For David Singleton, the Festival for the Eno is about protecting the environment and, in particular, the Eno River, which flows across Orange and Durham counties.
But as a longtime volunteer at the two-day event, he said there are many other benefits to attending.
“The music is icing on the cake, the people watching is even more icing on the cake,” said Singleton, Duke’s Associate University Counsel.
This year’s Festival for the Eno takes place from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on July 4 and July 7 at the West Point on the Eno Durham City Park. Duke employees can get 20 percent off of tickets purchased online if they use the discount code DukePerqs and buy the tickets no later than midnight June 27.
With the discount, a one-day pass is $14 and a two-day pass is $24. Kids under 12 get in free while tickets for teens, which aren’t part of the discount, are $11.
The event will feature roughly 80 bands on five stages, including Piedmont Blues mainstay John Dee Holeman and a reunion show of Raleigh-based folk band Bowerbirds. There will be a wide array of hands-on craft demonstrations and food and drink options – last year there were 20 food trucks and vendors.
Kids can enjoy environmental education activities and play in the river or in the festival’s giant sandbox.
“It’s a beautiful site with great entertainment and activities, but more than that it’s the community,” said Festival Director Greg Bell said of what attracts people to the festival. “It’s like everyone there is your neighbor.”
In its 39th year, the event usually draws around 20,000 visitors over the two days to the 30-acre festival site in the 300-acre park. Proceeds support the Eno River Association, which works to protect water quality, wildlife and access to the outdoors.
Around 580 volunteers help keep the festival running. For more than a decade, Singleton has been one of those volunteers, helping run the waste reduction efforts that recycle or compost
“The land conservation is important and the festival is designed to let people in the community know about us and what we do,” said Singleton, who is also on the Eno River Association’s Board of Directors. “It’s a fairly communal gathering. There’s a lot of people, a lot of diversity of people, the music is terrific. I enthusiastically recommend coming.”