Hey, Hampden, it's HonFest time again!
It's that time of year when 36th Street between Falls Road and Chestnut Avenue is closed to traffic for two days as tens of thousands of folks from nearby neighborhoods and counties and as far away as Canada and the UK descend upon our neighborhood while donning beehive hairdos, cats-eye glasses, tight leopard prints and feather boas.
It's that time of year when, as organizer and founder Denise Whiting puts it, we "celebrate and embrace" the heritage of working women in Baltimore.
The annual festival organized by the folks at Whiting's Cafe Hon is this Saturday, June 9 , from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, June 10, from noon to 6 p.m.
This year, the festival seems to be taking place in a more welcoming political environment, as controversy over copyrights and trademarks and merchandise limitations seems to have been resolved, in no small part due to the efforts of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and his Fox-TV show, "Kitchen Nightmares."
Which means you have no excuse to skip out on the following contests, bands and other festivities.
On Saturday, on the main stage at 900 W. 36th St., you can see the Li'l Miss Hon and Miss Honette contests, The Singing Lucies and day one of Baltimore's Best Hon contest — as well as belly dancing, The Transporters, The Landis Expandis Show, Trivia and Bawlmerese, Antonia, and the dance troupe Elecktra, among other acts.
On the Falls Road stage at 36th and Falls Road will be Brooks Long & Bad Dog No Good, 9 Mile Robots, Vital Verve, THE Rob Fahey, Whiskey Train and Pulp Fiction.
And at the Barcardi Lounge Umbrella Radio Stage at 36th and Chestnut Avenue, you can check out Richard Walton, Janice B., Paul Iwancio, Joe Spatarella, Woody Lissauer, Charlie West, Voodoo Pharmacology, Teporah, Marc Evans and goatFISH.
Then, on Sunday at The Main Stage, check out The Fabulettes, an Elvis tribute with Tommy El, The Baltimore School of Dance, Sultan's Treasures, Baltimore's Best Hon Top 10 Finalists Talent Show and the crowning of 2012's Best Hon, plus dance contests, trivia contests, more Bawlmerese, the Hypnotic Panties Band and more.
The Falls Road stage will host Whiskerfish, 8 Ohms, Uncle Jack Band and Hectic Red.
And back at the Barcardi Lounge, you can see Joe Scala, Ken Gutberlet, John Fahres, Warren Cherry, Ronnie Warner and Bruce Lily, Midway Fair and QueenEarth.
There will, of course, also be the Glamour Lounge for relaxin' and fixin' up, plus lots of food, tons of vendors and more.
If you need more information about the festival, the schedule of events and parking, check out the HonFest website at http://www.honfest.net or find them on Facebook.
What are you waiting for? Go get hon-ey. Or at least a sausage and a beer and take the opportunity to get in some excellent people-watching.