Weekend Planner: Family Fun Everywhere!

As we reach the final weekend of September, it’s easy to see that people are not quite ready to give up their summer. This weekend is going to be a busy one in New Bern with several family-friendly events going on in the historic district.

Kicking things off on Friday will be Oktoberfest at the New Bern Farmer’s Market. Music, dancing, and food will echo across historic downtown as everyone celebrates this tasty annual tradition. Don’t forget your lederhosen!

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning you’ll find the Kitchens of New Bern Tour returning for a second year. This fundraiser for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina allows you to see some of the coolest kitchens in town (including the Kitchen Office at Tryon Palace) as you sample treats provided by area chefs. Get ideas for your own kitchen or simply enjoy a day strolling through town.

Tryon Palace’s annual Fall Family Day returns with another year of craft activities, games, special access to the Hay House, and free admission for all teachers with a valid ID. Take advantage of the entire site with a One Day Pass, or enjoy the two free exhibits that are currently in the North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace.

For more updates on upcoming events in New Bern, Havelock, and Oriental, visit us at http://newbern.insiderinfo.us/.

Independence (from Arthur) Day in New Bern

New Bern FireworksThe first tropical storm of the year has been named Arthur and wouldn’t you know, it’s trying to threaten everyone’s Fourth of July plans. Luckily it’s moving pretty fast, so hopefully it won’t rain us out for more than a day and a half (fingers crossed) this Thursday and Friday morning.

In the meantime, we have a holiday to celebrate. Are you still planning on pressing through the storm with Fourth of July festivities? If so, what are your plans?

As of tonight, here’s what we know about Fourth of July plans here in the area.

Fourth of July in New Bern

The city’s fireworks celebration is still set to go off from Lawsons Park on Friday night, beginning at 9:15, but they are prepared to move things to Saturday if necessary.

Tryon Palace’s annual Glorious Fourth celebration is still set for Friday as well. Events include a reading of the Declaration of Independence, free garden admission, crafts, and games. On the bright side, if the rain does come, Tryon Palace is prepared to move everything into the North Carolina History Center.

The Army 440th Outdoor concert, planned for the Palace’s South Lawn on Thursday, is not looking so promising. The event hasn’t been cancelled, but if the weather turns bad, the event will be cancelled altogether, rather than move to another date or inside the North Carolina History Center.

Fourth of July in Havelock

As of this afternoon, Havelock‘s Freedom Festival in City Park was still scheduled to occur this Friday. Events begin at 5 p.m. and continue until a fireworks celebration at 9 p.m. (Check for weather updates on the city’s Facebook page, and here at InsiderInfo‘s Facebook page)

Here’s the complete schedule as of tonight:

5:00 p.m. Welcome and National Anthem
5:10 p.m. Egg Relay Race
5:15 p.m. Martial Arts Demonstration
5:40 p.m. Three-legged Race
6:00 p.m. Hula Hoop Contest
6:30 p.m. Pie Eating Contest
7:00 p.m. 2nd MAW Band Performance
9:00 p.m. Fireworks Display

Fourth of July in Oriental

Held July 4-5, 2014, Croakerfest is one of Oriental’s most popular events of the year. As of this afternoon, the town is still optimistic that everything will move forward as planned. Events begin Friday afternoon and continue into Saturday morning with a parade and a regatta. And how do you end such a wonderful celebration? With fireworks on Saturday night, of course!

Stay safe out there everyone and be sure to show us your pictures on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NewBernNCEvents.

As always, you can learn more about Eastern North Carolina by visiting us at http://newbern.insiderinfo.us/



School’s Out for Summer!

1450778_10101434174899023_2087768270_nFor many students and teachers, this week marked the last day of school … and more importantly, the first day of summer vacation! Family vacations will lead folks all over the country, including Eastern North Carolina. Every day we see lots of people looking for weekend getaways, day trips and extended stays. You won’t find a major theme park here in New Bern or along the Crystal Coast, but what you will find is plenty of beautiful beaches and quaint historic towns, shopping, and friendly people.

Events are a big draw for some visitors and there are several to choose from in June, but our editor’s pick for the must-do event of the month is Brew Bern in New Bern. This popular craft brewfest is held in the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, and offers plenty of tasty brews for preferences of all kinds. Meet new people and enjoy a gorgeous view of the Trent River during this popular annual event. Tickets are on sale now, so don’t miss your chance to join in the fun.

