As Frederick has grown, so, too, has its annual In the Street festival. And this year, the name is reflecting that growth.
Now called In the Streets, this year’s festival — set for Saturday— includes new streets, more entrances and the adding of Carroll Creek Linear Park. It will still close down Market Street for six hours and open it up to live music, food, activities for kids and vendors representing Frederick businesses throughout several blocks and four stages featuring local and regional talent.
Organizers said it was only natural to change the name from its longstanding In The Street to In The Streets, a more accurate description for what the festival has become.
“It’s all about celebrating what’s going on in the community,” said Jen Martin, executive director of Celebrate Frederick, which produces the festival. “The growth in Frederick businesses is reflected in the growth of the festival.”
Indeed, with upwards of 300 vendor spots selling out every year, businesses and groups of all sorts are represented — restaurants, theater companies, the local YMCA, barber shops and tattoo parlors. Martin said they use “every nook and cranny” in town to find spots for vendors.
The inaugural In the Street was created as an initiative by then-mayor Ron Young in 1983 to revitalize Market Street after it had been closed for several months for renovations. The first festival brought in a crowd of about 10,000. Not too shabby, but today’s numbers reach over 75,000 (locals know all too well that you have to be strategic about getting in, parking, and getting out of downtown Frederick that day each year).
In recent years, Frederick County has seen a huge influx in its craft breweries and distilleries industry, which are now highlighted in the Craft Beer Experience along Carroll Creek Linear Park.
“It’s really like a mini craft beverage festival,” said Martin.
In its third year, the Craft Beverage Experience, which runs from noon to 5 p.m., boasts 15 vendors, all of which are based in Frederick County.
The Kids Block, the 600th block between Sixth and Seventh streets, has also expanded to include free activities throughout the day and live entertainment onstage. Its location also helps to draw people to that end of Market Street, Martin said.
A favorite way to cap off the day is Up the Creek, the official festival after party, held from 5 to 9 p.m. at Carroll Creek Amphitheater. Presented by Flying Dog Brewery, this year’s lineup includes alt-rockers Fire Kite Band and 90s cover band As If to end the night. Flying Dog beer, Spin the Bottle sangria and pizza from Renzi’s will be available for purchase at the event.
“The festival is a well-oiled machine at this point,” Martin said, “but we try to enhance it a little bit each year.”