The Festival for the Eno River is one of our FAVORITE festivals; we look forward to it every year! This year (2012) the Festival for the Eno takes place on Wednesday, July 4th, and Sat. & Sun., July 7th and 8th. Click here for Festival for the Eno dates/times.
Here are just a few of the things we LOVE about the Festival for the Eno:
(1) Great LIVE music on four stages throughout the Eno River Park,
(2) River splashing fun in the Eno River! We have enjoyed splashing, wading and even body surfing (some years) in the Eno River. Kids-in-the-know come to the Festival wearing “water shoes” and their bathing suits under their clothing. We used to bring towels but now we are more minimalist – drip dry is FAST in the Carolina sun!
(3) Searching for River Critters with nets provided by the Festival Staff – and then LETTING THEM GO back to their Eno River home.
(4) Great Festival Food! Prior years’ food vendors have included Crepes (yum!), soft ice cream from a classic, retro ice-cream-cone-shaped booth, hand-squeezed lemonade, funnel cakes and every kind of tantalizing Festival food, including vegetarian fare.
(5) Visiting Eno River critters at the EEK! Exhibit. Say Hello to salamanders, snakes, frogs, cray fish and more creatures who are indigenous to the Eno River.
(6) Making clay creations at picnic tables in the shade, or throwing a clay pot on a pottery wheel with an expert teacher (free activity). Take a number when you arrive, and the kids can make clay creations at the picnic table while waiting for their turn at the pottery wheel(s). You may want to bring a shoe box to with you to the Festival in order to keep your clay creations safe. You can leave your clay sculptures along the fence in the clay/pottery area and pick them up right before you leave the Festival.
(7) Visiting the historic WORKING Eno River Mill – watch wheat and corn being ground into flour inside the Mill and go outside the Mill and watch the river’s natural power turn the river mill. You can purchase freshly ground wheat flour and corn meal inside the Mill.
(8) Cooling off in the Mist Tent – ahhh! – cool mist! Lots of fun for the kids.
(9) Watching the sculpting/creation-in-progress of the amazing giant annual SAND SCULPTURE. Kids can play in the sand and make their own creations while you enjoy the live music on the main stage.
(10) Visiting the Handcraft Booths featuring art and handwork by local artists/artisans.
(11) The best of local musical talent along with world-class musical groups. One of our favorites from past years is the FANTASTIC Scottish group, Albannach. One year we listened to the music of Albannach while our 6-year old son was creating an entire regiment of Revolutionary war era soldiers in clay (along with a miniature George Washington) at the clay sculpting tables. (I was busy creating a sculpture of Jamesie, Albannach’s lead singer.) We couldn’t SEE Albannach at the time (because we were sitting at the clay tables in the woods), but we could HEAR Albannach live while we sculpted with clay. (We have had the good fortune to see Albannach perform live many times at Renaissance & Celtic Festivals.) (See a clip of Albannach at the Festival for the Eno 2009 (Youtube)). The music and musical variety at the Festival for the Eno is excellent every year!
(12) Playing in the grass or relaxing in the shade. The Festival for the Eno is set in an expansive River park setting with lots of shady tree areas.
The Eno River Festival never feels crowded to us; just relaxing, easy-going, and laid-back, with lots of shady areas, and lots of fun for all ages!
Scenes from the Festival for the Eno 2008 (Youtube)
See Photo Gallery of photos of the Festival for the Eno by local photographer James Hill
Visit the Festival for the Eno website