Whether you’re coming from Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, or want to take a staycation in your own backyard, there are plenty of ways to kick back and relax. We recently wrote a post about the Top 5 Ways to Spend Your Spring Break, but now we want to know what you’re looking forward to doing in New Bern, Havelock, Oriental, and along the Crystal Coast. What restaurant will you visit? What historic home will you tour? What hotel will you stay in? Where are you planning to shop?

Let’s know your thoughts in the comment box below and be sure to follow our blog for more updates throughout the year.

Now, let’s celebrate summer!


Top 5 Ways to Spend Your Spring Break in New Bern

Lots of people are on spring break this week, and there’s no better way to enjoy a little time outdoors than by getting to know New Bern, North Carolina. Whether you’re a local, passing through, or live on the Crystal Coast and need a break from this week’s beach traffic, InsiderInfo is here to give you the “Top 5 Spots” to add to your downtown walking tour of the city where everything comes together … New Bern, North Carolina.

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1) See the Tulips at Tryon Palace

The weeks of snow we had earlier in the year didn’t stop thousands of tulips from coming into bloom right on time at Tryon Palace. If you’ve never been to Tryon Palace, we recommend you go see everything you can (historic homes and the Governor’s Palace), but if you’re just looking to enjoy some time out in nature, you can buy a gardens pass for only $6, or get a Galleries Pass for $12 and see the museums inside the North Carolina History Museum as well.

2) The Pepsi Store

While you’re strolling around historic downtown New Bern, why not quench your thirst with an ice cold Pepsi from the Pepsi Store. This unique little store doesn’t just serve up a Pepsi out of the bottle, you can sit right down and have one out of the tap in the very place where Caleb Bradham first invented Pepsi more than 110 years ago.

3) The Firemen’s Museum

Get up close and personal with New Bern’s firefighting history at The Firemen’s Museum on Broad Street, where you’ll see old steam pumpers, rare photographs, and antique fire fighting equipment. With ticket prices of $5 for adults and $2.50 for kids (6 and under free), this is one of the most affordable must-see stops in all of downtown New Bern.

Craven ARts Council4) Craven Arts Council and Bank of the Arts

Recently remodeled to include a gorgeous skylight that pours natural light into the exhibit space, the Craven Arts Council and Bank of the Arts is downtown New Bern’s most iconic stop for any art enthusiast. Exhibits rotate regularly, and currently include the Craven Community College Art Show. The work being exhibited represents the students’ responses to different assignments and personal journeys in Ceramics, Computer Art, Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, as well as exhibit materials ranging from Joshua Madison’s wood-turned jewelry to Tyron Bryant’s large-scale self portraits, and Bryan McMahon’s ceramic mugs.

5) New Bern Farmer’s Market

Open every Tuesday and Saturday, the New Bern Farmer’s Market welcomes farmers and artists from all around Eastern North Carolina for an open-air market filled with tasty treats and unique finds. From guitars made out of cigar boxes, to fresh meat and produce from local farmers, the New Bern Farmer’s Market offers a much-needed mix of shopping, eating, and entertainment for all ages.

For more InsiderInfo on New Bern, as well as Oriental, Havelock, and beyond, be sure to follow us on Facebook, or visit us today at http://newbern.insiderinfo.us/home/ for the latest must-see events.

Have a Heart for Art During the ‘Valentine ArtCrawl’

ArtCrawlPosterIt’s almost Valentine’s Day and the local artists here in New Bern are giving you a new way to celebrate the biggest “date night” of the year. This year, instead of planning dinner and a movie, why not stroll through the historic downtown district and enjoy some of the works done by area artists? Sponsored by the Community Artist Will, the “Valentine ArtCrawl” allows local artists to show their works at more than 25 shops, galleries and restaurants in downtown New Bern (Craven, Middle, Pollock, and South Front Street). This is a win-win for every couple because it not only offers up a new way to spend Valentine’s Day, it gives you a chance to pick up a last-minute, yet thoughtful gift. And the best part? You’ll be supporting New Bern’s local art community. C’mon and have a heart for art!

Learn more at http://www.communityartistwill.org/artcrawl.html.

Out with the Pickle … In with the Crab Pot

Can you believe that 2014 is almost here? And with a new year comes a celebration of our favorite New Year’s Eve traditions. Here in Eastern North Carolina, it seems there’s never a shortage of fun ways to ring in the new year. Sure, you could sit at home and watch the ball drop in Times Square, but why celebrate with people on TV when you can get out of the house and start 2014 with a little silliness and good cheer.

Here’s a list of our top 5 favorite New Year’s Eve traditions in Eastern North Carolina.

