Just over the county line in Reisterstown, when neighbors get together for the 32nd annual Reisterstown Festival, the goal is to add one more weekend on the end of summer.
“It allows people to see their neighbors going down main street in the parade, see their neighbors listening to the music. ... It really is all about community” Festival Chairperson Sherri Brogan said.
The free, two-day festival stretches over Saturday and Sunday Sept. 8-9 with live music throughout both days.
Activities begin bright and early Saturday at 9 a.m. with the parade through Main Street. Several marching bands including the Stevenson University Marching Band will play, and because the parade is free to enter, many community groups will walk.
To accommodate the parade, Main Street will be closed from 8:30 to around 10:30 a.m.
The festival features three areas, including an outdoor stage where live music will play all day. Entertainment includes local acts that have played for years and some new faces traveling from as far as Nashville. Brogan said the music committee tries to represent many genres when booking acts.
The Family Fun Area will host several entertainment acts, and is not reserved only for children. Eric Energy, Science Guy will offer a hands-on, kid-centered programs led by a “wacky scientist.” Other events include martial arts demonstrations, performances by local dance companies, pony rides and more.
Old Bay Circus Company will perform shows during both Saturday and Sunday. In previous years, the petting zoo has been a favorite for people of all ages, Brogan said.
New to the event this year are helicopter rides with Charm City Helicopters, weather permitting. There will also be a zip-line open to both children and adults. The military area in the Family Fun Area will have all new vehicles for guests to interact with.
Saturday concludes with headliners Jah Works playing the stage 8-10 p.m. and fireworks beginning at approximately 8:45.
The International Beer Garden, which will also offer wine and froze drinks is situated for an up-close view of the fireworks field, and Brogan said watching fireworks with a beverage and the sounds of reggae will be a popular way to end the evening.
Sunday at 11 a.m., the The Naptown Brass Band will begin the day in New Orleans style, marching from the Family Fun Area to the stage and inviting guests to join them as the second line, in the style of large New Orleans funerals, weddings and celebrations.
Classic car enthusiasts and collectors will be catered to by Sunday’s car show, also beginning at 11 a.m..
The festival continues until 5 p.m. Sunday with more live music, vendors, food and activities.
"We are always trying to add new and different things as we change with the times, while we keep that family-friendly atmosphere," Brogan said. "It doesn’t matter if you are 3 or 103, you will find something."
She thanked the local business community for supporting the festival “in great fashion” and the festival committee team for putting in long hours that allow the festival to continue to be free of admission.
The festival is located at Hannah More Park, with entrance at Hannah More School, 12035 Reisterstown Road, Reisterstown. A free shuttle bus will be available between parking and the festival site and and between festival locations.