Carolina Beach State Park hosting Marina Day for centennial celebration is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Carolina Beach State Park, 2015's Regional Park of the Year. Courtesy photo.
Carolina Beach State Park, 2015’s Regional Park of the Year. Courtesy photo.

The North Carolina State Parks system is celebrating its 100th year, and a local state park is observing it with a special event this weekend.

Carolina Beach State Park Marina Day is set for Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The family-friendly event, which will take place at the park’s marina and docks, is free and open to the public.

“Every park is doing something different this year,” said Carolina Beach State Park Ranger Kip Futch. “This is the first year we’re doing this event, and it’s our tribute [to the centennial.]”

According to Futch, there will be several watercraft on display, from kayaks and paddle boards to classic wood boats to service ones such as tugboats. The United States Coast Guard will also be on hand to demonstrate some of their equipment and talk about what they do.

Crew members from the state’s Underwater Archeology team will also be present to talk about their programs and some of their latest findings, like a Civil War-era vessel recently discovered in the Atlantic Ocean off the mouth of the Cape Fear River.

“We’ll have several booths from marine and environmental groups,” Futch said. “People will also be able to go down to the docks and check out the boats, so it’s a more hands-on experience.”

Futch said people will also be able to bring their own boats to the marina, which will be inspected for safety by USCG Auxiliary members. If they pass muster, the boats will get stickers saying they’ve been certified by safety inspectors. Boat owners will also get tips on how to make their watercraft safer.

In addition to all the boats and booths, there will also be games and activities for children. Though entrance to the park and the event itself are free, there will be trucks and vendors on site selling food and other refreshments.

For more information, visit the event’s page on the North Carolina State Parks website or call the park office at (910) 458-8206.