40 years of Essex Day, 40 years of good weather
By Dan Baldwin, The Avenue News
With an early morning overcast and pockets of rain showers it seemed like history was going to be made on Sunday, Sept. 27. It looked like it was actually going to rain during the Essex Day Festival, an occurrence that has never happened during the festival’s four decade existence, said Midway Chairperson June Donovan.
The sentiment was shared by nearly every elected official during the opening ceremonies of the 40th annual Essex Day. Along with being known as a family-friendly event that attracts thousands every year, Essex Day is also known as always having perfect weather.
“[Essex Day] is a big event put on by many, many people,” said Essex Day Committee member Joe DiCara who also sang the national anthem to kick off the 40th annual event.
The festival’s invocation was performed by Del. Ric Metzgar.
According to Donovan, this year’s “big event” brought out more than 10,000 people from the Essex area and surrounding communities to the 400 and 500 blocks of Eastern Boulevard.
“It took people a little while to realize it wasn’t going to rain,” she told the Avenue News. “Then they came out in droves.”
Those who came out to enjoy the day were treated to good food, good music and good times.
This year, a crowd of about 100 gathered around the main stage and enjoyed the familiar tunes that filled the air. Main stage acts this year included the Voodoo Yahoos, Sarah and the Igniters, and Doug Lester and Andy Beccio with special guest Ronnie Dove.
“The past two years the audience at the main stage has gotten stronger,” Donovan said.
With more than 240 vendors lining the streets there was certainly something for everyone at this year’s Essex Day.
“Communities have their ups and downs, but this is what brings communities together,” said Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger.
WMAR 2014 Essex Day Photo Gallery
2015 Essex Day Festival
Main Stage Entertainment Lineup
Doug Lester & Annie Beccio
Sarah & the Igniters