August 29, 2008

Hunt Roanoke Island Festival for Family Fiddlers See Currituck Park: Lighthouse, Aquarium and Wildlife Center Become a Clean-Water Sleuth

PLAN TO SPEND THE DAY at Corolla's Currituck Heritage Park, where there's something for the whole family.

History buffs should enjoy touring the historic Whalehead Club, a magnificent, refurbished soundside mansion built in the 1920s.

The park also is home to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, which went into operation in 1875. It's the northernmost lighthouse on the Outer Banks, and it's open for tours. You can climb 214 steps to the top for a panoramic view of land and sea.

For curious types, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education offers fun and educational programs, ranging from bird watching to duck calling to maritime forest walks.

Programs are free, but require registration (453-0221 ). The center also has an 8,000-gallon aquarium, a decoy gallery and multi- media exhibits.

And, of course, the park has plenty of wide-open spaces for family gatherings, picnics and water activities.

Admission is free, but there are fees for the tours. The park is open dusk to dawn. Hours for the lighthouse, club and wildlife center are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The park is on N.C. 12, about 30 minutes north of Duck. Call 453- 9040 .

ALL ABOARD FOR THE Wyland Foundation Clean Water Mobile Learning Center.

The 1,000-square-foot exhibit on wheels will be at the North Carolina Aquarium on Monday, Sept. 1.

It's designed to be educational and fun, with the focus on ways to preserve and protect our waterways. Interactive features such as falling rain and a running river help do just that.

Kids and adults will be asked to become "Clean Water Challenge Agents." A training film with special effects will be shown in the center's 30-seat theater. To become agents, trainees will be asked to help find the source of a mysterious disturbance in the country's water supply.

The mobile learning center will be in the visitor parking area of the aquarium, which is on Airport Road, off U.S. 64 north of Manteo. Admission is free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Regular ticket prices will be in effect for the aquarium. Call 473-3494 . THE OUTDOOR PAVILION at Roanoke Island Festival Park will be alive with the sound of music Sunday, Aug. 31.

On stage will be the Hunt Family Fiddlers, often called the modern-day Von Trapp family. It's Mom, Dad and seven children, and they all sing, play multiple instruments and get Irish jiggy with it.

It's a frenetic show, with fast fiddling, high-powered step dancing and close harmony vocals.

The repertoire includes bluegrass breakdowns, Celtic compositions, inspirational songs and pop tunes.

It's like "Riverdance" without the attitude.

The Hunt Family Fiddlers perform at 8 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for children 6 to 18. Children 5 and younger are free. Festival Park is across from the Manteo waterfront. It's lawn seating, so bring a chair or blanket. Call 475-1500 .

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