Carol Herndon and Gaye Outlaw create an ‘action’ shot at the Ocracoke Community Ballfield as part of the July 3 island-wide scavenger hunt. Photo courtesy of Carol Herndon

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Observer staff report

Independence Day festivities on Ocracoke kicked off Saturday with the island-wide scavenger hunt, which started at the Books to Be Red stage.

July 3 and 4 activities are sponsored by the Ocracoke Civic & Business Association (OCBA).

It only took an hour for islander Denise Hess and her team to find the 10 items on the list, devised by OCBA board members Katie O’Neal and Lynn Murphree.

Teams had to get all of the items on the list and photograph their finds, including everyone on the team in the photos.

Forty-two teams participated with more than 145 adults and children.

“It’s a great way to get everyone active,” Hess said about the event.

Soon after Hess and her party got back to the staging area, others began to filter in.

Denise Hess, center, her son Brenton, left and his children, are the first-place winners of the island-wide scavenger hunt. Photo: C. Leinbach

Second-place winners were Carol Herndon of Salisbury and Gaye Outlaw of Trinity.

One of the clues led hunters to the Ocracoke Community Ballfield where they also had to do an action item.

Some did catcher poses. Others took videos of themselves running the bases.

Herndon and Outlaw recreated a slide into a base.

“We loved it,” Outlaw said.

“We learned some new things about the island,” another group said.

The Chris Thomas family of Fairfax, Virginia, came in third.

A “random act of kindness” was one of the items on the list.

One group helped fold shirts at the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department. Another group picked up some trash, and Malcolm and Sandy Kroeber of Hockessin, Delaware, paid for ice cream for a group of seven in line at the Slushie Stand.

“This was so much fun,” Sandy said, even though they were one of the last groups to check back in.

All day Saturday, staff of Pyrotecnico of New Castle, Pennsylvania, were setting up their professional fireworks set to go off tonight around 9:15.

Prior to that, DJ Tommy Hutcherson will spin tunes starting around 6 p.m.

The team from Pyrotecnico sets up the fireworks for Saturday night July 3. Photo: C. Leinbach

Activities continue tomorrow (Sunday). They include the following:
9:30 am – Noon: 41st Annual Sand Sculpture Contest at the NPS Lifeguard Beach. Peoples’ choice awards and cash awards. Judging from noon to 1 pm.

10 am to 2 pm: Ocracoke Lighthouse open. The lighthouse is open for viewing/ All are welcome. No climbing.

4 pm: Old Time Independence Day Parade. Theme: The Roaring 20s: Then & Now. All are welcome to enter the parade to vie for cash prizes.Walk-up entries for the parade are welcome. Parade signup & lineup at Wheelie Fun Golf Carts in between Pony Island Motel and Ocracoke Variety Store on Irvin Garrish Highway.

5:30 pm: Singing of National Anthem & awards presentation for Parade & Sculpture Contest winners; Books to Be Red stage. BYO seating.

5:45 to 6:30 pm: Storytelling with Donald Davis at the lawn of Books to Be Red

7 to 10 pm: Finale event Community Beach fire under the stars at the Ocracoke Day Use Area/NPS Lifeguard Beach. BYO beach blankets, chairs, marshmallows, roasting sticks. Please pack in and Pack out.

Katie O’Neal, left, and Rachael Pulwers check a contestant’s scavenger hunt activities. Photo: C. Leinbach