2012 Dundalk Heritage Fair
Monday, 02 July 2012 13:17

Good rockin’ at the Fair

by Bill Gates

    Near the end of his performance Friday night, during which the temperature exceeded 100 degrees, Dennis DeYoung turned to one of his guitarists and asked: “Do you know what’s going on here tonight?”
    The guitarist, Jimmy Leahey, replied: “I don’t know, but I could sure use a good pool party.”
    “Who’s got a pool?” DeYoung asked the crowd of nearly 5,000. Then he pointed at one of the people waving their hands and said: “Party at your house, 10 minutes.”
    Right on the heels of the 100-degree heat, a powerful thunderstorm plowed throught the area shortly after 11 p.m. on Friday, causing extensive damage to the tents and booths at the Heritage Fair.
    The opening of the Fair on Saturday was delayed to  about 3 p.m. Many vendors also had to pack up and leave on Saturday, due to their displays and products being destroyed by the storm.
    Nearly 120,000 homes in Baltimore County and about 95,000 in Baltimore City lost power, according to BGE’s web site.
    It was a double-whammy for the Heritage Fair. Attendance was down on Friday due to the extreme heat, then the storm rolled in and cast a shadow over Saturday and Sunday.

Former Styx lead singer rocks crowd
    At least DeYoung drew a large crowd on Friday night, and Joan Jett’s performance on Saturday night helped salvage the evening for the Heritage Fair by attracting perhaps the largest crowd of any Fair headliner to date.
    “I’d ask how you are, but I know how you are: hot,” DeYoung said to the crowd early in his performance.
    After opening with “The Grand Illusion,” DeYoung and his band went through three more Styx hits: “Lady,” “Lorelei” and “Blue Collar Man.”
    DeYoung, a Chicago native, then noticed a man standing near the stage wearing a number 52 Baltimore Ravens jersey.
    “That number 52, is that Brian Urlacher?” DeYoung asked, referring to the Bears linebacker (who actually wears number 54, which DeYoung likely knows). “Or are you that 52 guy you have here in Baltimore?”
    DeYoung told the crowd how glad he was to be there with them, “especially for me, since I just turned 65. But you don’t have to be cool anymore when you’re this age.”
    One fan shouted: “You still look 45, Dennis.”
    The enthusiastic crowd, many holding vinyl copies of classic Styx albums like Paradise Theatre, Cornerstone and The Grand Illusion (alas, there was no meet-and-greet afterwards to get autographs), was summed up by one fan who yelled: “You’ve still got it, Dennis.”
    Before singing “Show me the Way,” DeYoung dedicated it to the men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces.
    “Without them watching the door, we couldn’t sit in the park tonight and listen to music,” he said.
    Later, before performing “Suite Madame Blue,” DeYoung said he wrote the song in 1975 while the country was preparing for its bicentennial in 1976.
    After pointing out the American flag over the main stage, DeYoung said: “There’s Old Glory, hanging over the whole shebang.
    “My feelings for this country were put down in this next song [Suite Madame Blue]. This is a flawed country, but it’s still the best country in the world.”
    The crowd’s response to that comment was loud and in agreement, to put it lightly.
    After performing “Mr. Roboto,” DeYoung drank from a bottle of water and said “The water’s like 120 degrees. Anyone got a teabag?”
    Then came an acoustic version of “Don’t Let it End,” followed by “Too Much Time on My Hands” and “Rocking the Paradise.”
    DeYoung’s wife Suzanne is a member of his band. They’ve been married for 42 years, he told the crowd, after meeting in Catholic school.
    “I wrote this next song for Suzanne,” he said. “It wasn’t supposed to be a Styx song, but the record company loved it and put it on the album.”
    That song was “Babe,” the only Styx single to reach number one on the Billboard charts.
    Next came “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man),” from what DeYoung said he thought was the best Styx album: The Grand Illusion.
    Following “Suite Madame Blue,” DeYoung played “The Best of Times”  and “A.D. 1958,” both from Paradise Theatre.
    “This is the part where we go offstage, and you all scream for us to come back, and we eventually come back,” DeYoung said. “Let’s just pretend we all left the stage and skip ahead to where we come back.”
    He then closed the show with two Styx standards: “Renegade” and “Come Sail Away.”

