On the evening of Sunday, Aug. 24, the outdoor patio of the Blockade Runner Beach Resort was filled with people dancing to beach music provided by The Imitations and chatting with old friends.
The relatively cool, breezy August night drew a large crowd for the 2014 Lumina Daze, an annual event to celebrate and remember the days of the Lumina Pavilion at Wrightsville Beach. Madeline Flagler, Wrightsville Beach Museum executive director, said this year’s event was noticeably larger than recent years.
“This year we sold a minimum of 350 tickets before the event,” Flagler said as the night wound down. “The silent auction items last year we had 70, and we had over 100 this year. The live auction, I think we had 11 or 12 pieces, last year we had eight. I mean, look at all the people out there! I think this is the year that it’s really come together. It’s really exciting for the museum.”
All proceeds from the event benefit the Wrightsville Beach Museum.
In addition to contributing to a good cause, guests were eager to enjoy a carefree night with neighbors and friends. Those at the event who remembered the Lumina Pavilion spoke about its community spirit as a place where most Wrightsville Beach residents would go to every weekend to enjoy themselves. Organizers of the Lumina Daze aspire to bring that environment back once a year.
Wrightsville Beach resident Susan Collins said she comes to the Lumina Daze every year with her husband Bob.
“We always try to gather up the people on our block, near the Oceanic,” Collins said. “We bring the people that didn’t grow up here, and also some that did. There’s three couples that live on our block that we went to high school with.”