Huge crowd at Bath Fest|History meets art at event in state’s oldest town

Published 9:00 pm Sunday, May 17, 2009

Staff Writer

Town residents and tourists came out for artisans, community groups and camaraderie.
Karen Sayer, who helped organize the event, said there was a very good turnout of more than 1,000 people, despite the weather.
This year the festival had a new theme: Where history and art meet.
“We’re trying to tie in some other things that are going on in the town,” she said.
The focus this year was on John Lawson, an early explorer of North Carolina who lived in Bath. Town organizers are working on a greenway named after Lawson.
The event featured vendors from North Carolina selling hand-made wares and civic organizations selling refreshments.
The Bath Community Rescue Squad was selling baked goods in hopes of earning back some of the roughly $20,000 the group just spent on equipment, including a new defibrillator, said Jean Hoagland, the group’s secretary.
She said the bake sale was a group first, but offered a good alternative to selling chicken dinners, given the economy.
“We didn’t feel that the community could really afford all the chicken dinners,” Hoagland said.
In addition, several buildings had open houses, including Bath High School and the Bonner House. At the Bonner House, traditional music was funded by a grant from the Beaufort County Arts Council.
Simon and Sara Spalding were providing the music, playing the fiddle and the recorder and singing English songs from the colonial period.
“We just think Bath is a really neat place,” said Sara Spalding. “there’s so much history here.”
Simon Spalding praised the festival’s home-grown food and crafts vendors.
“It’s local organization running the food booths, and most of the artisans are from either here in Bath or very close by,” he said. “That’s nice to see.”