Humphrey Farm is turning up the excitement for Independence Day weekend

Humphrey Farm and Emerald Owl Productions are partnered up for an Independence Day Celebration that will light up your holiday weekend with a splash, foam, food, family fun and lights!

Two Crystal Coast businesses are joining forces to bring professional entertainment to the local area on Saturday, July 6th.

Humphrey Farm in Hubert, NC, is partnering with Emerald Owl Productions from Emerald Isle, NC to host a wonderfully unique experience that is not only fun but interactive for people of all ages.

In the past year, the local entertainment company has taken the laser and light glow party brand from the east to west coast, UNC-Chapel Hill, as far north as Pittsburgh, PA and even to Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. They will be providing the entertainment on the 4th of July in Ocracoke, NC.

Cathy Lassiter, Principal of Rosewood Middle School in Goldsboro, NC describes her experience with this party, “It’s like a nightclub I can take my kids, my grandmother, and my best friend to all at the same time… and we’d all have a blast together!”
Admission to this event is $7.00 per person and includes:

  • Laser Light Glow Party, Professional Lasers, UV Lighting & Sound
  • Music from Today’s hits & All Decades
  • Interactive Games & Activities
  • Foam Party
  • Entrance to Humphrey Farm- Complete with Beer Barn, Food Trucks, and other
  • Market Vendors on site.
  • Opportunity to enter a “Splash Zone” including being sprayed with water, glow in the dark paint, glow in the dark foam & slime.

You will get DRENCHED in the Splash Zone!

There are also family packages available for a discounted rate.

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Photo Courtesy of Emerald Owl Productions

Barbara Humphrey-Garrett, manager of Humphrey Farm, alongside Michael Meyer, Emerald Owl Productions Director said the idea came to them when they realized there would be no Independence Day Celebration in Swansboro this year. With the high overhead of professional production, the event must sell 400 advanced tickets so grab yours now through a secure online purchase through http://www.humphreyfarmnc.com or at the farm. In the event the baseline of ticket sales is not met to move forward, tickets purchased will be refunded.

Meeting the demand for ticket sales should not be an issue; it is undoubtedly worth every cent and honestly a very fair price.

THE ONSLOW BEAT EXPERIENCE
The Onslow Beat went out to Humphrey Farm for Emerald Isle Productions first debut event on the farm last Saturday, and it was a full family affair that was enjoyed by all. This was an event I took my husband and kids to get a full effect to convey the feedback from them to the public. We all know children are brutally honest with matters of satisfaction.

Our son, age 7, we had to tell him to eat and get hydrated beyond what water he’d gulped down likely in the splash zone area. Gross, I know, but he’s “all boy.” He didn’t want to leave and told us on the drive home, “that was a blast. I wish we could go to that farm every weekend!”

Our daughter, age 11, and not a huge water fan, really enjoyed herself as well. She was between the foam pit and the splash pad for water play, just as all of the other kids. She said the foam was the best and she hoped at that point, next time they’d do slime as mentioned over the loudspeakers. Then she came for a mega Jenga game and demanded mom play with her. There are games set up around the yard of the farm under open covered barns with tables. (View the video below)

My husband and I ended up feeling like we had a little date night with childcare on site. We played a game under the covered area, took a stroll around the yard together, and checked out the vendors. We further went on to enjoy a bite to eat and back to the picnic table area to talk and enjoy the mere fact that at that moment we had sheer peace in parenting, winning with a date night we didn’t even expect since the idea was solely to take the kids for their enjoyment and I could work. Can you say, “WINNING!”?

There is corn-hole set up for kids and adults, horseshoes and more games for good competitive fun with family and friends. There was a mega connect four game that a young toddler was playing with an older sibling. Music of all genres filled the air, new school and old school from the DJ. Some farm-goers took the crowd on with karaoke performances between selections.

