Sunny skies shine on annual Dunfest, Art Show
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:47

Events held at local parks last Saturday

by Nicole Rodman











  Despite the soggy Friday that preceded it, last Saturday dawned warm and dry — the perfect day for some outdoor family fun in Dundalk.
    There was no shortage of ways to spend the sunny day, with both Dunfest and the Dundalk Art Show setting up shop in the parks near the Dundalk Village Shopping Center.

Dunfest draws crowds
    The third annual Dunfest community festival was held last Saturday at Heritage Park.
    Organized by the Dundalk Community Partnership, the event was sponsored by Ports America Chesapeake, the Baltimore County Departments of Health and Social Services, Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
    According to Dunfest coordinator Linda Bryan, executive director of the Dundalk Youth Services Center, the purpose of the event is to provide health and wellness information to local families.
    “We do it as a resource fair to let all the families know what’s available to them,” Bryan explained.
    “Our main purpose is to keep kids safe.”
    As Bryan noted, with warm weather boosting attendance, the number of visitors to this year’s Dunfest was estimated at 1,000 to 1,200 — beating last year’s attendance figure of 750.
    This year’s event featured a superhero theme.
    Many of the event’s activities centered around this theme — from appearances by Iron Man and Spiderman to coloring pages and superhero capes for the kids.
    The Baltimore County Department of Health provided a grant allowing Dunfest to feature a number of anti-smoking activities.
    Each of the capes distributed to visiting children bore a no-smoking symbol on the back.
    The event also featured a wide variety of musical performances, children’s games, food vendors and booths from local organizations.
    Children got the chance to visit bounce houses or get their faces painted.
    Community groups represented at the event included churches such as Flagship House of Prayer, environmental groups like the Back River Restoration Committee and civic clubs like the Dundalk Lions Club.
    One new feature was the addition of farmers market tables, allowing visitors to pick up fresh local produce during the event.
    Featuring activities for all ages, Dunfest provided family fun for all in attendance.

Sun shines on Art Show

    While last year’s show was postponed a week due to rainy conditions, the weather could not have been much better for last Saturday’s 48th annual Dundalk Art Show.
    Held in Veteran’s Park, the event featured a variety of works from artists of all ages.
    According to Art Show co-coordinator Jean Walker (who chairs the event with Joe Stadler), 42 artists registered for the show, though only 37 attended.
    For Walker, the event is  important for both the artists and the community alike.
    “It’s a tradition in Dundalk. People enjoy coming out and looking at the art,” she explained, adding, “I know the artists enjoy it.”
    Last weekend’s Art Show featured hundreds of works by artists young and old, professional and amateur.
    Artists shared their talents in a variety of media, including drawings, paintings, photographs, quilts, sculptures and mosaics.

Echols remembered
    The event also paid tribute to Dundalk photographer and historian Charles H. “C.H.” Echols Jr., who died last July at the age of 96.
    A table set up at the event included copies of Echol’s books as well as examples of his well-known “little landmarks.”
    The landmarks — photographs mounted to pieces of wood cut to match the shape of the photo — represented a variety of recognizable buildings around the Dundalk area.
    As the event wrapped up at 4 p.m., the winners of the 48th annual Dundalk Art Show were announced.
    In the professional categories, the first-place art award was won by Jackie Miller, while the craft award went to Felicia Dye and the photography award went to Charles Mans.
    In the non-professional categories, Christina Selba took the first-place art award, while Cassandra Szmagda won the craft award and Dotty Cristy won the photography award.
    In the senior categories,  Rose Stelmack took the first-place art award, while Sarah Prevatt took the craft award.
    Among participating schools, Battle Grove Elementary School, Dundalk Middle School and Sparrows Point High School took first place for their student art displays.
    In the individual student categories, Koleti Itter swept the elementary art, craft and photography categories.
    Among middle-schoolers, Karly and Nora Massoni took first place.
    In high school art, Alison Swift took first place in art while  Jessyca Orzech won for photography.

*  For more Dunfest and Art Show photos, see the video slideshow at the upper right of the home page