Free things to do in Horry County’s neighbor to the northeast in North Carolina, Brunswick County, remain numerous, especially with Christmas spirit stepping into overdrive. Here’s five:
Catch a concert
Brunswick Community College’s Odell Williamson Auditorium, in Supply, will have a Marine band on Dec. 1 and “Holiday Memories” by the Brunswick Concert Band and Brunswick Little Theatre Singers on Dec. 16.
Hatch Auditorium in N.C. Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell in Caswell Beach, on Oak Island, will host Christmas concerts by the Sea Notes Choral Society Dec. 6-7 and 9, and Brunswick County Concert Band and Brunswick Little Theatre Singer Dec. 14 and 16.
The college will welcome the 2d Marine Division Band – “The Division’s Own” – from Camp Lejuene, N.C., for the first time since 2009, said Master Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Boatright, the bandmaster.
He said the entourage will play an array of yuletide tunes, including “Sleigh Ride” and “White Christmas.”
“We keep it traditional,” Boatright said.
He said most of the 40 members in the band are “in their young 20s.”
Michael Sapp, director of Odell Williamson Auditorium, said the connection to request and book the 2d Division Band arose from a “retired Marine group” locally.
If you go
• 2d Marine Division Band – “The Division’s Own” – from Camp Lejuene, N.C., 3 p.m. Dec. 1 – Limit of six tickets per individual
• “Holiday Memories” by the Brunswick Concert Band and Brunswick Little Theatre Singers, 3 p.m. Dec. 16. Also, bring donations of nonperishables for the Southport Food Bank.
Bridge new traditions
In Sunset Beach, the Old Bridge Preservation Society will have its second annual “Christmas at the Old Bridge” celebration 5-7 p.m. Dec. 10.
One of the coordinators, Carolyn Hirst-Louck, called turnout at the inaugural event last December great.
“It was a gift back to the community for everyone to gather,” she said, summarizing some main ingredients as “cookies and caroling.”
Besides having two local singers and a sing-along this year, a team of volunteers hope to continue building on a goal of making this swing bridge site as a new “community gathering place,” Hirst-Louck said, “and start a tradition for Sunset Beach.”
The preservation society also supports town officials’ vision of developing a new corridor from the bridge to Sunset Beach’s new fishing pier and boat launch, and eventually, a park, Hirst-Louck said.
She also said the group, established just a few years ago, through other events, “had a great Fourth of July” and that an Easter event is in the offing for 2013.
If you go
Park yourself on a sidewalk for a parade
Many locales have parades planned in December: Shallotte and Oak Island on Dec. 1, Leland and a Southport nighttime flotilla Dec. 8, and Bolivia parade Dec. 22. Also, take in a tree lighting Nov. 30 in Oak Island’s Middleton Park, and Dec. 7 at Fort Johnston Southport Museum and Visitor’s Center Garrison Lawn.
If you go
• Town of Oak Island tree lighting, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 30, including Sea Notes Choral Society leading Christmas carols, in Middleton Park, 4601 E. Oak Island Drive. 910-278-5518.
• Town of Shallotte parade, 10 a.m. Dec. 1. Details at 910-754-4032 orwww.townofshallotte.org
• “Christmas by the Sea” parade, 2 p.m. Dec. 1 from Oak Island Town Hall on 46th Street to McGlamery Street. Details from Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce at 910-457-6964 orwww.southport-oakisland.com
• “Santa’s Fire Engine Ride,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 4 through downtown Southport.
• “Movies on the Coast (“Arthur’s Christmas”) and children’s tree lighting, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 7 at Fort Johnston Southport Museum and Visitor’s Center Garrison Lawn, in Southport. 910-457-7945 or 910-279-3331.
• N.C. Carolina Christmas Parade and Festival, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 8 in downtown Leland, behind the BB&T bank parking lot, beginning with parade. 910-616-2671 or 910-371-9921.
• “An 18th Century Christmas” tours, 1-6 p.m. Dec. 8 at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site 8884 St. Philips Road, Winnabow, including St. Philips Anglican Church and historic Brunswick hourly. 910-371-6613.
• Southport Christmas Flotilla, 7-9 p.m. Dec. 8 on Cape Fear River, from Southport Marina/Old Yacht Basin to Kingsley Street. 910-454-4327.
• “A Victorian Holiday,” 1-3 p.m. Dec. 15 at N.C. Maritime Museum at Southport, 204 E. Moore St. Registration required at 910-457-0003.
• Town of Bolivia parade, 11 a.m. Dec. 22. 910-253-5025.
Art remains in order
Among art exhibits, two have begun: “Wild North Carolina Through the Artist’s Eyes,” the 2012 N.C. Wildlife Art Society Exhibition, with 40 pieces, through Jan. 5 at Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, and the Silver Coast Winery Art Show, with works by Karen Gore, Ricky Evans, Michael Green and David McCune, through Dec. 15, at the winery, in Ocean Isle Beach.
Also, for Southport’s “First Friday” monthly Gallery Walk, Dec. 7, observe holiday needlework by the Why Knot Stitch group of Southport in a reception, 5-7 p.m. at Franklin Square Gallery in Southport.
If you go
• “Wild North Carolina Through the Artist’s Eyes,” the 2012 N.C. Wildlife Art Society Exhibition, with about 40 artworks, through Jan. 5 at Sunset River Marketplace, 10283 Beach Drive S.W. (N.C. 179), Calabash, N.C. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. 910-575-5999 orwww.sunsetrivermarketplace.com
• Silver Coast Winery Art Show, with works by Karen Gore, Ricky Evans, Michael Green and David McCune, through Dec. 15, at Silver Coast Winery, 6680 Barbeque Road, Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays, and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. 910-287-2800 orwww.silvercoastwinery.com
• Holiday needlework by the Why Knot Stitch group in a reception, 5-7 p.m. Dec. 7, as part of Southport’s “First Friday” monthly Gallery Walk, at Franklin Square Gallery, 130 E. West St., Southport, N.C., behind Franklin Square Park. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. 910-278-7560 orwww.franklinsquaregallery.com
Check out books, CDs, DVDs and other programs at Brunswick County Library
All five branches, including the sites in Calabash and Southport, are open Mondays-Fridays, and three others – in Leland, Oak Island and Shallotte – are open half-days on Saturdays.
Anyone with a hunkering for a Dickens of an hour might whet their appetite with a Brunswick County Cooperative Extension special program, “What Would Charles Dickens Eat?” on Nov. 30 at the library’s Harper branch in Southport.
If you go
• Hickmans Crossroads, 1040 Calabash Road, Calabash. Call 910-575-0173.
• Rourk, 5068 Main St., Shallotte. Also open Saturdays. 910-754-6578.
• Margaret & James Harper Jr., 109 W. Moore St., Southport. 910-457-6237.
• Leland, 487 Village Road, Leland. Also open Saturdays. 910-371-9442.
• G.V. Barbee Sr., 8200 Oak Island Drive, Oak Island. Also open Saturdays. 910-278-4283.