Jett plays to sweltering audience
    It wasn’t quite as hot, temperature-wise, when Jett played on Saturday.
    But the heat generated by a mass of bodies that spread out past the beer garden and as far to the wings as possible surely made up the difference.
    Last year, the Guess Who played to a crowd estimated at over 5,000.
    Jett’s audience topped that.
    She opened with three songs back-to-back-toback: “TMI,” “Cherry Bomb” and “Do You Wanna Touch Me?”
    “I know it’s hot, but that’s what rock-and-roll is all about,” Jett told the crowd. “You have to sweat for it.”
    After playing “Bad Reputation” and “Playing with Fire,” Jett asked the crowd: “Anyone know if the Orioles won today? I’m  a big O’s fan.”
    To which her guitarist responded: “And I’m a big Yankees fan.”
    “This is what I have to put up with, Jett told the crowd, then to her guitarist: “The Yankees never had four 20-game winners in one season.”
    “No, just 27 world championships,” came the rebuttal.
    From that, Jett segued into “Love is Pain,” a condition with which probably many Orioles fans can identify.
    Then came “Naked,” “Fake Friends” and “Reality Mentality” before Jett brought the crowd to its feet — well, those who hadn’t already been standing the entire time — with the opening chords of “(I Love) Rock and Roll.”
    Jett followed her signature song with her cover of “Crimson and Clover,” then another crowd-pleaser: “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” her 1988 hit which reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is currently being bastardized by Faith Hill during the intro to NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
    Unlike DeYoung the night before, Jett and the Blackhearts actually left the stage before returning for their encore: “Little Liar” and “A.C.D.C.”
    As most know, Jett grew up in Rockville.
    “I always told people I was going to move to California and form a rock band,” Jett told the crowd earlier during her performance.
    “I didn’t realize I had said it so many times until I recently went to a high school reunion. But I did go to California, and I did start a band: the Runaways.”

As far as Heritage Fair is concerned it’s still “Minnick’s”

Sonny Minnick helps new owners learn Fair ropes

by Bill Gates

    The sign on Delvale Avenue takes more getting used to than the  steadily-growing new Dundalk High School across the street: “Dún Dealgan” instead of “Minnick’s.”
    Joseph “Sonny” Minnick and his brother, Dan, sold the family bar/restaurant last year to the owners of The Sea Horse Inn, Ali Van Dommelen and Bo Crizer.
    But, for this Heritage Fair, the Minnick name is still in its familiar spot selling BBQ, pit beef and other sandwiches.
    “I don’t care who runs it,” Heritage Association president Joe Falbo said. “As long as I see a Minnick’s sign.”
    “Sonny” Minnick described his role as “more of an advisory capacity.”
    “Sonny’s been helping us out a lot,” Crizer said. “He has a set routine and he’s teaching it to us. It’s old school, new school.”
    When Minnick’s changed hands last year, its role in the Heritage Fair was one of the issues discussed during the sale.
    “Sonny was definitely worried about the transition at the Heritage Fair,” Crizer said. “He takes [serving at the Fair] very seriously. He definitely was going to help us this year.”
    Friday evening, Minnick was pleased at how things were going.
    “So far, they’ve handled it very well,” he said. “There were a few minor things, but, overall, they’ve done a very good job.
    “They made the BBQ to my recipe, and the beef is cooked the way we want it.”
    All the work was being done by the new staff — some wearng Sea Horse Inn shirts — so they could get accustomed to doing the work.
    “Lionel [Van Dommelen, Ali’s father, former Sea Horse owner and current Baltimore County Code Enforcement chief] told Bo and Ali, if I see Sonny on a ladder, I’m kicking the crap out of both of you,” Minnick said.
    With Ali preparing for her upcoming wedding, Lionel was helping out for the fair.
    “We’re still flying the [Minnick] flag,” Lionel said. ‘Sonny’s help was invaluable.
    “It’s still a family affair. It was the Minnick family, and now it’s the Crizer and Van Dommelen families.” 


There was fun for all at the 2012 Dundalk Heritage Fair, held in Heritage Park this past weekend. Clockwise, from top left:  Aliyah Heath took flight on one of the rides on the Dundalk Elementary School grounds; Phineas T. Waggs and his monkey pal Django provided magic and laughs; young Angel Tyc took a turn on the rock-climbing wall; Dean Crawford & the Dunn’s River Band were part of the wide variety of music at the fair; and the ever-popular pig races returned to entertain fairgoers.

photos by Roland Dorsey





















































Clockwise, from top left:  Heritage Fair weekend began with the traditional opening ceremonies as local dignitaries cut the ribbon; Nader’s Bistro & Grill was among the purveyors of delicious eats; a color guard from Dundalk American Legion Post 38 provided the proper patriotic tone; and Dundalk’s own Irene Spatafore (left), Baltimore County’s 2012 Woman of the Year, shared smiles with Denis Wanhoff, Lisa Bolling and Anna Wenczkowski. The late evening storm left fair booths in disarray and part of a tree at the Eagle building blocking Kinship Road, but things were back on track by Saturday afternoon.

photos by Roland Dorsey