From the Director
March – April 2016
Springtime will soon arrive and that means an end to cabin fever! When wanderlust calls this season, I invite you to plan a road trip to Elizabeth City and dig in to our outdoor activities. If you’re a sports enthusiast, we have a bevy of events to consider: The TarWheel Century Bike Ride, Paddle for the Border and our Earth Day Festival & 5K Run for the River. Or, if you prefer a more pedestrian form of exercise, check out history-themed Elizabeth City walking tours.
Did you know North Carolina produces over 18,500 acres of potatoes? Every May, we celebrate this fact, along with our rich agricultural heritage, with the N.C. Potato Festival. Get a glimpse of what organizers are planning this time around in the article below. Also in the Wayfarer, we’re highlighting the efforts of Wanda McLean to preserve our region’s Underground Railroad legacy and stories. In an interview published on our “View from the Harbor” blog, she shares why this project is important to her.
So make plans to visit Elizabeth City this spring. Whether you arrive by car, or boat, you’ll find our “Harbor of Hospitality®” has outdoor fun and a laid-back vibe where you can unwind!
Director, Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Time to Get Out There!
Rio de Janeiro will be the site of the 2016 Olympic Games, but there’s no need to travel that far to find your inner athlete! The Elizabeth City area offers plenty of recreational activities and spring sporting events to entertain local athletes and sight-seers, no matter your skill set. Whether you pedal or paddle, run or walk, we’ve got you covered.
Tarwheel Century Ride | April 16
Bicyclists can choose from 33-, 62- and 100-mile rides along rural roads when they register for the Tarwheel Century Ride, now in its 23rd year. Organized by the River City Cycling Club, this year’s ride will cover new scenic routes through Camden County, with some of the best “support and gear” stops ever (deviled eggs, smoothies!). Pre-register online, or sign up on site the day of the event.
Earth Day Festival & 5K Run | April 23
Not only is Elizabeth City’s Earth Day 5K a great opportunity to stretch your legs with a run through our river-front downtown area, but there’s fun to be had after the race. Hosted by Port Discover Hands-on Science Center, the accompanying festival features environmental booths, STEM-based challenges, crafts, raffles, food and bike rides. For more info about this N.C. Science Festival event, call 252-338-6117.
Paddle for the Border | April 30
One of North America’s great wetland forests is the backdrop for Paddle for the Border, a leisurely event that takes kayak and canoe enthusiasts 7.5 miles along the historic Dismal Swamp Canal. Participants launch from the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center in South Mills, N.C. to the Dismal Swamp Canal Boat Ramp in Chesapeake, Va. Registration is $40 until March 26; pay $10 more after that date. Call 1-877-771-8333 or check for info here.
Elizabeth City Walking Tours | Anytime!
Okay, this is decidedly not a sporting event, but Elizabeth City’s self-guided walking tours provide a great way to get some exercise while seeing historic homes, tree-lined streets and stately government structures. The Elizabeth City Historic Neighborhood Association publishes these free publications that cover practically every corner, from Main Street to Riverside. Stop by the Elizabeth City Visitor’s Center and pick up your copy!
Keep an Eye Out for the N.C. Potato Festival!
One of the things that we find most appealing (pardon the pun) about the N.C. Potato Festival is the organizing body’s sense of whimsy. Each year, the planning committee selects a festival theme with ties to timely news or events. This year, the festival will honor the N.C. State Parks’ 100th anniversary with a nod to exploring the great outdoors. At press time, festival organizer Cindy Williams said the committee is planning a number of park-related activities, but she’s not ready to spill the potatoes just yet. She did, however, provide this charming visual. Our best advice is to mark your calendar for May 20-22 and expect this tribute to the region’s potato farmers to feature Midway rides, the National Potato Peeling Contest, potato sack races and the crowning of the Little Miss Tater Tot Queen— and surprises to be announced. We’ll have all the details in the Wayfarer’s next issue!
EC Spotlight: Wanda McLean
We were so glad to learn that Elizabeth City resident, historian and retired educator Wanda McLean recently received a special Coast Host award for her efforts to obtain federal designations that mark six northeastern North Carolina sites as part of the National Park Service’s (NPS) Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program. The award is presented annually to an individual who has benefited tourism, but is not directly employed in the industry. If you have met, or know, Wanda, it’s easy to understand why the honor is so well deserved. Her drive, determination and hours of volunteer work were instrumental in our region obtaining six of North Carolina’s 15 designated Network to Freedom sites. Today, visitors who explore these landmarks—- including one here at Waterfront Park in Elizabeth City—- have a deeper understanding of the lives of these African-American freedom seekers. You can read an interview with Wanda McLean on Elizabeth City’s View from the Harbor blog. To find out more about the Elizabeth City area’s Network to Freedom sites, call the Visitor’s Center at 1-866-324-8948.
Elizabeth City is the “Harbor of Hospitality®,” located in northeastern North Carolina on the Intracoastal Waterway, halfway between Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. Situated on the Pasquotank River, the city has six National Register Historic Districts and is home to the Museum of the Albemarle, The Center at Arts of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City State University Planetarium, Port Discover Hands-on Science Center and one of the largest U.S. Coast Guard air stations in the Continental United States. Nature-based travelers are drawn to the area’s proximity to the Dismal Swamp and the abundance of outdoor recreational offerings. For additional information, call Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-866-ECity-4U (1-866-324-8948) or visit DiscoverElizabethCity.com. For up-to-the-minute info on happenings and events visit View from the Harbor blog.
Director @ Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
400 S. Water Street, Suite 101, Elizabeth City, N. C. 27909 * (252) 335-5330; www.discoverelizabethcity.com
Discover the Good Life Daily in the Harbor of Hospitality!
Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks
Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks