Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll be sharing “21 Days” of some event or place in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and play. This month it’s all about local festivals that celebrate arts, culture, food and beverage.
For the last thirty-plus years fans of the great outdoors flock to the Independence holiday weekend festival that celebrates the natural beauty found year round in Durham and Orange counties. This year’s Festival for the Eno River, set for July 4 & 5, will be the 35th event and will be held at West Point on the Eno Durham City Park once again. The festival is presented annually by Eno River Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit conservation organization and the first environmental nonprofit in North Carolina to receive the prestigious GSK IMPACT award in 2013. The association’s mission is to conserve and protect the natural, cultural and historic resources of the Eno River basin, more than 5,700 acres mainly contained within five public parks: the Eno River State Park, the Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, West Point on the Eno Durham City Park, Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve and the Little River Regional Park. That’s a lot of outdoors to love.
Last year’s festival featured more than sixty musical acts on three stages, 50+ craft vendors from NC and around the Southeast and lots of good information about sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. Because of that environmental focus the festival has employed a “trash-free” program that diverts 95% of waste from landfills. Volunteers stand by the trash-free collection stations to help attendees sort their waste into compostable or recyclable categories. They make it easy to keep on dancing and eating and enjoying a day (or two) in the sun along the cool river waters.