The word Saxapahaw is a normal part of the vocabulary in our house. Not because it’s fun to say, but because my hubby is working on a renovation project there. Yep, it’s a town. In North Carolina. That many people haven’t even heard of. And it’s too bad cause it’s a charming little place.
It was only this weekend though that Big Roo got in on saying Saxapahaw. Except he said “Sax-pa-pa” and “Sax-ba-ba.” All morning he kept asking when we were going to “Sax-ba-ba.”
We took a little road trip there this weekend to kick off Saturdays in Saxapahaw.
When: Saturdays starting first weekend of May through the end of August
- Farmer’s Market open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Music from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Kids activities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Sorry but the furry kids have to stay home)
Where: About 10 miles west of Chapel Hill, NC
From their website:
The Saxapahaw Rivermill summer series starts up again this year in May. The weekly festivities include performances by top bands featuring bluegrass, back porch, blues, folk, gospel, latin, celtic, funk, roots, americana and old time music and a thriving Farmer’s Market with fresh local produce, cheese, eggs, baked goods, flowers, honey, organic meat, locally produced wine, hand made arts and crafts and more. Every week we feature exciting events and activities for children.
Cost: Admission is free but they appreciate donations. Organizers pass around a “Swan Bucket” each week for the band. It’s just what they say it is – a plastic swan you put money in. Hee.
Lots of fun! Saxapahaw is a little bit small town, a little bit crunchy and a little bit hip rolled all into one.
The landmark of town is their General Store, a “five star gas station” that’s well-known in foodie circles. They serve up gourmet dishes like a duck salad, portobello wrap and local Brookwood Farms pork barbeque. Even the snack aisles are filled with loads of organic and healthy options. I couldn’t bring up Saxapahaw without mentioning this place.
Back to the festival talk…
Last Saturday was a wee bit different because it was the Haw River Festival too. But I imagine the vibe’s the same every Saturday, even if the activities and vendors change from week to week.
The vendors ranged from organic meats to handmade crafts to ice cream.
The highlight for the kids this particular weekend was the slip and slide, aka huge-pieces-of-linoleum-laid-together-and-sprinkled-with-water. It’s simplicity is to be admired.
Little brother enjoyed watching Big Roo hit the slides. Oh wait. No he didn’t. He just chilled out on Daddy’s chest.
The guys at the fascinating Paperhand Puppet Intervention led the kids in making their own puppets. Okay, so they didn’t turn out quite like these but aren’t these exquisite? It’s mostly cardboard, my friends.
Finally, we finished the day with some face painting and ice cream from Triple “J.” The lady from Paint Savvy was amazing. I’ve honestly never seen face painting this good before. Big Roo wanted a doggie face. His was cute but snakes and butterflies she did were crazy good.
Finally, the trip wouldn’t be complete without seeing some renderings of the mill project my husband has been working on. Soon Saxapahaw will be home to hip condos built within an old mill, a new restaurant, a pub, retail shops and an event center.
And… poor Big Roo dropped his beloved ice cream cone then cried away his doggie face. Smeary faced but still cute.
There was still so much we didn’t see– the canoe rides, the farmer’s market, the concert that evening. Nevertheless, it’s a great place to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon.
By the way, it’s pronounced SAX-PA-HAW.
So, what are your favorite small towns to visit?