Staff photo by Emmy Errante
The Imitations lead guests at Lumina Daze in a line dance on Sunday, Aug. 25 at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
On Sunday, Aug. 25, Wrightsville Beach residents and tourists danced and dined at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort during the 17th Lumina Daze, a fundraiser for the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, during an annual event that tips its hat to the famed Lumina Pavilion that anchored the south end of Wrightsville Beach for decades.
From 4-8:45 p.m., guests bid on an array of silent auction items, which varied from scuba diving lessons to dog treats. When people weren’t bidding, they were listening to live music.
“We have three very different bands, and that puts the focus on the music,” said Madeline Flagler, director of the Wrightsville Beach Museum. In the ballroom, guests heard the Dixieland All Stars’ jazzy sound, followed by Wilmington Big Band. Outside, people of all ages danced to beach music provided by The Imitations, sipped beverages and enjoyed the sunshine and ocean breeze. Guests also enjoyed grilled chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and salads for dinner.
Catherine Butler, a Wrightsville Beach local, attended her fourth Lumina Daze event.
“I came with my husband and I brought two friends,” she said. “It’s a great way to support the museum. … People come for years and years.”
Ritchey Matee, from Raleigh, N.C., didn’t know about Lumina Daze when she and her husband booked a room at the Blocked Runner.
“It’s one of our favorite places to come,” she said.
When Matee and her husband checked in on Sunday afternoon, they were pleasantly surprised with the live music and dancing.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “I think it’s a great fundraiser for the museum.”
Other hotel guests attended Lumina Daze to bid on auction items and listen to the bands — some were even playing cornhole. Though Lumina Daze tickets were $15 each, the event was complimentary for guests staying at the Blockade Runner.
At 8:45 p.m. auctioneer DC North kicked off the live auction.
“I feel like it’s two different events … the music and the live auction,” Flagler said. Live auction prizes included a diamond bezel pendant, a standup paddleboard and paddle and a Jamis Bicycles Earth Cruiser.
Flagler has directed the Wrightsville Beach Museum for the last four years, and attended Lumina Daze each year. This year, more than 250 tickets were sold.
“We really appreciate the support from the community,” Flagler said. Funds raised from the event will support several ongoing projects, such as restoring the museum’s mini trolley and constructing the hurricane exhibit. However, Flagler has other visions for the museum, as well.
“We have children’s education, which is a priority,” she said. Though Lumina Daze was primarily for adults, Flagler is planning family-friendly fundraisers and education programs for the future.
Last year, Lumina Daze raised $20,000, and Flager expects a similar result this year. For more information on the Wrightsville Beach Museum, visit