I attended Raleigh Wide Open yesterday. It is an annual festival, going five years strong now, that lasted from 11 am to 11 pm in downtown Raleigh. The festivities started with a parade on Fayetteville St. and ended with fireworks. Although I did not stay from start to finish, I dropped in during the afternoon. Although the temperature and breeze were nice, the rain was not fun. There were umbrella collisions left and right and the loss of an eye was almost attained more than once. But between the drizzle of rain and being baked to a crisp by a 90+ sun, the rain was not so bad. Yesterday I could have done without having to step over numerous couples sitting on the sidewalk, or that awkward moment when you find yourself in the middle of lovers' locked hands in the middle of a clustered street, however. But that is the draw of RWO I suppose; a break away from the stresses of the work week and some fun as the summer winds down.
I learned about this event through my friend Amy who owns Amy's Creative Corner and was a vendor there. Her art is phenomenal and I hope everyone there got the opportunity to visit and purchase some of her work!
I believe that the various vendors were told that they would have until 5:00 to leave their merchandise out, but around 4:15, I heard many grumblings and sighs of disappoint as vendors began taking down their booths after receiving instructions from those in charge of the event. I was told by one vendor that "the circus was in town", which I took as a sarcastic jab of irritation, but I believe he spoke in sincerity. I think the circus did come through; the City Plaza Maximus Circus to be exact. Not very surprising because there was some of almost everything out there at RWO yesterday. Music flowing through the streets, street performers, food that had your mouth watering as the scents filled your nose, art, fashion, an inflatable Hurricanes kids area, BMX motorcyclists, and much more. The colors catching your eye as you walked down the street was wonderful. Still, advance notice to the vendors would have been greatly appreciated, I'm sure.
I am very glad I attended RWO. I got to be a part of a magic trick; nothing too fancy, but I was surprised and I love surprises. The experience in itself was fun and I very much plan on attending next year.