Es­sex Day 2018 pushes mes­sages of com­mu­nity, change, and growth

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

For the months lead­ing up to the 43rd year of the Es­sex Day Fes­ti­val, or­ga­niz­ers had ex­cit­edly promised the event would be new and im­proved and big­ger and bet­ter than ever.

They were proven cor­rect as the 400-500 blocks of Eastern Blvd. were filled with res­i­dents, mu­sic, food, ven­dors, rides, and more on the sunny af­ter­noon of Sept. 22.

Sev­eral changes con­trib­uted to the suc­cess, such as mov­ing the event to a Satur­day, adding a new mu­si­cal stage with head­lin­ers pro­vided by Star­leigh En­ter­tain­ment, and new at­trac­tions such as a beer gar­den and a Kid’s Zone.

“We’re here for one rea- son- to cel­e­brate Es­sex,” said U.S. Rep. C. A. Dutch Rup­pers­berger (D-2) dur- ing the open­ing cer­e­monies. “If you look at our coun­try, and you look at what makes a dif­fer­ence, it’s com­ing to­gether as cit­i­zens. Es­sex is clearly what Amer­ica is about- fam­ily val­ues, pa­tri­o­tism, hard work, that’s what it’s about.”

The of­fi­cials made note that the event wouldn’t have

been pos­si­ble with months of work and plan­ning from or­ga­niz­ers and vol­un­teers.

“It takes hard work and la­bor to get this all to­gether and there’s a hand­ful of peo­ple that should be rec­og­nized for get­ting this stuff as it is, so many blocks of peo­ple and ven­dors,” said State Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R6).

Res­i­dent and “Bal­ti­more Bari­tone” Joe DiCara was rec­og­nized for his par­tic­i­pa­tion ev­ery Es­sex Day event for 43 years.

DiCara said the event was about in­di­vid­u­als, but how ev­ery­one worked as a team. He told the au­di­ence to look into the crowd for the vol­un­teers wear­ing the bright red shirts.

“When you see them, thank them for do­ing this. There’s a lot that goes on be­hind the scenes and it just doesn’t hap­pen like magic.”

Many speak­ers also voiced the sen­ti­ment that Es­sex Day rep­re­sents a new era of growth, ad­vance­ment, and im­prove­ment for the com­mu­nity.

“I be­lieve Es­sex is on the up-move,” said Del. Bob Long (R-6). “I see things hap­pen­ing around here and it’s an honor to be down here.”

The event was ded­i­cated to four peo­ple who had passed away this year that had left a mark on the Es­sex com­mu­nity. Au­thor and ac­tivist Anna Re­nault, for­mer Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz, Ofc. Amy Caprio, and com­mu­nity or­ga­nizer Geroge Wil­banks were all rep­re­sented by a black chair with a white rose at the base of the main stage.

Salling gave spe­cial recog­ni­tion to Wil­banks say­ing he was “in­stru­men­tal in run­ning the Es­sex Day fes­ti­val for many, many years.”

He pre­sented a ci­ta­tion from the Mary­land Gen­eral Assem­bly to his fam­ily.

“Ge­orge was a great fig­ure of the com­mu­nity and his mem­ory still lives on,” said Salling.

The event fea­tured mu­si­cal per­for­mances by lo­cal fa­vorites such as Red Dirt Revo­lu­tion and Dean Craw­ford, a record list of ven­dors and new at­trac­tions on ev­ery street corner, bring­ing out peo­ple from all over the County to ex­pe­ri­ence what sets Es­sex apart.

Although of­fi­cial at­ten­dance num­bers are not yet in, Es­sex Day 2018 was markedly a suc­cess and will only grow and im­prove in the up­com­ing years, said its or­ga­niz­ers.

For more pho­tos of the event, visit www.av­enu­e­news.com.

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