Marine Market, BoCO Traditional Music Festival slated for Saturday

Published 9:33 pm Thursday, April 28, 2016


Civic organizations, nonprofits, tourism promoters and more have teamed up to present two festivals in one Saturday in downtown Washington.

The Washington Harbor District Alliance’s Marine Market and the Beaufort County Traditional Music Association’s BoCO Traditional Music Festival take place side by side, offering live music and everything maritime in an all-day affair.

“To me, this is the best of Washington,” said Rebecca Clark. “You can come here and experience everything that we’re about: art, marine life, the waterfront, history, music.”

Working with Arts of the Pamlico, live performances for BoCO Traditional Music Festival run from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. in the Turnage Theatre gallery inside, while outside traditional music, bluegrass, old-time and blues jams will be held outside on West Main Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closing out the festival at 7 p.m. is a performance by the acclaimed modern bluegrass trio After Jack on the Turnage stage. All events are free and open to the public.


Down on the waterfront, The Motley Tones, a roving, sea shanty singing, band of pirates will make an appearance at the sixth annual Marine Market, Clark said. In addition to vendors selling new or handcrafted goods, more than 40 vendors will be participating in the nautical flea market, Clark said.

“The nautical flea market is just something that everybody loves,” she said.

Clark, co-chair Garleen Woolard and chair Andrea Heekin are this year’s Marine Market organizers — an event Clark said is going to be the best one yet.

Visitors also will have ample opportunity to take a tour of the river, according to Clark. The Belle of Washington will be offering 45-minute boat rides at 10 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. for $10 per person; the schooner Jeanie B will have its regular tours at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. for $25 per person; and the North Carolina Estuarium will be offering a BoCO favorite — free “banjo boat rides” in which guests on the Estuarium’s pontoon boat are treated to live music.

“I like that because you can get out on the water and all these different places are working together,” Clark said.

While the focus will be on the two festivals, another event will quietly occur: the soft opening of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum, a tribute to Washington’s designation by the National Park Service as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Located in a refurbished Atlantic Coastline train caboose on the grounds of the Washington Civic Center, the museum will open to guests for the first time Saturday.

Clark said Saturday’s events are less a fundraiser for WHDA and more a true community effort by several organizations working together to highlight Washington.

“It’s more a ‘let’s show people what Washington is.’ Sometimes you do things not to make money, but to promote the town,” Clark said. “We look at this as a signature event to promote Washington. … It’s a family friendly event, for sure.”

The Marine Market will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on Stewart Parkway.