Places & Events of Interest

 

 Ingram Planetarium’s Dome Theater and Laser Shows November 9 - December 30

Make out-of-this-world holiday memories at Ingram Planetarium’s Dome Theater and Laser Shows November 9 - December 30

Sunset Beach, NC –– The Ingram Planetarium’s holiday Dome Theater and Laser Show schedule, including Santa’s Magic Telescope, provides virtual space exploration, educational films that inspire curiosity, and spectacular laser music shows that will make out-of-this-world holiday memories for visitors of all ages.  Please call the Planetarium at (910) 575-0033 for all day-of-show reservations.

  •          Holiday Dome Theater Shows:  Every Thursday – Saturday, explore remote areas, journey to the farthest reaches of space, or discover the stars you’ll see in your own backyard in our immersive theater - doors open at 10:30 am:

o   11:00 am – Earth, Moon, & Sun – Join Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions, in a fast-paced and fun show that explores our home planet, its neighbors, lunar phases and more.

o   12:00 pm – Mystery of the Christmas Star (New!) - Journey back over 2,000 years to Bethlehem as we seek to discover a scientific explanation for the star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. This modern retelling of the Christmas story is sure to charm and captivate audiences of all ages.

o   1:00 pm - Ancient Skies, Ancient Mysteries - Stars have always been a source of mystery and wonder for people around the world.  Experience the night sky through the lens of ancient cultures that lacked our current scientific understanding.  Together, we’ll explore how some cultures relied on stars to develop calendars, predict future events, and influence other facets of daily living.

o   2:00 pm - A Place Like No Other - Alaska is a place like no other and there are places so remote and wild that few Alaskans have ever explored.  The Planetarium will take you to the wilderness to see iconic animals and landscapes that define this last frontier.

o   3:00 pm – The Sky Tonight! – Tour the planets, constellations, and other celestial events happening in the night sky above our community.  Then, next time you walk along the beach on a clear night, you’ll be able to identify the celestial sights you see.

  •          Holiday Laser Music Shows:  Every Friday and Saturday evening, enjoy a unique and memorable sensory experience with laser effects accompanied by popular music heard through the area’s best sound system – doors open at 5:30 pm:

o   6:00 pm – Classic HolidayRelax in the Planetarium’s Sky Theater andenjoy colorful laser images displayed on the domed ceiling accompanied by beloved holiday music including Sleigh Ride, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Winter Wonderland, and Jingle Bell Rock.

o   7:00 pm – Trans-Siberian Orchestra - With more than 10 million albums sold, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is a progressive rock band that pushes musical boundaries, inspiring generations of fans to rediscover the multi-dimensional art form of the rock opera.  Enjoy TSO’s popular holiday concert setlist with laser light effects.

  •          Special Event - Santa’s Magic Telescope:  December 8 and 22 at 5:00 pm, join three curious cousins on a cosmic Christmas Eve adventure! In their grandparents’ attic, they find a magic telescope that can show the wonders of the universe. Upon looking through it, they’re transported to Santa’s sleigh and Santa takes them on a journey through the cosmos.  Santa’s Magic Telescope is a heartwarming tale of holiday magic and celestial exploration.
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 Sunset Beach Town Park

The Sunset Beach Town Park opened in May 2015 with a paved parking area, restroom facilities, a picnic shelter, a fishing pier and brick walkways that meander through the five acres of live oak trees. The Park is located on Sunset Blvd. North and overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and Mary's Creek. Click here to view pictures of the park, benches and swings. A donation program for the swings and benches has been instituted. Click below to view the brochure and application.

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 Sunset at Sunset

Held the first Saturday in October each year, Sunset at Sunset is the Town of Sunset Beach’s Community Block Party. Please visit www.sunsetatsunset.com for additional information.

Staffed by volunteers, what began as a small event on the beach has grown over the years and is now located in the Town Park 206 Sunset Blvd. North Sunset Beach, NC 28468.

More than 100 vendors, crafters, food services, and non-profit organizations participate in the day’s activities. Only quality goods are permitted to be sold and year after year the variety of items continues to expand. Throughout the day bands entertain attendees. 

Anyone interested in securing booth space or volunteering to staff the event is invited to visit the Sunset at Sunset web site (www.sunsetatsunset.com) for further information.

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 Veteran's Memorial

The Committee to Honor America's Veterans built the Memorial with proceeds raised by selling the bricks that make up the Memorial. Click here to view the ground breaking/dedication ceremony and pictures of the Memorial. Please visit the website www.sbvets.org to see the rendering of the memorial and to purchase bricks and/or make donations.

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 9/11 Memorial

On September 11, 2020, the Hughes family held a small ceremony to honor those who perished when the Twin Towers were attacked. Then, Mary Hughes, with the Committee to Honor America’s Veterans (CHAV), held a ceremony on September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the attack. The outpouring from Town residents was so supportive, the Town and CHAV decided to build a 9/11 Memorial.
 
