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Riverfest everything everyone could have hoped for

READ MORE: Riverfest everything everyone could have hoped for
Downtown Wilmington's riverfront was rocking this weekend as thousands of people packed Water Street for the annual Riverfest. What started years ago as a small event has blossomed into one of the city's biggest events. “Riverfest started 31 years ago with very few volunteers, a couple of people downtown, and its just grown into this huge festival. We probably bring in 100,000 people to downtown in early October,” said Riverfest Chair Sunny Satow. There was something for everybody at this festival. Some of the events this year included numerous acts on the main stage with all types of music, there was a two day skateboarding competition that attracted hundreds of onlookers, a visiting historic ship, the Meka II, plenty of games and fun for the kids, and of course, food. Even this year with the economy being down, the turnout was more than organizers could have hoped for. “It was very surprising. We weren't really sure how this year was going to shake out. We've had record arts and crafts vendors and food vendors,” said Satow. “Its been absolutely fabulous, we couldn't ask for any more. And our sponsors have continued to support us as they always have, and its just been wonderful.” In fact, this year may have even brought more people than ever before. “I think we've had record crowds this year. The weather's been wonderful, its brought a lot of people from out of town who have come to the festival this year. Everybody seems to have had a great time,” Satow added. Proceeds from the festival go toward scholarships for the marine sciences program at Cape Fear Community College.

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I was hoping for wall-to-wall rednecks, lousy cover bands, overpriced drinks & greasy food, the same old cheap arts & crafts as last year, and really horrible traffic. Yep, Riverfest was everything I could have hoped for.


My only hope was to have a nice quiet dinner at Circa until I remembered this horrendous event was going on. Between the horrible music and traffic, who wants to bother with going downtown. I avoid it at all costs...

Stay Away

If you like high priced , high calorie food , a large diverse crowd , overpriced goods and inappropriate music playing while very young girls danced on stage , Riverfest is the place for you ! I bailed out early on during the event and it will not be a high priority event for me next year! I have better ways to spend my discretionary income !


We rented an arts and crafts booth for the first time this year. There were so many booths, we didnt' even make what the booth cost us to rent.We lost a lot of money. There were so many commercial booths, the arts and crafts didn't even stand a chance.Riverfest has turned into a large two day shopping mall. I would rather have been told they didn't have room for me than to compete with a million other people selling stuff. Anyway, I understand we are in a recession, but truly it was unreal the amount of vendors. So much competition , I dont' think any of them made a huge amount of money. It was a good learning experience though.

Unless this was...

your first time experiencing River Fest, I can't imagine you didn't already know about the number of vendors present selling their wares. Not only is there "buyer beware" but also "seller beware".


You have to be leary of food vendors at these events. I became very ill after eating at one of the vendor's stands. Two of my friends who ate the same thing got sick also. Does anyone check the cleanliness and temperatures of the food sold?????


The way vendors price gouge citizens for outrageous food prices it is not a family outing... When I was little, I remember the homemeade raft races (suicidal and funny), and there wer community vendors.. Churches, boy scouts, youth croups, civic groups selling food.... Cheap Food.. Like hot dog and a drink for a buck! (The old Wilsons grocery hot dog stand) THEN you could afford to bu artists goods, and take the family out... But not anymore.. Too many people.. too expensive.. NOT worth it... But we pay the overtime clean up bill....

It was a great turnout but.....

....they would do good to cut out about half the food vendors. They all sold the same old cheesesteaks, fries, sausage and lemonade. The vendors should also be required to post their prices. 16 clams for cheesesteak, sm fry and a lemonade...way too much, but had no idea until I payed. These prices make it tough for a family outing I'm sure. And the dogs? What's with that? There were 3 Great Danes in the middle of the crowd and one of them decides it's time to go and did it right in the street. It's owner just kept walking, while everyone else kept walking in it. Why can't people just leave their dogs home for a day? I love dogs, but don't really want them there sniffing my kids kielbasa. Great activities for the kids and some good entertainment. I just hope the product vendors made half of what the food vendors made.


I love dogs very much too, but I totally agree! Leave the dogs home, had to keep watching out for all the little tiny dogs too, nevermind the big ones messes! uugghhh

Record crowds????? Doubt

Record crowds????? Doubt that!!!

The actual comment was...

“I think we've had record crowds this year." If you have been keeping up lots of events that don't cost to attend or have a very small fee, have done well. Even the parks have boasted record attendance. Really... it's in the news. No need to spin the issue....