Monday, June 09, 2008

Festival Weekend

What a fantastic weekend this was! Artists and craftspeople lined up on Howard Street and the School Road to display their wares. Potters, painters, woodworkers, jewelers, and others set up colorful booths to attract festival goers. The weather was nearly perfect. Even though it was hot and sunny, a mild breeze (and pasteboard fans) kept the worst of the heat at bay. Except for the performers, whose shirts and brows were saturated, most folks fared well under the shade of live oaks and cedars.

The lineup of performers was stellar -- there were banjos & cellos, autoharps & fiddles, drums & clarinets, mouth harps & mandolins, and even a digireedoo, and a hurdy-gurdy! Oh yes, there were guitars, too. I'm afraid I'll forget to name all of the performers, so I'll just share that there was jazz, folk, blues, country, and much more -- almost all from Ocracoke and eastern North Carolina.

And then there was storytelling. I shared reminiscences of early trips to the island on the mailboat and Fraxier Peele's very first ferry across Hatteras Inlet in 1950. Then I joined Lou Ann in performing one of her popular "Ocracoke Radio Shows." Other storytellers were there also, including Rodney Kemp, and, of course, our very own Donald Davis.

Our house was the Green Room so performers were coming and going all weekend.

The Friday night auction raised thousands of dollars, an Ocracoke quilt raffle brought in $1500, sponsors contributed thousands more, and donation boxes filled up as festival goers enjoyed the free shows.

Oh yes, there were jam sessions, a children's stage, Jef the Mime, Clyde Jones doing his chainsaw scuptures, and square dancing and contra dancing.

I'm sure I've forgotten somethings, but just wanted all of our readers to know what a talented group of musicians and artists we had this past weekend, and what an exciting weekend it was -- and why I haven't written anything for several days!

Mark your calendars for next year. This really is an outstanding event.

In other news, I got this information from The East Carolina Radio Station blog: "The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division is suspending the noon run from Cedar Island and the 3:30 PM run out of Ocracoke through Thursday. The Motor Vessel Pamlico has encountered mechanical difficulties and is being taken to the shipyard in Manns Harbor for repairs."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the brave and courageous members of the US Life Saving Service. You can read it here.

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