ORRUM — Anyone looking for a reason to get outdoors this weekend need only to follow the river up to Princess Ann Road, where the Lumber River State Park will celebrate Lumber River Day.
The annual celebration began three years ago after the river was named one of the top 10 natural wonders in North Carolina by Land for Tomorrow, an alliance of environmental advocacy groups. Everett Davis, member of the Lumber River State Park’s Citizens Advisory Committee, said it’s an opportunity for visitors to take advantage of the scenic natural resource.
“It’s just a day of fun at park,” he said.
The day of fun, which will take place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2819 Princess Ann Road, will feature free activities like canoe rides and races, booths and exhibits, a fishing contest for children, a casting contest, a wet T-shirt race, as well as an antique tractor parade and live entertainment.
“The activities primarily focus on children,” Davis said, “but we include everybody.”
Visitors will have an opportunity to enjoy live entertainment provided by Jim Caulder and the Bluegrass Misfits, as well as different native dance and drum troupes. River Way Outdoor Adventure and Education Center will conduct a native medicinal plants lecture and walk, and the Lumber River Wildlife Action group will provide information on native animals.
Families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnics and take advantage of the shade cast by the cypress-lined river. Vendors will be selling snacks like hot dogs, sandwiches and ice cream, along with crafts like American Indian jewelry.
The event, which has increased in size each year, boasted more than 1,000 visitors last year and Davis expects close to 1,500 this year.
“The purpose of the event is to help people better understand and appreciate the Lumber River as a natural resource in Robeson County,” Davis said.
The forecast for Saturday is a high of about 88 degrees, with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms.