Get ready for Festival on the Hill!

Festival on the hill poster for 2023It’s fall, and thus it is time once again for Festival on the Hill, the more-or-less annual celebration of autumn weather and community togetherness that has been happening around here since the 1950s. Mark your calendar for Saturday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (and hope for clear skies; there is no rain date).

As usual there will be shucked oysters, beer and wine and other food and drink, a book sale, pansies and priceless juniquities, games for children, live music and more.

All proceeds will be shared this year with the Samaritan Community, No Boundaries Coalition and the Thurgood Marshall Amenity Center at P.S. 103. The festival will fill the 1300 block of Bolton St. and W. Lanvale St. between Park Ave. and Mason St.

Returning to the festival will be music by the Catonsville High School Steel Band. New this year will be the Craig Alston Syndicate and Children’s Chorus of Maryland. Plein Air, a group of artists who have been painting in the neighborhood since the last week of August, will show and sell their works. The hula-hoop entrepreneur from the Downtown Farmers’ Market will set up shop. Organizations from the greater neighborhood will have booths.

Here’s a surprise: volunteers are needed!  Contact Lee Tawney if you can offer an hour or two.

The festival has roots in the Eisenhower-era with church bazaars organized by women of Memorial Episcopal Church. In 1969 they expanded and became the first outdoor Festival on the Hill. Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church joined in to bake and sell brownies while Corpus Christi Church invented its unique chili that has been served each year since then.