A committee was formed and pursued the acquisition of a piece of steel from the fallen Towers. The request was granted and the artifact was presented to the Town by the New York City Fire Department as part of the 20th anniversary service in 2021.
 
Let Us Never Forget
 
David McCune, who designed the Town’s 50th Anniversary sculpture, was chosen to design the Memorial. He and committee members met on a regular basis and were able to reach consensus on the final design.
 
The vision for our 9/11 Memorial uses the historic artifact as its focal point and depicts a 360º panoramic view of recognizable images of the current New York City skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building and Freedom Tower. The destroyed twin towers are represented by the reflected light in the center column directly behind the Freedom Tower silhouette. The World Trade Center steel piece is positioned below a soaring eagle, a symbol of American Freedom and the undefeatable American spirit which enables us to rise above all adversity.
 
The memorial was dedicated on the 21st Anniversary of these tragic events so the heroes and victims of 9/11 are never forgotten.
 

 

 

 Run Sunset Beach Road Race

The Run Sunset Beach race is scheduled for this Saturday, April 27, 2024. Traffic detours and road closures will begin at approximately 6:30 a.m.

The half marathon runners will leave the Town park at 6:45 AM, run down Shoreline Drive West, and turn right into Sea Trail on Clubhouse Road.

Shoreline Drive West will be blocked at Clubhouse Road and traffic will be detoured through Sea Trail to Old Georgetown Road or Old Point Lane. Vehicles that are going to an open business past this point will be sent to West Canal Avenue for access.

Seaside Road will be down to two lanes for the event. The south bound travel lane will be closed off for runners to travel in. During this time the traffic coming into town on Seaside Road, starting at Old Georgetown Road, will be traveling in the center turning lane. The North bound travel lane will not be affected.

Old Georgetown Road will be closed from Clubhouse Road to Seaside Road in the East bound lane. We will have one of our informational signs informing motorists of the detour prior to Clubhouse Road on Old Georgetown Road. There will be a police officer ensuring that no cars make a right hand turn onto Old Georgetown Road from Clubhouse Road. There will also be race staff at Sandpiper Bay Drive, Wyndfall Drive, and Jaguar’s Lair to make sure vehicles exiting those neighborhoods do not turn into the racecourse. Vehicles that wish to get to Seaside Road from Calabash will have to turn onto Clubhouse Road and exit Sea Trail via Old Point Lane. Race staff will have a vehicle following the last runner of the half marathon and will be removing cones to open Old Georgetown Road as quickly as possible.

Traffic will not be allowed to travel South of the traffic circle at the bridge for the duration of the event. Traffic that approaches the traffic circle will either have to go over the bridge, return north down Sunset Boulevard North, or go down Shoreline Drive East.

The bridge itself may be closed for a short period at the beginning of the 5K/10K races with a start time of 7:00 AM.

5K/10K runners will leave the Town park, go to the traffic circle, go over the bridge, and continue on their individual race courses. The highest volume of runners will be in this group.

Once the rush of those runners is over the bridge one lane will be opened to traffic. We will have a pilot vehicle escorting vehicles on and off the island to keep it as safe as possible. The pilot vehicle will be helping keep runners in the outside lanes while keeping a safe speed in the center section of the bridge. The bridge will stay at one lane until staff can determine that it is safe to open both travel lanes.

All runners are expected to be finished by 11:00 AM and all roadways will resume normal travel.

 Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge

Since 1958, the iconic Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge linked the Mainland and the Island. Opening hourly and on demand, and occasionally breaking down, it served residents and visitors for more than fifty years.

With the opening of the Mannon C. Gore Bridge in November, 2010, the old bridge was decommissioned. She now sits surrounded by live oak trees on a lot across from the Sunset Beach Fire House.

To view the video of how Mr. Gore designed the old bridge and see how she worked, click here and scroll down.

For more information on her new home and future plans, go to www.oldbridgepreservationsociety.org.

 Bird Island

Bird Island is a 1,300 acre State Preserve barrier island that is connected to Sunset Beach and reachable by boat, walking, or biking along the beach. Bird Island is home to Loggerhead turtles and the purple sandpiper, found only on Bird Island.

The shoreline, dunes, maritime forest, and marshland are also important habitats and nesting areas for various species of birds that are threatened or endangered. One can walk from the public parking area and gazebo at Sunset Beach, along the Bird Island beachfront, all the way to South Carolina.

On December 4th, 2006 the North Carolina Birding Trail officially recognized the Town of Sunset Beach as Official Stop #10 on the Southeastern portion of the trail. Pamphlets about our site are available at Town Hall.

You can now view and download maps and site descriptions for the coast region of the Trail from the website: www.ncbirdingtrail.org.  

