Frederick’s In the Street Festival 2014

A+sign+advertises+Frederick%27s+In+the+Street+Festival.+

Anusha Patel

A sign advertises Frederick’s In the Street Festival.

Emily McDonald

On Saturday, September 14, 2013, 50,000 people flocked to Market Street to celebrate an event that has become an annual occurrence – Frederick’s In the Street Festival.

Started in 1983 by Mayor Ron Young, the festival began as a ceremony to recognize the re-opening of Market Street after major renovations had had it closed for months. But In the Street has since grown into a cherished tradition.

This year, Market Street was split up into separate sections, or “blocks” to categorize the stands displayed there.

The Creekside Market is the first section most visitors see, where one can buy items such as crafts and homemade jewelry.

The Sports Block features stunts and routines by local gymnastic companies, a rock wall, and an appearance by the Frederick Keys, our city’s baseball team.

Aerial acrobatics and martial arts demonstrations can be found in the Rock Block, while the Kids Block includes face painting, and a chance to see animals from a local petting zoo, and games.

Sections such as the Art, Health, History, Public Safety, and Going Green blocks are also available for people to browse. Live entertainment and food is a part of almost every section.

  In the Street begins with the Market Street Mile at 8:45 a.m. Designed for people of all ages, this is a one-mile race through the celebrated part of the city.

People arrive for the festivities at around 11:00. Tents and scattered trees protect everyone from the beating sun. On either side of the road there are rows of tables, each uniquely decorated and manned by employees who are explaining their product or handing out flyers to anyone who stops by. Music is blaring from stereos set up by radio stations who showed up, or from the bands performing a little further down. There is no end to things to do or see.

People showed up at In the Street for many reasons. Ashlea Farinholt, who was at the festival with the Frederick School of Cosmetology, said, “I like all the stands and participating in part of it. I like the music and meeting a lot of people.” Others had similar views.

“I am a local, so it’s getting together and seeing the whole community as a unit. It’s just a good time. You get to see some of the new and upcoming businesses in Frederick,” said Paul Spence of Pella, a window replacement company.

Leslie McIntosh, who works with the American Red Cross, has been attending In the Street for a long time, but this was her first time working there. She was very excited about the festival.

Stretching across nine blocks of Downtown Frederick, In the Street is not something easily planned or prepared. Each year, over 400 volunteers work to make the event happen. On top of that, each individual stand owner has to set up their own booth and come up with interesting games or products that will make them stand out in such a large crowd. “We decorate, get flyers together, and hand out balloons,” said Farinholt. Others handed out free samples, or brought demonstrations, such as the ambulance walk-throughs you could find in the Public Safety Bock, or the food being prepared by local restaurants at their stands.

  In the Street has a different meaning to a lot of us, but there is one thing everyone can agree on – the festival is an important part of Frederick County culture and always a fun experience.