39th Festival for the Eno draws crowds

Anthony Wilson Image
Saturday, July 7, 2018
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39th Festival for the Eno draws crowds

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Three days after the opening of the 2018 Festival for the Eno, volunteers with the Eno River Association welcomed performers, craftspersons and supporters of the association's advocacy to the Durham city park known as West Point on the Eno.

Among the crowd was Indira Everett, a first-time festival-goer whose company, Duke Energy, helps make the festival possible.

Bennett commented on some gaps in the crowd during Saturday's first few hours.

"I think the rain got a few people afraid, but they need to come on out. It's beautiful! It's only 79, and it's just a lovely place to be," she said.

Overnight showers left some muddy areas, which volunteers covered with hay in areas that drew the most foot traffic.

"I'm hoping that when people realize it's not gonna rain, that they're gonna be coming out some more," said artisan Patrick Robertson, who traveled to Durham from Charlotte.

Those who came on January 4, when the weather was less friendly, appreciated the milder conditions on Saturday.

"The art has been great," said Bennett, "watching all the families out together has been really nice."

The art reflects the diversity of North Carolina, from the Apple Chill Cloggers and mountain music to sand castles like the ones seen on coastal beaches.

Paul Devoti, a former Peace Corps worker, showed us the intricate work of Luis Enrique Gutierrez, a claymaker from Nicaragua who now creates his art in Wake Forest.

Devoti advocates for Gutierrez, after creating a program to assist talented artists from that nation.

"This is Luis' 13th year working on that program and he's now working on a statue that will allow him to be here full time," Devoti said.

Volunteers urged festival goers to consider membership in the Eno River Association, to help preserve areas like the park where the festival's held and keep them available for people who want to enjoy the outdoors at a time when Durham's becoming more and more urbanized. They're working to acquire thousands of additional acres, keep the river free of trash, and maintain trails through the park..

"We walked along the river and we saw the activities and checked out a couple of the bands," Everett said with a smile.

Organizers hope you will too, next July.