The weather outlook for Saturday appeared to be rainy, cold and glum for most, especially for those that happened to be driving in and out of Raleigh. However, that did not stop hundreds of people from all over the city and Wake County from preparing for and attending the “Hillsborough Street Renaissance,” a green or environment friendly arts and music festival.
Hillsbourough street, one of the busiest streets in Raleigh, was shut down for an entire day for the first time in over 200 years. Several local bands, vendors from nearby businesses and activities for all ages were present for the street festival.
Over 400 volunteers from all over Wake County, including N.C. State, Meredith, and Peace colleges, helped out in setting up the event. Some of the local venues were also sponsors for the event. Some included, but were not limited to the campus Union Activities Board, Two Guys Restaurant’s Mobile Catering, NCSU Fashion Week, BB&T. Students didn’t just volunteer with setting up the vendors, clean-up and running the entire event with ease. The university chapter of Alpha Tau Omega sponsored a Pig-N-Pie contest and shoe drive, while the student organization Engineers without Borders took part in showcasing alternative fuel vehicles featuring biodiesel, electric, hybrid, even and solar-powered vehicular systems.
Some of the main attractions of the Hillsborough Street Renaissance involved the promotion of organic food. The “Organic Iron Chef Cook-Off” featured chefs representing several restaurants in Raleigh, including Porter’s on Hillsborough Street and Sushi Thai. The food made in each round by the chefs involved created positive responses from many of the attendees who passed by.
Breguita Rogers, a senior attending Meredith College, helped volunteer for the Iron Chef competition.
“I thought that the winner (Dan) had more flavor than the other chef, John [of Porter's]. The chocolate covered bacon was a big hit.”
EarthFare was another big hit with others, especially with N.C, State students. EarthFare is a wholefoods market located in the Briar Creek section of Raleigh that sells and distributes mostly organic food and produce. The market gave samples of organic tomato soup and apple cider from the stand, which served as both a healthy snack and a way to warm up for many of those in attendance.
“Everybody seemed to be really happy about it,” said Rory Pavalones, an employee of EarthFare. ”I’m amazed about how educated the students are about being eco-friendly and bettering themselves.”
Another of the main attractions involved environmentally friendly fashion. Coordinated by MorLove; American Vintage Clothing and Classics; and Triangle Green Builders, “ReDress Raleigh” featured fashion designs made from previously recycled material and, in turn, made eco-friendly yet unique clothing.
Ashley Tucker, a junior in textile and apparel management, was one of 20 designers whose worked was profiled in the fashion show.
“I’m so happy that people came out to see us and the fact that we had 200 people come out to support us,” she said. ”I think everyone did amazing. We’re all so different and so creative. I can only imagine what it is going to be like next year.”
The proceeds for the event will go towards several non-profit community service programs throughout Wake County that specialize in renewable energy research and sustainable development. According to the festival’s web site, the following charities will receive a portion of the proceeds: Engineers without Borders, MorLove, and Soles4Souls.