About 80 people, including a large group of students from Warren Wilson College, joined forces on Sunday afternoon, September 16, for a major cleanup effort on the Swannanoa River. The group divided up into teams with the ambitious goal of wading and cleaning over 5 miles of the river, beginning at the KOA Campground to the east, and ending on the Warren Wilson College campus. Although the weather was less than hospitable, the groups soldiered on through the torrential downpours. They returned with canoes full of trash and debris from the river and its banks, proving once again that Swannanoans (and Warren Wilson students) are hardy folks!
Fortunately,the weather cleared and the sun emerged just in time for the RiverFest evening activities under the pavilion at Owen Park. RiverFest attendees enjoyed a free barbecue dinner from Okie Dokies, potluck desserts provided by members of the community, live music, and a performance of the 30-minute Swannanoa River Play. The River Play, performed by students at Warren Wilson College, dramatizes river stories that the students gathered from local residents.
It was a wonderful evening, and a great tribute to the beautiful river that flows through the heart of our community.
The Swannanoa RiverFest was a collaborative project of Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS) and Warren Wilson College, with generous support from RiverLink and the Swannanoa Business Association. We plan to make this an annual event, so stay tuned for info about how you can get involved next year.