Bath celebrates history, culture

Published 4:58 pm Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

BATH — Pirates, colonists, farm animals and assorted entertainment were the makings for Saturday’s Bath Fest.
The event is in its fifth year, according to chairperson LeRae Umfleet.
“This grew out of the Fun Fest we had around the time of Bath’s tricentennial,” Umfleet said. “We merge the history of Bath with the arts culture of the area, the visual arts and the performing arts.”
Bath citizens were joined by out-of-town visitors for the festivities, which are sponsored by the Town of Bath with financial support from Beaufort County Government and the Beaufort County Arts Council.
“We typically have around 1,000 spectators,” Umfleet said.
From art and craft booths to the bubble station manned by Goose Creek State Park, there was plenty of activities for folks of all ages.
Special guests included Queen Elizabeth I and other cast members from the Roanoke Island-based outdoor drama, “The Lost Colony.” Also on hand were the Shadow Players, a troupe of pirate-themed thespians from Raleigh.
And there was the usual excitement of the Cut-Throat Croquet Tournament, which serves as a fundraiser for the Dorothy “Dot” and John Tankard scholarship at Beaufort County Community College as well as preservation work at the Historic Bath State Historic Site.
For those wishing to soak up the history of the region, there was a display of artifacts found on the wreck of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s flagship. And Historic Bath hosted free tours of the Bonner House and the Palmer-Marsh House.
“The historic site is very pleased with all the activities being so rich in history this year,” said site manager Leigh Swain. “History can be fun, so it’s always nice to have opportunities to show people that.”
The full schedule of events also included a petting zoo, art display featuring work by students from Bath Elementary School, musical entertainment by the Beaufort County Traditional Music Association and a treasure hunt.
Planning for next year’s Bath Fest will begin shortly, Umfleet said.
“We’ll start next week,” she said. “We’ll have a meeting and talk about what worked this year, and what didn’t.”
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