Bel Air to celebrate the arts for 47th year

Shamrock Park, for the 47th straight year, will again be turned into Bel Air's celebration of all things creative, as the annual Bel Air Festival for the Arts descends upon the town this Sunday.

Besides the typical gathering of about 350 artists, photographers and crafters from around the region, this year's event will feature some new offerings for art lovers.

Orion Nelson will be making dragon-style caricature drawings, Linda Jacobson will exhibit her "leaf castings," Marti Andress will display torch-blown glass beads and glass animals and Mike Credig is offering "unique wooden beach tables."

Also new this year will be a baby changing and nursing station, offered by Greater Harford Moms in the lower portion of the field near the playground.

Admission is free to the event, which has been part of Bel Air Parks and Recreation since 1965 and is the department's largest fundraiser.

All residents are welcome to the park, on Hickory Avenue behind Bel Air Town Hall, from about 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Continuous live entertainment will entertain attendees from the band shell, as well as a local magician, Don Martin, and mime Michael Horne.

The Harford Ballet will perform at 9:30 a.m., Bay City Seven at 10 a.m., Ryan-Kilcoyne Irish dancing at 11:10 a.m., Applause at 11:40 a.m., Sounding Brass at 12 p.m., Upper Chesapeake Chorus at 1 p.m., Chuck Baker Orchestra at 2 p.m., Silver Eagle Cloggers at 3:15 p.m. and Bel Air Community Band at 4 p.m.

Diane Lyn, of 101.9 Lite FM, will welcome visitors from 2 to 4 p.m. near the playground area.

Stephanie Chervenkov, Bel Air resident and Miss Teen Maryland, will sign autographs at the information booth.

The festival will feature an array of food, including crab cakes and pit beef, with money from the concessions going toward various youth and adult programs for parks and recreation.

This year, money from the festival helped buy new basketball equipment at Bel Air Middle School and pay for custodial support for many programs.

Visitors can catch a free shuttle bus to the festival site from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., which will run continuously from the MVA parking lot on Route 24 at West MacPhail Road.

Parking will also be available all day at the Bel Air Parking Garage on Hickory Avenue for a donation of $2 to the Bel Air Police Auxiliary.

The event is, as always, rain or shine.

For more information, go to or call 410-836-2395.

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