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Wild Blue River Festival in Halifax Sept. 13
SoVaNow.com / July 23, 2014Planning is in full swing for the upcoming Wild Blue River Festival to be held in the Town of Halifax on Sept. 13.
The Festival got its inspiration from the nickname going around for the new Southern Virginia Wild Blueway. The Banister River, or Banister Blueway, is an integral part of the “Wild Blue.” To promote the kayak/canoe launch site, under construction on the Banister, the Town of Halifax will be hosting a day long celebration of the Banister as well as other forms of outdoor recreation.
“Currently we are in the process of seeking sponsors, vendors, and volunteers for the festival,” said Rebecca Ramey, events coordinator for the Town of Halifax. “Small businesses and corporate sponsors are essential to any event. They allow the town to offer unique activities as well as spread the word about the festival. In exchange, the sponsors receive advertising and marketing benefits. They also earn a reputation in the community for helping to create quality of life events for people in our county. Not only do events benefit our current residents, but festivals also help to attract and retain employees considering moving to the area because it shows that our county has things to do.”
“Vendors are also important to any festival,” explains Ramey. “They have an opportunity not only to generate revenue for themselves, but also to create a fun and festive atmosphere for the event.” The Wild Blue River Festival is open to artists, crafters, home based businesses, small businesses in the county, government agencies, non-profits, and outfitters. The vendors will enjoy being located on the courthouse lawn. “The Halicraft Art Festival really showed us what a wonderful venue the courthouse lawn can be. We wanted to take advantage of that space again, and encourage people to walk around the entire town.”
Volunteers are also a crucial component to the event. “Companies, churches, civic groups - anyone looking to help while promoting their organization should contact us. We would love to help spread the word about your work and receive support from the community as well.”
The Wild Blue Festival is poised to become a tourism draw for the county. The festival is packed with outdoor recreation activities, music and so much more. 524 Fitness will host an adventure race in the morning, followed by the official preview of the kayak/canoe launch on the Banister River. The festival then really gets into gear at 11 a.m. River Traders will be on hand at the Banister Lake offering canoes and kayaks for people to paddle around. Vendors will be on the courthouse lawn. The Farmers Market will be alive with food, beer, life-sized games, corn hole, and a stage area. The stage will be host to two wildlife talks by the Wildlife Center of Virginia. After each talk attendants will have a chance to win gift cards from Mountain Khakis, a corporate sponsor for the event who makes outdoor clothing. The main highlight of the market will be a 26 foot rock climbing wall that will be sure to draw a crowd.
“I really wanted to create a festival where not only was there a lot to see, but which also had a lot to do,” explains Ramey. “Festival goers will have a chance to rock climb, paddle, race, and play games, but there will be other activities as well. There will be an area dedicated to Gyotaku, which is a Japanese art form of creating prints from real fish. In our case, we will have fish molds, rice paper, and ink. The activity is open to kids and adults. Kids will also have opportunities to build cork boats, race boats with water guns, practice casting, and more. We have so many ideas under our belt,” says Ramey, “it really is going to be a magical day.”
As the festival moves into the evening hours, the Farmers Market will become the heart of the evening celebration. The stage will be taken over with live music, and attendees will still be able to enjoy the games, beer, and food. A kids area will be set up similar to the Friday Night Jams event allowing parents to have some freedom to not only attend the event, but also enjoy it as well.
A detailed schedule, and vendor applications can be found at http://www.halifax-events.com.
The Wild Blue River Festival also has a Facebook page where people can stay abreast of festival updates. http://www.facebook.com/wildblueriverfestival