The Lost Colony Grand Tasting – The Best Wine Festival Around

This is what the perfect wine festival would look like. There would be a light breeze off a beautiful body of water, with plenty of sunshine, of course. There would be live music; maybe some jazz in one area of the tasting and the beautiful winsome voice of a folk singer and guitarist elsewhere.

And wine…lots and lots of wine to taste. More than a 100 different flavors and tastes of the varietals of the world. Some beer might be nice to go with that, for those who may prefer beer or want a little variety.

Food—there would have to be a lot of that—the good food, the dishes that the best chefs prepare.

And best of all, little or no lines to sample the wine or the beer or grab a quick but perfectly prepared hors d’œuvres.

That is exactly what the 3rd Annual Lost Colony Wine and Culinary Grand Tasting was all about on the last Saturday in September.

The body of water? That would be the Albemarle Sound and as the day wore on a wonderful light breeze blew from the north. The sun never failed all day. Warm? A bit, but then the breeze would come off the water and sitting outside sipping a glass of wine and nibbling on mini crab cake seemed about as good as it gets.

Inside the SoundStage Theatre, the large pavilion-like building backstage at The Lost Colony, there was wine. Wines from all over the world, from North Carolina to Australia, Europe, South America, California. Whites, reds, roses, sparkling wines, champagnes.

The key, in that situation, is to pace yourself. And maybe take two or three sips and then pour the wine out—admittedly often a heartbreaking decision.

But along the way, some wonderful wines were sampled.

There was a beautiful Australian Shiraz, the 2017 Vinaceous Snake Charmer. Smooth, wonderful fruit and a bit of the pepper expected in a shiraz. There was a Champagne Trio OBX was pouring in the VIP lounge. The R Dumont Brut was everything a French brut Champagne is supposed to be—just a hint of fruit, dry, with tight bubbles and marvelously refreshing.

Wine is, of course, a very individual taste, but in that setting, it would be hard to imagine there wasn’t a wine somewhere for every palate.

Rating food may be even more an individual preference than wine, but Cafe Lachine’s delightful garlicky Pamlico poached shrimp over veggie pesto was a standout. As was the peppery lobster bisque from Ten O Six. That is individual taste, but everything sampled was very good.

Inside the SoundStage the beautiful vocals of Jessica Hudson combined with the acoustic guitar of Thorne Wiggs created a wonderful musical backdrop for the day. Out in the Beer Garden, the breezeway leading to the SoundStage Theatre, Joe Mapp and the Coordinates were playing some of the coolest jazz around. It’s all part of what goes into making an event so special.

In the beer garden there was a story that’s worth noting. Somehow Ocracoke’s 1718 Brewery managed to get their beers to the Grand Tasting. No small feat since the beer is brewed on Ocracoke Island, but somehow, through relay systems, a lot of driving and coordination among various parties, the beer was there.

The Wine and Culinary Weekend—that’s what it is with a wine dinner on Friday evening and a Sunday brunch at Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe—has become the major fundraiser for The Lost Colony in the off season. The signature event, and best attended, of the weekend is the Grand Tasting. Only in its third year, the Grand Tasting has established itself as a well-run and enjoyable wine tasting as there could be.

That is by design, as Bill Coleman, CEO of The Lost Colony explains.

“We decided the first year, we don’t want to get any bigger than this,” he said. “If you have 1000 people in here, it would be miserable, and nobody would ever come back. Do we want to be the best 500-person wine fest? Yes, that was our goal. That’s what we want to do.”

Bill’s expectation to create the best possible experience for the event is shared by Cindy McGann, the Chair of the Festival’s Wine Committee.

“I don’t think there’s any other wine event like this in this region,” she said. “There’s no one else doing a wine tasting that has this many wines and the beer and the food all in one place. You can come for three hours and eat and drink and we’ve never run out. That’s a lot of bang for your buck.”

The one added touch, though that makes the Grand Tasting such a memorable experience is the setting. Located on the north end of Roanoke Island on the Albemarle Sound, everything seems to come together to create the ideal surroundings for a Grand Tasting.

