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Five free things to do in Brunswick County, N.C.

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

Who and when |

Where | Brunswick Community College Odell Williamson Auditorium, 50 College Road, Supply, N.C., south of U.S. 17

Tickets | Call to reserve tickets at 910-755-7416 or 800-754-1050, ext. 7416

More information |

Other area concerts | 36th annual Sea Notes Choral Society Holiday Concert, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6-7 and 3 p.m. Dec. 9, and Christmas Holiday Concert by Brunswick County Concert Band and Brunswick Little Theatre Singers, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and 3 p.m. Dec. 16, all at Hatch Auditorium N.C. Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell 100 Caswell Beach Road, Caswell Beach. 910-253-1643.

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

What | Second annual ‘Christmas at the Old Bridge’

By | Old Bridge Preservation Society

When | 5-7 p.m. Dec. 10

Where | Old (swing) Bridge, 109 Shoreline Drive W., Sunset Beach, N.C.

Entertainment includes singers | Linda Ladrick from Brunswick Little Theatre and the Brunswick Big Band, and Mandee Williams, featured soloist of the Seaside United Methodist Church Sanctuary Choir and Praise Team, who also will lead a sing-along.

Information | or reach Carolyn Hirst-Loucks at 315-253-8107 or email

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

What | Christmas parades/tree lightings

Information | Check event listings at

When and where |

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

What | Art exhibits

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

What | Brunswick County Library

Hours | Branches, all open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, some 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, as noted

Also | Special program from the Brunswick County Cooperative Extension, “What Would Charles Dickens Eat?” 1-2 p.m. Nov. 30 at Harper branch in Southport.

More information |