 

 Ingram Planetarium

Ingram Planetarium is named for Stuart Ingram, a navigator of WWII planes who used the constellations and planets to chart his way. His quest for sharing his knowledge led to founding both Ingram Planetarium at Sunset Beach, and the Museum of Coastal Carolina at Ocean Isle Beach.

The Planetarium boasts the world’s third SciDome HD Digital Sky Theater, a state-of-the-art facility with a 40-foot dome. See the planets up close and in your face.

Laser music shows are like rock concerts without the band and they are LOUD! Interactive and entertaining exhibits in the Paul Dennis Science Hall include ViewSpace, an award-winning exhibit featuring a continuous broadcast of the most recent updates directly from NASA.

The Galaxy Gift Shop is a veritable storehouse of fun, educational gifts. Make advance reservations for school groups and tour groups. 

Ingram Planetarium . . . where the stars always shine! Hours and programs change seasonally. Membership and volunteer opportunities are available. Check website for details.

Ingram Planetarium is located at:
7625 High Market Street
Sunset Beach, NC 28468
(910) 575-0033

For additional information, please visit www.MuseumPlanetarium.org.

 July 4th Celebrations

The Southport-Oak Island Chamber of Commerce hosts the July 4th Festival in Southport. Past festival highlights include:

  • Over 100 handmade arts and crafts on display
  • The delightful aroma of fair food permeates the air
  • The Cape Fear river serves as a backdrop for Main Stage Entertainment - best beach, top 40's and country bands each evening.
  • The most patriotic parade representing main street USA and televised on WECT TV6 "Where News Comes First"
  • A Naturalization Ceremony that will move you to tears
  • Veterans Recognition - ceremony honoring the sacrifices of our armed service personnel who have served and paid for our freedom
  • Flag Retirement Ceremony - a ceremony that allows residents and visitors an opportunity to properly dispose of their USA flags
  • Beach Day - highlighting the activities popular at Southport's neighboring beach community Oak Island - volleyball and shag contests to mention a few
  • Freedom Run & Walk - runners and walkers enjoy an organized event encouraging a healthy America
  • Children's Entertainment & Games - Remember the good old games including sack races and watermelon eating contests? We do.
  • Fireworks - What 4th of July festival would be complete without fireworks?

For information on the 4th of July Festival, please visit www.nc4thofjuly.com.

 Blue Crab Festival

Little River Blue Crab Festival, Inc. hosts an Annual Blue Crab Festival in Little River, SC each May. Located on the beautiful Grand Strand, the Blue Crab Festival is one of the largest festivals in the southeast.

The festival features arts and crafts vendors, specialty food vendors, tremendous entertainment, and a phenomenal children's area.

For more information, please visit www.bluecrabfestival.org.

 Festival By The Sea

The last full weekend in October, the Holden Beach Merchants Association hosts the very popular “NC Festival by the Sea.” This 2 day events is kicked off with a parade down the Holden Beach causeway. This is the only day of the year that you can walk across the Holden Beach bridge and each year several hundred take that high altitude stroll to stake out the perfect spot to view the parade.

Arts and Crafts vendors are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sat. and 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sun. You’ll want to plan to be onsite for at least a couple of meals and a snack or two, just to sample a tiny portion of the food on hand.

For the competitive sort, there is a horseshoe tournament and a sandcastle building contest. Children enjoy face painting, huge kites flying overhead and the children’s rides and amusements. There is live musical entertainment both days at Holden Beach’s new Pavilion.

The North Carolina Festival by the Sea is a free event with plenty of free parking. Please contact the Holden Beach Merchants Association at www.hbmerch.com for Festival By The Sea information.

 North Carolina Oyster Festival

The Annual North Carolina Oyster Festival will feature live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, festival food, a road race, kid's area, North Carolina Oyster Shucking Championships and an Oyster Stew Cook-off.

Come join us and find out for yourself why the oyster is so treasured by Brunswick County natives.  Contact the Chamber of Commerce at www.brunswickcountychamber.org for Oyster Festival information.

 The Sunset Beach Turtle Watch Program

The Sunset Beach Turtle Watch Program (SSBTWP) is a private, nonprofit program that solicits volunteers to help monitor turtle nesting at Sunset Beach, North Carolina.
 
Members of the SSBTWP hold permits from the Non-Game and Endangered Wildlife Section of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to monitor nest sites, strandings, and hatchings.
 
Volunteers record nesting sites, move nests that may be threatened, record turtle hatches, and help hatchlings reach the ocean safely.
 
Loggerhead sea turtles are the most common visitors to North Carolina beaches. Although their population is more stable than that of other sea turtles, the loggerhead is still a "Threatened" species. This status grants protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).

For more information, please visit www.sunsetbeachturtles.org.