“We have a real advantage in the wine fest business” Bill said. “We have the infrastructure. We don’t have an issue with parking. It’s a beautiful location. It’s a million-dollar view. People like it.”

Make your plans to attend the 3rd Annual Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival

Roanoke Island Historical Association is excited to announce the 3rd Annual Lost Colony Wine and Culinary Festival beginning on Friday, September 27th with a Vintner’s Dinner, followed by Saturday with the Grand Tasting and ending on Sunday with a Sparkling Wine Brunch. The Festival celebrates Roanoke Island’s history, legends and heritage with wine, handcrafted beer and sumptuous food. This fabulous, and not to be missed, event is a benefit for The Lost Colony production.

On Friday Night, September 27th, the Vintner’s Dinner will feature exquisitely prepared local and regionally sourced seafood and farm-to table produce dishes paired with wines from Chateau St. Michelle led by Teri Morgan, Development Manager from Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates of Woodinville, Washington. The creative collaboration of featured chefs include, Chef Sam McGann, co-owner and Chef of The Blue Point in Duck, along with pastry chef Jack Baumer from The Blue Point, Chef Johanna of Johanna’s Café Lachine in Wanchese, and Chefs Bryan Whitehurst and Mark Newsome of Greentail’s Seafood Market and Kitchen in Nags Head. Expect savory hors d’oeuvres plus two delectable courses and a heavenly dessert that you will not be able to say no to. The dinner also features a lively auction, with proceeds also benefitting The Lost Colony. The Vintner Dinner begins at 6PM at the lovely 108 Budleigh in Manteo. Tickets are $150 and seating is limited to 84 guests.

The Grand Tasting event is Saturday, September 28th, on the grounds of The Lost Colony theatre on Roanoke Island. Attendees will taste over 100 wines from around the world, discover local craft beers, sample savory local fare and enjoy live entertainment while surrounded by breathtaking views of the Roanoke and Pamlico Sounds. Great music by Jessica Hudson & Thorne Wiggs will further engage your soul while you bid on fabulous items in the Silent Auction. Featured restaurants and caterers inside the air-conditioned SoundStage Wine Tasting Room include: Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café, Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar, Argyle’s, Ortega’z, Ten 0 Six, Dawn’s Kitchen, Coastal Provisions and cheeses, fruits and meats from Food Lion. Attendees of the previous two years have proclaimed it to be the best event on the Outer Banks!

Beer Lovers will not be snubbed at the Festival! Included in the Grand Tasting is the popular and growing Beer Garden under the theatre’s house breezeway featuring local and regional craft beers, some of which are found only on the Outer Banks. Enjoy your favorite brew paired with delicious faire from Pigman’s Barbeque and the Weeping Radish Farm & Brewery restaurants with live entertainment from Joe Mapp and the Coordinates. Front Porch Cafe’s coffee will give you the energy to keep going!

Newly added to the Festival this year is the Sparkling Wine Brunch on Sunday, September 29th. The Brunch will be held at Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café in the Andy Griffith Room. Chateau St. Michelle sparkling wines will accompany a three-course meal featuring some of Basnight’s sublime specials. Enjoy beautiful views of the Roanoke Sound, plenty of wine and good company. Brunch is from 11:30AM to 1:30PM; arrive leisurely anytime in between. Tickets are $60 and are very limited.

The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival is held on the grounds of The Lost Colony located at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island and is a fundraiser for the historical symphonic drama. For the Grand Tasting on Saturday, September 28th, doors open at 1PM for VIP ticket holders and at 2PM for General Admission. Currently VIP Tickets are $85 and GA tickets are $60 and can be purchased at Tickets prices go up $10 on Monday, September 23rd, so purchase your tickets today!

The Festival is generously funded by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, the Towne Bank Family of banking and insurance, Food Lion and other local and regional sponsors. For a full listing of the Festival’s supporters, event details and tickets please see our website, For more information, please call (252) 473-2127.


Virginia Dare Babies Announced!

