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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Locals in the Wilmington area have a chance to view their city from the eyes of a tourist this Sunday, March 4, for the 17th annual "Be a Tourist in Your Hometown" event.
Thirty attractions throughout the Port City will offer free admission to New Hanover County residents all day on Sunday.
In addition to attractions, there will be special Riverfront activities from 12:30-3:00 p.m., weather permitting.
"Local citizens are our most valuable tourism ambassadors," stated Kim Hufham, president/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, in a news release. "With the summer travel season just around the corner, this is the ideal time for our residents to experience first-hand the county's attractions, tours, and museums. When residents tell their friends, family and visitors from outside the area about all the fun things there are to see and do, their endorsement becomes a powerful marketing tool."
NHC-ID Airlie Gardens, 9am-5pm, 300 Airlie Rd, Wilmington, 798-7566. Stroll through the winding paths of this century-old garden by the sea. Enjoy 67-acres of gardens, including the 467-year-old Airlie Oak. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.
Arboretum at New Hanover County Co-op Ext., 9am-6pm, 6206 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, 798-7660. Explore 6+ acres of demonstration and trial gardens to discover the newest and best plants for area landscapes & gardens.
Bellamy Mansion Museum, 1-4pm, 503 Market St, Wilmington, 251-3700. Visit the formal areas and kitchen in the basement of the mansion, hear the history of the original slave quarters and its restoration, and peruse the gift shop.
Black Cat Shoppe, 1-5pm. 8 Market St., Wilmington. 251-6663. Aye, mateys, ‘yer looking for a bit of adventure in the Port City? Drop by to see some magic, hear some true Wilmington pirate stories or to have ye fortune told. Space is limited and we will entertain first come, first served.
Blue Moon Gift Shops, 12-5pm. 203 Racine Dr., Wilmington, 799-5793. A Wilmington shopping destination that offers shoppers an eclectic mix of charming and diverse boutiques all under one roof! Tastings from various shops all day.
Burgwin-Wright Museum House, 12-5pm, 224 Market St., Wilmington, 762-0570. The house will not be open; however, visitors may tour the historic gardens and visit the Colonial kitchen and the former jail. A self-guided garden tour is available, with layout, historic facts, plant identification, etc.
Cameron Art Museum, 11am–5pm, 3201 S. 17th St., Wilmington (corner of Independence Blvd and 17th St.), 395-5999. Southeast NC's premier art museum. Visit the Museum Shop and view two exhibits: Civil War Drawings from the Becker Collection in the Brown Wing and North Carolina Living Treasures: Mark Peiser, Richard Ritter and Penland School of Crafts in the Hughes Wing.
Cape Fear Museum of History & Science, 1-5pm, 814 Market St., Wilmington, 798-4350. Discover the history, science and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear. Visit the Museum's newest exhibits – Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art; and Cape Fear Treasure: Shoes.
Capt'n Bill's Backyard Grill, Noon-9pm, 4240 Market St. (behind "17" North Shopping Ctr.), Wilmington, 762-0173. Free volleyball. Grill will be open with food & drink specials.
Carolina Beach State Park, 8am-7pm, State Park Rd, Carolina Beach, 458-8206. Bring picnic, fishing supplies. Explore nature trails, visitor center, marina and more. (Boat ramp/campsite rentals not included.)
Federal Point History Center, 1-4pm, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, 458-0502. Enjoy exhibits & audio-visual presentations portraying periods in the Federal Point community, including pre-historic, colonial, Civil War and development of Carolina-Kure Beaches and Seabreeze as tourist attractions. Refreshments.
Fort Fisher State Historic Site-Civil War Fort, 1-5pm, Hwy. 421 Kure Beach, NC, 458-5538. Visitors to the site will enjoy our scenic quarter-mile tour trail, wayside exhibits, a reconstructed palisade fence, and a partially restored gun emplacement. The visitor center offers audio-visual programs and artifacts from blockaders and blockade runners, as well as a fiber optic map that shows the final battle for the fort.
