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Seventh Annual Carolina Inn Birdhouses on Parade Celebration (March 9 -30)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Tea parties, gourmet gardens, Southern luncheons, Easter brunches, wedding tips, a home interiors show and a birdhouse-making workshop for children are among the highlights of the 2008 Birdhouses on Parade, The Carolina Inn's seventh annual celebration of spring taking place from March 9-March 30.

What began seven years ago as a display of one-of-a-kind birdhouses crafted by North Carolina artisans has grown into a 22-day series of activities and special events. It begins Sunday, March 9, with the opening of this year's birdhouse displays and a free Community Open House from Noon to 4 p.m.

Other events on the Birdhouses on Parade calendar include:

  • "Build Your Own Birdhouse" workshop for children 12 and under, Sunday, March 9, 1:30 p.m. Participants may keep their birdhouses or donate them to the Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation Department.
  • "Steel Magnolia's Luncheon," Saturday, March 15, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Cecilia Budd Grimes, an expert on etiquette and all things Southern, hosts this "Girls Only - What it means to be Southern" luncheon for daughters, mothers and grandmothers. Then, from 3:30-4:30 p.m., Grimes will host a "what it means to have a Southern wedding" bridal tea.
  • Easter egg decorating for kids, Saturday, March 15, 2-4 p.m. Children in grades K-6 will learn how to turn ordinary eggs into works of Easter art.
  • "Feather Your Nest - Home and Garden Show," Sunday, March 16, Noon-5 p.m. The show features exhibits, demonstrations and advice from experts on interior design and decorating.
  • "Gourmet Gardens That Beat the Heat," Saturday, March 22, 1 p.m. Frank Hyman has been growing vegetables for more than 25 years and will share tips on harvesting crops year round, preparing beds, choosing, maintaining and harvesting crops.

The Birdhouses on Parade schedule of events also includes the history and customs of tea, afternoon tea parties, a hands-on flower arranging workshop and an Easter Grand Buffet Brunch at the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant.

See full event details below.

Online Information and Reservations
Complete information about all of the Birdhouses on Parade events at The Carolina Inn including dates, times and cost, if any, is online at

Reservations are required for many of the events and may be made online or by calling 919-918-2711.

About The Carolina Inn
Recognized as one of America's "cultural resources worthy of preservation," The Carolina Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with elite status as a AAA Four Diamond Award Hotel and Mobil Four Star Award-Winning Dining at the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant. From the day it opened in 1924, the 184-room Inn has played an important role in the life of the University of North Carolina and the Chapel Hill community. And it has long been one of the most popular sites in North Carolina for special events, weddings, business meetings, and academic conferences with over 13,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. In addition to having a rich cultural history, The Carolina Inn is architecturally significant, blending elements of antebellum Southern plantation houses with Georgian and neoclassical features often found in the Northeast. The original front of the building was modeled after the Potomac River front of Mt. Vernon.

Community Open House
Sunday, March 9, Noon-4:00pm

Be the first in line to view these wonderful birdhouse displays and enjoy light refreshments as The Carolina Inn's Annual Birdhouses on Parade officially opens on Sunday, March 9 from Noon-4 pm.

Build Your Own Birdhouse
Sunday, March 9, 1:30pm

Environmentalists 12 and under are invited to construct and decorate their very own birdhouse which they can donate to Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation or take home to their own backyard.
$5 per child.
Reservations Required. 25 person maximum.

Spring Afternoon Tea
March 3-March 30, 2-5pm, Monday-Saturday

Enjoy the Inn's spring décor and unique Birdhouses while the Inn's staff serves award-winning, loose leaf teas from Taylor's of Harrogate in vintage china cups and saucers from Replacements, Ltd. Our Spring Tea Menu will feature the Carolina Inn's floral teas with special highlights on China Rose Petal, Golden Chamomile, and Rosehip & Hibiscus. Accompaniments include an array of savory tea sandwiches, assorted sweets, and fresh baked scones served with our fresh lemon curd, English Devonshire cream and jams and preserves.
$20 Classic Tea, $25 Royal Tea (Per person, plus service charge & tax.)
Reservations required. Contact Carolina Crossroads Restaurant 919-918-2735.