Virginia Dare is one of the most influential historical figures to the Outer Banks. Dare County and Virginia Dare Trail are named in her honor. As the first English child born in the New World, her name is found in history books across America. In celebration of her 432nd birthday, The Lost Colony continues its beloved tradition of casting local infants to star in the performance. On August 17th, six babies perform throughout the evening, appearing in different scenes. Virginia Dare Night is sponsored by First National Bank.

Chis Carter, as Father Martin, with Baby Evelyn Grace Skaggs

This year we will feature two nights with live babies as Virginia Dare! The six babies that will make their debut on Saturday, August 17th are: Amelia Merrill, daughter of Curt and Sarah Merrill of Manteo, NC; Athena Scarborough, daughter of Fields and Savanah Scarborough of Manteo, NC; Jamie Beacham, daughter of Lee and Mollie Beacham of Kill Devil Hills, NC; Evelyn Grace Skaggs, daughter of Rachel Hayman and Shawn Skaggs of Kill Devil Hills, NC; Silas Cohill, son of Alex and Emily Cohill of Nags Head, NC; Hinton Silver, son of Duncan and Alice Silver of Wanchese, NC; and Guinevere Sipe, daughter of Jedidian and Krista Sipe of Kill Devil Hills, NC.

The six babies that will make their debut Tuesday, August 20th, the actual Christening anniversary of Virginia Dare, are: Maggie McKenney, daughter of Joshua and Bethany McKenney of Nags Head, NC; Allison Rippons, daughter of Toni and Bennie Rippons of Manns Harbor, NC; Pennington Mann, daughter of Tanner and Melissa Mann of Manteo, NC; Samuel Tucker, son of Andy and Johanna Tucker of Kitty Hawk, NC; William Davis, son of Kaitlin and William Davis of Chocowinity, NC; and Wyatt Cooper, son of Stormy Cooper of Manteo, NC. The 2019 Virginia Dare babies will be added to a long list of community members who participated in the historic drama at a very early age.

On Saturday, August 17th, before the show, come celebrate Virginia Dare’s 432nd birthday at the Virginia Dare Birthday Celebration. Join us House Right of the Waterside Theatre for activities from 5:30 – 7:00 PM, provided by company members of The Lost Colony and National Park Service, followed by cake from Harris Teeter for children under 12.  The Virginia Dare Birthday Celebration is free to the public and is sponsored by First National Bank.


Jack Foster Scott

Long time supporter and friend of The Lost Colony, Jack Foster Scott was the official photographer of the show in the 1970s. Jack made his final march July 17 in Raleigh, read more from The Outer Banks Voice:

Jack Foster Scott of Manteo and Raleigh, July 17

Feeding Starving Artists is a Passion for Roxie & Rufus of The Dunes Restaurant

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” -Virginia Woolf

Six nights a week throughout the hot summer, the 120 company members of The Lost Colony perform in front of a house filled with first time visitors and returning fans for two hours wearing heavily draped costumes of course fabric, leather, fur and armor. It’s hard work and they love what they do, but as most young artists find; actors wages don’t allow for fine dining. Between rehearsals and second jobs, a good meal is hard to come by and is very much appreciated.

Pictured left to right Sarah Pritchard, Roxie Pritchard, Neal Pritchard, Blake Pritchard and Rufus Pritchard of The Dunes Restaurant holding Skipper Bell Award, and Kevin Bradley, Vice Chair Roanoke Island Historical Association.

Roxie and Rufus Pritchard, owners of The Dunes Restaurant and Grits Grill in Nags Head, are passionate fans of The Lost Colony production. They speak highly of the production and how important the production is to this region for tourism and the rich history it shares with our visitors. Roxie and Rufus are dedicated longtime supporters and have found a special way to support The Lost Colony with their famous Dunes’ style southern hospitality. On Opening Night after the first performance, The Dunes delivers to the Waterside Theatre a delicious meal of fried chicken, Carolina barbeque and all the fixings for all the company members to welcome them and celebrate their first night. At the end of the season, The Dunes Restaurant delivers another special meal to the company members to thank them for a season of hard work. Proclaimed the best meals of the season, company members love The Dunes and the wonderful meals they receive. Roxie and Rufus even make it a point to hire company members to help in the restaurant. It is a much appreciated and deeply rewarding partnership.