1) Morehead City’s 3rd annual Crab Pot Drop

Where: Katherine Davis Park, Morehead City (Arendell and 6th street)

When: Dec. 31, 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

About: Offering live music from Carolina Beach Club and fireworks at midnight. This budding new tradition in Carteret County has fun for all ages as a fully decorated and illuminated crab pot is dropped from the sky.

Web: http://www.crystalcoastcountdown.com/

2) Mt. Olive Pickle Drop

Where: Corner of Cucumber & Vine, Mount Olive

When: Dec. 31, 6-7 p.m.

About: An illuminated 3-foot pickle drops down the Mt. Olive Pickle Company’s flagpole and into a perfectly preserved redwood pickle tank. Also includes free refreshments, including Mt. Olive pickles, and live music by The Harmony Boys from 6-6:50 p.m. and Dr. Alan Armstrong on the bagpipes.

Web: http://www.mtolivepickles.com/news/whats-new/

3) Beaufort’s Buccaneer’s New Year’s Eve Celebration

Where: Front Street, Historic Downtown Beaufort

When: Dec. 31, 5-7 p.m.

About: Offering fun for all ages, this pirate-inspired New Year’s Eve celebration includes marshmallow roasts, chalk drawing, a pinata, hot drinks and a pirate drop. How does a “pirate drop” work? Argh … he walks the plank!

Web: http://www.crystalcoastcountdown.com/

4) Oriental Dragon Run and Croaker Drop

Where: Hodges Street, Oriental

When: Dec. 31, 8 p.m. to midnight

About:  Visitors line the streets for a chance to win some good luck in 2014 by touching a large Chinese dragon that makes its way down the street. A second dragon run follows at 11:30 p.m. as spectators cheer it along with a symphony of clanging pots and pans. And then, because it wouldn’t be an Eastern North Carolina tradition without some sort of seafood, the Oriental Croaker will drop from the mast of a sailboat on the waterfront.

Web: http://towndock.net/happening/dragon-run-to-ring-in-2014-dec-31

5) 2nd annual New Year’s Eve Gala Ball

Where: Stanly Ballroom, downtown New Bern

When: Dec. 31

About: Dance the night away during a semi-formal New Year’s Eve gala in the Stanly Ballroom, a grand ballroom from the 1890s, complete with beautiful chandeliers, 30-foot ceilings, massive curved windows and a marvelous staircase. Heavy hors’dourves are included and alcohol is BYOB. Space is very limited so call ahead to ensure tickets are still available.

Web: http://www.newyearsinnewbern.com/

So, how will you spend your last night in 2013?

New Bern Christmas Parade -2013

Rainy weather wreaked havoc on several parades across Eastern North Carolina on Saturday. Luckily, here in New Bern, nobody rained on our  parade. It was still a bit chilly and the threat of rain certainly convinced some people to stay at home,  but everyone that came had a great time.  All the kids were scurrying about for candy and the community was out in full force with creative floats, marching bands and a few of our local TV news celebrities.

In case you hadn’t heard, New Bern is going all for the holidays this year. Coming up this week, Tryon Palace kicks off its Candlelight Masquerade on Saturday, Dec. 14 and on Sunday, Dec. 15, there is a 100 percent chance of snow, thanks to all our merry friends at the Beary Merry Christmas.

For more information about the New Bern parade and other events held throughout the year, be sure to visit us at http://newbern.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/. You can also see our full album from the 2013 parade by visiting our  Facebook page.


Veterans Day Weekend Planner

U.S. Cemetery in New Bern

The flags are flying high in New Bern’s U.S. Cemetery, located in historic downtown Riverside.

It’s a little chilly outside here on the Eastern North Carolina  coast, but there’s still plenty of way to celebrate your Veterans Day weekend … both indoors and outdoors. So if you’re looking for things to do in New Bern, NC and Oriental, NC, here’s a quick look at the special events you can expect to find. Choose one or choose them all! Just don’t let the weekend go by without  taking advantage of all the theater productions, holiday cheer and free admission for Veterans during this very special weekend.

Nov. 9: “Hello Dolly!” by the New Bern Civic Theatre

Take in a musical on Saturday night with one of the best-known characters in theater:  Dolly Gallagher Levi! Tickets are $19 at the door and can be purchased by calling the New Bern Civic Theatre box office at 252-633-0567.

Nov. 9: Cedar  Grove Cemetery Tours

Visit the markers for some of New Bern’s earliest residents (dating back to  the Revolutionary War) and the site for several  scenes of FOX’s new show, Sleepy Hollow. Today’s tour begins at 4 p.m. and others will follow on Nov. 16,23 and 30. Call 252-635-1374 for info.

