Sunday, July 5, 2009

The 30th Annual Eno River Festival

For this year's Independence Day, Jason and I spent the day with our friends, Amanda and John, in Durham. They invited us to join them for the Eno River Festival. I have heard Amanda speak of the festival before, but I had never actually attended the event. When the opportunity came to go this year, I thought, "Why not?"

Jason and Me
Me and Jason soaking in the sun
at the Eno Festival

John, Amanda, and Nate
John, Amanda, and Nate cooling off
by the Eno River

The festival, which began July 4, 1980, was a vision of Margaret Nygard. She wanted to protect the river and teach the local community about the importance of preserving the river and protecting the it's precious resources. Over twenty years later, her vision has grown into a successful annual celebration that many in the community have grown to support and appreciate.

In the Eno
Festival attendees enjoying the cooling
waters of the Eno

Even with the environmentally friendly theme that was prevalent throughout the event, I was happy to find that art was a big part of the celebration as well. For every year that the festival has existed, a promotional poster has been created to promote the Eno River Festival. Since the festival's inception, the posters have been created by the same talented artist, Jenny Nygard. However, around 2002, other artists have been commissioned each year to create the promotional poster for the event. The result is an exquisite gallery of posters that are also available as prints for purchase. (To see some of these beautiful prints, click here.)

There were also many booths open with local artists' wares for purchase. From pottery to metal work to hand carved wood, artistry could be appreciated everywhere.

Field of Metal Rainbow Butterflies
Beautiful butterflies constructed from metal

Other Side of the Sand Sculpture
Annual sand sculpture

My favorite part of the festival was the parade. Men, women, and children, donning colorful costumes constructed from cloth, wood, and paper-mâché, represented the various elements of nature and the beautiful creatures that inhabit the earth. The unique and creative costumes made me want to start a paper-mâché project of my own.

Eno Festival Parade 3
Eno River Festival Parade

Eno Festival Parade
My favorite costume in the parade - she was amazing.

All in all, it was a beautiful day well spent by the Eno, surrounded by art and inspired by nature. And we have the freedom to enjoy it all. Isn't it sweet?

Happy Independence Day!
"Is freedom anything else than the right
to live as we wish? Nothing else."
- Epictetus

1 comment:

  1. I am glad that you enjoyed the festival! Maybe you should apply to create the design for the festival next year. :)



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