This year The Dunes Restaurant, Roxie and Rufus, were presented the Skipper Bell Award from the Roanoke Island Historical Association. Established 26 years ago, The Skipper Bell Award pays tribute to the late Albert Quentin “Skipper” Bell, long-time champion of the mission and vision of the Roanoke Island Historical Association, and architect of Waterside Theatre. This award recognizes remarkable encouragement of The Lost Colony, as demonstrated by Skipper Bell and his family, and honors sustained benefaction to the well-being of The Lost Colony. What better benefaction is there than to feed a group of starving artists!

2019 Virginia Dare Night Baby Auditions held at The Lost Colony

The 82nd Anniversary Season of The Lost Colony commemorates the 432nd birthday of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World to colonist Eleanor Dare on August 18th, 1587. The Lost Colony continues its long celebrated tradition of using real babies during the August 17th performance. Being a “Virginia Dare Baby” is a coveted role in the community that many local citizens have had the opportunity of being a part of. For Virginia Dare Night only, the prop baby swaddled in blankets, is replaced with these special guests. Virginia Dare Night is generously sponsored by First National Bank.

To be considered for the honor of appearing on stage, all babies must attend an audition meeting on Saturday, July 20th at 10:00 AM in The Lost Colony Admin Building located by the Elizabethan Gardens within Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. The casting is open to all cheerful boys and girls that are 15 pounds or less. All Virginia Dare babies must be available for several hours on the evening of August 17th for pre-show preparation and for The Lost Colony performance. All selected Virginia Dare babies will be introduced from the stage prior to the performance at 7:45 PM.

In addition to the Virginia Dare Night performance, The Lost Colony and National Park Service will join forces in a special Virginia Dare Birthday Celebration starting at 5:30 PM at the Waterside Theatre with fun activities for families led by The Lost Colony company members and NPS employees. There will also be birthday cake served to kids 12 and under; the pre-show Birthday Celebration will be open and free to the public. The Virginia Dare Birthday Celebration and Night is sponsored by First National Bank. For further family entertainment, attend the performance of The Lost Colony that evening starting at 7:45 PM. More information is available on the website at or by calling the Ticket Office at (252) 473-6000.  The Lost Colony runs nightly through August 23, except Sundays.

Read more about the babies cast, here.


Events sponsored by:

The Outer Banks Community Foundation helps fund new Lighting Equipment for The Lost Colony

Roanoke Island, NC – The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) is proud to announce that the Outer Banks Community Foundation (OBCF) has granted $7,000 to The Lost Colony for new theatre lighting equipment. The grant funds new state of the art equipment that will not only operate more efficiently but can deliver far greater lighting effects that enhance patrons’ experience. Members of the Outer Banks Community Foundation recently attended The Lost Colony’s Opening Night. Pictured, left to right, Jane Webster, OBCF Board, Bill Massey, RIHA Chair, Chris Seawell, OBCF Board and Lorelei Costa, OBCF Executive Director.

All in the Family

After 50 years, Chris Carter reprises his dad’s Lost Colony role as Father Martin. Read the interesting full story from Outer Banks Sentinel.

Father Martin (Chris Carter) and Sir Walter Raleigh (Derrick Bass) backstage at The Lost Colony


Joel Carter and his children, Cely Anne, Cathy and Chris, in the 1969 cast

The Lost Colony Children’s Show, Wanda’s Monster, Opens June 25th

The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) is proud to announce this year’s children’s show, Wanda’s Monster. The interactive children’s production is set to begin June 25th, 2019.

Directed by Esther Neel, with musical direction by Nathan Schierer, this warm-hearted musical tells the story of an imaginative little girl named Wanda and her unexpected bond with a fuzzy, purple monster as she learns acceptance and friendship. This charming story brings home a point worth considering at any age: embrace what you fear, and you just may find a friend.

