Hampdenfest is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on "The Avenue," W. 36th Street. To see a full schedule of the day's events, visit www.hampdenfest.com.
While Honfest was a chance to rock the beehive 'do and the retro shades, Hampdenfest returns The Avenue to modern times with a variety of bands, vendors, artistic performances, food and drink. There is no entrance fee, and luckily for Hopkins students, Hampden is only about a 10-minute walk west of campus.
Hampdenfest has grown from its humble beginnings to include an arts festival that draws crowds from all over Baltimore and its suburbs to W. 36th St., affectionately known as "The Avenue." The scene is decidedly eclectic, a diverse amalgamation of Baltimoreans coming together for a day of fun and celebration.
This year's festival will have three stages, featuring performances in music and the arts, as well as four blocks of funky arts and craft vendors. Hampden's many antique stores will be showing off their wares, so it's the perfect time to pick up some vintage books, records or even furniture. The event will feature wares from several charming local stores such as the specialty bookstore Atomic Books, the craft shop Mud and Metal and Oh! Said Rose, a clothing shop that features lines by Baltimore fashion designers.
In addition to the Hampden shops we know and love, artists and vendors participating in the day's activities will be both selling and displaying their works. Whether you're looking for a new handbag, handmade jewelry, candles or art there will be something for everyone. The "Indie Craft Tent" will feature local artists who will be selling their work at a range of prices for all budgets.
No street festival is complete without food, and Hampdenfest is no exception. A spread of Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay's best cuisine will be available, featuring pit beef, crab cakes, falafel, funnel cakes, Indian food, Greek cuisine and baked goods. The beer also flows steadily at Hampdenfest - Brewer's Art, a popular brewery and restaurant in Mount Vernon, is supplying the beer for the afternoon with several outdoor stands stationed up and down The Avenue. But Hampdenfest is a bit more on the mellow side, as street festivals go. The crowd is pretty pleasant, and you probably won't see anyone puking in the streets or getting into fistfights.
Both locally and nationally known bands will be performing on three stages on W. 36th St. The lineup includes Baltimore's own girl garage-rock group the Degenerettes, the Lexie Mountain Boys, Ed Schrader, pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn, the Oranges, Secret Crush Society, the Tritons and many more. If none of those names sound familiar, the music for the day will be a mix of rock, folk, punk and acoustic bands. And if you've ever sat at home watching American Idol, wishing that it could be you up on stage, Hampden Idol is the place for you. At 4:00 p.m., Hampden's own residents can show all of Baltimore that they deserve to hold the title of "Hampden Idol." Last year's event was the centerpiece of the festival, and the contestants' performances got just about everyone up and dancing.
Hampdenfest is the perfect opportunity to spend a fleeting, late-summer afternoon outside with your friends and neighbors - shopping, chowing down, imbibing and perhaps even dancing in the streets.