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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Riverfest is still weeks away, but two big sponsors have pulled out. Organizers are now trying to figure out a way to make up the difference.

“Sixteen-thousand dollars is hard to recover,” Riverfest board member Donna Worrell said.

Worrell did not want to comment on which sponsors pulled their support.

For more than three decades Riverfest has been a fall tradition in Wilmington. But the future of the annual event is in question.

“Not knowing that this was going to happen we had already planned our budget for the year,” Worrell said. “We also have incurred some additional expenses involving fireworks that we were not budgeted for.”

Fireworks that cost upwards of $9,000.

“Our fireworks will be at Battleship Park,” Worrell said. “That is where the additional expense is coming from.”

Riverfest must pay $500 to install a safety fence as well as $1 per square foot for possible damage to the grass in Battleship Park.

The expenses cut into scholarships for CFCC Marine Technology students.

“The scholarship means really increased access to students who would like too to get an education in the marine sciences and the causes that Riverfest supports,” CFCC spokesman David Hardin said.

Worrell says those are not the only changes.

“We did lose an event,” she said. “The lighted pirate flotilla and the children’s treasure hunt will not be able to take place this year.”

And even though some events have been dropped, Worrell says she is looking forward to new events like the dragon boat race.

“It’s going to be a nice event,” Worrell said. “We just need some financial help and some volunteers.”

Worrell says this year’s shortfall will affect next year’s event.

The 35th Riverfest is Oct. 4-6 along the downtown Wilmington riverfront.

Comment on this Story

  • kzpony

    Who pulled out? It doesn’t say. Perhaps if we knew we, the people who love this event every year, could rally for them to continue.

  • wilm nc here

    i been here 16 years . i been to river fest one time. i dont see why anyone would go. theres nothing but over priced vendors . what a waste of money. i wouldnt take any friends or visitors down there,

  • wilm tax payer

    the best thing you can do is stop having it, what a waste,

  • Vog46

    While it’s a nice event, I’ve seen it enough times to say I don’t need to see it anymore.
    If Riverfest went away it wouldn’t bother me


  • Guest Reply Redux

    1. “Koops Mustard”
    2. “Woody White” (Attorney Fees Forthcoming for Berger)
    3. “Lil Earl’s Toothpaste”
    4. “CFPU” (they’ve lost revenue with no excuse to raise rates other than “Just Because”)…..
    5. “Convention Center Disposable Monies” (same disaster as CFPU)
    6. “New Mandalay Ballpark” (monies from their revenue were to go to Riverfest…but it just ain’t happenin’ No Moe)
    7. “Second Hand Underwear Unlimited” (Out of Business this year)
    8. “Wilmington City Of” (Soon to go Out Of Business/Berger Attorney Fees)

  • taxpayer

    of your story is the most important…yet goes unanswered. “Riverfest is still weeks away, but two big sponsors have pulled out.”

    What sponsors pulled out?

  • Vog46

    Sponsors are on right side:


    Wonder who pulled out?

    Did WWAY?


  • ChefnSurf

    Guess we’ll never find out.

    Another ace reporting job. Seems to get worse on a daily basis.

    Hey Scott Pickey: Time to step it up a bit and start “managing” your newsroom. Way too many screw-ups lately. It’s not enough to just be capable of managing; you actually have to do it.

  • Guest2020

    I’ve lived here all of my life, so far, and I have never been to Riverfest.


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