Downtown awash in music

Published 9:59 am Sunday, April 11, 2010

Staff Writer

Sandy Davis praised the “very high-quality” music offered Saturday at the second-annual Beaufort County Music Festival in Washington.
“I thought it was awesome last year,” said Davis, a Washington entertainer who plays the recorder.
“I was surprised last year,” Davis continued in a short interview on Main Street. “I wasn’t expecting anything.”
Davis indicated she enjoyed herself again this year.
“I think there may be a little bit too much going on,” she added. “Too much talent in different places.”
Ben Watford was among the artisans selling their creations on Stewart Parkway.
Watford, a New Bern-based potter, called the turnout “average.”
“Sometimes the farmer’s market that we do here on Saturday does just as well as this one,” he said.
He said he would return to next year’s festival, if given the chance.
“It’s nice to be out,” Watford said. “Washington is just a nice town.”
Farther east on the parkway, Sam Taylor was selling walking sticks and stools alongside painter Dottie Walker.
Taylor and Walker, both local residents, declined to say how well their sales were going because they were in the midst of a friendly sales competition whose winner had to buy dinner.
“It’s wonderful to have a venue like this so we can not only support (the festival’s sponsors), but it’s a beautiful day on the waterfront,” Walker pointed out.
Like other artisans on hand, Walker said she would return to the festival.
“We’re going to try it again next year,” she commented. “This show comes at a good time, when the weather’s perfect and everybody wants to get out.”
Close to an outdoor stage stood Nannette Garrett, a Washington musician out for a day of listening.
Standing a stone’s throw from the Pamlico River, Garrett said she was glad the festival’s organizers had added a wider variety of acts to this year’s lineup.
“More rock ’n’ roll” was her request, as she nodded her head in time to a blues band playing nearby.
Joey Toler, one of the festival’s organizers and the executive director of the Beaufort County Arts Council, served up praise for the weather and the participating musicians.
“I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day,” Toler said. “The music is good everywhere you go. I just hope that people enjoy it.”
The festival was presented by the arts council in association with the Beaufort County Traditional Music Association, the nonprofit Downtown Washington on the Waterfront and a host of sponsors.
The music continues today with a gospel sing beginning at noon on an outdoor stage at the future Festival Park, reads a program for the event.