The Laurel Board of Trade's annual Riverfest offers a harvest of reasons to enjoy the best of autumn and discover Laurel's secret treasure: Riverfront Park.
Winding through the woods on the banks of the Patuxent River, just one block north of Main Street, Riverfront Park offers a paved walkway from C Street to the Laurel Museum at Ninth and Main, and beyond.
Riverfront Park comes alive for Riverfest this Sunday, Oct. 7, from noon to 5 p.m., with live music beginning at 11 a.m. In addition to arts and crafts vendors and booths from community groups lining the park's walkway, the fest includes live music, theatrical productions and poetry readings on four stages scattered throughout the park.
A hayride will run from Avondale Street through the woods to the Laurel Museum, and riders will be treatetd to banjo playing by Marvin Rogers of the Laurel Mill Playhouse.
Children can enjoy interactive displays created by Carlos Garcia of the Center for Arts and Media, and Marilyn Johnson's Sewing and Creative Fabrics Studio.
At the Laurel Museum, volunteers from the Laurel Historical Society will offer hands-on fun for kids, who can explore old-fashioned toys, 1800s kitchen props and coloring projects. Kids can also pick up a Riverfest map contest packet to help design a map for next year's fest.
Little Patuxent stage: Alan Scott Band, Cloud 9, the Merrylanders and Divine Wind
Main Street stage: Jazz musician Tom Reyes
Scarecrow Hollow stage: Spoken word artists Abby Bardi, David Ebenbach, Melanie Hatter and others, hosted by Sid Gold and Fernando Quinjano
Riverbend stage: Venus Theatre production of "Molly Daughter" (PG-13), 1:15 p.m., and Molotov Theatre presents "The Thing with Feathers" (PG-13), 2:15 p.m.
Riverfest 5k run, 2 mile walk
The day gets started with the ninth annual First Generation College Bound Riverfest 5k run and two mile walk to benefit the Laurel nonprofit that helps low to moderate-income high school students prepare for college. Registration begins at 7:45 a.m., and the race begins at 9 a.m., on the corner of Avondale and Main streets. The course winds through Laurel's historic district, and prizes will be awarded to the top man and woman in each age group.
All participants receive a race T-shirt, and age-division winners receive an athletic long-sleeved shirt. Water, bagels and fruit will be offered after the race.
Registration fee is $25 for either the 5k race or two mile walk. Register in advance at http://www.fgcb.org or active.com. Pre-registered runners can pick up bibs and T-shirts Saturday, Oct. 6, from 1 to 5 p.m., at Modell's in Laurel Lakes shopping center.