In The Community


Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is a partner in the Scuppernong River Festival and provides refuge- and wildlife-related activities for adults and children during the event.


Every second Saturday in October, the small town of Columbia (population: 900) in Tyrrell County comes alive as thousands of people return to their roots. Located in the wetlands of northeastern North Carolina, the county has a history of dependence upon the Scuppernong River for transportation and food. Fishing and crabbing are important sources of income to this day, and the river also offers recreation opportunities such as boating, kayaking, skiing, and swimming. To celebrate this important resource, to invite tourism to the county, and to welcome back family members living in other parts of the country, a festival was begun in 1992. Featured activities are canoe races, fishing contests, a parade, clowns, musical entertainment, a 5K run, wall climbing, children's games, pony rides, and tours of the Elizabeth II. Food booths offer regional seafood delicacies in addition to the usual hamburgers, hot dogs, and pork barbecue. Some festivals offer products developed especially to induce pride in the local heritage, including a book of county history and folklore titled Bridging Generations, a videotaped documentary on the farming, fishing, and forestry industries of the county, and a cookbook of heirloom recipes.


Each fall, Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival plays host to hundreds of visitors who travel from near and far to experience the offerings of the Outer Banks and the nearby mainland portions of Eastern North Carolina. Set for Oct. 21-26, 2014, the six-day event is held in the shoulder season when lodging rates are lower, there is less traffic and the weather is mild.


The counties of Dare, Currituck, Tyrrell and Hyde are home to a diverse and fascinating array of wildlife to view, waterways to paddle, art to enjoy, and history to learn. In addition to marine life, black bears, alligators and Red Wolves, hundreds of species of birds are waiting to be spotted.

Paddlers enjoy gliding through the backwaters, the sounds and even the Atlantic Ocean. Birders take advantage of the six-day event to add to their life lists – with more than 400 species reported in the regions, there are limitless possibilities!


Over 100 field trips take participants to places all over the Outer Banks and surrounding area. Whether you prefer birding, paddling, photography, walking, boating, Wings Over Water offers something for everyone!

All of the proceeds from this event go to the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society - a non-profit organization established and incorporated in 1989 by a group of local citizens to provide support for National Wildlife Refuges in eastern North Carolina.

Visit the Wings Over Water website for more information. The Society uses the proceeds to fund transportation grants for school groups to visit local national wildlife refuges.