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Community comes together for festival

This year, visitors to the annual Reisterstown Festival will have the opportunity to participate in some new events thanks to partnerships made between the festival committee and other community organizations.
In addition to the live music, parade, beer garden and fireworks that are festival staples, this year, people will be able to visit the new motorcycle show put on by the American Legion Riders, Post 116, and participate in a pinewood derby race put on by the Boy Scouts of America, Baltimore Area Council. The Reisterstown Festival will take place at Hannah More Park, 12035 Reisterstown Road, Sept. 7-8.
Sherri Brogan, publicity coordinator for the festival, said she is ecstatic about the number of partnerships the festival coordinators have been able to make this year, and that they are always looking to increase the amount of community involvement.
"Honestly, the more the community gets involved with the festival, the more it helps us grow," Brogan said. "This is a way to get neighbors out in the community and talking to each other."
The motorcycle show will take place Saturday, with registration occurring immediately after the parade at 9 a.m. There is a $10 fee to register a motorcycle for the show, with proceeds supporting the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund, established for the children of servicemen and women. The annual car show will still take place on Sunday.
The pinewood derby will start at noon on Saturday. The Baltimore Area Council Boy Scouts of America will be bringing stock cars so that visitors without their own derby cars can still participate in the race.
In addition to the events directly sponsored by the festival, other community organizations have utilized the opportunity to create an event-filled weekend in Reisterstown.
When one of the weekend Music on Main Street events was rained out, Glenn Barnes of the Reisterstown Improvement Association and Main Street Maryland committee said they had to decide when they wanted to reschedule the band. The first open day was Sept. 6, the day before the start of the festival.
Barnes said he decided to speak to the festival committee, because he didn't want to seem like he was trying to impede or one-up the Reisterstown Festival, which has been held annually since 1986. He said the committee members were excited about the possibility of creating a full three-day weekend of live music and events in Reisterstown.
"I couldn't have thought of a better way to get people out to the festival than by telling them we have free music all weekend long," Brogan said.
Though the final night of Music on Main Street, taking place Friday nights in front of Franklin Middle School, is not affiliated with the Reisterstown Festival, Barnes said it is going to act as an unofficial kick-off for the event on Saturday and Sunday. He said they plan to publicize the festival in between songs at the event.
Amy Mantay, acting town manager with the Reisterstown Main Street Committee, said the weekend is a good opportunity for cross-promotion between the festival and Main Street. She said they are looking to kick-off their "Fall in Love with Reisterstown" seasonal promotion the weekend of the Reisterstown Festival.
"I think from the Main Street point of view, this festival is going to be a great opportunity," Mantay said. "The event is right near Main Street and the parade is on Main Street; this is a chance to get the businesses involved and help promote Main Street."
Mark Hemler, parade chairman for the festival, said the parade, featuring over 80 community groups and businesses, helps get the word out about Reisterstown organizations.
"It's the one time that you've got the whole community out in one spot," Hemler said. "It's a way for the public too see all of these groups that work out in the community."

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