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Brunswick Town Fall Events

As temperatures drop and it’s more comfortable moving around outdoors, it’s a wonderful time to explore one of our community’s greatest treasures, the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site. And while any time on that beautiful property is a great time, the fine folks at Brunswick Town have organized a series of events to make the experience even more fun, and maybe even teach visitors something new.

“There are so many great reasons to visit Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson in the fall,” said Assistant Site Manager/Programs Coordinator Shannon Walker. “We're out of the summer tourist season, and it’s a perfect time for locals to get out and explore — minus the heat and the crowds. It's personally my favorite time of the year at the site because we are so busy with educational and interpretive programming - and I find myself spending much of October dressed in 18th century clothing.”

The first event is later this month and features one of the products that put Brunswick County on the map, but may not be very familiar to most of us — Indigo. Carolina Blues: Indigo on the Cape Fear will explore the process used by skilled enslaved African labor to extract this valuable dye from the indigo plants, and delve into the science behind dye production. Visitors will have a chance to view and work an active fermentation vat, and dyeing demonstrations will occur throughout the course of the program. The event kicks off at 11 am on Saturday, Sept. 17.

In October, Brunswick Town hosts two events, one of which gives visitors the rare chance to experience the historic site at night. Port Brunswick Day returns on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 10 am and features Living historians interpreting what life was like in the lower Cape Fear in fall of 1767. The event is free and great fun for all ages.

Later, as the sun goes down, experience Brunswick Town at night with Port Brunswick…After Dark, beginning at 6 pm. Prepare for the Spooky Season with a walk through Brunswick Town in the dark! Visitors are welcome to explore the site on their own the 6-8 pm. You may even see a few "spectres" from Port Brunswick past…Though the pathways will be lit by lantern and firelight, flashlights are recommended. This event is free and all ages are welcome.

“These events are not about war or battles - but the ordinary people and occurrences of life in the Cape Fear in the 1760s. Our goal is for the visitor to see that though the circumstances may have been different, the individuals who lived here were not much different than they,” said Walker. “And where else in North Carolina can you visit an actual ‘ghost town’ so close to Halloween?”

Don’t throw the jack-o-lanterns away after Halloween this year, take them to Brunswick Town and blow them up! The Great Pumpkin Blowout returns to Brunswick Town on Saturday, Nov. 5 beginning at noon. If you forget and throw yours away, never fear, pumpkins will be available for purchase at the event for $10 each. Not only do you get to watch others’ pumpkins explode using the same technology used to detonate Civil war-era torpedoes, but when it’s your pumpkin’s turn you get to press the button! Pumpkins with minimal carving offer the best explosions, but they can work with all types. So maybe buy an extra pumpkin, forgo the carving, and bring it out to blow up. This event is first come, first served, and all proceeds go towards funding educational programming at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site.

“Our November event, "The Great Pumpkin Blowout" is unique in that it combines science, history, and lots of squash to create a fundraiser that is used to support all our site events and programs,” Walker said. “We've been fine-tuning our torpedo arming technique over the years, and with each event the explosions are just a little bigger, and the pumpkin shrapnel seems to go just a little farther. It's always a fun day - not just for visitors, but for staff too, even though we do get a bit gross from the pumpkin guts and gunpowder.”

In December, Brunswick Town dresses up for the holidays. On Friday, Dec. 9 from 4-7 pm you’ll have a chance to to experience a peaceful evening amongst the ruins of St. Philips Church as it is decorated in its holiday finest, with candlelight and greenery. The visitor center and gift shop will remain open during the course of the evening for a little Holiday shopping.

At an 18th Century Christmas, from 1-5:30 pm on Sunday, Dec. 11, visitors can explore how the American colonists celebrated Christmas. Costumed interpreters will provide guided tours of St. Philips Anglican Church throughout the afternoon. During the program, you can enjoy 18th century inspired refreshments, participate in traditional games, or try your hand at 18th century themed crafts. The highlight of the evening will be an authentic period candlelit service in the ruins of St. Philips, followed by the firing of the Christmas Gun. The service will begin promptly at 5 pm and will conclude by 5:30 pm. There is a $5 charge per person for those over the age of 12; admittance for those 12 and under is $2 per child. Tickets may be purchased online in advance or at gate the evening of.

All events at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson are subject to change and cancellation. COVID safety guidelines will be followed as advised at the time of the event.


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