Community Sparkle at Hampden Highlights

Community Sparkle at Hampden Highlights

After months of consecutive rainy weekends, the skies finally cleared and Baltimore was gifted a beautiful day for the Hampden Highlights Festival. On June 1, 2024, the Avenue sparkled in the sunshine as vendor tents began popping up. I joined the day as a local artist with my own booth to showcase and sell prints of my artwork -- my own pop-up gallery. The festival, brimming with food, music, art, and flowers, was a wonderful celebration of community and creativity.

As I set up my booth in the morning, I could feel the energy building. Vendors moving in with their wares. The festival organizers rearranging booth assignments on the fly. Musicians on stage testing sound equipment. The hot dog man practicing his call, "Get your hot dogs here! Hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn! Just kidding, no popcorn! No peanuts!"

My booth was nestled among other local artists and vendors, each displaying their unique creations. There were intricate jewelry pieces, handmade crafts, stunning paintings, and beautiful plants and flowers. The array of artistic expression was truly inspiring. I enjoyed meeting other artists and entrepreneurs and learning about their projects.

Throughout the day, many folks stopped by my booth to look at and buy my prints. It is truly rewarding to see people connect with my art. Each piece I create has a story, and seeing my art spark stories in others puts a smile on my face. Some people shared their stories. One woman who bought Aztec Butterfly, told me that her mother used to call her "Little Butterfly."  

Another highlight for me was when a local sculptor of national repute visited my booth with his wife. They bought a dictionary page art print, Appalachian Sunset B'more Styleto send to their child who lives on the West Coast. Knowing that a renowned artist appreciated my work and wanted to share it with their family was deeply validating. I love that a little bit of Baltimore is going to live out West.

The festival wasn’t just about art, of course. The music added a vibrant soundtrack to the day, with local bands playing everything from bluegrass to rock. People were dancing right up to the closing bell. Food vendors offered a delightful array of options, from classic festival treats to gourmet dishes and international cuisine. There was something for every palate, and of course, adult beverages.

Plants and flowers added a splash of natural beauty to the festival. Stalls bursting with colorful blooms and greenery were scattered throughout the area, creating a picturesque setting. The ceramics on sale were stunning. Baltimore has quite a vibrant community of ceramicists. Many visitors left with potted plants and bouquets, adding a touch of the festival’s charm to their homes.

Our District City Council Member, Odette Ramos, was on the scene. I had a chance to talk politics, express my concerns, and learn more about important issues for the City before she went off to support the mission-driven non-profits and community groups with booths sprinkled throughout the festival.

By the end of the day, I was tired but really pleased. I'm new to the street festival scene and I must say, the Hampden Highlights Festival was a success in every sense. It provided a platform for local artists to showcase our work, brought joy to countless attendees, and strengthened the sense of community in Baltimore. It was a vibrant illustration of the diversity of our City. It's no surprise that people love it here.

One visitor to my booth said that although she wasn't from Baltimore originally, she's been living here for 15 years. "Baltimore has a way of holding on to you."

I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of such a wonderful event. Thank you to everyone who stopped by my booth, shared their stories, and supported my work. I look forward to many more festivals and sunny days ahead.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.