There was BBQ sold on site from Sm’Oaked BBQ, serving beef brisket, pork spare ribs with coleslaw and beans as sides, packed in with a slice of bread to go with. Now let me tell you all, I generally don’t like most BBQ in any restaurant or on any food truck, I’m just not impressed usually. However, let me tell you, this was the most tender brisket I have had from a vendor here in the eastern North Carolina region, a perfect smoked flavor, and seasonings, highly impressive. On the other hand of it, I wasn’t a fan of the sides, and that’s only me being me- a native Western NC Girl through and through. Generally, I am not too fond of any BBQ vendors side items; they’re often store-bought, lack the touch of southern seasoning to take you anywhere near granny’s house in your mind. They offer sauces and salt and pepper packets on the side in plastic ware so you can apply yourself. I still give them 4/5 stars just for the brisket, excellent pricing, generous portions, and a great customer service experience.


Around the farm, there’s a variety of market shops to patronize, fresh goods, vegetables, Amish bread, crafts, free wine tastings and of course wine to purchase if you like. There was the best strawberry lemonade I’ve tasted in all of Onslow County perfectly blended, not too sour, not too sweet and I could taste the berries. Seriously, there should be an award for that.

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Photo Courtesy of Humphrey Farm

Oh my heavens, the funnel cakes! I’ll let you look and judge for yourself. There’s plenty of landscape to run the pounds off on if you overindulge.

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You cannot go wrong with a visit to Humphrey Farm whether its with friends, alone, with colleagues or with family.

Get out there and explore Onslow and Eastern NC, Humphrey Farm is a great place to start, and you don’t even have to pay for parking!

 

 

 

 

 

TRAGIC: Swansboro by Sail Capt. victim of a drowning incident Thursday evening

Friday, May 24, 2019, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office issued a release in regards to a call at approximately 5:30pm on May 23, 2019 to assist with a drowning that occurred in Swansboro. The victim, a 55-year-old white male was recovered in the late afternoon in the intracoastal waterway near the Hwy 24 bridge in Swansboro.

Photo Credit: Swansboro by Sail

Preliminary investigation reveals that the drowning has been ruled accidental and that no foul play is suspected. Detectives of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office have met with officers from North Carolina Wildlife and shared our investigation.

The OCSO is not releasing or confirming the victim’s identity at this time.

Live and Local Radio Host, Raeford Brown reported via social media prior to the sheriffs office release:

A fatal boating mishap in Swansboro last night. An investigation is underway to determine what happened. Michael F. Dunleavy, 55, died when he either fell or was knocked overboard. He and a friend were aboard his 34 foot sailboat, “Fevre”, out for a short spin, when it’s believed a breeze caused the sailing vessel’s boom to hit Mr. Dunleavy, knocking him into the water. His wife was at a downtown restaurant, awaiting his return. Details are still sketchy.

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends.

-Raeford Brown

Swansboro by Sail confirmed the report from Radio Host, Raeford Brown with a post informing supporters and followers that the Captain had passed.

The communities prayers and condolences are with his wife, family, friends, frequent passengers and colleagues.

Mike Dunleavy, Captain of Swansboro by Sail

Crime Stoppers offers cash reward of up to $2,500 for information that is deemed of value or assistance to law enforcement. Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and never have to reveal their identity.

First Food Truck Roundup in Sneads Ferry this evening

Thursday, May 16, 2019, Treasure Realty and Harper Rose Boutique are partnering in hosting the first-ever Food Truck Roundup right in the heart of Sneads Ferry near Four Corners, formerly known as “Monks Corner” by the native villagers.

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There will be a variety of new foods that your taste buds will absolutely love you for and won’t upset your wallet. There are three food trucks in this roundup, Sneads Ferry’s own Salty Sista’s serving up their signature dishes with fresh, Maine lobster rolls, lobster hush puppies, wagyu beef sliders and more. Vida Tacos of Jacksonville, NC serving up the absolute best So-Cal style tacos in all of Onslow County with the freshest ingredients and flavor of perfection. Tasty Tee’s Snack Shack of Wilmington, NC serving up a variety of southern and American favorites from wings & fries, coastal delight- shrimp burger, Carolina’s cure-all in the land of food,  “Bar-B-Que” paired with side item options to purchase like coleslaw and mac & cheese, if you please.

