BETWEEN THE THIRD annual AB Beach Music Festival and the inaugural Crystal Coast Music Festival, the beginning of summer in Atlantic Beach has started off with a very good soundtrack. These two festivals, that featured different kinds of music, are good examples of our strategy for the future of Atlantic Beach. One festival celebrates our history by keeping Beach Music coming back to the boardwalk and the site of the former (and hopefully future) Pavilion. The other festival looks to the future with up-and-coming bands from modern music to ensure that current generations of beach goers can make new memories dancing along the boardwalk.
Both festivals featured fun music that is well suited for a day at the beach and attract large, but well-behaved, crowds. Just as the choice of music is by design, the dates on which we host the festivals are carefully thought out. Although Memorial Day Weekend is the ceremonial start to summer, our local businesses all know that the real part of our summer season does not start until after all schools are out for summer break; this is in the middle of June. We picked dates in late May and early June in hopes of expanding our summer season.
We have a vibrant mix of businesses in Atlantic Beach and in Carteret County, but I know first-hand how hard it is to operate a business in a seasonal location. Anything that we as a town or our county can do to expand the season will be a big help to our amazing community of local businesses. And, for those of you who are second home owners, we’re giving you some great excuses to spend more weekends at the beach.
This same approach of moving forward while celebrating our past is evident at our Town Park where we’ll have two big improvements coming online in July. One is a classic beach experience – miniature golf. The other serves the need of one of the most popular and fastest growing pastimes for today’s youth – a skateboard park.
Atlantic Beach has been hosting vacationers for a long time. This history provides a strong sense of place to our town and has defined it as a classic, small town beach community. It is this character that I believe makes Atlantic Beach so special and it is a character that we are all working to preserve. But, as I have written before, we must also move forward. We need to be welcoming to new generations of visitors to Atlantic Beach while we maintain the character that has developed over the years. Fortunately, these two approaches are very compatible. We will continue to move forward while keeping an eye on our past. The small town vibe that we all love is exactly the thing that will make us attractive to future visitors and homeowners.
And, when everyone is sitting on the beach in AB – whether it is their first time there or their 1,000th time there – we’ll all have a great time celebrating the beach together. We just may have different music playing on our radios.