NHC-ID Ft. Fisher State Recreation Area, 8am-5pm, 1000 Loggerhead Road-off US 421, Kure Beach near Aquarium, 458-5798. Visitor center, free access to the 4WD beach and 4-mile stretch of undeveloped beach for shell-seekers, bird-watchers. Must display valid NHC driver's license. 4WD access free to NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.
NHC-ID Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington, Meets at Cape Fear Riverwalk at Market & Water sts., Wilmington, 233-7630. Guided tours start at 5:30pm only. ADVANCE TICKETS REQUIRED. Tickets MUST be picked up at the Black Cat Shoppe at 8 Market St. on Saturday March 3rd from 11am-6pm. Tickets will be given out on a first come, first serve basis. NO TICKETS WILL BE GIVEN OUT THE DAY OF THE TOUR. Guide will take larger than normal groups and tour will be somewhat abbreviated. Space is limited. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.
Greenfield Grind Skate Park, 1-8pm, Burnett Blvd, behind Parks & Rec offices, Wilmington, 362-8222. Participants get free admission between 1-8pm. NOTE: All participants REQUIRED to wear helmet & pads.
Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center, 1pm-5pm. 2nd & Orange St., Wilmington. 793-6393. Listed on U.S. Register of Historic Places. Spend a WWII History afternoon at one of the few remaining USO buildings. Tour the restored building, theatre, and mini-museum of the home front in Wilmington, "America's World War II City." Visit the HBHUSO/CAC Community Art gallery exhibiting works from local established and emerging artists.
NHC-ID Halyburton Park, Guided hike at 1pm; park open all day. 4099 17th St., Wilmington. 341-0075. Join a park naturalist and explore nature up close on a two-mile nature hike ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED for hike. Learn about the park's history, Long Leaf Pine forest, Carolina Bays and enjoy the outdoors as you hike from the park to the Cameron Art Museum along the Cross City Trail. Guided hike (1pm) lasts about two hours. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.
Haunted Pub Crawl at Fat Tony's Italian Pub, 12pm-6pm, 131 N. Front St, Wilmington, 343-8881. Get a "taste" of the Haunted Pub Crawl and hear eerie tales that will both shiver ye timbers and make ye laugh so hard ye'll swab the decks. Starts at 12noon on the hour every hour, with the last one at 6pm. ALL AGES welcome! No reservations necessary.
NHC-ID Hollywood Location Walk of Old Wilmington, Meets at Cape Fear Riverwalk at Market & Water Sts., Wilmington, 233-7630. Guided tour starts at 12:00 noon only. ADVANCE TICKETS REQUIRED. Tickets MUST be picked up at the Black Cat Shoppe at 8 Market St. on Saturday the 3rd from 11am-6pm. Tickets will be given out on a first come, first serve basis. NO TICKETS WILL BE GIVEN OUT THE DAY OF THE TOUR. Guide will take larger than normal groups and tour will be somewhat abbreviated. Space is limited. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.
Haunted Cotton Exchange Tour. 1-3pm (tours every half hour). Meets at The Cotton Exchange next to the German Café. 409-4300.Take a 20-minute tour of the Haunted Cotton Exchange, one of the most haunted locations in Wilmington. Groups limited to 40 people.
Hugh MacRae Park & Nature Trail, 8am-10pm, Oleander & S. College Rd., Wilmington, 798-7181. Playgrounds (5-12 year old playground is lighted), lighted tennis courts, athletic fields, picnic areas, nature trails, etc. Free every day (except for shelter, horse ring, baseball fields and garden rentals). Baseball fields must be reserved in advance. Walk the 1.55 mile trail right in the park or visit the Hugh MacRae Nature Trail located across the street behind the NHC Senior Ctr.
Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park, 1-4pm, 5320 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, 791-0666. Choice of one (1) of the following activities to each participant: 1-game of Jungle Golf -OR- 1-free Grand Prix go-kart ride -OR- 1-free Sky Tower ride.