There will be tables and chairs on site if you would like to stay and enjoy. If you are in a hurry, you can grab and go as well.

This is projected to be a once a month event with rotating food trucks coming from across the NC Coastline as far as Kure Beach! Go on out and show your support of our local food trucks.

Do you have a food truck and want to join in the rodeo? Send an email to saltysistas@yahoo.com

This event is sponsored by Harper Rose Boutique and Treasure Realty.

 

 

Salty Sistas give back beyond their food truck in the first week

We often see new businesses open and come with a community motivated pitch of supporting those who support them, giving back to the community and all the bells and whistles but we never see the fruits of their labor as marketed. Well, Salty Sistas food truck has put their money where their mouth is, well technically, other mouths are. Their first big weekend at The Crooked Lotus last weekend was a hit and they’ve “tithed” ten percent of their earnings back into the CHEW Program in the community at Dixon Elementary.

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The Onslow Beat Digital Reporter, Melissa Oakley asked one Salty Sista Jeanette Rivera, “what motivated you, ladies, to implement community service into your business? Aren’t you concerned about profiting before grand-opening to grow and maybe implement some services at the peak of tourism season?” Rivera responded,

I really wanted the community to see that we are not just about making money. We are two women with a passion and a love for cooking. But it is just as important to us to give back In any of the communities we are working and we want to be able to give back. Our first soft opening we said that we would take a portion of the profits and give to the chew program at Dixon Elementary. We are women of our word. This is what it’s about, supporting locals, following our dreams and still helping those in need!

Be sure you’re keeping up with these two phenomenal women and their menus coming up on the food truck at Salty Sistas. 

grand opening salty sistas

Here’s a sneak peek at what they’ve been up to testing out new recipes, cultivated from scratch and pure culinary delight!

Lobster Chowder

Digital Reporter, Melissa Oakley also had the opportunity to be a food critic for Salty Sistas testing the lobster roll (3oz), the lobster hushpuppies and the lobster poutine. Lobster roll comes with a choice of butter or mayo, can be served warm or cold, side of coleslaw and a bag of chips. The lobster hushpuppies are served fresh, fried, golden perfection with a side of special sauce, “Cajun Happiness” sauce that the ladies just wouldn’t give up the recipe for. There was also attempt to get the ladies kids, spouses and the employees to spill it without any success. If you try the sauce or have tried the sauce, you will understand why the recipe needs to be released, It’s absolutely delicious and paired perfectly with the flavors in the batter of the hushpuppies and the chunks of lobster. They could literally sell bottles of the sauce it is so delicious! “Cajun Happiness” is a perfect name for this sauce as it is truly, “c’est si bon!”.

Lobster rolls with mayo
Example of rotating menu and prices

 

Autumn with Topsail festival final day Sunday, October 21st

Autumn with Topsail is always a fun time to be had on the beautiful Topsail Island. Live bands, dancing, libations, food trucks, juried arts and crafts, indoor and outdoor kids activities, and the famous Kiwanis pancake breakfasts!

The festival started in 1988 featuring a juried Artists’ and Crafts court with over 100 regional artists with work on display for sell.

This is definitely a great FUN adventure to go explore the gems of  Topsail Island such as the Missiles and More Museum where this grand event is held. Funds raised at this event support the Historical Society of Topsail Island and the museum. The Historic Assembly Building suffered some major damages from Hurricane Florence so the funds raised will greatly benefit keeping history alive and well on Topsail. The funds generally go to the maintanence, presevation and upkeep of the historic Assembly Building and the Missiles and More Museum.

The Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at the Historic Assembly Building for the final day of the festival will be Sunday morning from 8am-10am.

You can enjoy live musical entertainment from the Band of Oz this afternoon from 1pm-4pm, a variety of delicious food, beer, wine and lots of inflatables, crafts for children and much more!

Check out the band here on Youtube:

Admission is $5 for the day for the general public, Children 11 and under are FREE as well as ACTIVE DUTY military members with a valid ID.

