Weekend Festivals

The Clarion Content and friends were out and about at some the weekend’s festivals in Durham.

We heard that the Bayou Festival in the Major the Bull/Suntrust Plaza was a bit of a mess. It was not entirely unexpected based on the absolutely no marketing, no buzz anywhere about it beforehand. Ticket prices were sky high; although they did include unlimited beer and food options. Unfortunately, the word was that organizers were totally unprepared for the crowds. There was a paucity of tables.

Still sunny and lots of good spots to sit

Still it was sunny and Suntrust Plaza has lots of good spots to sit

Unlike the World Beer Festival, where 180 breweries in attendance means 180 beer pouring stations, the Bayou Festival had about 12 taps. The lines were obscene. Folks our reporter talked to said, standard operating procedure was fill your glass, two glasses if they would let you, and roll around to the back of the line, because by the time you got back to the front 40 minutes later, you would probably be finished your beer.

Long lines were the order of the day

Long lines were the order of the day

Strange that the City was willing to give these out-of-towners the central plaza when they are fighting the World Beer Festival tooth and nail about using one of the ballparks… and it looks like Durham won’t have a beer festival for the first time in 15 years. In what we hope is not portentious for the future on bigger (development) issues, it looks like the all mighty dollar trumped local interests.

Fortunately, the weather was beautiful and standing in long lines waiting for free beer sounds like First World Problems, indeed.

Check out a slew of photos from the Bayou Festival from our friends at Triangle dot com here.

On the other end of the spectrum, Sunday, the Durham Earth Day Festival was free and terrific. Smoothly run with so many interesting entertainment opportunities from face painting, to arts and crafts with the HappyMess Art crew. It was inspiring to see just how many crunchy, granola organizations we have here in Durham doing good works; from Seeds who helps educate inner-city children on the virtues and rewards of gardening, to the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association protecting streams, to people saving greyhounds, y mas y mas.

It was a cool look at our healthy food culture, too, there was everything from Halal food options, to gluten-free and all parts of the spectrum in between.

The City and County Parks and Stormwater officials were out in force also. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any updates on when the City might finish the Open Space plan for downtown. There was a map prominently displayed showing the location of Durham City parks. However, it was a bit deceptive, officials having highlighted the parks names in green, as well as the actual park locations, giving the effect of a lot more green space in Durham’s inner ring than actually exists.

Officials did ask the Clarion Content to spread the word on what sounds like a fantastic movement. The city and Black & Decker are combining forces to help eliminate old gas lawnmowers from circulation. Old gas powered lawnmowers are terrible producers of greenhouse gases, not to mention noise pollution. May 18th at Durham County Stadium and June 15th at Jordan High School homeowners will be able to bring in old gas powered lawnmowers, working or not and the City will recycle them free of charge. Black & Decker will be offering 20%-45% off new electric motors that day to all who turn in an old mower.

Find out more at GreenerDurham.net

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Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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