Hertford’s Indian Summer Festival

As you drive into historic Hertford, North Carolina over the “S” Swing Bridge (the only Sshaped
swing bridge still in use in the United States), past the turtles enjoying the sun on a bit of
old tree projecting out of the Perquimans River – the famous Hertford Turtle Log, over 100 years
old – and down Church Street, lined with beautiful old houses dating from the 18 th , 19 th and
early 20 th century, you will begin to hear the music from the band set up on the Perquimans
County Courthouse lawn. If it’s Friday night, there’s a street dance going on! Vendors are offering
food, drink and goods for sale, antique cars are lined up with proud owners discussing their finer
points with passers-by and, on Saturday, children are romping on a variety of inflatable
wonderlands. It’s Hertford’s Indian Summer Festival!
This year is the 35 th year that Hertford has thrown this celebration that attracts folks from
all over Perquimans and the surrounding counties. Originally an October event celebrating the
long southern summer stretching into what most of the county would think of as the fall, it has
since been moved into early September. Does the name also refer to the long, storied history of
the cordial relationship between the people of Perquimans County and the original Native
Americans inhabitants? Hertford is the site of the oldest recorded land deed: the land was
purchased from the Yeopim Tribe by George Durant in 1661, the first time that a European
bought land from the Native Americans. Legend has it that Kilcokonen, leader of the Yeopim
Tribe and signer of the land deed is buried close to the corner of Grubb Street and Church Street
in downtown Hertford. Native Americans still participate in the Festival each year.
This year, DJ Cowboy and The Main Event Band will be on stage in front of the County
Courthouse, filling downtown Hertford with music and celebration. Multiple food vendors and
the popular Beer & Wine Garden will offer refreshments to visitors. The Wheeled Vehicle
Show – not just a car show – will offer awards to cars, trucks & motorcycles in multiple categories,
including most radical, farthest traveled and most original. In addition, the Coast Guard
will demonstrate water rescue techniques in the Perquimans River. You’ll want to stop by
Woodard’s Pharmacy at the corner of Church & Market for ice cream from the fountain in the back.

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