The family-friendly show will take place Tuesdays at 10:30 AM and Wednesdays at 2:00 PM, June 25th – August 21st in the air-conditioned SoundStage Theatre at The Lost Colony. Learn more about the production and reserve your tickets to Wanda’s Monster at

HAMILTON’s Deon’te Goodman Will Play Gay Civil Rights Activist, Bayard Rustin at Feinstein’s/54 Below

Always exciting and proud to hear about Lost Colony Alumni… read full story here.

Opening Night!

On Friday, May 31st, the rain held out and the clouds parted just in time for the Opening Night Reception of the 82nd Season of The Lost Colony, presented by PNC. More than 250 attendees celebrated this season’s opening of this historic symphonic drama that first opened in 1937. The event was graciously catered by Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café.  Holiday House Weddings and Events’ lavish floral designs were combined with the talents of Metro Rental to make SoundStage Theatre look fabulous and festive. Beverages were provided by Virginia Dare Winery, The Lost Colony Brewery, City Beverage and Pepsi.

During a brief awards ceremony held during the Reception, the Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) honored several outstanding supporters of The Lost Colony. These recipients have contributed generously to the success of the production throughout the years.

Award recipients included:
Distinguished Alumni Award: The late Pete Peterson, accepted by Gail Hutchison
Skipper Bell Business Award: Dunes Restaurant, owned by Roxie and Rufus Pritchard
Volunteers of the Year: Jack and Nancy Ennis
Individual Skipper Bell Award: Lib Fearing
Martin Kellogg Distinguished Service Award: Myra Ladd-Bone

This season, the production welcomes a predominantly new cast.  New cast members include Glynnis Marcelle as Queen Elizabeth I, Blake Burgess as John Borden, and Caleb Pless as Old Tom.  Don Bridge will be returning as the Historian and will be celebrating his one-thousandth performance with the production! Ira David Wood returns again for his seventh season as Director of “one of the most successful shows in North Carolina theatre history.” It is certainly, shaping up to be a season that cannot be missed!

Reserve your tickets today for the 82nd Season of The Lost Colony running through August 23, 2019.

2019 Dare Nights at The Lost Colony


 The Lost Colony Announces “Dare Nights” Performances
Dare County residents enter free with food pantry donation

Outer Banks, NC – The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA), producers of The Lost Colony, is pleased to announce 2019 “Dare Nights”. Dare County locals can receive a free ticket to the show on the first 3 Fridays in June – the 7th, 14th and 21st — with a donation of non-perishable foods or paper products. This is an excellent opportunity for Dare County residents to see The Lost Colony while supporting the local food pantries. “Dare Nights” are sponsored by Midgett Insurance Agency.

The show starts at 7:45 PM and theatre guests are encouraged to arrive early. Tickets will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. In addition to the food or dry goods donations, residents are required to show proof of Dare County residency. Pre-performance donation collection begins at 6:00 PM. Recommended items for the food drive include canned vegetables, fruits, meats, soups and beans; tomato and pasta products; cereals; toilet paper and paper towels.  There are no rain checks with these free tickets.

Food Pantry Schedule:

June 7: Mount Olivet UMC
June 14: Lifeline Outreach OBX
June 21: Beach Food Pantry


The Lost Colony runs through August 23 at the Waterside Theatre located on the grounds of the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.  The show plays nightly except Sunday. Please visit for information on additional events including Royal Tea, Wanda’s Monster Children’s Show and The Lost Colony Wine and Culinary Festival.


Find this event on Facebook!

William Ivey Long Receives Two Tony Award Nominations

The Lost Colony‘s Production Designer, William Ivey Long, is up for two more Tony Award Nominations – Best Costume Design of a Musical for “Beetlejuice” and “Tootsie”.

“Beetlejuice” scored eight Tony Award nominations, “Tootsie” is also leading with nominations.

Read the full list of 2019 Tony Award Nominees .