Concerned about parking needs? No problem! There’s a FREE Shuttle Service that’s provided from select, various parking areas in Topsail Beach that take you to the festival grounds.

AWT (Autumn with Topsail) festival prohibits pets from entry unless they are licensed service dogs.

For more details on AWT before you make your way over to Topsail Island visit: topsailhistoricalsociety.org or missilesandmoremuseum.org

This week in Onslow.

Moving to Onslow County can be quite the shift for many people and families, especially military affiliated. Depending on where you’re from or previously stationed at, you might have been surrounded by a plethora of activities, amusement parks within a 100 mile radius, a mall with more than 60 retailers listed including the booth vendors, and maybe a good selection of night life options beyond a bar and a live band or DJ.

So, I am putting together a little compilation of the events coming up in Jacksonville, NC or surrounding areas.

I’m undecided on doing this weekly, biweekly or monthly. But we shall see, I have to check my schedules and merge to one.

Anyhow, let’s start the explorer mode! Will update through the week as more events, activities are discovered. So be sure to check back in. Also, if you know an event not listed, send it in an email, will gladly add it to the list.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 6:30pm-8pm Topsail Night Run Great way to be active and social. Enjoy!

Community Children’s Carnival: 3rd annual Community Children’s Carnival by the Guardian Ad Litem program. Friday, April 20th 6p-9p. 421 Court Street, Jacksonville NC. Riverwalk Park is event location. Vendors, food, games, live entertainment.

Duck’s Piano Dual battle of the keys! Best customer participation wins a $75 gift card.

Thursday Trivia at Doc’s Trivia night’s at Doc’s in Holly Ridge.

Earth Day Hike at Hammocks Beach Swansboro, NC. Binoculars suggested because the park has a limited supply. 1pm-2pm.

Spring Fling Onslow County Farmers Market. April 21, 2018, 8:30a-1:30p. Kid friendly, Family oriented, food, fun, and crafts.

Eastern Carolina Lantern Festival April 21, 2018 3pm-6pm, Carteret County Speedway 501 Whitehouse Fork Road, Swansboro, NC. Tethered lanterns lit up in Community togetherness in memory of loved ones lost to disease, those fighting addictions or illness, honoring one you love going through hard times. There’s a fundraiser for “Bridge the Gap” that is to help with children with disabilities, there’ll be food, therapeutic dance, face painting, music, entertainment and lots of love.

Mother Earth River Paddle Kinston, NC 10am-3pm Guided tour with the brewery down the river exploring history and education in an Earth Day celebration.

Save a Life. Emerald isle CPR. April 21, 2018 9am-1pm

Earth Day Conservationist Event April 21, 2018 FREE event and open to the public.

Arrrgh Maties! Pirate Festival in Swansboro. April 21, 2018 10am-3pm in Swansboro Historic District.

Barrel Racing at Valentine’s Farms, Dunn, NC watch or ride. Details on the link.

Sailing The Belle of Topsail

The Belle of Topsail is an 1880’s replica of a turn of the century riverboat owned and operated by Captain/Chaplain David and Sharon Luther and about seven years ago, we took our first sail on The Belle. Oh but soon after that first sail, The Luther’s added an even more exciting twist to this lovely experience of sailing the intracoastal waterways in Surf City, passing right by the historical swing bridge, enjoying cool breezes, sunny days, breathtaking sunsets and if you’re lucky the river dolphins will be in action for a show in their natural habitat and then The Raven was born! Now, I don’t mean the bird, no Edgar Allen Poe here either, I’m talking about daring, dusty, thieving, murdering, fast talking and comical PIRATES on a Pirate ship called The Raven!!

The Belle has a full bar, the dinner cruise offered a self serve style meal option with an amazing Taco Bar and a good ol’ Sunday dinner feast option with pulled pork, mac-n-cheese, yeast rolls, beans and other helpings to include cheeses and a beautiful selection of fresh fruits to compliment any meal. There were also platters at the bar with a variety of nuts, pretzels and jumbo cocktail shrimp complimentary to everyone.

