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Weddings • Rehearsal Dinners Luncheons • Meetings

Birthdays • Anniversaries and many more celebrations! • 252-255-1501

The Special Events program at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island may be one of the best-kept secrets on the Outer Banks. “Folks are pleasantly surprised by the wide-range of possibilities available,” Cheryl Gross, Special

Events Coordinator for the Aquarium, says, “from marriage ceremonies on the soundfront lawn or in the gazebo on our new Soundside Pier to uniquely and exquisitely-staged receptions throughout our many galleries. We’ve even had marriage proposals delivered by our divers in the 285,000 gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit.”

Although some events may be scheduled during regular business hours, after hours, the entire facility becomes available. “When a bride and groom rent the Aquarium for their wedding they are renting the entire Aquarium for their guests to enjoy throughout the night,” Gross explains. “Hosts have arranged for behind-the-scenes tours as a gift to their wedding party or even a dive show or live animal demonstration during the reception.”

There are other options available to private parties that most visitors don’t typically consider. “Guests can dance the night away under the disco ball in Neptune’s Theater or in front of the Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit which features the largest collection of sharks in North Carolina,” Gross says.

She points out that a special evening becomes even more special in a setting like the Aquarium. “Our curious critters add life to any event,” Gross says. “Guests can explore, discover and learn about the preservation and conservation of North Carolina’s natural and cultural resources associated with its ocean, estuaries, rivers, streams, and other aquatic environments.”

The event can become an interesting hands-on experience. “Guests can get up close and personal with

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stingrays, starfish, sea urchins and white spotted bamboo sharks in our ‘Close Encounters’ touch tanks. For those who prefer to look and not touch, they can marvel at our diverse collection of critters including sea turtles and alligators and be entertained by the antics of our otters,” she says.

Although usually seen as a venue for weddings, wedding receptions or a rehearsal dinner, there are other possibilities. “We can facilitate meetings, special events, corporate events, birthday and anniversary celebrations,” Gross points out. “You could even have a catered intimate dinner-for-two in the gazebo on our Soundside Pier.”

For more information regarding renting the Aquarium please contact Cheryl Gross, Special Events

Coordinator at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. She may be reached at cheryl.gross@ or 252-473-3494, ext. 258.

Chris Bickford of Beach Productions

Photo courtesy of the NC Aquarium

J. Aaron Trotman Photography

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