HATTERAS ----- 27943, KILL DEVIL HILLS ----- 27948, KITTY HAWK ---- 27949, KNOTTS ISLAND ----- 27950, MANTEO ----- 27954, NAGS HEAD ----- 27959, OCRACOKE ----- 27960, RODANTHE ----- 27968, ROPER ----- 27970, WANCHESE ----- 27981, ELIZABETH CITY ----- 27909

A guide to dining out during the holidays

The weather is much cooler, the days are getting shorter, and there are many fewer visitors on Hatteras and Ocracoke. Many of the islands’ restaurants have already closed, and others will be closing shortly.

However, visiting during the holidays is much more popular with tourists than it once was. Spending Thanksgiving or Christmas by the ocean when there is less hustle and bustle is appealing to many. So if you are planning a visit to the islands this holiday season, we have some information for you if you don’t want to be fixing all of your meals yourself while you are on vacation. 
Read more

Santa will be guest at season's end at Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station

The annual end-of-season activities at Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station and Historic Site will be on Saturday, Nov. 28.  The site will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and admission will be free with one non-perishable item per person for the Hatteras Island Food Pantry. Santa will be visiting the from 1 until 3 p.m.

Have breakfast with Santa on Dec. 5

The annual Breakfast with Santa will be on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Hatteras Civic Center in Hatteras village.

Breakfast will include pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit, milk, juices, and coffee. Parents can choose between two seatings -- at 8:30 and at 10 a.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children.  Kids 2 and under are free. Santa will be available for photos with the children.

Tickets are on sale now at Hatteras Preschool and from preschool parents, Ms. Helen at the library, or Miss Linda at the Hatteras United Methodist Church office. For more information, call 986-2399.

Arts & Craft Guild Holiday Show is Nov. 27 and Nov. 28

The Hatteras Island Arts & Crafts Guild will have its 2015 Holiday Art Show, which highlights local art and craft work, on Thanksgiving weekend, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27 and 28. It will be held at The Cape Hatteras Secondary School on Highway 12 in Buxton. Hours are 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

Admission is free. Raffle tickets will be for sale to benefit the guild scholarship program. Prizes for the raffle are a variety of art/craft pieces donated by the artists.

The Hatteras Island Arts & Crafts Guild is a non-profit that was started over 20 years ago to help promote local arts and crafts. The guild also gives out college scholarships to local students who are continuing their education in the art field.

Hatteras Island Angel Gift Program offers help for families

For those families in need of assistance this Christmas, applications for Hatteras Island Angel Gift are available for pick up at the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services in Frisco and at several local churches. Application dates will run from Oct. 1- Nov. 13.

Hatteras Island Angel Gift is organized through a coalition of individuals, businesses, churches and other organizations committed to provide Christmas joy for children on Hatteras Island. Dare County Department of Health & Human Services works with these organizations to provide referrals, administrative support and identify family needs, as well as to help protect the privacy of the request.

Participants do not need to be a client of the Department of Health & Human Services to receive help from Angel Gift.  Participants must live on Hatteras Island, and gifts are provided only for a child in the custody of the applicant.  Information provided will be checked for accuracy, including school registration. No one over age 16 is eligible unless he or she is currently enrolled in school. Children under the age of  2 will not be sponsored unless there are older children in the home.

For families that have received Angel Gift for three consecutive years, the application will be reviewed by the committee and sponsorship is not guaranteed. Most of the giving is from local businesses, organizations, and individuals.

 In addition to trees located in business for donors to sponsor, monetary and toy donations are also accepted. Angel Gift volunteers will do shopping once the cutoff date for donations end, which is on December 4, 2015.

Distribution will be the week on Dec. 14, and a specific date will be determined and announced. The tentative pick-up location is at the Catholic Church in Buxton. Notices will be provided to anyone who was accepted into the program with pick-up information. Similar to the previous years, participants will be assigned a number and can drive through to pick up presents.

 For questions regarding the program or to make a donation, please contact the program coordinator, Linda O'Neal, with Hatteras United Methodist Church at 252-986-2149.