Nov. 9-10: Holiday Gift  Show

Start shopping for holiday decorations and  gift ideas early during the Holiday Gift Show. Held at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center on Saturday until 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 4 p.m.

Nov. 10: The Meanings & Representations of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamations

The New Bern Historical Society presents Dr. Reginald Hildebrand, an accomplished writer and professor of Afro-American Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, for a discussion entitled “The Meanings and Representations of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamations.” This free event will be held in Mattocks Hall, located in the North Carolina History Center. Call 252-638-8558 for more information.

Nov. 11: Defending New Bern: Tryon Palace’s Military Appreciation Day (Veteran’s Day)

Tryon Palace will be offering free admission for all active duty and military veterans to celebrate Veteran’s Day! Discounted admission is also available for immediate family members.

Want to plan  even further ahead? Take a look at our calendar of events for some of the biggest events held across Eastern North Carolina. 

Get Your Creep On — Ghostwalk Returns Oct. 24-26

Ghostwalk in Historic New Bern, NCThe weather has  cooled and fall is here. That means Halloween is just around the corner and in New Bern, NC, that means it’s time for Ghostwalk. Sponsored by the New Bern Historical Society, this popular New Bern annual event returns Oct. 24-26 with an  exciting new theme: “The Haunted Housewives of New Bern.”

Meet historical ghosts, enjoy kid-friendly games and take in “spirited musicals” as you stroll through 17 historic homes and buildings in downtown New Bern. It all kicks off  from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on  Thursday, October 24 with limited tours of Cedar Grove Cemetery, the Athens Theatre (New Bern Civic Theatre), Masonic Theatre (RiverTowne Repertory Players), Agony Alley (for kids of all ages) a Mystery Mansion and outdoor entertainment under the tent.

Ghostwalk expands from 5:30-9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct 25-26, as all ghost sites open up to include the Hollister House and Cedar Grove Cemetery, which were both used during filming  of FOX’s new hit TV show, “Sleepy Hollow.”

Spirits portrayed by “live” actors can be found throughout New Bern’s historic district in homes, porches, and gardens. A candlelight tour through Cedar Grove Cemetery adds even more fright to your night as ghosts emerge from the shadows to tell their haunted tales.

Tickets may be purchased online or at the New Bern Historical Society Office, located at 511 Broad St., New Bern. Prices are as follows:

$15 Adult, advance ticket purchases
$20 Adult, days of event (begins Oct 24).
* $10 Active Duty Military & Dependents with current ID
*$10 Students with current ID
$5 Children 3-12 years
Children under 3 years old are free

Various accommodations and special packages are available from the Aerie Bed and  Breakfast, the Harmony House Inn and the Bridgepoint Hotel and Marina.

For more information about Ghostwalk: The Haunted Housewives of New Bern, visit http://newbernhistorical.org/ghostwalk/.

33rd Annual Mumfest Returns to New Bern Oct. 12-13

Mums the Word this weekend as New Bern comes alive with the 33rd annual Mumfest

Mums the Word this weekend as New Bern comes alive with the 33rd annual Mumfest. (Photo by Anna Ramey)

It’s fall in New Bern and that can only mean one thing … Mumfest!

The streets of downtown New Bern will be  flooded with tens of thousands of people this weekend for the 33rd annual Mumfest.  Held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13, Mumfest is not only filled with music, food, entertainers, vendors and much more, this vibrant festival continues to be  one of  the most  popular events in all of Eastern North Carolina. You can always count on a few guaranteed events with Mumfest, such as live music, free garden admission and a plant sale at Tryon Palace, and lots of food. From traditional fair food like funnel cakes and ice cream, to pizza and Mediterranean, every member of the family will be able to find something to munch on.

But it’s the new attractions you’ll find at this year’s Mumfest that will really make you want to visit.

The XPOGO stunt team will be over in Union Point Park with an afternoon full of  acrobatic feats, flips, flying and fun. And on the corner of Broad and Middle streets you’ll see three NASCAR cars from Richard Childress Racing, including the Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by the legendary Dale Earnhardt. One of the most popular additions this year is sure to be the introduction of a beer garden at the Doubletree Hotel, located on South Front Street, and Juice on the Neuse, a wine and craft beer tent near Persimmons and the Courtyard Marriott, located  on East Front Street.

Also back by popular demand will be the Purina Incredible Dog Team, an outdoor boat show, street performers, arts and crafts vendors and plenty of rides for the kids. For more information about specific Mumfest events, visit www.mumfest.com.