Walking towards the East End Festival, you could hear the music playing from afar. Though it was a rainy and cloudy October, one could see that the turnout was large ranging in people from different ages. The group Let There Be Rock came in full force as they played all afternoon entertaining East End Festival goers.
For its first year in the making, the East End Festival gathered community members from the east side and all over Frederick County right outside of Oscar’s Ale House. Tables were set up in a circular formation around the parking lot with local businesses, restaurants, and games. When I first walked up to the festival, the first thing that caught my attention was the small tractor trailer with lights and mobile video games. Brought by Games to Go based in Frederick, Maryland, children and adults were entertained with VR games and game consoles. Once I had my fun, I made my way to the tables to see the different vendors that made it out. Some of the local businesses that joined were A|R Workshop, Carefree Kitchens, Dublin Roasters, Green Health Doc, and amongst several more. Visitors made their way around the tables to learn more about these businesses and engage in conversation. Some stayed outside in the brisk fall day, as others made their way inside the stores in the shopping center. Rockwell and Midnight City Breweries were handing out beer samples along selling draft cups. Visitors that bought beer had the chance to visit the breweries afterwards for some free samples afterwards. Food vendors included Ragin’ Reef and Jerk n’ Jive as they served some of their most popular dishes. Guests had the option of dining in at surrounding restaurants such as Bellisario’s, Family Meal, and of course, Oscar’s Ale House.
Though the weather was gloomy with hints of rain here and there, there was a great turnout and a sense of community was felt throughout the day. Taking a parking lot and turning it into a festival to celebrate east end businesses was a success, as sometimes it is easy to forget about East Frederick in connection to Downtown. Many thanks to Oscar’s Ale House for hosting and organizing this event. We are excited for next year’s festival and hope to see more businesses join!