N.C. Military History Museum, Noon-4pm, 116 Air Force Way, Kure Beach, 477-0499. Artifacts, memorabilia, displays from WWI through Desert Storm, w/photos, documents, letters, uniforms, field gear, hats, helmets, gift shop.
Old Books on Front Street, Storyteller at 3pm. 249 N. Front St., Wilmington, 762-6657. Storytelling by Madafo featuring traditional African storytelling and music. A family-friendly event for children of all ages.
SPECIAL GUESTS at Riverfront Visitor Information Booth: 12-3pm (weather permitting), Cape Fear Riverwalk (Water & Market Sts.), Wilmington, 341-4030. Team and event mascots will greet residents, hand out schedules/flyers, pose for photos, and sign autographs. Confirmed guests include "Salty Dawg" (Wilmington Sea Dawgs pro basketball team) from noon-2pm, "Sharky" (Wilmington Sharks baseball team) & "Sledge" (Wilmington Hammerheads pro soccer team) from 1-3pm; Azalea Belles (courtesy of the Cape Fear Garden Club) from 1-3pm; and storyteller/musician John Golden from 12:30-2:30pm. Educators from the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher's outreach classroom (1-3pm) will share information about marine life found along NC's coast. Stop by to meet the special guests, get a "Hometown Tourist" sticker, and a list of attractions/tours offering free admission!
Thalian Hall, 1-5pm, 310 Chestnut St., Wilmington, 632-2285. Thalian Hall has been the epicenter of culture and politics in the Cape Fear region since 1858. Take a self-guided tour of the facility, which has just undergone a $3.5 million dollar renovation and rediscover this historical gem.
Tour Old Wilmington History Walking Tours. 10am-12noon (tours on the hour).Meets at the foot of Market and Water Sts. 409-4300. Take a 30-minute tour of historic downtown Wilmington. Learn fun and interesting facts about Wilmington during the Victorian Era. Tours limited to 40 people.
NHC-ID Wilmington Railroad Museum, 1-4pm, 505 Nutt St., Wilmington, 763-2634. Railroad history and features for everyone, all in an authentic 1883 railroad building. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY.
Wilmington Trolley, 1-4pm. Downtown Wilmington. 763-4483. The trolley will offer free shuttle service between the participating attractions in the downtown area. This is shuttle service only, not tours.
Wilmington Water Tours, Boards at 3:15pm; departs 3:30pm. 212 S. Water St., Wilmington. 338-3134. Eagles Island Tour. Learn the history of Eagles Island, view the beautiful downtown waterfront and get introduced to fascinating ecology of the Cape Fear River. Limited availability. ADVANCE RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.
Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, 1-5pm, 303 W. Salisbury St, Wrightsville Beach, 256-2569. Visit this 1909 beach cottage and feel what life at the beach was like 100 years ago. Step back in time as you walk through a 1930's kitchen, see our model of Wrightsville Beach in 1910, and rock on the shady porch.
NHC-ID Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours & Taxi, 12Noon &1pm. Banks Channel across from Blockade Runner Resort, Wrightsville Beach, 200-4002. The Cape Fear Naturalist, Joseph Abbate, explores the tidal creeks of Masonboro Island. The 1-hour tour focuses on water bird and shorebird identification. Topics include shorebird identification, salt marsh function and water quality issues. NHC RESIDENTS ONLY. ADVANCE RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Space is limited.
NEW HANOVER COUNTY I.D. REQUIRED FOR LISTINGS INDICATING "NHC RESIDENTS ONLY". SOME ATTRACTIONS/TOURS REQUIRE ADVANCE RESERVATION. PLEASE READ DESCRIPTIONS CAREFULLY FOR HOURS AND RESTRICTIONS. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOURS OF OPERATION AND RESTRICTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT THE INDIVIDUAL ATTRACTIONS. IN CASE OF RAIN, CALL ATTRACTIONS TO CONFIRM OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. LIST OF PARTICIPANTS CAN BE DOWNLOADED ONLINE AT www.WilmingtonAndBeaches/hometown.
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