This year's Outer Banks books for Christmas giving

And this year books about the Outer Banks just seem to be made for gifting. There are several favorite authors with wonderful additions to their writing and new authors with books that fill in spaces we haven’t had published before.   
Read more

Our Coast's Holiday Food:  Candied Yams

"There is an idea prevalent that anybody can cook sweet potatoes, this is a very great mistake, and the many, many dishes of illy cooked potatoes that are placed before me as I travel over the South, prompt me to believe that these recipes will be of value.”

George Washington Carver made this observation during the 45 years he studied sweet potatoes. Some four dozen reports resulted. Many contained those recipes of value, including Thanksgiving’s ubiquitous candied “yams.”

If you’ve ever sat down to a holiday meal in eastern North Carolina, you’ve seen your share of marshmallow-topped candied yams. Cloying, mushy, canned sweet potatoes often bob in rusty, sugar syrup.

Did Carver’s cooking lessons even matter? 
Read more

Plan now for Hatteras Christmas Parade on Dec. 12

The very popular and well attended Hatteras Village Christmas Parade will be on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. The parade begins at Teach’s Lair Marina and continues up Highway 12 to the Hatterasman Drive-In.  Locals and tourists park along the route and get out to cheer on the floats, fire trucks, bike, horses, motorcycles, emergency and Coast Guard vehicles, bands, and, of course, Santa Claus. Hatteras Village Civic Association will host all following for cookies and cocoa at the Hatteras Village Community Building for the announcement of winners.  Anyone interested in entering the parade, please call Dennis Robinson at 475-4388 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

Fourth annual Surf in' Turkey 5k and Puppy Drum Fun Run will be Nov. 26

The fourth annual Surfin' Turkey 5k and Puppy Drum Fun Run will be on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26.  It is hosted by Hatteras village and presented by the Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund and Midgett Realty. The Youth Education Fund is dedicated to helping the children of Hatteras Island in memory of islander Kenny Oden.

The start and finish will be at the Hatteras Civic Center, 56658 NC Highway 12 in Hatteras village. The Surfin' Turkey 5k starts at 8 a.m., followed by the Puppy Drum Fun Run at 9.
You can register online at or on-site registration will be available during packet pickup at the Civic Center on Wednesday, Nov. 26, from 5 until 7 p.m. and on the morning of the race between 7 and 7:30, also at the civic center.
 Everyone gets breakfast after the race-- hot pancakes. Carolina Brewery will also provide fresh microbrew beer for participants over 21 who would like to enjoy it.
This is a family fun event. The race is all on the paved road that loops around the historic fishing village of Hatteras. If you want to know your time, wear a watch or make sure you look at the clock at the finish line. Parents are encouraged to come out and run with their children.

Before Nov. 14, the cost for the Surfin' Turkey is $30 plus a $3 sign-up fee and includes goody bag with a T-shirt. After Nov. 21, the cost is $35, and on-site sign-up is $40. The Puppy Drum Fun Run is $15 (plus a 2.50 fee) with a T-shirt and breakfast ahead of time, and $20 on-site. Children 10 and under are free for the run or walk, but will not receive a T-shirt.

Annual Hatteras Food Drive is underway

The 22nd annual islandwide Food Drive to benefit the Hatteras Island Food Pantry is now underway. 

The island's food panty, operated by the United Methodist Men is a non-denominational, non-profit community outreach, and it will be unable to meet the needs of island residents and get through the winter, the period of greatest demand, without your support. 

 Whether you give non-perishable food, personal care items, pet foods, or money, 100 percent of all donations goes to assist Hatteras islanders.

If you live off-island or do not have time to shop, please consider making a tax deductible monetary donation. Checks can be written to United Methodist Men and mailed to Hatteras Island Food Pantry, PO Box 1591, Buxton, NC 27920.

There are the several convenient drop-off locations. They are:

  • Hatteras Realty in Hatteras Village and Avon (Daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Parish Hall in Buxton (24-hour drop-off box on porch)
  • Frisco Shopping Center in Frisco (Daily 6 a.m.-9 p.m.)
  • Surf-or-Sound Realty in Avon (Daily 8:30 a.m.-5:30 a.m.)
  • Midgett Realty in Hatteras, Avon, and Rodanthe (Daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Burrus Red & White Supermarket, Hatteras village (Daily 7 a.m.-8 p.m.)
The drive runs through Dec. 31. If you have questions or would like more information, contact food drive organizer, Linda Browning, at (252) 995-3662.