Hampdenfest brings joy to all

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“The Avenue,” 36th Street, in Hampden was packed Sept. 17 with folks enjoying Hampdenfest. Its origins go back to 2003. On Chestnut Avenue, which intersects with 36th Street, the colorful toilet races went off and running at 3 p.m.

If you’re a fan of the toilet bowl races you could buy a $4 sticker. It benefited the “Skatepark of Baltimore,” located in Roosevelt Park, just west of Falls Road at West 36th Street. The teenagers love the skatepark.

Music was in the air, too. When I was there, it was the “School of Rocks,” “Expert of Nothing,” and “Holy Fingers,” up on the “Icon Stage” at the Bank of America. The program at that venue was managed by Benn Ray, the popular co-owner of Atomic Books.



Down on the “Atomic Books Stage” (36th and Falls), and the “Chestnut Stage,” (36th St and Chestnut), there was also a full lineup of music-makers scheduled right up till closing time, at 7 p.m.

But, it wasn’t only music that entertained the festival goers. There was also some great food and drinks available, and even poetry readings to take in. On the latter agenda were the talented poets: Elizabeth Hazen, Dora Malech, Connie Scozzaro, Thea Brown, Bruce Jacobs and Rupert Wondolowski.


For some special hilarity, “A Dangerously Delicious Pie Eating Contest,” was booked. And, what a treat that was for the participants, and also especially for the younger families, with kids, watching. Plenty of belly laughs for those checking this one out.

There were many vendors present in the arts and crafts fields, along with a wide variety of other interesting merchandise for sale.

The annual fun-filled Hampdenfest is sponsored by the local merchants association and the Hampden Community Council.

Check out more photos on my Facebook page.

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