Tuesday, May 29, 2012
As you may already know, Pleasure Island’s 27th Annual Beach Music Festival is just around the corner. This annual summer kick-off event in the sand draws loyal crowds of visitors and locals, each and every year. After the sun has set and the music is over, an after party is held at a local establishment (the SeaWitch) where you can count on a Shag Dancing contest! http://youtu.be/0usNTJmwK-M So, what is Shag dancing all about and where did it come from? Read on to find out – here is an excerpt from http://www.ithacaswingdance.com/f_Shag_rap.html. “If you are from the South, and you do swing dance, you do the Carolina Shag. It is THE swing dance of the south. Moreover, Shag is imbibed with a certain mystique. As one old-timer describes it, "Shag is a warm night with a cold beer and a hot date." Even without the beer, Shag carries with it the nostalgia of cool wind and ocean waves on a warm summer's night, hand in hand with someone you like a lot. Originating in the late '30s on the shores of Myrtle Beach, Shag has gained such a following that it is now the Official State Dance of South Carolina. (and as of 2005, it is also the state popular dance of North Carolina as well). Over 15,000 Shaggers attend the Myrtle Beach "Spring Safari" in March, with an almost equal number showing up to dance at the September "Fall Migration". In the mid -1990s, there were more Shag Clubs in 4 states in the South than for any other type of swing dance club in the world. The roots of shag can be found in the cross-pollination of black music and club dancers in Myrtle Beach with the natural openness of a fun-loving and carefree group of '40s white teenagers. The racially myopic mainstream radio stations of the '40s South did not play black music. The kids had flock to the beaches to hear it on jukeboxes. Certain individuals, such as Billy Jeffers and "Chicken" Hicks are credited with developing the early aspects of the dance. These teens attended black night clubs and were allowed to watch from the balcony. In an era of segragation, this was called "jumping the Jim Crow rope." They adapted what they saw and liked. They are also credited with initiating the "Beach Music" phenomenon, by convincing jukebox owners to put R&B into the playlist in the white beach areas. In the '90s, numerous radio stations have Beach Music-only formats. Lindy Hoppers are familiar with the "Big Apple" dance and perhaps with its derivative partner-ish dance the "Little Apple". Both of these were born at Fat Sam's Big Apple Club in Columbia, South Carolina. It then drifted up north to the Savoy Ballroom where it inspired the famous choreographer and performance dancer Frank Manning. Jazz affected the Southern style directly, although its Savoy transmutations also returned home to the South. Early Shaggers called themselves "Jitterbugs". The music was fast, and it was big band swing. The term "Shag" came about over a decade later. By the early '50s, Shag had slowed way down and adopted the tempo and feel of Rhythm and Blues as its own. In the post-WWII era, with the close of the Savoy Ballroom and demise of the big bands, the Lindy Hop lost most of its USA popularity (resurfacing in the '90s (mainly to a white crowd of dancers). However, Carolina Shag in the South grew and grew after WWII. Shag became part of family tradition as the teen shaggers became adults and raised families. Whereas the vast majority of teen blacks in the North eschew the old Lindy Hop, adopting Soul, Funk, and now Hip Hop, in the South many white youngsters continue to embrace the Shag traditions of Mom & Dad (well, until they discover West Coast Swing....).“ A local Shagger recently told us that regular dances are held at Shanty's II in Carolina Beach, NC, for more information about the local Shag club, visit the Cape Fear Shag Club's website: http://www.capefearshagclub.net/.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Have you ever taken a stroll along Carolina Beach, and wondered what people are fishing for? I have, and everytime I ask a fisherman/woman, I get the same response, "Whatever is biting!" Courtesy of the Fisherman's Post, here is a little bit about what has been biting recently - on the surf and on the pier: Bud Holt, of Carolina Beach, with a 3 lb., 3 oz. pompano that bit fresh shrimp in the Fort Fisher surf. Wes, of Island Tackle and Hardware, reports that anglers are still connecting with some sea mullet near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Dunking bottom rigs baited with shrimp and bloodworms around deeper holes is the way to connect with the mullet. Some smaller speckled trout are also feeding in the Cape Fear River. Anglers can tempt them to bite live shrimp, Gulp baits, and a variety of other lures. The red drum bite in the bays off the lower Cape Fear has been up-and-down, but anglers are catching a few on live mud minnows and Gulp baits. Some black drum have been feeding around Carolina Beach Inlet, where they’re taking an interest in fresh shrimp on bottom rigs. The inlet area and the CB boat basin are also producing some flounder for anglers casting Gulps and live baits. Spanish mackerel are beginning to make a showing off the beach, with decent action reported around Johns Creek and the Marriott Reef lately. Trolling Clarkspoons behind planers is the best way to connect with the spaniards. A few king mackerel have made their way nearshore, but the main body of fish is still spread out from the Fairway Buoy to Frying Pan Tower. Live baits and dead cigar minnows will both tempt bites from the kings. The few boats who’ve made the run to the Gulf Stream lately are reporting excellent blackfin tuna fishing, a few wahoo, and some smaller dolphin starting to show up. Skirted ballyhoo will tempt bites from all the blue water gamefish. Jeff, of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters, reports that red drum are still schooling in the bays off the lower Cape Fear River, but the schools have sometimes been reluctant to bite lately. When they’re in a feeding mood, topwater plugs and soft plastic paddletails will tempt them to bite, but scented baits like Gulps and live mud minnows are more effective when the fish are finicky. Some flounder and speckled trout are feeding in the same areas as the reds, and D.O.A. and Gulp soft plastics have been getting their attention. Dave Ferguson, from Canada, with a red drum that bit a Gulp shrimp in the lower Cape Fear River while he was fishing with Capt. Jeff Wolfe of Seahawk Inshore Fishing Charters. Some chopper bluefish (to 10+ lbs.) have moved into the lower river and are striking topwater plugs with abandon. Sheepshead are beginning to show up inshore, and dangling fiddler crabs near rocks or other hard structure is the way to connect with the hard-fighting and tasty fish.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
It's Mother's Day weekend! Do you know how you will celebrate your Mom? The Beacon House Inn has a few suggestions: For the perfect Mother's Day - treat mom to two nights of rest and relaxation at the beach anytime in the month of May! The Mother's Day package includes a two nights stay in a queen standard room, fresh flowers, 1 one hour massage and breakfast for two each morning of her stay! Midweek package (Sunday-Thursday stays) $350 + tax Weekend package (Friday & Saturday stays) $399 + tax Call to 910.458.6244 to book your stay! One night packages are also available, please call the Innkeepers for details. Can't get away in May? No problem - Gift Certificates are always available! And remember, we also offer family-friendly/pet-friendly cottages to accommodate parents with children under the age of 12 as well as your four legged family members!