Shining Rock Riverfest
Locals and tourists flocked to the Shining Rock Riverfest this weekend for the first fundraiser at Camp Hope.
Music wafted from the covered pavilion from early afternoon to late in the evening as people sat back in their folding chairs playing games, eating barbecue and taking in the scenery of the property.
Buddy and Lauri Kelly of York, South Carolina, were staying in Asheville for the weekend and simply looked online for nearby happenings when they came across the Shining Rock Riverfest.
Relaxing in their lawn chairs, they couldn't think of any place they would rather be that day, the couple said.
Brad Boulet, band member of Owner of the Sun and Sylva native, marveled at the camp.
"You're nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina where the book and movie of Cold Mountain was filmed...you can't go wrong with this camp. The beauty of it rivals anywhere you'll ever see in the United States," he said.
Jessica Virtue of Clyde heard about the music festival from a client and decided it would be a good opportunity to bring her daughter, Riley, to enjoy a day outdoors.
"She's at that age where she can get out and start doing things outdoors like this," she said, as they set off to explore the trails leading to the river.
Members of the volunteer organization Friends of Camp Hope worked to put the entire event together in about a month. Tracy O'Neil and Pam Kearse were two ecstatic event leaders when they saw their vision coming to life.
"I think we raised awareness of the camp and the town's plight that is ongoing. It was a blessing to be a part of it all and it was emotional to see children laughing and playing and hear the world class music ringing through the trees again.....Everyone pulled together in a big way and we forged new relationships that already feel like old friends," O'Neil said.