"What it means to be Southern" - Steel Magnolia's LuncheonSaturday, March 15, 11:30am-1:30pm
Mothers, Daughters and Granddaughters . . . Come celebrate Southern traditions with the women that are important in your life. Join us for the third annual "Girls Only - What it means to be Southern Luncheon." Whether you were born in the South or have just relocated to this "little slice of heaven," Ms. Cecilia Budd Grimes will entertain and enlighten you on all things Southern.
$39 per personLuncheon, Seminar and Book

What it means to have a Southern Wedding - Bridal Tea
Saturday, March 15, 3:30pm-4:30pm

Join Ms. Cecilia Budd Grimes - a Southern born and bred lady, wedding planner for almost 40 years, and certified etiquette and protocol consultant for a lively romp through the nuances, subtleties, customs and traditions that define a Southern wedding. Part reminiscence and part etiquette commentary, this session will help guide you through any of your wedding etiquette dilemmas.
$29 per person
Afternoon Tea, Program and Etiquette Book

Easter Egg Decorating
Saturday, March 15, 2-4pm

At Easter time, the humble egg finally gets its moment in the spotlight. Pulled from the darkness of the fridge, it's no longer merely a fragile breakfast food: It's a blank canvas ready for a kid's artistic touch. With this in mind, we've decided it was time to give the egg the attention it deserves. Children in grades K-6 will learn how to turn ordinary eggs into works of Easter art. The kids will do much more than just dipping and dyeing! Please bring either an egg carton or an Easter basket to take your eggs home in.
$5 per child.
Reservations Required. 35 person maximum.
For children in grades K-6. Artists 8 years old and under must be assisted by a parent or adult.

Feather Your Nest - Home and Garden Show
Sunday, March 16, Noon-5pm

Spring is the perfect time to spruce up the interior of your home. Come and see the best that the area has to offer in fabrics, furnishings, flooring, wall covering, window treatments, lighting, kitchen & bath ideas, art, floral, interior design and home entertaining. You'll learn about home interior trends and meet top-quality suppliers of interiors. Bring your floor plans, pictures and questions to the show. Hors d'oeuvres will be provided. Feather your nest with the very best!
$10 per person
This event is sponsored by The Carolina Inn, MW Design and Chapel Hill Magazine

Hands-On Floral Arranging
Sunday, March 16, 3-5pm

Presented by Steve Taras, owner of Watered Garden Florist and primary floral designer for the North Carolina Museum of Art for the past 10 years. In this interactive event, Steve and his staff will provide a variety of fresh-cut spring flowers for you to select and arrange. He and his design staff will be creating professional-looking arrangements, and providing you with helpful design tips for you to use at home.
$49 per person (include flowers and materials)
Buffet-style Afternoon Tea & Floral Workshop

Spring Afternoon Tea Party - "Tea & Blossoms"
Friday March 21, 3-5pm

Drink in Spring - Relax and Indulge at our lovely tea party. Join us for a fun stroll through the history of tea and a look at some fascinating tea plants from a local nursery. Learn to make an 18th century party punch with fine teas and edible flowers. Taste one of our fine hot teas selected for this special occasion. China Rose Petal. Orange Blossom Oolong. Pearl Jasmine. Golden Chamomile. Truly magnificent colors and flavors. Accompaniments include an array of savory tea sandwiches, assorted sweets, and fresh baked scones served with our fresh lemon curd, English Devonshire cream and jams and preserves.
$29 per person
Afternoon Tea and Seminar
25 person maximum per session

Gourmet Gardens That Beat the Heat
Saturday, March 22, 1pm

"Local" and "organic" have become the two main buzzwords with people who really like food. And you can't get more local, fresh or organic than when you grow your own food. Frank Hyman has been growing vegetables for 25 years; he used to supply Anotherthyme Restaurant and Wellspring Grocery with organic tomatoes in the 80s. He will share slides, stories and Q&A with students who want to grow their own basil for pesto, tomatoes for sauce as well as asparagus and berries and a host of other crops for fresh eating at home and with friends without getting beaten down by the weather. Attendees will learn how easy it is to harvest crops year round, how to prepare beds, choose crops, and maintain and harvest them.
Free Program & Demonstration

Easter Brunch
Sunday, March 23, 11am-2:30pm

Enjoy a delicious Easter Grand Buffet Brunch at The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant featuring both traditional brunch fare as well as carving stations, holiday entrees and more. Delight in this lavish holiday brunch prepared by Executive Chef Jimmy Reale and his extraordinary culinary team. Enjoy an amazing assortment of delectable dishes designed to delight the most sophisticated of tastes. The children in attendance will enjoy a special visit from the Easter Bunny.
A lavish buffet featuring traditional Easter fare.
$46.95 per person, plus service & tax
$39.95 for seniors, $14.95 for children 6-12