“…a giant backyard barbecue for the creative class: it’s homey and raucous, full of music, dancing, crafts and sweaty kids slurping giant glasses of lemonade”
-New York Times
Each year since 1980 the Eno River Association has presented the Festival for the Eno to draw thousands of folks to the shaded banks on the Eno River to sing dance and make merry with great food and crafts all while learning about natural resource conservation and raising funds for land protection in the Eno River basin.
The Festival the Eno has it’s roots in the NC Folklife Festival held at Durham’s newly created West Point Park in 1976 as the state’s official bicentennial celebration and featured traditional crafts, music, dance and trades demonstrations. The Festival for the Eno remains dedicated to the preservation and presentation of our rich and varied cultures and still offers plenty of hands-on learning opportunities. Attendees can “throw” a pot on a clay wheel, watch a water powered grist mill grinding corn, participate in urban farming, kayaking, weaving, and clean energy demonstrations, or participate in an old time or ukulele “jam” at the High Strung workshop stage.
Meadow crowd at the 1976 Folklife Festival
Since 1984, most Festival performances have been recorded for archival purposes. These recordings form an invaluable record of the always-evolving traditional and emerging folk traditions of the region, and are available for research and enjoyment through arrangement with the Southern Folklife Collection at UNC – Chapel Hill.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops perform at the 2006 Festival for the Eno Photo by James Hill
These archival recordings form the basis for the weekly Classic Eno Festival Live radio show on WHUP Community Radio, broadcast live at 11am (et) and streaming for two weeks following.
Want to be a food vendor at the 2023 Festival for the Eno? Find info and apply here.