EVENTFUL: BoCO Music Festival, Marine Market take over downtown WashingtonPublished 8:44pm Thursday, April 24, 2014
Two festivals will combine for one purpose Saturday: an entire day of events on Washington’s waterfront, extending up to Main Street and the Turnage Theater.
BoCO Music Festival and the Marine Market are set to take over downtown Washington starting at 9 a.m., when the Marine Market opens for business. Flea market vendors, boat companies, nonprofits and food vendors will pack the Washington waterfront with anything and everything nautical—from antique motors to homemade clam chowder.
BoCO will launch at 10 a.m. with an outdoor jam led by a variety of artists and indoor performances at Union Alley Coffeehouse, tucked into the back of Main Street’s Inner Banks Artisans’ Center. The afternoon music comes courtesy of the Beaufort County Traditional Music Association, but once the day wears on, the eyes and ears will turn to the Turnage Theater, where a steady lineup of talent will take the Turnage stage.
Meanwhile, in other parts of downtown, Washington Area Historic Foundation’s Tour of Homes self-guided tour is happening, as well as Saturday Market, where fresh produce and goods from local sources can be found at the corner of Stewart Parkway and Main Street.
“It’s going to be packed — jam packed,” said Beth Byrd, executive director of Washington Harbor District Alliance, and the organizer of Marine Market.
The plan to move BoCO Music Festival from its recent Festival Park venue to Main Street and into the Turnage Theater was brought about by a variety of reasons. With the Beaufort County Arts Council’s purchase of and move to the Turnage, it was more cost effective to produce the festival headliners at the theater, rather than pay for lights and sound in the park.
While it was a money-saving move, the main reason was inclusion: in the past, events on the waterfront have offered little opportunity for festival-goers to make a trek to Main Street. Saturday, they have every reason: storytelling at the Turnage at 1 p.m., the outdoor jams on Main Street and music into the night, once the Marine Market has closed down.
“We kind of decided to come up with more of a Main Street thing, bringing it to the merchants’ front doors,” Toler said.
“I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a really good one this year. We’ve had a huge response — we actually got listed in “Our State” magazine, in the calendar listing,” Byrd said.
Also featured at Marine Market will be the Motley Tones — pirates roving about singing sea shanties and engaging the crowd — a beer garden on the deck of Apollo’s Steakhouse, banjo River Roving boat rides at the North Carolina Estuarium, tours of the tall ship “Jeanie B” and the newest Coast Guard response vessel, and Hiram Lodge volunteers will bring back their popular fish fry.
Byrd and Toler expect that people will be moving from one festival all day long, but once the Marine Market starts to wrap up, the spotlight will be on the Turnage stage, with a BCTMA showcase, Mt. Moriah, Matt Phillips & The Philharmonic, COUSINS and hometown favorites Carolina Still.
“Mount Moriah — we were very lucky to get them back because they’ve had a lot of success since we had them two years ago,” Toler said.
Mt. Moriah opened for indie/acoustic rock band Indigo Girls’ during their latest tour.
“That’s kind of what we like to do at the festival, is find up and coming young groups and, hopefully, we won’t be able to afford them the next year. But they agreed to come back here way under their usual rates now and we were really happy about that,” he added.
Both Byrd and Toler are looking forward to drawing a crowd both indoors and out.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re looking forward to having people in the theater and coming and going all day long,” Toler said.
All events are free and open to the public.