Three artists, two of them octogenarians and the other half their age, were among a group of artists sharing a booth on a cool fall Sunday afternoon at the annual Abell Street Fair
Paul Moscatt, 81, who lives in the 3100 block of Abell Avenue, where the festival was taking place, put out his flier, advertising fall and winter classes at the Paul Moscatt Studio. Paul Mintz, who lives in adjacent Charles Village, was there, too, as was Rick Santiago, 41, visiting from Roland Park.
"It's one of the quieter streets; very lovely backyards" said Moscatt, who has lived in Abell since 1968.
On this day, the street was a lot livelier, with 42 vendors and nonprofit groups, hula hoopers, jazz bands, a grilling station, an all you-could eat crab feast, face-painting and crafts for children, and a parade for families with the theme 101 Dalmations, in honor of Abell's 101st year.
"I'm surprised how many kids there are," Santiago said.
An estimated 1,000 people visited the street fair. One Abell Avenue resident took the opportunity to hold a front yard sale.
Attending the street fair was State Del. Mary Washington, former president of the Abell Improvement Association. She was promoting election-year causes including marriage equality and the re-election of President Obama. Planned Parenthood also had a table there.
Moscatt didn't mind having the immediate world on his street.
"It's something to look forward to," he said.
The festival has been a staple for decades, said Drew Walker, president of the Abell Improvement Association. He said many of the vendors and performers live in Abell and that money raised at the festival goes to the association to support activities such as a summer film series in the community open space. Much of the money also goes to nearby Barclay Elementary/Middle School as mini-grants for teachers, Walker said.
The street fair included a silent auction with donated items such as a painting of Abell by well-known neighborhood artist Robert McClintock, who donates artwork every year, Walker said. Johns Hopkins University also donates $400 to the street fair, Walker said. And he said resident Jim Anthony donates a wine and cheese party for eight people.
"For a small festival, it's amazing," Walker said.