Mass wedding shows love of the Bull City

Hundreds of individuals and couples held an outdoor ceremony called "Marry Durham Day" Saturday and vowed to honor and cherish their beloved Durham.

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DURHAM, N.C. — Durham residents in love with the Bull City got to show their community pride at a mass wedding Saturday.

Hundreds of individuals and couples held an outdoor ceremony, called "Marry Durham Day," in the 700 block of Rigsbee Street. They vowed to honor and cherish their beloved Durham.

Marry Durham wedding planner May Alexander called it "a joyous celebration of civic pride."

Laurie Siegel said she fell in love with Durham after moving there from Baltimore.

"This is a marriage between a big city and a small town," Siegel said. "We can't go anywhere without seeing someone we know. It's a wonderful place to raise a family."

After the ceremony, the newlyweds celebrated with a three-hour block party.

Singer and Durham resident Justin Robinson performed. His group, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, won the 2011 Grammy for best traditional folk album.

"I have been all around the world, but I still choose to call Durham home," Robinson said.

About 70 people bought wedding packages ranging from $10 to a couple hundred dollars beforehand, and more just showed up Saturday, event spokeswoman Virginia Hill said.

The event raised money for five nonprofits: the Eno River Association, Genesis Home, Latino Community Development Center, The Scrap Exchange and Walltown Children's Theatre.

Bridges said that $10,000 had been raised earlier this week, and that total was expected to grow with donations at the event.


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