Riverfest wraps up record weekend

Strollers, shoppers and vendors jam Water Street for the last day of the 26th annual riverfest ... wraping up a record-setting weekend for many businesses.

Rebecca Duffy of RJ Designs says, "It's fabulous. Yesterday was packed all day which is great. First thing this morning we got all the big shoppers that come in."

Ashley Swinson owns Sea Witch on Water Street. She says sales this weekend beat those from Fourth of July and all other festivals.  "It's been crazy. It's been very busy. We've had a lot of people in at one time. They come in droves, 30 people at a time. It's been a really great weekend for everyone here."

Sunny skies helped bring many more down to the Cape Fear River.  Marty Adams, chair of the New Hanover County Relay for Life, says they've broken a festival fundraising record. They raked in 15 hundred dollars at Riverfest last year, but this time they banked 11-hundred dollars on Saturday alone.  "We've been blessed with the weather first of all and we're doing really well. We've sold a lot of water and t-shirts. We've got greeting cards and it all goes to the American Cancer Society."

Food is always a main attraction at Riverfest.  Workers at Fat Tony's were working double-time at the tent along Water Street and inside the restaurant on Front Street.  Owner, Eric Rylander says, "We were slammed all day . There was a lull at 4 but then it kicked in for dinner. We stay open til 2 am so we were busy up til close."

Now it's time for cleanup.  Vendors pack away their goods in the rain.  It held off until the bitter end of Riverfest, making this weekend profitable for vendors and fun for everyone who came down to Water Street.

Reported by Sara Straeten