In the Streets Has Over Thirty Years of Downtown Fun

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by Annie Moreno

This year on September 13th 2014, Frederick City held its annual festival of In the Streets. Year after year, the festival attracts people from all over the county and is attended by over 70,000 people.

In the Streets took place in downtown Frederick from 11:00am-5:00pm last Saturday, covering Market Street, Carroll Creek, and 7th Street.  This tradition began in 1983 when Market Street had been closed down. At the time, the city leader was Mayor Ronald Young. Young decided that he was going to hold a festival in downtown Frederick to be enjoyed by the entire community, to celebrate the reopening of the downtown area.  The first In the Streets ever attracted 10,000 people from all over the community.

Students at Walkersville High School talk about In the Streets. Junior Brianna Thomas says “My favorite part is the face painting.”

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Sophomore Erin Turner says that her favorite activity is “the strength training with the tire game.”

Senior Dylann Sowers says “I like that they give you a bunch of free stuff, like pencils.”

Senior Christian Thomason said, “I like the music there, and all of the performances.”

Let’s not forget about the food at this festive event. Freshman Jada Williams says that her favorite food provided is “Rita’s Ice.”

Sophomore Zack Oldach says, “My favorite food there is Wags, a restaurant underground.”

Sowers says, “I like the Black Hog barbeque.”

Not only is In the Streets known for its food and festivities, but is also a huge social event for many. “I like to see the community coming together,” says Sowers.

Williams says she goes because “everyone is there!”

Turner goes because “it is perfect family fun.”

Oldach says, “I go down to have fun, and see girls.”

Thomason says, “I like being down there with all of the people.”

Behind the scenes of such a popular and festive event, the Frederick City marketing coordinator, Jennifer Martin, gives the inside details of what it takes to make in the streets possible.  Martin explains that there is an entire committee of twenty-five volunteers that are responsible for in the streets. Martin says “They assist in recruiting vendors, selecting entertainment, signing up volunteers to help the day of the event, exedra. On the day of the event and additional 100 volunteers are needed to staff beer, wine gardens, work at information booths, help with setup and breakdown, and assist at barricades.”

Martin attends the festival herself each year as a staff member, “I enjoy seeing the community come out and support local entertainment, crafters, non-profits, restaurants and businesses.” Martin feels that this event is good for the community because “In the Streets provides a fantastic opportunity for the community to celebrate what makes downtown Frederick such a unique and special place. From beautiful historic buildings, to a vibrant food and arts center, In the Streets highlights all of these things. And what’s even better is that most of the activities are free, or very low cost to enjoy.”

In the Streets is filled with advertisers, performers, and sellers, but how is it decided which businesses, bands and companies get to participate in this festivity? Martin says “A volunteer committee selects entertainers, vendors, and participants. In general the committee strives to be as inclusive as possible.” In the Streets is filled with engaging activities enjoyed by all. Martin shares that they are possible because of Frederick’s non-profit organizations and businesses  participating in the event. “These groups are encouraged to provide activities that relate to the theme of the block they are located in. The activities provide entertainment to visitors, and make the organization’s booth more engaging, which is a win-win for all, involved.”

The City of Frederick is filled with festive events from the Christmas lights to the arts festival. All are enjoyed by the community, but Martin says that the beautiful thing about In the Streets is that “The event has been around for over thirty years, so for many it is a true tradition each fall. It is also one of the only days of the year when you can walk in the street, which is also fun!”

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