The Deep River Park Association is holding a first-of-its-kind event in an effort to clean up areas along the Deep River at Camelback Bridge.

Chatham-Lee Creek Week is begins Saturday and continues through June 26, according to Kevin Dego, a member of the association.

The event is not a fund-raiser, Dego stressed. It’s a way to provide entertainment and informative events and keep the area along the river at the Lee-Chatham line clean, he said.

“This is a private nonprofit and we receive virtually no public funding,” Dego said.

The park, at 3485 R. Jordan Road, Gulf, is in a rural area and has, on occasions, been vandalized.

Dego points to a park sign and the spot where a rock was thrown through it. Another sign is splattered with paint, having been a target for paintball shooters, he said.

A small swing set is in need of repairs and an attached climbing wall has a broken board, said Debbie Hall, Dego’s mother and an association member.

Jacob Lee, 7, put both pieces of the board in place. It looked fixed until he started climbing. He never stepped on the broken board but brushed it and it fell apart.

Dego’s daughter, Norabelle, 8, watched from a swing.

The association has the materials to make the repairs and clean as necessary, Hall said, but they need help.

“We want people to take stewardship of the park and we’re looking for manpower,” she said.

They’re hoping people will come out Saturday to help kickoff Creek Week.

The events begin at noon with the cleaning and repairs. A Blessing of the River ceremony honoring the heritage and traditions of Native Americans will be performed by Mike and Jeannie Cranford of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.

A hot dog cookout and bluegrass music provided by the Spontaneous Convergence begins at 4 p.m.

The closing activity is the telling of stories about local sightings of Bigfoot, as told by Mike Parker, whose family is known as the “first family of Bigfoot” in these parts.

Register by sending an email to with your name and shirt size. Be sure to include “Cleanup” in the subject line.

Participants will receive a free T-shirt.

A history of the Cumnock community’s early days is scheduled Monday at 7 p.m.

Cole Wicker is a graduate student at Duke University whose family has long ties to Cumnock. Wicker is researching the history of well-known sites of the areas, notably the coal-mining heritage along the Deep River and central North Carolina.

Wicker will speak at 7 p.m. at Cumnock Union Methodist Church, 851 Cumnock Road. Register to attend by emailing and put Early Days in the subject line.

Tuesday’s event is for those who enjoy creating natural art.

River Art is scheduled at 7 p.m. Those attending will create an 8-by-10 acrylic painting of a water lily, guided by retired art teacher Donna Strickland. The event will be held at Cumnock Baptist Church’s picnic shelter, 477 Cumnock Road. Cost is $25 and materials will be provided.

Register by emailing and put “Lily” in the subject line.

Jimmy Haire, whose historic knowledge of Lee County and Sanford are locally renowned, will speak Thursday at 7 p.m. at Cumnock Union Methodist Church.

Haire will share a history and stories of the area. Register by emailing with “Jimmy” in the subject line.

Enjoy a lazy morning floating down the Deep River on June 26 by making a reservation at Use the promo code “creekweek” to get a 10% discount on kayak or tube rentals.

At 2 p.m., representatives from Cape Fear River Adventures and Endor Paddler will be at the Camelback Bridge to give a kayaking demonstration. Kayak rentals may be available.