Water fest launches May 18

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The 20th annual Water and Music Festival will take place at the Edenton waterfront Friday and Saturday, May 18-19.


Rebecca Bunch
Chowan Herald

Thursday, May 10, 2018

EDENTON — The 20th annual two-day Music and Water Festival gets underway at the Edenton waterfront Friday, May 18, celebrating the region’s water-based heritage.

Activities begin with a 30-minute guided sunset paddle that will launch from Elizabeth Vann Moore Park (formerly Queen Anne Park) adjacent to the Hayes Bridge.

The paddle will offer those who love being on the water a chance to enjoy the peace and serenity of local waters as the day fades into evening.

According to Chowan Tourism Director Nancy Nicholls, kayaks and canoes will be available at the town dock if reserved in advance. Bringing your own boat is also an option.

On Saturday, the festival moves to Colonial Park for a day of family-friendly events that start at 10 a.m. In addition to artisans and food vendors, the day will feature live music on the waterfront stage. Scheduled performers include the Righteous Brothers, the Fueston Brothers, Remain Anchored, Clay Willis, Kosmos, Laura Davis, Micah Simonsen and Drunken Confessions.

There will be a wooden boat exhibit next to the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse that includes handmade boats crafted by local artisans. The exhibit will take place from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The cost to enter a boat is $20, which includes a T-shirt and commemorative poster. The entry deadline is Friday.

Nicholls said the boat exhibit, now in its second year and organized by local resident Sammy Cox, pays tribute to the region’s boat-building heritage.

“This is a non-judged event intended to be enjoyed and to educate,” Cox said. “Our flavor is a celebration of the boats and the watermen. This year’s exhibit will include a shad boat, which is a good example of that culture.”

There will also be an opportunity for children in grades 2-5 to create their own paintings on a 9x12 canvas of the historic 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse. The activity on the lighthouse porch will be at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Sign-ups for the activity will be at the information tent Saturday on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Chowan Arts Council is the sponsor.

According to Shannon Ray, logistics director for the festival, the lighthouse painting activity is one of the festival’s free activities geared especially for children. Another will be a rock-climbing wall and face-painting activity, courtesy of Sheila Schultheiss. There will also be Yoga by the Sea for children younger than 12. Adults will have their chance to take part in Yoga by the Sea classes as well.

Opportunities to canoe and kayak will also be available from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The event will also feature craft brew beer tastings and a performance from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. by Dr. Peter Boehling and friends performing original songs that blend acoustic music with synthesized, folk, rock, jazz and psychedelic influences, Nichols said. 

To reserve a kayak or canoe, call 482-0300 or 800-775-0111. Registration forms are also available online at http://www.visitedenton.com/pdfs/2018-water-activities-reg-waiver.pdf.

Registration forms for those interested in participating in the wooden boat contest can be found at http://visitedenton.com/pdfs/emwf-2018-wooden-boat.pdf.