We moved away and returned to this area late last year and haven’t been on a date since and we really needed that fun time out alone, without kids, just to breathe, to talk and just be “adulting” because for Christs Sakes, no married couple or parents can say “Oh I Never Need BREAKS” unless they’re a bald faced liar. Anyway, moving on. I had been trying to get reservation for the cruises at Sunset for a few weeks but with life and schedule changes, we missed the opportunity because cruises sell out super fast! So make a note of that, “Book today, they’ll sail away”. We were actually passed the reservation limit but lovely Sharon keeps contact with those on the waiting list and will call or email if there is a cancellation that can serve your parties amount. There was just us two and there were three spots that opened up. Can you say, “Happy Sun-YAY!” for us!?? I was so excited like I had never been on this boat before and I will tell you why. See, some experiences are so scripted and uptight around some tourist towns, there’s no personality, no feeling like you are a part of it, like you’re just another dollar and viewer but this is certainly not the case with The Belle! From the Capt’ns Speech on locating your life jackets in case the boat were to sink in the 4ft or so of water we cruise in, informing passengers the bar will remain open upon event of sinking to the waterway’s floor to the very moment those pesky, scoundrel PIRATES take hostage The Belle… EVERY passenger will feel welcome, like you are on a family outing with family you’ve never met or haven’t seen in a long time and made feel at home aboard The Belle. You are guaranteed an original experience every trip that you will enjoy, I can honestly say, it gets better every year! (The ship has never sank by the way and no passenger has been injured or gone overboard.)

I was recently diagnosed with a rare brain condition called Chiari Malformation though the symptoms have been disturbing me quite a while. I really needed a breather, I needed to see the waterway for some salt life, I needed those laughs with and at David over the loud speaker and from the ships floor, I needed those hugs and warm welcome back from Sharon upon boarding, I needed those crazy pirates to come aboard and demand the loot aka “booty”, I needed the laughs of talking trash to the pirates by fellow passengers taken hostage and once they left back to their ship cruising alongside us with passengers I had never met from different races, genders, styles etc but joy and laughter sees no diversity especially on The Belle! They operate a business that is for everyone, young and old, abled or disabled, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, “no sailor left behind I bloody tell ya!!” This is truly an experience you will enjoy and remember every detail for years to come and if you have any ailment or conquering one, trust me this will give you a relief from the woes of life if even just at that time! I felt rejuvenated after sailing The Belle with my husband, just gazing into that gorgeous sunset, laughing with and at pesky pirates, enjoying a few margarita’s and making new friends. Yes, making new friends! If you are new to this area, maybe returning back to this area and nobody you know is still here, the friend connection is The Belle, I have made new friends every single time we have sailed The Belle! There’s just a personable, class act, Sweet Carolina touch to this experience that I cannot quite put into words that give it due justice, I do hope that my blog’s fan page live video on FB can show you just a window into this experience as well as the gorgeous sunset photo’s I will include below. But here’s a peak at the sunset beginning!

We love The Belle so much we originally planned our wedding on the boat but because we are in hurricane alley, Mother Nature insisted a cancellation because all boats were advised out of the water. You can plan birthday parties, anniversaries, business parties and meetings, weddings, vow renewals and other events all on the Belle with food, fun, music and the Captain is also an ordained minister so no worries of who can officiate your ceremony or maybe you just need someone to pray that you don’t knock that one coworker overboard! Seriously, I would certainly recommend this boat for any of the aforementioned functions, a date, when family is in town, a girls night out, night out with the guys, retirement party, going away… you name it!! I mean seriously, What kid (or kid at heart) wouldn’t go totally nuts over being a real pirate for a day celebrating their birthday?? I can’t think of many that would complain.
As we left the dock: Take off live recording
Check out this video of the Raven Pirate takeover for yourself with adults: LIVE FROM THE BELLE PT 2

Photographed by Melissa Oakley

 

****Disclaimer: This blog post is solely based on my experience(s) as a passenger aboard The Belle of Topsail. I am not employed by this business and am an independent blogger/marketing promoter.