Washington waterfront bursting with activity Saturday

Published 8:06 pm Thursday, April 27, 2017

Nautical and marine-related products and services; boat manufacturers and sellers; maritime, fishing and watersports wares — for one day, it will all be found on the Washington waterfront.

The annual Marine Market will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, in conjunction with the BoCO Traditional Music Festival. Both events are free to the public.

“If you love life on the water the Marine Market is for you,” said John Butler, Washington Harbor District Alliance’s chief operations officer. “Whether you’ve got a garage full of nautical and fishing gear you need to unload, looking to find someone to work on your boat, or want to check out the latest cool boats and products on the market, you’ll find it at the Marine Market.”

New to the Marine Market this year is a Marine Job Fair to be held at the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.

“Many of our region’s boat manufacturers are hiring,” said Darone Dancy, NCWorks Career Center manager. “Beaufort County is known for its local talent, craftsmen and boat-building enterprises. We want to bring together the people with skills to the businesses that need them.”

Around the corner at the Turnage Theatre, the sounds of such groups as The Flatland Zingers, Tanglewood, Lonesome Creek Band, Bob Daw, Still Water and more will be heard from the Turnage gallery, while another West Main Street stage, will feature any and all musicians who’d like to take part in an outdoor jam session. Wrapping up an entire day of performances will be the Bad Ridge Bluegrass Band on the Turnage Theatre stage.

“Downtown Washington will be full of the sounds of traditional music. Come enjoy bluegrass, country and blues, ole time music, folk songs and a special guitar pull for original songs and some fine picking,” reads a press release from the Beaufort County Traditional Music Association, a sponsor of the festival along with Arts of the Pamlico.

The Historic Port of Washington Museum, also in conjunction with the Marine Market, will be hosting a series of events throughout the day at the North Carolina Estuarium, including a sharpie boat-building demonstration; a talk about what life was like in Washington between the American Revolution and the Civil War and another about Washington’s role in the Underground Railroad; and a led historical walking tour of the town.

HPOW volunteer Ray Midgett encouraged people to stop by the HPOW tent on Stewart Parkway, especially to see Gene Oakley’s working steam engine.

“He will be firing up his working replica of a steam engine used by many early steam powered boats and automobiles,” Midgett wrote in a press release. “Also on exhibit at the nearby ‘I’ dock will be the traditional-built ‘Fannie Salter’ shown and sailed by owner Don Dill. On the same ‘I’ dock will be a U.S. Coast Guard 45-foot fast response boat which will be open for tours.”

Rounding out the downtown activity is the Farmers & Artisans Market held each Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the corner of Water and Bonner streets.


Historic Port of Washington events

10:30–11 a.m. Construction of a Classic Built Sharpie; Don Dill, classic boat builder. Dill will describe the steps in the construction of his 24-foot sharpie “Fannie Salter.”

11–11:30 a.m. Washington Between the Wars (1790–1860). Ray Midgett, local history buff, will talk about what life in Washington was like after the Revolution until the onset of the Civil War.

11:30 a.m.–noon. Songs and Stories from the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad. Leesa Jones, founder of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum, will share her knowledge of the songs and stories of enslaved people making their way to freedom. Admission to the talks is free, but donations will be appreciated.

1 p.m. A historical walking tour will start at the riverfront patio of the Estuarium and proceed along the waterfront and down Main Street. How the river and commerce has shaped the historic downtown will be the topic. Stops will include the HPOW Museum, the Turnage Theatre, Fowle Warehouse and the “Lighthouse” on Stewart Parkway. The tour will end at the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum. There is a charge for the tour of $5 and participation is limited to 20. Tickets will be available at the museum and at the start of the tour.