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The Greyhound

Baltimore welcomes Hampdenfest, Fells Fest

Every September, the area of Baltimore known as Hampden is home to thearts and community festivalHampdenfest. Created as a community day by the Hampden Village Merchants Association and the Hampden Community Council, Hampdenfest has grown each year and now draws crowds from all over Baltimore County to enjoy what the area has to offer. Hampdenfest brings together food, music, shops, art and the community for a day of fun and entertainment.

Hampden is enclosed by Wyman Park and Roland Park. Not far from Loyola’s campus, Hampden is the hipster’s haven of Baltimore. Everything about Hampden is special. From antique shops to tattoo parlors to vegan cafes, Hampden has little pieces of unique character and charm that every city desires.

This year, on Saturday September 20, the sun was out and Hampdenfest was in full swing.

Food is always a major part of Hampdenfest because Hampden is home to an array of tasty and unique restaurants. From Holy Frijoles to Café Hon to the Charmery, Hampden knows what good food is. Hampdenfest always brings out the comfort food associated with street fairs and carnivals, like turkey legs or funnel cakes. However, this year they had multiple food trucks parked all along West 36th street, or as they call it, “The Avenue”. My roommate bought a fish taco from the Gypsy Queen food truck, another friend got a Philly cheese steak, and I got a falafel. From locally grown and locally prepared food vendors, to good old street fair food, Hampdenfest had it all.

Music is another artistic outlet that Hampdenfest showcases. This year, there were three large stages set up along 36th street. and local bands came out to play for the crowds. The lineup (to name only a few) included Sweepstakes, Judge Metal, Rosemary Stretch, Small Apartments, and The Idle Gossip. Because there were so many bands, there were also many different genres of music performed. From rock, to jazz, to reggae, there was sure to be something that everyone enjoyed.

Loyola always has a presence at Hampdenfest, and this year was no exception. As soon as I got out of the car, I heard “Shake It Off” by Florence and The Machine blasting from the WLOY tent. Throughout the day, WLOY was playing music and entertaining the crowd. From current hits to oldies like Hall & Oates “You Make My Dreams,” WLOY was spinning tunes all day, and kept the crowd dancing.

Hampden offers Baltimore a sense of community. All the shops were open and local craftsman were outside selling their goods. The best part is walking around and gazing in awe of all the beautifully handcrafted jewelry, knick-knacks, and art made by Baltimore locals. One of my favorites is NattyPoe. NattyPoe is a store right on 36th street that sells shirts, stickers, and koozies that say NattyPoe on them with the face of NattyBoh mixed with Edgar Allen Poe. To me, it is the epitome of Baltimore.. Before coming to Loyola, most would never have known what NattyPoe meant, but National Bohemian Beer and Edgar Allen Poe are two things that every Baltimorean knows, loves, and takes pride in.

Hampdenfest is, sadly, only a one-day extravaganza. However, from Friday October 3 to Sunday October 5 Fells Fest will be taking place down in in Fells Point all along Main Street. Fells Fest, similar to Hampdenfest is a community arts festival that brings together the city of Baltimore and other Marylanders. There will be four stages set up, and bands will be playing throughout the weekend. In addition, local shops and artists will set up tents and sell their art to the visitors. Fells Fest will be just like Hampdenfest—but on an even larger scale!

Getting off Loyola’s beautiful campus and seeing what the exciting neighborhoods of Baltimore have to offer is something that every Loyola student should do. Hampdenfest and Fells Fest are two of the most interesting and unique things that Baltimore does to showcase just how cool, and special the city Baltimore is—a city which we, as Loyola students, can call home.

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Baltimore welcomes Hampdenfest, Fells Fest