Camp Elk Shoals to re-host Riverfest

Wil Petty Staff Writer

September 12, 2013

Riverfest is returning to Camp Elk Shoals again, after the July rains kept many away.

“Last Riverfest, it rained so much that the turnout was low,” Rev. Peter Parish, the camp director, said. “We figured we would try it again.”

The faith-based camp, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, had a decent turnout for the original Riverfest. Parish said they decided to do it again in order to continue raising awareness of what Camp Elk Shoals does.

“It is a chance for people to get acquainted with both our camp and the area,” he said.

Parish said that it takes a lot of work and time to run the camp. For Riverfest, the work is done in terms of promotion, cooking and searching for talent able to perform at the daylong event.

“We have volunteers that take care of all the cooking and giving the information to vendors,” Parish said. “We also have musicians and others who like sharing their talents with us.”

Riverfest will be held on the beach at the camp’s property along the South Fork New River. Vendors will be on hand selling arts and crafts and there will be barbecue chicken.

“We are going to have vendors (at Riverfest,)” he said. “There will also be an open stage for anybody who wants to come and perform.”

Riverfest will be taking place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Camp Elk Shoals.

The camp is located off Boggs Road between West Jefferson and Glendale Springs.

The camp, which has been in Ashe County since 1954, has also recently completed building a center for children with special needs.

“(The center) still needs to be furnished, but it will be fully operational soon,” Parish said.

Camp Elk Shoals also started its first special needs program this past summer. Parish said the program was designed for children with Autism and Asperger’s.

For more information on Riverfest or the camp, which draws in children internationally, call Camp Elk Shoals at 336-877-4607.