Elkton to cel­e­brate 20th Fall Fest this week­end

Cecil Whig - - BUSINESS - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

ELKTON

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— The 20th edi­tion of the town’s an­nual Fall Fest will fea­ture some new ad­di­tions as well as some old fa­vorites.

The fes­ti­val kicks off Fri­day night and con­tin­ues through Satur­day with live mu­sic, fam­ily fun ac­tiv­i­ties, arts and crafts ven­dors and plenty of con­tests for all ages.

Mary Jo Jablon­ski, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Elkton Cham­ber & Al­liance, has been in­volved with the fes­ti­val since 1998, one year af­ter it was first held. The event has grown over the years with the ad­di­tion of new ac­tiv­i­ties such as the Fire­fighter Chal­lenge and the Del­marva Dock­Dogs com­pe­ti­tion, she said.

“I just think it’s won­der­ful be­ing able to have an event that shows our town and has flour­ished ev­ery year,” she said. “We’ve been able to make it big­ger and bet­ter each year due to our spon­sors and vol­un­teers.”

This year’s fes­ti­val will start with a kick­off party from 5 to 9 p.m. Fri­day, where peo­ple can browse clas­sic cars lined up on Main Street. The Real Di­a­mond, a Neil Di­a­mond trib­ute band, will also play from 6 to 8 p.m. on the North Street stage. Then, bright and early at 6 a.m. Satur­day, ven­dors, artists and crafters will set up on Main and North streets and be open for busi­ness at 8 a.m.

New ad­di­tions to this year’s event are an in­crease in the num­ber of high­lighted bands, a Fall Fun Faire and an Artist’s Al­ley.

The high­lighted bands are The Real Di­a­mond; The Blues Broth­er­hood, a Blues Broth­ers trib­ute band; and the Robert Eric’s Trib­ute to the Pi­ano Man, a Billy Joel trib­ute band. The Blues Broth­er­hood will play from 4 to 6 p.m. Satur­day and the Robert Eric’s Trib­ute to the Pi­ano Man will close out the fest, play­ing from 6 to 8 p.m. Mem­bers of Bob­bie Anne’s Dance Stu­dio per­form at Elkton’s Fall Fest last year. This year’s fes­ti­val kicks off Fri­day night and goes into Satur­day.

Both the Neil Di­a­mond and Blues Broth­ers trib­ute bands are back by pop­u­lar de­mand, Jablon­ski said, not­ing that many peo­ple asked for them to be brought back to the fes­ti­val.

Also new this year is a Fall Fun Faire, which will in­clude face paint­ing, pump­kin paint­ing, corn­hole, a bas­ket­ball re­lay, a dunk­ing booth and tem­po­rary tat­toos, among other ac­tiv­i­ties. The fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the mu­nic­i­pal park­ing lot at Howard and Bow streets and will be hosted by Project Pur­pose, an or­ga­ni­za­tion which serves the county and sur­round­ing ar­eas to help young men and women em­brace their po­ten­tial and power to ful­fill their pur­pose. Funds raised from the fair will ben­e­fit the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s Project Prom, which pro­vides free prom re­sources to teens in need.

Fes­ti­val at­ten­dees can also check out the Artist’s Al­ley, which in­cludes more than five artists pre­sent­ing their fine art and ju­rors will choose their fa­vorite pieces with the win­ner re­ceiv­ing prizes, Jablon­ski said. The idea grew out of the post­poned Down­town Elkton Fes­ti­val of the Arts.

A va­ri­ety of other ac­tiv­i­ties are also sched­uled for the fes­ti­val in­clud­ing the Ce­cil 500 Push Cart Derby on North Street, which starts at 9:30 a.m., and the Pretty Baby Con­test, which starts at 10 a.m. Par­ents can sign up their chil­dren, who are 3 years old or younger, for $5 from 9 to 9:45 a.m. the day of the event.

Jablon­ski said the Pretty Baby Con­test is one of the most pop­u­lar con­tests, with more than 100 babies par­tic­i­pat­ing in the event in years past.

Among the nu­mer­ous per­for­mances, Bob­bie Ann’s Dance Stu­dio will hold a per­for­mance start­ing at 11 a.m. at the North Street Stage.

Elkton’s Voice, a singing com­pe­ti­tion, is also slated to come back this sea­son. For the con­test, 15 peo­ple will com­pete for a grand prize of $200 with sec­ond and third place win­ners re­ceiv­ing tro­phies. Peo­ple must sign up in ad­vance with an en­try fee of $15.

The com­pe­ti­tion is slated to be­gin at 1 p.m. and end at 3 p.m.

Jes­sica Price, ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant with the cham­ber, said she is ex­cited for the singing com­pe­ti­tion be­cause all of the singing ta­lent in the town.

“I’m al­ways shocked with the Voice of Elkton,” Price said.

For those in­ter­ested in the food, a va­ri­ety of ven­dors will be on hand, in­clud­ing BnB Seafood and Walt’s Tav­ern, among oth­ers.

“They can get ev­ery­thing from a hot dog to a Mary­land blue crab and ev­ery­thing in be­tween,” Jablon­ski said.

Main Street at Bow Street will close at 3 p.m. Fri­day and will re­mained closed un­til Satur­day night. North Street near the North Street Ho­tel will close at noon and North Street at High Street will close at 6 a.m. Satur­day morn­ing.

Street park­ing is avail­able on the streets which are not closed, as well as the mu­nic­i­pal park­ing at the Farmer’s Mar­ket area, Elkton Court­house park­ing lots and Union Hos­pi­tal’s park­ing garage.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the event, visit elk­ton­fallfest.com.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHO­TOS

A con­tes­tant shows off her child dur­ing Elkton’s “Pret­ti­est Baby” com­pe­ti­tion at the 2013 Fall Fest.

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