Music, Crafts Festival Saturday in Robbins
Advance interest in Saturday's Spring Music and Crafts festival "on the L" in midtown Robbins has exceeded all expectations, organizers say.
About 15 home-built cars entered in the BoxCar Derby are made from everything from 55-gallon drums to wooden crates.
A huge signup for the two adventure biathlons is making William McDuffie very happy. He is president of the N.C. Canoe Association and a prime promoter of "Boating on the Bear" -- canoe and kayak paddling events on Bear Creek and down to Deep River.
"The biggest paddling event to ever hit Robbins is only days away," McDuffie says. "My current competitor count is over 70. If anyone wants to compete, and you aren't signed up, it's not too late. The $10 per person fee still applies."
There is a short course of instruction for young people starting about 9 a.m. Then the youth canoe/kayak race launches at 10 a.m., with the youth short course biathlon at 11 a.m. The long course biathlon gets under way by 11:30 a.m.
"If you just want to be part of this epic event and don't really want to race, come volunteer and get a front-row seat," McDuffie says. "I will need paddlers on the water for safety and people along the trail as well. I'll even need people to help park cars. If you're good with a digital camera or especially a video camera there will be ample opportunity to capture some exciting race action. I've got a feeling that it will be as much fun to watch as to participate so I hope to see everyone Saturday morning."
The biathlons involve canoeing and trail running, and scrambling through streams. Participants can compete individually or as teams. Canoes will be provided to the first participants, and after the race, there will be a chance for novices to handle a paddle for the first time: a "Canoeing for Dummies" class. The instructional course is free.
The festival features live music -- bluegrass, gospel, blues, country, folk and rock -- all day and into the night at the Railroad Stage. It will be led off by Clyde Maness.
The Red Hat Society is sponsoring a Derby Day Decorated Hat contest. Categories include Best Straw Hat, Best Fabric Hat, Cowboy and Cowgirl as well as Children (5 to 12 years) Most Unique and finally a prize for the best hat resembling an entry in the Box Car Derby.
At noon, Randall Moore of Deep River Coffee Co. (and an expert on throwing the boomerang) will give a Boomerang Show on the field across from Town Hall.
Food vendors will set up by the Old Depot and its stage area. Arts and Crafts vendors will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with potters, quilters, jewelry makers and more expected.
There are things to see and do up and down the L of downtown where the downtown turns the corner from the old Salisbury road (now Salisbury Street) and heads toward the Old Elise Depot through the middle of Robbins (Middleton Street, naturally) toward the post office.
The organizer for the festival is Fire Chief Jarius Garner, who has done the summer Farmers Day for years.
Even the post office is getting into festive spirit, with a mini-festival of its own: a Passport Festival. The Robbins post office is the only place in the county that takes passport applications. On Saturday morning (from opening until noon), it will be helping residents apply for or renew passports.
Test runs for the Box Car Derby get started about noon. The race itself kicks off at 2 p.m. beside the Town Hall on Middleton Street (just below the railroad and the depot).
The festival wraps up at 11 p.m.
Contact John Chappell at 783-5841 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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