Railroad club sets up train display in Calabash

For The Sun NewsDecember 4, 2013 

Joetta Elliott of Tabor City, N.C., assists her grandson Aiden Milliken,7, a student at Jesse Mae Monroe Elementary School, in finding specific accessories on the train display at Calabash Marketplace while owner Jack Alexander looks on.


  • If you go

    What | Train display

    Where | Calabash Marketplace, 10050 Beach Drive (N.C. 179), Calabash, N.C.

    When | 10 a.m. Monday-Friday;10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday through December

    Cost | None

    Contact | 910-579-8910, jack@plantgardengift.com, www.calabashmarketplace.com

Jack Alexander, a member of Intracoastal Model Railroad Club, set up a train display in his newly opened Calabash Marketplace as an attraction during the holidays.

“Kids young and old really enjoy it,” he said. “I love to see the excitement in kids.”

Alexander increases children’s interest in his set-up by having a list of questions available for them to answer about the display. “Where is Santa’s sleigh?” “Where are the farm animals?” “Where are skiers?” Ten questions in all. “The kids enjoy playing the game,” he said.

Alexander explained that his interest in trains began more than 50 years ago when his father, who was a sales and marketing representative for New York Central Railroad among others, gave him trains as gifts. Alexander joined the Intracoastal Model Railroad Club a year ago after attending the annual train show at Grissettown-Longwood Fire and Rescue.

Don Woodwell of Calabash, N.C., administrator of the club, said the club emphasizes educating children about the hobby and offers a merit badge for Boy Scouts who pass the training program.

It holds three major shows through the year: at Grissettown-Longwood during Christmas time (see below), at Brunswick Plantation in July and in Southport at its Spring Festival.

“We’re artists in three dimensions,” he said of the members. “You can create anything – where trees go, where the other accessories go. For me, it’s an artist’s outlook.”

Alexander explained that Calabash Marketplace includes more than 40 specialty shops with merchandise that ranges from jams and relishes to baby clothes to greeting cards to his own garden center.

“I’d love to [sell trains], but we don’t have anybody yet,” he said. He closed Plantation Garden and Gift in May and opened the Marketplace in October. He plans to keep the train display up and running through December.

Other events on the north end of the Grand Strand include:

Holidays at the Museum

What | Display of peace posters created by art classes at North Myrtle Beach Middle School. Christmas tree decorated with historic ornaments. Chanukah dolls. Historic Christmas and Chanukah cards.

Where | North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum, 799 Second Ave. N., North Myrtle Beach

When | 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, closed Sunday-Tuesday, displays until Feb. 1.

Cost | Admission to museum, adults, $5, seniors, $4, 5-17, $3

Contact | 427-7668, info@NMBmuseum.com, www.nmbmuseum.com

Details | The North Myrtle Beach Lions Club sponsors North Myrtle Beach Middle School’s entries in Lions International Peace Poster contest. “Our World, Our Future” was the theme, and students 11-13 from around the world were eligible. The 25-year old contest attracts students from about 100 countries. Each poster is judged on originality, artistic merit and expression of the theme. The Christmas tree includes oyster-shell and glass ornaments. The cards date from 1943-2000.

Eighth Annual Christmas Train Show and Bake Sale

What | Demonstrations, Santa, vendors, bake sale

Where | Grissettown-Longwood Fire and Rescue, 758 Longwood Road (N.C. 904), Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.

When | 6-9 p.m. Dec. 6; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8

Cost | No admission charge; donations welcome

Contact | 910-287-3030 or annpollock@atmc.net

Details | This popular event attracts children and adults of all ages because of the various activities. All sizes of model trains are on display and vendors provide continuous demonstrations. Anyone with questions about model trains will find answers. Train clubs are represented. Food and beverages at modest prices. Bakery items for sale, door prizes given and Santa makes an appearance.

Christmas Light Show

What | 1,000 feet of walking trail lined with 1,000s of interactive glimmering lights and music.

Where | Grissettown-Longwood Fire & Rescue, 758 Longwood Road (N.C. 904), Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.

When | 6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday until Christmas, weather permitting

Cost | $5 per person, 5 years and under, free

Contact | 910-287-3030

18th Annual Community Tree Lighting & “Spirit Of Calabash” Parade

What | Parade with awards for best entries

Where | Callahan’s parking lot, Beach Drive and River Road, Calabash, N.C.

When | All events Dec. 6

Cost | Free

Contact | Kelley, 910-579-6747, ext. 5; www.townofcalabash.net

Details | Decorate golf cart, four-wheeler, small vehicle and other conveyances. Awards for most spirited parade participants. Those in parade line up on Carter Drive at 5 p.m.

Shallotte Christmas Parade and Lights Up, Second Annual Christmas On The River Featuring Brunswick Stew Cook-Off

What | A combined Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce and Town of Shallotte day of events

When/Where | Dec. 7, 10 a.m. parade, Whiteville Avenue (N.C. 130) and Main Street. Noon-5 p.m., Christmas on the River, local craftsmen and vendors. 4-5 p.m. Brunswick Stew Cook-off. 6 p.m. Stew Cook-off winners announced and Lights Up, Rourk Park, Main Street (Across from Jerome’s Restaurant).

Cost | Free admission; stew tasting, $5, limit one ticket/vote per person

Contact | Rachael at Town of Shallotte, 910-754-4032 or Mandy at the Chamber, 910-754-6644

Details | A shopping guide encourages people to shop locally and vote for merchants’ Christmas decorations. Entertainment, vendors

Second Annual Winterfest at Greenlands Farm

What | A family-centered experience with an interactive nativity scene, llama ‘sleigh’ ride, carolers, food.

Where | Greenlands Farm, 668 Midway Road, Bolivia, N.C.

When | 5-8 p.m. Dec. 14

Cost | adults, $8 includes one llama ride, one entry to the live nativity; children, $10 includes two crafts, one llama ride and one entry to the live nativity

Contact | 910-253-7934; www.greelandsfarmstore.info

Details | Greenlands Farm is a homestead farm that grows organic produce and makes healthy homemade breads, jellies, jams and other products.

Ingram Planetarium

What | Laser Music Shows

Where | Ingram Planetarium, 7625 High Market St. (off Sunset Blvd., behind Food Lion), Sunset Beach, N.C.

When | 5-7 p.m., Dec. 19-21, Dec. 26-28, Jan. 2-4

Cost | 13-61 years, $8 per show, 62+, $7, 3-12, $6, under 2, free

Contact | 910-575-0033, www.museumplanetarium.org

Details | Laser Holidays is a new show. Check website for times of individual shows.

Family Open House

What | Palmetto Junior Historians for middle schoolers and their families

Where | North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum, 799 Second Ave. N., North Myrtle Beach

When | 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 9. RSVP by Jan. 6, limited space available

Cost | Free

Contact | 843-427-7668, director@NMBmuseum.com, www.NMBmuseum.com

Details | This information session explains Palmetto Junior Historians, how to become a charter member and gives instructions on a family-tree project.

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