By Cameron Johnson, Multimedia Editor
The brothers of Kappa Sigma were standing around the grill, flipping burgers and cooking dogs. But there was much more going on than fraternity men giving their time to feed the community. This was Durham Day, an event celebrating the people of this town and its long history. Assisting them were important members of the town government, including Town Administrator Todd Selig and Town Councilman Dave Howard, and together they were providing nourishment for hundreds of Durham residents.
“This is our second time working for Durham Parks and Rec.,” Philanthropy Chairman for Kappa Sigma João Carreiro said. “Today, basically we came out an hour before the starting time and we helped set up. We have a group of guys that are handling the parking situation, [and] our guys are grilling.”
The event is held at Wagon Hill Farm in a field adjacent to Great Bay. Venders lined up along the edge of the field: everything from boating to clam shucking. A group of boys were kicking around a giant soccer ball in one corner of the field, while their parents took one of the 15-minute kayak tours across Great Bay. Two giant rows of tables ran down the center of the field with people feasting on their grilled delights.
The Jeannie Daniels Band played through out the afternoon, touching on classic hits like “Day Tripper” by The Beatles and even some more modern songs like “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.
There was also UNH faculty present: Krystin Ward and Dr. Raymond Grizzle, both owners of different oyster farms in New Hampshire, were showing off examples of both wild and farmed oysters. They both enjoyed coming and working the event.
“There’s always a steady flow [of people] for three or four hours, and we get to advertise the work we do for the university,” Grizzle said.
“Durham Day is really a celebration of everything Durham; it’s a collaboration of a lot of different community members,” Parks and Recreation Director Stefanie Frazee said. “It’s an opportunity for our townspeople, our town’s councilors, our different committees and commissions to get together and interact with the community — in my opinion — in one of the most beautiful locations in the town of Durham.”
Two local businesses, Wildcat Fitness and New Hampshire Federal Credit Union, made their first appearance at Durham Day this year.
“We have trivia and financial fitness, which is one of our main campaigns right now and we teamed up with Wildcat Fitness,” Marketing Specialist for NH Federal CU Courtney Murabito said.
Many Durham residents stopped by as a way to socialize with friends and neighbors they might not see as often.
“[My favorite part about Durham Day is] seeing people; just chatted with some neighbors, a guy in line was telling me about Lamprey River where you can go kayaking, and I didn’t know that so now I have a brochure telling me how to get there and where to get in,” Durham resident Bruce Campbell said.
Overall, people seem to agree that Durham Day helps build a strong community, both for residents of Durham and the students who come from UNH.
“I really like the atmosphere that the people from the town bring [to Durham Day]. It’s cool to get a student org that works for the town. Part of what makes Durham what it is [are], you know, the people in it,” Carreiro said.