Pittsboro resident Ellen Manning and her husband Mark Barroso appreciate what the festival means for their marriage.
“My husband and I got married 12 years ago on this weekend,” Manning said. “We ended up down here for the day, and every year, we make it a really important point to be here. I wouldn’t miss it for anything. I look forward to it more than anything the whole year.”
For many people, the event has become a family affair.
“Since we had the kids, so about seven years, we’ve been coming to the festival almost every year,” Nikki Worthington of Chapel Hill said. “We always meet people that we know in town out here, and I would say that it’s become a tradition.”
It’s not just the different types of music that attract people, but the quality. The talented bands all around town impress even seasoned festivalgoers like Chapel Hill resident Katherine Desrochers.
“When I came to the first music festival about 15 years ago, I was totally blown away by the caliber of music around here,” she said. “This year has surpassed everything.”
No matter how long local residents have lived in the area, the festival still draws people into the tradition.
“There have been lots of good bands so far that have been really enjoyable to see and get to meet people,” first-time attendee Michele Casazza said. “This kind of stuff draws me in. Every single time it’s out there, music is what fills me.”
Co-founder and event photographer Jackie Helvey is proud of what the festival has become. She wrote a history of the festival on carrboro.com and believes it’s important for people to know how it has evolved over the years.
“Music brings people together,” she said in an email.
“That's what's so great about this festival. Everywhere you look, there are smiling faces.”