The Batteaux slowly made their way to Percival’s Island from Rucker’s Landing. Crowds formed along the bank of the island. The day was cloudy and the water a brown cast from recent rains.
Jeff Taylor was on the bank to announce the start of the festival once again. Many old friends reunited and last minute preparations on board the boats were nearly complete. All the finest old-timey outfits were nice and clean for the start at 11:00 am.
The batteau Maple Run shot off a cannon to get things started! “Fire in the Hole”….BOOM! and a big cloud of smoke. Everyone cheered and The batteau Queen Anne captained by Brian Coffield started first, followed by the Lady’s Slipper and all the rest. The batteau Mary Marshall, captained by the JRBF Chairman Andrew Shaw took up the rear and the batteaux drifted past the bridge and out of sight.
On the Lynchburg side of the riverwalk trail were many vendors such as the Virginia Canals & Navigations Society and the JRBF T-Shirt booth and the James River Association. A forge, a potter, chair weaver and exotic animals and an awesome Civil War era encampment were along the way. A young boy at the encampment played the violin very very well, playing several songs. When he played Dixie it was so nice as to bring tears to your eyes.
The 2017 James River Batteau Festival is off to a great start. The batteaux are expected in Galt’s Mill later this afternoon.
If anyone would like to help photo/blog this year, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with stories and photos. Due to a recent surgery I need to take it easy, although I am going to try and go to a couple of sites, perhaps Wingina.
Also if you want to purchase photo prints of any of today’s shots such as the group photos etc., please see http://messerlyphoto.com for more information.
Good luck Batteaux!